At the age of 18 I got my first German Shorthair Pointer pup and for the next 35 years I had at least one and for a 20 year period I whelped and sold pups and spent my weekends at trials and hunting. Then a career of 30 years of strapping hooks on my legs and climbing up and down power poles took it's toll. My knees were shot and walking any distance became impossible. I realized this was coming several years before walking became impossible. I gave my best pup to a young man who lived to hunt but had never owned a bird dog. He came out to my kennels often just to hang around and be close to the dogs. I had to give that young man pick of the litter because they deserved each other. She was going to be special and he was going to make the most of her. Little did I know where that was going to go. 6RUpland Kennels has become known nation wide. Chris has guided and hunted with lots of notables and the story he loves to tell the most is how he was hunting pheasants with Tom Knapp in S Dakota when his dog Duece locked on point and Chris flushed the bird only for Tom Knapp to miss the bird. A rarity for sure!
Eight years ago I went through two knee replacement surgeries and the recovery was slow. There were complications and infection problems that made me wonder if it would ever turn around. Then 2 years ago my son invited me to go to North Dakota to hunt pheasants with him. We went , killed lots of birds but hunted without dogs......it was not the same.
This spring my son bought a Drahthaar pup and he called me daily to tell me how training was going and to ask for advice. I drove the two hours to his house one Saturday just to see the dog work and help where I could. My son took notice of the big grin on my face as I watched that pup shine. He mentioned that since I now have my legs back I need a dog to work.
My son showed up at my house in the middle of the week 3 weeks ago and said come on dad let's go for a ride. He had been talking about buying a new truck so I figured we were going truck shopping. I was still not getting the drift when he turned down the road that went past 6RUpland Kennels but when he turned in the drive I perked up. Chris was out training dogs so I felt a little awkward about looking at his dogs with him not there. My son said it's OK dad , Chris would never care if you were showing interest in his dogs. So we walked back to the puppy kennel. There in the front pen was a litter of 8 beautiful Moesgaard pups. They were 7 weeks old and had just been weaned. My son said how do you know that they are Moesgaard pups? I said because I whelped over 20 litters of them. They are white with liver markings, they are short coupled, they hold their heads high and they stand on their feet correctly. He just laughed and said OOOOOOKAYYYY. Then he asked, "Which one would be the pick of the litter?" I said,"Boy I don't know, I would have to study them for more than 10 minutes to figure that out and then I would change may mind three or four times". Then I said, "Really, there isn't a bad one in the bunch." We went home to my house, ate a pizza and then he left on the 2 hour trip home.
I laid in bed that night thinking about those pups. The next morning my son called and said, "Well?" "Well what?" Says I. "Which pup are ya getting? He replied" I said, "Boy are you nuts? Mom wouldn't want me to get another pup". That evening I loaded the little lady up in the Dango and we went to 6R Upland Kennel. Chris was there with another gentleman and they were looking at the golden litter. Chris stuck his hand out and shook my hand and introduced the gentleman. I got in on the middle of the conversation but got the jest of their bartering. The pups were $800 and the guy couldn't get one that night because the person that was to get first pick of the litter hadn't picked his yet. Well in my feeble mind that meant that I would have to pay $800 to get the third pick. Chris and the guy talked some more and the gentleman left. Then Chris said to me, "Well, you get first pick." I was kinda dumb founded and can't even remember my response but it had to do with me not spending $800 unless my wife and I discuss it first. We all know thats a lie......we never discuss gun purchases but I wasn't intending to lie, that's what popped out of my head. Chris said, "Are you kidding?" "Your pup is free.....you gave me Rose all those years ago and that is what kicked off my career of raising and training Shorthairs." Then he informed me that this litter was out of my old bloodline. You could have knocked me over with a feather.
Roy has been at my house for a week now. Today I bolted home from work at 2:00 PM and let Roy out of the kennel and we played around in the back yard until dark. He comes on command, points the heck out of a wing and retrieves a dummy most of the time...if a butterfly or something don't screw it up. I'm going to buy some quail this weekend and let him get some feathers in his mouth.
Nothing like puppy breath for getting an old fart off the couch and back on the go!