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“G” Litter 6 weeks old and still waiting for “H” litter

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Puppy shoppers please note: My 2014 reservation list is currently closed and all puppies born or unborn this year are spoken for.  Next breedings are scheduled for Spring 2015.

Poor Mae is just completely miserable and has been for the last 5 days or so.  She either lays around and moans, sleeps and snores really loudly, is at the door wanting to go out for every tiny tinkle or turd, or outside walking around (tinkling and micro-turding).  According to my calculations, as of today she is 3 days overdue from first mating.  But she was with Sam for another 5 days after that, so there is no cause for alarm just yet.  Just as a precaution, I took her to the vet today.  She weighs 81 pounds and is “full of puppies’ as the vet said.  The vet tech asked me whether or not she has “had a large litter before”.  Well, not yet, but I think that this will be the first.  We didn’t bother to do an X-ray since we’ll know how many puppies are in there soon.  She is dilated and should start labor at any time.  If she doesn’t start by Wednesday, the vet will induce with the oxytocin shot.

 

Giant pregnant Mae in the woods

Giant pregnant Mae in the woods

Giant pregnant Mae flopped out on the kitchen floor

Giant pregnant Mae flopped out on the kitchen floor

BB’s 13 puppies are doing very well and growing like weeds!  At 6 weeks old, they only have 2 weeks to go before they head to their new homes.  Here are some snapshots from their running around the yard yesterday.

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Laying in the leaves

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“Whassup?”

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On the run

 

 

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Charles generates a mob scene with the quail

Sniffing the quail

Sniffing the quail

More sniffing the quail

More sniffing the quail

 

First retrieve

First retrieve

And of course, the weekly YouTube video:

I have some pupdates and brags from previous year’s litters that I need to be sure to get up next time I blog, which should be soon to welcome the “H” litter!  It’s for real this time, next time your hear from me there will be more puppies!!  Send us good vibes!

“G” Litter 5 weeks old and waiting for “H” Litter

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I figured that I had better get this week’s blog post knocked out before Mae starts whelping (to those who are puppy shopping, all of my 2014 litters are spoken for and my next breedings will be for Spring 2015 puppies)!  We started out this morning in the first stages of pre-labor, where there is quite a bit of unproductive grunting around (like she’s going to poop or pee) but nothing comes out.  She is taking a nap now, but I have to get this done, then go grab a new bulb for my heat lamp and some more bags of puppy kibble at the farm store, then we’ll be ready to rock and roll.  Puppies should be here tonight or tomorrow if things go the way that I think they will.  But who knows what mother nature has in mind, it might be over the weekend.

Mae full of babies on the front sidewalk (the metal goat photobomb was an accident)

Mae full of babies on the front sidewalk (the metal goat photobomb was an accident)

“G” Litter turned 5 weeks old on Sunday and has transitioned to the kennel and insulated dog house well, their body heat and snuggling keeps them all warm with these variable temperatures.  They’ve even woken up a couple of mornings to dustings of snow.  It didn’t seem to bother them this morning at all, they were whining at the gate to get out into the woods when I went to give them some more food.  They are going through 1-2 gallon buckets full of kibble every day and are on straight Diamond Puppy kibble now with nothing else added.  They enjoy playing with the human kids and running around.  Less than 3 weeks to go until they go to their new homes and I’m not sure if I am ready to let them go!  I don’t even have to chase them around the woods to get them back into the kennel when play time is over, I just call them in and they all come.  That will probably change soon as they get more bold and independent.

Here are their individual photos for this week.  Some of them are better than others.  It has more to do with my photography and being in a hurry than it does with the puppy.  Some of them posed lovely, some of them are a bit odd and blurry.  But hey, it is better than nothing.

Girl - Ginny

Girl – Ginny

Girl - Garnet

Girl – Garnet

Girl - Gayle

Girl – Gayle

Girl - Gertrude

Girl – Gertrude

Girl - Gemma

Girl – Gemma

Girl - Gabriella

Girl – Gabriella

Girl - Gallixe

Girl – Gallixe

Girl - Gisele

Girl – Gisele

Boy - Gene

Boy – Gene

Boy - Gus

Boy – Gus

Boy - George

Boy – George

Boy - Gascon

Boy – Gascon

Boy - Gilbert

Boy – Gilbert

And last but not least, the weekly YouTube video:

I will keep you posted on Facebook and on the blog for when the “H” litter arrives.  Wish us luck!

 

“G” Litter 4 1/2 weeks old

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Sorry for the delay in posting this week.  The puppies were moved outside on Sunday when it was almost 70 degrees, just in time to move Mae into the house this Sunday to prepare for her whelping next week.

For those people who are out surfing the web for puppies, all of my 2014 litters are spoken for.  But feel free to call (402) 682-9802 or e-mail bluestemkennels@cox.net about our breeding plans for future years.

The puppies are up and running around.  They have no problems getting up and down the stairs into the dog house and seem to enjoy having the extra space that the kennel provides.  And I like it that they aren’t stinking up the house anymore (but that will soon change with Mae’s litter coming soon!).  They are drinking from the water dish and eating both soft canned puppy food and snagging kibble out of BB’s food dish.

Mae is really big, her teats are like 4 inches off of the ground.  I didn’t get a chance to take a shot of her before posting this, but I’ll get one for next week’s blog.  She shouldn’t whelp until the end of the week, so I should have time.  I’m hoping for 8 puppies, but I just don’t know until they are here!

I ran out of time to take individual pictures, I will do that over the weekend, but here are some quick snaps from the kennel:

A face in the crowd, around the food dish

A face in the crowd, around the food dish

Waiting for mom

Waiting for mom

Play fight!

Play fight!

Running amok

Running amok

4 1/2 year old Caleb is still light enough to be able to climb up the kennel fence (because the gate is locked) and hang out with the puppies whenever he wants.  Luckily, all of my females are tolerant of this and it’s never caused a problem.

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Caleb peeking down on to the puppies

And last but not least, the weekly YouTube video:

 

Welcome “G” Litter 2014!

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I can’t believe that this is the “G” litter for Bluestem Kennels, coming into our 4th year of breeding.  And “H” and “I” should be coming in a month!

The 13 puppies of Sam and BB’s “G” Litter were born on Sunday, February 9th and it literally took the whole day.  We were up walking around at 5 AM and went to bed at 10 PM.  There are 8 girls and 5 boys.  BB has decided that her favorite time to get attention, be fed and go walking outside is between midnight and 2 AM, so I haven’t had the best nights of sleep, so I apologize to the new owners for not getting e-mails or phone calls out yet.

BB with 8 puppies in the whelping box

BB with 8 puppies in the whelping box

I thought for sure that with 13 that I would be bottle feeding, but BB has been doing awesome with nursing them well.  It really helps that we have them right in front of the wood burning stove, so that they are not having to expend energy keeping warm.  With normal-sized litters we’ve been able to keep them in the basement utility room or in the garage with space heaters and heat lamps, but this cold weather and with there being so many of them, they need to be where it is extra warm.  It is also nice that my youngest boy, Caleb, will be 5 next month and has finally learned to not mess with the puppies at this age.  The weather is supposed to warm up and they will get bigger and able to regulate their body temperature, so I won’t have to have puppies in my living room forever.

First night by the fire

First night by the fire

I didn’t have anything set up by the fire after they were born, so I just put them on a blanket and slept next to them that night.  I did have to fish a few out of odd places in the middle of the night, but they survived it and stayed warm.  They are now set up with the small kiddie pool with a blanket in the bottom, with the x-pen around it to deter kids and other dogs.

They went to the vet Monday morning for their tail docking, dew claw removal and vet check.  Dr. Kliewer at Heartland Animal Hospital checked them all over and said that they are perfect!  I was sure that with so many of them that there would be a “dud”, but there’s not a single one.  These are the individual puppy photos that I store on here for my records and so we can track their development.  Try not to get too attached to any of them!  They are all spoken for and I will do my best to get them all grown up, but one never knows.  I also name them for tracking purposes and don’t expect the new owners to keep these names.  They never get called anything other than “puppy” by me:)  They are completely in random order and may be taken from different distances which might account for size differences.  The coat differences I note only help me to tell them apart as they grow.  Photos taken at 1 day old, right before we went to the vet for claws and tails.

Girl: Ginny

Girl: Ginny

Ginny has a white blaze on her forehead and small liver spots on right side, above the tail, then most of the tail is liver.

Girl: Garnet

Girl: Garnet

Garnet has a white dot on her forehead, a white dot on her neck, a tiny liver spot on the left bottom part of her back and a larger liver block on her right belly.

Girl: Gayle

Girl: Gayle

Gayle has a solid liver head and her entire left side is liver.  She also has liver spots on her right neck, underarm, belly and above the tail.

Girl: Gertrude

Girl: Gertrude

Gertrude has a small white dot on her forehead and is spotted liver heavily all over her body.  Liver on most of her right side.

Girl: Gemma

Girl: Gemma

Gemma has a white dot on her forehead and two large liver spots set on a diagonal on her back, the left one higher than the right.  Small liver spot on left belly and above tail.

Girl: Gabriella

Girl: Gabriella

Gabriella has a think white blaze on her forehead, has a large liver spot on her back that is shoulder to shoulder, a tiny liver spot on her lower left back, then a liver spot above her tail that extends down into the tail.

Girl: Gallixe

Girl: Gallixe

Gallixe has a white blaze on her face and an entirely white back with a small spot above the tail.  Her neck is 1/2 white and 1/2 liver.

Girl: Gisele

Girl: Gisele

Gisele has a white blaze on her face and and entirely white neck and body except for a small spot above the tail.

Boy: Gene

Boy: Gene

Gene has a white dot on his forehead, large liver spots set diagonally with the right higher than the left.  A tiny liver spot on his right belly and a large liver spot above his tail.

Boy: Gus

Boy: Gus

Gus has a white blaze on his face with two large diagonal liver spots that do not touch at the back.  The right spot is higher than the left.  The rest of the body is white.

Boy: George

Boy: George

George has a liver head and white upper back.  His lower back has a large liver spot in the center, with a smaller one on the left.  Also has a small liver spot above the tail.

Boy: Gascon

Boy: Gascon

Gascon has a white blaze on his face, a white upper back, a small liver spot in the center of his lower back and a liver spot right above his tail.

Boy: Gilbert

Boy: Gilbert

Gilbert has a tiny white spot on his forehead, his body is entirely white except for a small liver spot above the tail.

Okay, that is everybody!  Here is a shot of them today at 3 days old.

"G" litter 3 days old

“G” litter 3 days old

I will be sure to get phone calls and e-mails out to the new owners before the end of the weekend.  As this was a large litter, I am willing to take a few more deposits for possible 2014 puppies.  Right now I have 10 other reservations and 2 more litters on the way, so there is a possibility of having more than 10 puppies yet this year.  There are no guarantees, so I just ask that anyone who wants to make a reservation at this point be flexible and open to getting a pup in Spring 2015.  Feel free to call (402) 682-9802 or e-mail bluestemkennels@cox.net to inquire.

Pupdate

I was just thinking about Gomer from Sue and Sam’s 2012 “D” litter after I saw his NAVHDA Natural Ability Prize I with a Perfect Score of 112 points at the Spoon River Chapter Fall Test in the latest edition of Versatile Hunting Dog magazine.  Lo and behold, I just got some new photos of him and his family, with the announcement that he will be a big brother to a human sibling soon.  Congrats to Kyle and Jenna!

Kyle, Gomer and Jenna

Kyle, Gomer and Jenna

Gomer and Jenna in the pool last  summer

Gomer and Jenna in the pool last summer

 

Gomer says, "Who needs a dog box, I get to ride in the front?!"

Gomer says, “Who needs a dog box, I get to ride in the front?!”

Thanks to Kyle for the update and his great work with Gomer towards the Natural Ability Prize.

Well, it is time for me to go to my son’s Valentine’s Day party at school.  I will be sure to keep you posted with the new puppies and the upcoming litters.    Oh and Happy Valentine’s Day!!

 

Puppies on the way and pupdates!

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Sue’s retirement

Sue out on the prairie

Sue out on the South Dakota prairie

12 year old Trey gave me an update on how 10 year old Sue is doing up in South Dakota.  He says that he is finally licensed and has a shotgun and is ready to shoot some birds over her.  We miss Sue and my youngest boy Caleb (age 4 1/2) asks about her at least once a week.  We want to keep our dog numbers at 4 here at the house, so that we can hunt them regularly and give them personal attention, so retirement and re-homing is a necessary sadness.  But we are so happy to give folks an opportunity to experience the griffon who might not be able to afford or have no desire to raise a puppy.  I can’t wait to see pics of Trey and Sue with some birds in the fall!!

Sue's sweet face

Sue’s sweet face

Pupdates

I really appreciate all of my puppy owners who contribute photographs and stories of their dogs as they grow up.  It is truly the reason why we do this.

Pete, Whiskey, Andi and chukars in NV

Pete, Whiskey, Andi and chukars in NV

Great job to sharpshooter Andi and our oldest boy Whiskey, who will be four years old soon!  He is from our first, or “A” litter in 2010 with Sue and Sam.  Andi and Whiskey really tore it up in the chukar field and we couldn’t be more proud!!  Thanks to Pete, Deborah and Andi for giving him such a great life out in Nevada!!

Sal and 2 year old Chester

Sal and 2 year old Chester

We received a lovely Christmas card with photos of Chester from Sal and family out in New York!  When Chester isn’t out with Steve “Hoss” Anker training or out with the Hudson Valley NAVHDA Chapter, he’s having a good time at home on Long Island.  He is from our 2012 “C” litter from Sam and Mae.  Sal has done a great job working with this dog and he has a bright future ahead!

Chester taking a rest

Chester taking a rest

Chester’s “C” litter sister TracHer is having a good season up in North Dakota.  She has a new brother, a 10-month old German Wirehaired Pointer named Max.  Thanks to Susan and Tom for the lovely Christmas card with photos.  Tom had surgery is on crutches from a knee injury incurred while hunting, so we send prayers for a speedy recovery.

TracHer and Susan in the ND snow

TracHer and Susan in the ND snow

Chester and TracHer’s little sister Zoey, from our “F” litter in 2013 also from Mae and Sam, is having a blast down in Oklahoma with Jimmy and Sandi.  Here’s what Jimmy had to say:

This girl is the best thing that every happened to Sandi and me. Here some updated photos. She is now 10 mos old and weighs 55 lbs. We just bought some land in the badlands of SW Oklahoma and she loves it. Here is some photos of her expeditions so far. She loves hunting antlers and when go into the shop she will go to the gun safe and sit there until I either get a gun out or tell her we aren’t going hunting. 

Jimmy and Zoey

Jimmy and Zoey

Zoey on point

Zoey on point

Zoey water retrieving a stick

Zoey water retrieving a stick

Zoey retrieving an antler

Zoey retrieving an antler

Zoey patiently waiting for the ducks

Zoey patiently waiting for the ducks

Zoey and her mallard haul!

Zoey and her mallard haul!

Thank you so much again to all of my owners for contributing to this and keeping me up to date on how their dogs are doing.  It is really important for us to see their success, it keeps us going during the times that we find the pressures of breeding overwhelming.  Watching the gun dog lifestyle continue in our pups is one of our greatest joys.

I will be sure to keep everyone posted on the upcoming litters.  BB is already heavy and I need to get some pictures of her, along with updated shots of the rest of the dogs.  I’d also like to do video of Tor.  Now that I’ve recovered from travel, the holidays and a major plumbing project, I will do a better job of keeping the blog updated.  Charles and Matt are out right now trying to spook up some pheasants, all of the chaos lately has really cut into their time in the field.  Until then, stay warm and don’t blow away in these winds!

Hunting season slowing down and puppy season upon us

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With all of the holiday and end-of-year activity, Charles has only had a chance to get out hunting once on November 30th, for the first time since my birthday hunt.  They did manage to bag a few birds and we all hope to get out for a few more before the season ends at the end of January.

Charles and Matt each bagged a rooster on November 30th

Charles and Matt each bagged a rooster on November 30th

Breeding season is upon us!  Sam and BB mated on Friday and Saturday, so we are looking at puppy whelping around Valentine’s Day (February 14) and homegoing in mid-April as long as everything goes as planned.  I am checking Mae every few days and we are getting closer, pro-estrous (bleeding) could be any day now, or it could be a few weeks out.  Having some space between the two litters is a good thing!  We are also waiting on Velma, but she has until mid-March to cycle within our cutoff time.

Right now I have 18 reservations for this breeding season and have already have a reservation for 2015.  I am really flattered by all of the attention and positive feedback that we are getting on our puppies.  We have so much fun raising them and love sending them to great families!  Feel free to call me at (402) 682-9802 or e-mail bluestemkennels@cox.net if you have any questions about our breeding program.

Speaking of our breeding program, our new male is just over 6 weeks old and looks like a fat little dude!  Renee says that he is very active and inquisitive.  We can’t wait to meet him.  It sounds like his registered name might be Bourg-Royal FC Hector and we would call him “Tor”.  A tor is a medieval pagan/early Christian holy hill in England.  Here he is with his littermates

Tor at 6 weeks up at the very top of this photo

Tor at 6 weeks up at the very top of this photo on the left

Cordelia and I will be flying up to Quebec City on the Friday after Christmas and will bring him back on the Monday before New Year’s Eve.  Of course, we will enjoy lots of great food, sightseeing and good friends while we are there.

Pupdate time.  Roxy is from our 2011 “B” litter from Sam/Sue and lives out in Utah with Randy and Pam.  Sounds like Roxy and Randy had a great time in North Dakota.  Randy said:

Wanted to send a few photo’s of the results in North Dakota this year with some of my buddies. Bird counts were a little over the limit with what the picture shows but it took more people to run the cameras so they couldn’t all be in the picture. Over all another excellent trip in the Dakota’s even though the bird numbers were down.

 Roxy done an amazing job and has lived up to everything an owner could ever expect. Again,,thanks for the ability for me to experience life like this with her by giving me the opportunity to get her as a pup from you. Griffs forever.

Randy and Roxy on the left

Randy and Roxy on the left

Another great day for Roxy and Randy in ND with the gang

Another great day for Roxy and Randy in ND with the gang

Frankie from our Sam/Mae 2012 “C” litter is having a great life out in Colorado too.  Her owner Mike said:

Frankie had a great year last year with several good wild hunts and a LOT of preserve training (82 successful points last year ).    Not as many preserve hunts preseason but my oldest helped me gear her up a few times with some planted chukar.   Opening day in Kansas we limited out.   And we took a Wednesday last week into eastern Colorado.  Very few birds and It took all day but me and a buddy both got our birds.   Fetching is really coming in this year, was sketchy last year.

She is doing great, just thought I would say hi.

Mike and Frankie with CO roosters

Mike and 20 month old Frankie with CO roosters

18-month old Abby is from our Sam/Sue 2012 “D” litter and lives with Rob down in Western Illinois.  Rob said:

Abby was wonderfully today. Took her by herself for a few hours today trying to get more range.  She was stretching out farther and covering ground methodically leaving nothing untouched. She worked for over an hour with no bird contact.  Then she got birdie and tracked for about 150 yards. Then stopped on a dime. I was not sure she had it the it erupted from the switch grass a rooster. One shot later it was in her mouth and on its way back to my hand. She dropped it out about twenty yards and started tracking and up came number two. Hit it but not real hard she was on it and caught up to it. Two roosters in less than five minutes.  She was great.

Thanks 

Rob, 18 mo old Abby and roosters

Rob, 18 mo old Abby and roosters

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and most prosperous New Year!  I will be sure to post a report when I get back from Canada with Tor and hopefully we’ll have some breeding news on Mae too.  Sorry, I don’t get the dogs dressed up in elf garb or make them sit in front of the Christmas tree.  May your days be filled with family, friends and some late season hunting too!

Mid-season hunting update

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I think I’ll start off on telling you all what is happening with this blog.  It is blowing up on me a bit.  Right now I’m getting between 60-100 individual viewers everyday, each reading between 5-10 items.  If you search anything online about Wirehaired Pointing Griffons and hunting, we are the top kennel name that pops up.  I’m getting phone calls and e-mails every day about puppies, which is great!  But if you have to leave a voice mail, get me on the phone and I sound stressed and frazzled, or send me an e-mail and it takes me a week to respond, please try to understand.  We are not a big farm with lots of kennel hands or anything.  We are just a busy family that loves hunting with our dogs, which takes us on the road this time of year quite a bit too.  I respond to everyone.

If I had to wager, I would bet that my females are getting ready to cycle in December.  They are both showing about the same amounts of changes and Sam’s interest is high in both of them.  Mae might be a little ahead of BB.  So, I’m thinking that they’ll have puppies in February that go home in April.  But it is Mother Nature after all, so we’ll just wait and see.

My birthday was on November 9th, so we went and chased some birds.  Charles got 2 pheasant and a quail.  I missed the shots that I had.  But it was fun to get out on a beautiful fall day anyway.

Birthday girl Charity, your loyal narrator

Birthday girl Charity, your loyal narrator

BB, Sam and Charles with my birthday presents

BB, Sam and Charles with my birthday presents

Last weekend, we took time away from bird hunting for Charles to go after his annual mule deer in the Nebraska Sandhills.  I was able to stay back in town and visit my family.  He took this bad boy opening morning.  It is a tie with his muley from 1999 for personal best deer antler rack.

Charles's mule deer buck and rifle out on the prairie

Charles’s mule deer buck and rifle out on the prairie

Up close with Charles and his deer

Up close with Charles and his deer

I’ve been all amped up about trying to shoot a goose.  There is a pond along the Platte River that I have access to and I went out to it for a couple of hours the day before yesterday.  Saw lots of geese on an adjacent pond that is property of the gravel mine, so I’m hoping that if I get in some morning in the dark and set up, I might be able to get them flying into the mining pond.  But we’ll see, it is a work in progress.

Charles will take the weekend off from pheasants due to it being the last weekend of rifle deer season.  We don’t want one of the dogs to get shot on accident.

I am also getting ready to go to Quebec the weekend between Christmas and New Years Eve (God willing!).  The puppies are three weeks old now and have their eyes open.  I’m not sure which one of these three is mine, but I plan on calling up there tonight and I’ll find out.  Renee and Gilbert have very busy jobs on top of having way more dogs than I do, so I completely understand.

Cristal and Fortis puppies at 3 weeks old.

Cristal and Fortis puppies at 3 weeks old.

I am so thankful for all of my owners who take such great pictures and write such nice e-mails to keep us up to date our our pups.  8 month old “Ed” is out of Sue and Sam’s 2013 “E” Litter.  Here is what owner, Bob, had to say about their trip to North Dakota:

We had a great hunt in North Dakota this year.  We had 5 hunters and got our limits 2 of the 3 days we hunted.  It rained all day on our second day so the hunting was pretty short.  Ed figured out the game and has picked up the art of pointing just like I hoped he would.  He also has shown his desire to retrieve with no hesitation.  Very successful first North Dakota hunt for Ed!  It is awesome what a good dog can do.  And at only 8 months old is unbelievable!

EdND

Bob and Ed had a great time in ND!

Ed's stack of ND pheasants

Ed’s stack of ND pheasants

And as always, year and a half old TracHer, from Sam and Mae’s “C” Litter is having a great time living in North Dakota!  Susan and Tom are so generous to share their photos with us.  On this day, Susan got the first bird of the day, but missed for the rest of the day (I know that feeling!!), but Tom got his limit.

Here comes TracHer with a pheasant!

Here comes TracHer with a pheasant!

TracHer retrieving another pheasant

TracHer retrieving another pheasant

TracHer is excited about the bird that she brought to Tom

TracHer is excited about the bird that she brought to Tom

Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving.  We all have so much to be thankful for!  Hopefully we’ll get out to chase some pheasants around then.  Take care.

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