Home

Q Litter Seven Weeks

Leave a comment

This litter is all microchipped with their new owners’ information and they start to go home on their eight week birthday on Sunday.  Our next litter will be in Spring of 2022 between Wyo Plainsman Kenobi, NA I “Obi” and Bluestem Peaches En Regalia, NA I “Ruth”.  We keep going back and forth on a final repeat breeding of Fire and Chief next year and have not yet made a final decision.  Once these puppies are all in their homes I will start responding to my backlog of new interest emails.  If you want to join the queue, shoot me an email at bluestemkennels@gmail.com.

I’ve made sure that the puppies all been over by the pigeon coop and have had a bird fly up near them so they get used to that wing flapping sound and are not startled by it.  We’ve all had a couple of turns on the leash.  They’ve spent time in the crate.  They run around the yard like wild animals and run out into the woods so far that I’m afraid a coyote will eat them.  They have their shots, microchips and vet checks.  The papers from the AKC and NAVHDA are here.  They are ready for their own people.

IMG_6663

Queen (female) is going to Oklahoma as the family’s second Bluestem pup

IMG_6673

Quartz (male) is going to Colorado

IMG_6678

Quentin (male)  is going to Michigan as the family’s second Bluestem pup

IMG_6680

Qbert (male) is going to Iowa

IMG_6684

Quince (male) is going to North Dakota as the family’s second Bluestem pup

IMG_6687

Quest (female) is going to Ohio as the family’s second Bluestem pup

IMG_6690

Quetzal (male) is going to Kansas

IMG_6696 (2)

Qiana (female) is going to Central Nebraska

IMG_6692

Quarry (female) is going to become AKC/NAVHDA Bluestem Sally Forth “Sally” and stay with us.

Here is the video that I took this week: Q Litter Seven Weeks Old

I really need to run and do puppy chores, but for now I’m just going to post the photo of Charles and Wyo Plainsman Kenobi, NA I “Obi” and their sweep of the Walking Derby at the inaugural AWPGA AKC Walking Field Trial, winning first in both the Amateur and Open Divisions!  We are so proud and thankful that the club was able to pull off such an event.  Biggest thanks to Tom and Kristen Mathis for their work.  Also thank you to our Griffon friends for showing up, I really wish that I could have been there and thank you for all of the messages of being missed.

IMG_6706 (2)

Charles and Wyo Plainsman Kenobi, NA I “Obi” First Place ribbons in both the Amateur and Open Divisions of the AWPGA AKC Walking Field Trial

 

 

 

1st Griffon-Only AKC Field Trial To Be Held

Leave a comment

Come and be a part of history! The first Griffon-only AKC Field Trial will be held March 20-21 at Moraine View State Recreation Area near LeRoy, Illinois, sponsored by the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association. All stakes are walking only, no dogs will be handled on horseback (although the judges generally are). Entry cutoff is March 17th at 6 PM Central. Your dog needs to be registered with the AKC to participate, but you do NOT need to be a member of the AWPGA.
There will be six stakes: Amateur Puppy, Open Puppy, Amateur Derby, Open Derby, Amateur Gun Dog and Open Gun Dog. Puppy stakes are up to 15 months old and are mainly judged on desire and running style. Derby stakes are up to 24 months old and are judged on desire, running and point style. Gun Dog stakes are for finished dogs who are judged on desire, running style range, steadiness, backing/honoring, point intensity and retrieving. Amateur is only available to non-professional handlers, whereas Open is available to professional handlers.
This Griffon-only AKC walking field trial has been a huge event for the field committee (thank you especially to Tom and Kristen Mathis) to organize and we are excited to participate!
Yes, it is a competition. You are braced with another dog/handler pair and you are competing against them head-to-head on field performance. Then your performance is evaluated based on the entire entry of dogs and handlers for placement. Full rules can be found by Googling for the PDF document “AKC Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedure for Pointing Breeds”.
Our dogs have been running in AKC German Shorthaired Pointer Club walking field trials for nine years, about the same time that we’ve been members of the AWPGA. It has been a fun experience and we’ve brought home some ribbons on derby dogs.
We hope to have an excellent turnout for this event and look forward to some great sportsmanlike competition and camaraderie!
20210304_084950

20210304_085020

Our most recent success at an AKC Field Trial was with Charles handling Wyo Plainsman Kenobi, NA I “Obi” to a 4th place finish in the Amateur Walking Derby at the Heart of America German Shorthaired Pointer Club’s trial just last weekend.
2021 Obi FT ribbon

Charles and Obi with their 4th place Amateur Walking Derby ribbon

2021 Obi FT

Charles and Ruth at the line. Photo courtesy of HOAGSPC

Q Litter at 4 Weeks

Leave a comment

This litter is spoken for and my next litters will be in spring of 2022.  I appreciate the overwhelming desire to get a pup from us, I really do.  I am receiving your emails and will be sure to reach out once I get our taxes prepared.  If you want to be added to my list of contacts, you can email bluestemkennels@gmail.com and I will get you on there and shoot you an email here in the next few weeks.

Why doesn’t she have any time?  Blogging takes time.  Not only do I have to take a couple of hours to write this post, but I have to set aside the time to do the photography beforehand.  Of course, there is taking care of the puppies which now includes daily feeding them and play time.  The big dogs need to be walked several times a day.  I am swimming two miles a week.  We are big foodies, so all of our food is homemade.  Like, I felt guilty for using store bought breadcrumbs in my meatloaf yesterday kind of homemade.  I don’t have a housekeeper and my kids don’t have tutors.  I probably spend six hours a week on tutoring my two boys.  And I try to squeeze in some professional time substitute teaching middle school and lifeguarding.  This is how I have always lived my life, bouncing from one completely unrelated thing to another.  Someday the kids will graduate from high school and I might retire from my out-of-the-house jobs to work on dogs full time.  But I’ve got to “make hay while the sun is shining” as we say out in the Sandhills.  Not time to be an old dog lady just yet.

The puppies are doing great.  Fielding a lot of questions from the new owners about how their personalities are developing and whether they show any curiosity or independence at this point.  The short answer is still “no”.  This is currently how they spend the majority of their life.

IMG_6329 (2)

The Q Litter at Four Weeks

They are most comfortable with their litter.  They have brief moments of being up and around and trying to explore with their limited mobility.  But it is not a lot yet.  The photos that I took on Saturday in the yard, they are really only separated from each other and exploring for like five minutes at the most.  Then they were ambling back to me to all curl up together on the beach towel.

Another thing about the photos, is that you can’t really see much of their total personalities in them.  I not only pick photos for the action, but also the general photo quality.  Like here’s a perfect example, I got this blurry shot of Quentin with the grouse wing but the one that turned out is the one where he is howling for mom.

IMG_6318

You would not see this pic normally because it is out of focus

IMG_6316

But no, the crybaby pic of Quentin is the one that turned out

It’s also tough to balance the number and quality of action photos on the puppies at this point.  I’m just shooting and I get what I get sometimes.

IMG_6306

L to R: Qbert, Quince, Quartz and Quetzal

IMG_6308

Quest and Qiana

IMG_6309

Quentin, Quarry, Queen

IMG_6312

Quartz, Quince, Quetzal

IMG_6313

Quest

IMG_6315

Quarry

IMG_6322

Quetzal

IMG_6324

Quarry

IMG_6326

Quartz

I just posted all of those in the order that I took them.  Like I said, that was over a period of just a few minutes before they wandered back to me and the beach towel.  Several of them didn’t get closeups.  There will be more action photos as they get up and move around more during the day.

Here is the video that I took of them last night as I was cleaning out the chips in their box: Q Litter Four Weeks Old

I do have more to write this week about Obi’s 4th place finish in the AKC Amateur Walking Derby at the Heart of America German Shorthaired Pointer Club Field Trial last weekend and an invitation to our own American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association’s breed-only AKC Walking Field Trial in LeRoy, IL.  But it will have to wait until Wednesday.

Think Spring!

Welcome Q Litter!

Leave a comment

IMG_6180

Q Litter at 5 days old

I’m sorry that it has taken so long to post the official announcement of the arrival of the “Q” Litter!  At this time, I have all of the puppies confirmed reserved with a plan for the new owners to pick up.  I have one reservation backing them up in the event that someone can’t take a pup, otherwise they will carry over to next year’s litters.  I apologize if I have not responded to your email inquiry regarding puppies over the last week and a half, it has been crazy.  I have set aside time next week to get caught up.  At this point, it would be a very rare instance that I would have more than one person back out.  I am maintaining a list in the event of that situation, but most likely this litter is on the books and any new interest should be for next year’s litters.  If you have emailed recently and just haven’t gotten a response, hang tight.  My email address is the best way to contact me: bluestemkennels@gmail.com.

The story of the puppies arrival is this.  I went to lifeguard rescue practice on Saturday afternoon thinking that the puppies would arrive on Sunday.  So when I got home, I decided to take Fire out for a hike to get everything moving.  We walked over to the nature preserve that borders our house and the Missouri River.  It was a nice mile roundtrip hike in deep snow.

Fire Mo Valley

Fire looking down on the Missouri River

I thought it was going to happen that night with all of the panting and whining going on.  But it hadn’t happened by the end of Dr. Who on Iowa PBS (which gets over around 1 AM), so it was time for bed.  I got up and prepared the whelping area in the garage.  We took walks in the yard about once an hour all morning.  There was definite sign right around noon (I’ll spare the gross details), so I put her out in the area, made lunch and called my mom.  When I went out there next two puppies had arrived already.  They came in twos for the next six hours.  One of the round of two were two stillborns, which even after ten years of doing this is sad and unsettling.  But it happens with almost every litter, so you brush yourself off and keep going.  We ended up with a very nice litter of nine puppies: five males and four females.

Fire Whelping Box

Fire and the newborns in the whelping box

I think that the most important thing that I do during whelping is keeping the female walking outside every two hours.  Even if I have to pick her up and put a leash on her to get her moving, it is really important to keep the labor moving to avoid c-sections.  The puppies are fine to be left for a few minutes as newborns.  Now that we are a handful of days into their lives, mom likes her breaks out of the puppy box.

Fire is doing a good job of keeping hydrated and fed, which is an important part of all of this.  Her mom BB was always skin and bones at this phase of the process, but Fire eats and drinks good so that she doesn’t look emaciated.  The nice thing about nine puppies is that it is just the right amount to feed all-natural with no bottle feeding.  Anything more than that is too much and needs to be supplemented.  I am very lucky that my females have always been good milk producers and so the puppies are pooping like they should be.

So right now my main thing is taking care of mom and looking in the box when there are big squeakers.  They are starting to have a little primitive bark and it is getting louder, so I know when something is amiss (usually just on the wrong end of the box).  They are right in the kitchen where I am most of the time anyway, so not too far away at this point.

Q Litter Fire

Fire and the newborns in the kitchen

Q Litter Newborn

The Q Litter as newborns

We got their tails docked and dew claws removed at Heartland Pet Hospital in Bellevue with no issues and all of the puppies were inspected by the new lady veterinarian (she has a Dutch last name that I’ve already forgotten!).  She said that they looked great and did well.  Many breeders do their own tails and claws, but I just like having the vet do it and it gives the newborn puppies that first inspection.

Q litter at the vet

Q pups at the vet

I did get a video yesterday.  The SD card from my camcorder got misplaced and I need a new card, so it is just a phone video.  I don’t know on my phone how to do all of the titles and credits like I normally do, so it is pretty basic.  Click the link to go over to YouTube and watch it: Q Litter 5 Days Old Video

Here is a montage of a few more pictures that I’ve taken here over the last couple of days:

The boy in the pictures is our soon to be twelve-year-old son (our youngest) Caleb.  He does not know life before puppies.  We’ve always had puppies since he was a baby and he just loves them.  (Yeah, about that shirt.  I had it in the laundry slated for the donations bag, but it is his favorite and he pulled it out to wear it again even though it is too small.  Boys.)

In other news: Charles wrapped up the hunting season a week early and he didn’t get any photos from his last hunt.  The weather was rough and the roads were terrible.  There were gobs of hunters out where he was at.  A six hour round trip for one rooster, but hey, they had fun.

AWPGA Griffon-Only AKC Walking Field Trial

This is the next item of excitement on our list.  The AWPGA will finally be sponsoring a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon ONLY AKC Walking Field Trial on March 20-21 at the Moraine View State Recreation Area north of LeRoy, Illinois.  Charles, Obi and Ruth will be there along with some of our other AWPGA friends and their dogs from our area.  This has been years in the making and I thank Thomas and Kristen Mathis for finally getting it off of the ground.  I will post the premium once we get ours turned in!  For all of the rules, Google “AKC Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedure for Pointing Breeds”, it is a weird PDF link that doesn’t transpose well.

Signing off for now, but will be back next week for another update.  Stay warm and don’t hurt yourself in this snow and ice.

 

North Dakota Hunting and Hunt Test Pupdates

Leave a comment

AWPGA Health and Genetics Database

Fellow Wirehaired Pointing Griffon breeders and owners: please participate in the AWPGA Health and Genetics Database.  You do not have to be an AWPGA member to participate.  We are looking to collect as much pedigree and health information as possible, so that we can go forward with a clearer picture of where the breed is currently and make appropriate breeding decisions. http://www.awpgadb.com/

2014 Hunting Issue of the Griffonnier

I am now co-editor of the Griffonnier with Amy Caswell-O’Clair from New Hampshire.  The first issue that I’ll be working on is appropriately the Hunting Issue 2014.  If you are an AWPGA member and have hunting training tips, hunting tales and photographs, or game bird recipes, please e-mail them to griffonniereditor@cox.net by November 30th.  If you aren’t an AWPGA member, please consider joining us: http://awpga.com/beamember.html.  We will be having our annual gathering in Fall 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa and would love to have you all join us.

Pups Hunting in North Dakota

I’m getting good reports out of North Dakota from both my puppy owners and Charles.  Here’s Susan’s North Dakota hunting party, with our pup TracHer from our 2012 “C” Litter from Sam and Mae.  Susan and TracHer are on the far left of the photo.

Susan and TracHer with friends and family.

Susan and TracHer with friends and family.

Susan said that the numbers were great and that they all would have had their limits if their shots had connected.  I know that feeling!

Ernie is having fun in North Dakota with 7 month old Duncan, from our 2014 “H” Litter from Sam and Mae.

Duncan and Ernie with a pheasant limit

Duncan and Ernie with a pheasant limit

Ernie has also picked up a GoPro camera and got some video of points and retrieves from Duncan.  GoPro seems to have improved the distance perception in the newer models, it seems more true to real sight.  I couldn’t be more pleased with this footage, what great work for a 7 month old pup.  

Hunt Test News

Congratulations to Sal and Chester (TracHer’s littermate) on two AKC Senior Hunter passes at the Long Island (New York) Viszla Club the weekend before last!

Sal and Chester with SH ribbons

Sal and Chester with SH ribbons

Also, congratulations to John and his pup, Cle, who is our Fire’s brother, on his NAVHDA Natural Ability Prize III at 8 months with the MidSouth NAVHDA Chapter in Pelham, Tennessee over the weekend.

More North Dakota

The dogs and Charles rolled into North Dakota mid-day Sunday, giving them some time to hunt in the afternoon and evening.  He took his first ever Hungarian Partridge then.  (Sorry for the low quality phone photos)

Charles's first Hungarian Partridge

Charles’s first Hungarian Partridge

I received another truck and bird photo mid-afternoon today, a drake redhead and two nice roosters.  The story on the duck is that he was working a slough surrounded by a cornfield when a group of ducks got up from the pond.  Charles tucked down, with this one flying in range.  The duck landed in standing corn and little Fire retrieved it.  He took the two roosters an hour or so later within 5 minutes of each other, but saw nothing else the rest of the day.  Still a nice bag.

Drake Canvasback and two roosters

Drake redhead and two roosters

Good luck to everyone else in the field out there!

2014 AWPGA National Specialty in Maine

1 Comment

Old Business

Before I get into the gathering in Maine, I failed to mention in my last post that I gave the National Association for Gun Rights permission to use an old photo in a Facebook meme a week or two back.  I took this pic at least 4 years ago when we were still guiding hunts at Pheasant Haven preserve in Elk City, Nebraska.  You can see Charles and old Sue, who has since retired, in the middle.  I do not recall who was in this group of hunters.  Funny what people dig up on my website.  It drummed up 71k likes and 40k shares.

AmericanHunters

 

The Accidental Tourist: How I fell in love with Maine even though I didn’t plan on it.

People from Maine are so friendly that they talk to one another on the plane.  I guess nobody told them the “no talking on the plane” rule.  Please, read a book, listen to music, sleep.  But you aren’t supposed to make a new friend with the person sitting next to you.  Unless you are from Maine.  So I was somewhat agitated getting off of the plane, and thought that a swim would solve that.  It is easier for me to list the beach areas in the US that I haven’t been to, rather than listing the ones that I have.  I haven’t been to the Atlantic side of South Florida, the Pacific Northwest, or Hawaii.  So I have pretty high beach expectations.  I ended up at Crescent Beach State Park just outside of Port Elizabeth, Maine, since it was ranked as the best beach in Maine online.  The first problem that I encountered with this swim was the rocks, lots of rocks.  Not just nice round stones, but like cut your feet up and make you cry rocks.  I thought that once I got to where it was deep enough for me to swim, it wouldn’t be a problem.  But as the water got about mid-thigh and I had to commit to it, I just couldn’t do it.  I’ve swam in stock ponds cleaner than that water.  So the attempted swim was a fail.

View from Crescent Beach State Park in Port Elizabeth, Maine

View from Crescent Beach State Park in Port Elizabeth, Maine

Maine selfie: "What the heck is up with all of these rocks?"

Maine selfie: “What the heck is up with all of these rocks?”

I learned to appreciate just looking at the water, and the boats, and the lighthouses.  I next visited Portland Head Light, the only lighthouse that I made it to the whole trip.  Once again, scenic and unique.

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light

View from the Portland Head Lamp

View from the Portland Head Light

Rockland Harbor Tuesday morning

Rockland Harbor Tuesday morning

I was able to catch a break from the dog action on Wednesday and just happened to stumble across Camden Harbor.  Another scenic area full of good food.

Camden Harbor

Camden Harbor

Camden Harbor

Camden Harbor Close-up

Camden

Camden

That was the extent of my touring, but it was nice that we had a good location for when there was down time.  I know that some of my friends went to Acadia National Park, or went whale watching, but my schedule was fairly limited to dog activities.

Thank you Amy Caswell

A huge thank you to Amy Caswell for organizing all of the events throughout the week.  She always did it tirelessly and with a smile on her face.  Not only did she organize all of the events, but she also participated in the Korthals Cup and the National Specialty Show.  Wowsa!!

Amy Caswell and Bijou in the Korthals Cup

Amy Caswell and Bijou in the Korthals Cup

Amy and Bijou in the Best of Breed ring at the National Specialty Show

Amy and Bijou in the Best of Breed ring at the National Specialty Show

Korthals Cup

Charles keeps asking me the qualifications to enter the Korthals Cup, but I can’t seem to find them online.  It is a certain level of NAVHDA UT prize or AKC Hunt Test title.  I am also not clear on exactly which test they are modeling the Korthals Cup after, either the NAVHDA UT or Invitational tests.  I was able to make it to the water test Tuesday morning. (Note: on any of these slide shows, you can click the first thumbnail for full screen to arrow through).

AKC Hunt Test

Following the Korthals Cup, we moved to the Lincoln Hawes Farm for the AKC Hunt Test.  There were entries at the Master Hunter, Senior Hunter, and Junior Hunter levels.  I served as parking lot attendant and part-time bird planter.  The Hawes were very gracious hosts and even put on an unscheduled lunch at the last minute with cheeseburgers from their very own burger.  Lincoln hauled folks around in his gator, even though he wasn’t asked to do so.  I do not have results on who all received passes, but congratulations to those who did!

Welcome Breakfast and Annual Meeting

The welcome breakfast was held at the Country Inn in Rockport, Maine and consisted of eggs benedict, french toast, sausage links, fruit, pastries, coffee, and mimosas.  The annual meeting went smoothly; I ended up making official my volunteering to take over as editor of the Griffonnier magazine.  It is going to be a huge challenge and major learning experience.  Charles and I are also going to work with the new field events director to establish a griffon club to host AKC Field Trials, as the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is the only one of the AKC recognized pointing breeds which does not have a field trial club.

Educational Seminars: Grooming, Health and Genetics, Show Handling, and Show Judges Education

Following a mid-day break, we took back up in the afternoon at the Union, Maine Fairgrounds for our first three educational seminars: Grooming, Health and Genetics, and Show Handling.  I videotaped Claudette Blackburn of the Association Quebecois Du Griffon d’Arret A Poil Dur (the Quebec Griffon Club) grooming a full dog, as their style of grooming is a bit different than ours.  I hope to have that all mixed down in the next couple of weeks for YouTube.

 

The Health and Genetics seminar was led by Laurie Cooke DVM.  We discussed new issues that are showing up in the breed and what we are hearing about most commonly.  I am very strict in my health criteria for my breeding animals, so knock on wood, we’ve been problem-free up to this point and plan on keeping it that way.

Laurie Cooke, DVM, on left, leading the health and genetics seminar

Laurie Cooke, DVM, on left, leading the health and genetics seminar

Burrell Handling put on our show handling seminar, what great teachers they are!  There was never dead air and there were always demonstrations to show the ideal.  Once the lecture and demonstrations were completed, she gave those with dogs in the ring the following day the opportunity to practice.

 

We broke camp at the Fairgounds around 6 PM and headed back to the Trade Winds in Rockland, Maine for our show judges’ education presentation.  We talked about the French working standard and the AKC conformation standard in great depth.

View of Rockland Harbor from the 5th floor of the Trade Winds

View of Rockland Harbor from the 5th floor of the Trade Winds

Discussing the PowerPoint

Discussing the PowerPoint

AWPGA National Specialty Dog Show

I am not a good show handler, but have grown an appreciation and understanding of dog shows.  At least enough to know what is going on most of the time.  At this point, I only kept track of who won Best of Breed and Best of Opposite Sex.  Many others have their catalogs marked for the dogs that they were watching.  We will have to wait for the AKC results to be posted for the full listing.  These are just candid shots from the ring in no particular order or organization.  Feel free to use on your individual kennel website if you are pictured.

Congratulations to Elaine Hunsicker for GCH Fireside’s Spontaneous Combustion JH “Buster” winning Best of Breed and to Kristi Rogney for GCH Whiskeytown Brandywyn SH for winning Best of Opposite Sex.

Annual Banquet

My final event for the week was the annual banquet.  It is the usual banquet setup: silent auction, feasting, and live auction.

Hog Wild in Iowa 2015

You don’t have to be a show dog person to enjoy the AWPGA National Specialty week.  I hope that when we go “Hog Wild in Iowa” next year, more of the owner/hunters will consider joining us!  It will be held the week of September 5, 2015 in Des Moines, more details to follow.

Surprise Pupdate

Karl and Deb recognized me in Chicago O’Hare on my way home, so I got an updated photo for Eli, who is our Fire’s brother.  He has locked up solid on turkeys and loves to jump into the stock pond.  Karl and Deb were on their way home from a vacation in Croatia, so they had been doing the air travel thing for about 24 hours.

Karl and Deb in O'Hare

Karl and Deb in O’Hare

Eli in the stock tank

Eli in the stock tank

In closing (finally already, I know)

I wasn’t even planning on going to Maine until around the 1st of July.  Like, what could there be in Maine that I haven’t already seen or done?  The world never ceases to amaze me with all of its beautiful sights to see and people to love.  I am so glad that I went and had such a fabulous time.  In the words of Shakespeare as Robin Goodfellow “Puck” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

Fire with her lobsta:)

Fire with her lobsta:)