Within the last two weeks, our English setter and pointer puppies headed off to their new homes. Puppy buyers drove to the kennel from Illinois, Michigan, North Dakota and Oklahoma and from various parts of Minnesota. Other puppies flew to new homes in Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina and Oklahoma.
It is 4:26 and Blackhawk has landed. Thank you for this opportunity.
For many of these families, this puppy will be the second they’re bought from us so it was fun for Jerry and me to see the first dog again and to spend time with these friends. Other owners are new to us and we enjoyed getting to know them.
We love her already!! She is doing great and is a good girl. Sleeping in her crate without too much hysterics!! Now if we could just pick a name. Right now I am sitting on the couch with Rose sleeping on my lap and the puppy curled up to Rose. Progress!!
While it is a traumatic day for the puppies, they very quickly adapt. Within hours of getting to their new homes, they were inside cuddling on couches and playing on soft rugs or outside in the backyard.
She arrived in perfect shape and was happy to see me. She is amazingly bright, obviously well socialized, incredibly friendly, non-stop playing and sound sleeping. Neither Carol nor I recall a puppy that seems to have the smarts of a big dog in such a small package. She is a joy! We put her in a crate at night next to the other dogs and she goes right to sleep.
It’s amazing how quickly eight weeks can fly by. It seems like yesterday that Jerry and I were up in the middle of the night, keeping vigil while Northwoods Carly Simon, Northwoods Vixen and Northwoods Chablis whelped their litters.
At first, caring for puppies is a breeze because the dam does all the work. She feeds them, ensures elimination and keeps her puppies and her nest clean. All we do is make sure the dam is healthy and that all puppies nurse and gain weight. It becomes messier and more work when we start weaning the puppies off the dams beginning at about four weeks.
This year, the trip from our winter home in Georgia back to Minnesota further complicated things but when the puppies were 5 – 6 weeks old and mostly weaned, it was safe for them to travel.
Now is the bittersweet time when puppies must go to their new homes. Many buyers come to the kennel to pick up their puppy. Some puppies arrive at their new homes by airplane when buyers live too far away.
Even though we’re always sad when puppies leave our kennel, we know they are embarking on their new lives. Equally gratifying, though, is seeing broad smiles on the faces and hearing joy in the voices of their new owners.
The final spring field trial held on ruffed grouse was hosted by the Moose River Grouse Dog Club (MRGDC) on April 25 and 26 in the Douglas County Forest of western Wisconsin. At 14 entries, the Open Derby was the largest derby stake of the 2014-2015 season and perhaps the most competitive. The field included several dogs that had placed in previous derbies, in addition to the eventual winner of the Minnesota /Wisconsin Derby of the Year award.
Northwoods Rolls Royce placed first, followed by Sadie in second and Coulee in third place. Sadie is also out of our breeding—CH Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay in 2013.
Royce is owned by Bob Senkler; I handled him.
Royce ran a mature hunting race and had a grouse find on which he was steady to shot. This was Royce’s second placement in three starts. Last spring, he placed first in the Minnesota Grouse Dog Association (MGDA) Open Puppy where he staunchly pointed a woodcock.
Royce’s placements prove that he matured early in his hunting application and his ability to point wild birds. He had extensive exposure, too, which helps. As a puppy, Royce was worked on wild bobwhite quail in Georgia and last fall he was hunted hard on grouse and woodcock. I used Royce often on guided quail hunts this past winter in Georgia.
Royce is out of the outstanding nick of Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice (also owned by Bob Senkler) and joins a long list of siblings that have placed as puppies and derbies in grouse trials.
• Northwoods Creek (owned by Randy Ott) placed first and second in two MGDA open derby stakes this spring.
• Northwoods Troy McClure (owned by Dale and Jessica Robinson) placed third in the spring 2014 MGDA Open Puppy.
• Northwoods Carly Simon (owned by Betsy and me) placed third in the spring 2012 MRGDC Open Puppy when handled by young Paul Diggan.
• Northwoods Chardonnay (owned by Paul Hauge) placed second in the spring 2010 MGDA Open Derby when she was still a puppy. Chardonnay also placed in two spring derby stakes in 2011, enough to win the 2011 Minnesota/Wisconsin Cover Dog Derby of the Year award.
• Northwoods Chablis (owned by Bob Senkler) placed twice in spring derby stakes in 2011 and was second place (by just two points!) to litter sister Chardonnay for the 2011 Cover Dog Derby award.
• Northwoods Lager (owned by Jim Bires), a littermate to Chardonnay and Chablis, placed twice in derby stakes in 2011.
Paul Hauge and Northwoods Bird Dogs have teamed up for another cool litter.
Paul has long been a partner with Betsy and me in our breeding program. His dog Houston became a foundation for our kennel and, over the years, we’ve bred many litters together.
This winter we bred Paul’s Northwoods Chardonnay (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2009) to RU-CH Erin’s Hidden Shamrock (Jack), owned by Sean Derrig. Jack is out of Sean’s female Erin’s Sky Dancer and Larry Brutger’s CH Ridge Creek Cody, which is also cool because Cody is by Paul’s multiple grouse champion CH Houston’s Belle to CH Can’t Go Wrong.
For a couple years now, I’ve been watching young Jack during training sessions with Sean. Jack is impressive and has nice wins—especially against pointers—on the all age circuit where Sean competes. He was runner-up champion in the 2014 National Amateur Derby Championship held on the Dixie Plantation in northern Florida and placed third in the 2015 West Tennessee All Age.
From what I saw, not only does Jack possess qualities we look for in a sire but he inherited quite a few traits from the Houston line.
This is Chardonnay’s fifth litter. She has produced exceptional dogs no matter which sire we bred her to.
On April 15, Chardonnay whelped four females and two males at Paul’s kennel in Wisconsin. All the puppies are sold.