Monday, May 12, 2008
A Setter not to be overlooked
I'd like to introduce the other Setter that shares our home...
Great River Sandy. Ultimate Reissue x Clark's Sandy Beach.. And yes, that is the "Clark" of Clark's Black Copper fame. This dog was "pick of the litter" of a pretty impressive breeding by George Ekdahl of PA, and her daddy, Ultimate Reissue, was the National Pheasant Champion years back. But, not without difficulties..
UR was possessed of an exceedingly hard head, not unlike Sandy pictured here.
Mr. Ekdahl got the well bred UR for a song because of this trait. He soon found that the young dog would do what he thought best, rather than what George thought best. Not a good relationship for a dog destined to win big! Mr. Ekdahl proceeded to throw the dog in a kennel and not work him for an entire year. The strategy worked well enough to have UR go on to big things.
But, sadly, what's bred into a dog's nature can be impossible to break, and Reissue was lost to the road near the Ekdahl's kennels a couple of years ago..
It's easy to see therefore, where my Sandy gets her bullheadedness from. But, she's absolutely the sweetest, and "lovingest" dog that ever played on God's Green Grass..
She want's to do what pleases me, as long as it agrees with what pleases her..
We got Sandy at one year old. She had been shipped to a friend's kennels from her owner, Gilbert Clark. Sandy was destined to be a Field Trial competitor. I don't know why she would not handle for her previous owners, but, people don't have time to waste on a dog that doesn't want to partake of the game, as there are too many other prospects waiting in the wings. So, Sandy was headed for a life in the kennel as a brood matron... a puppy machine. A sadder life for a dog I couldn't imagine.
But, this little dog is not one to suffer in silence. When this little dog doesn't like something, everyone around her knows it! The bottom of her pedigree is all "Smith Setter", and the Smith dogs are known for their intellegence.
To their credit, Sandy's owners noticed how unhappy she was in the kennel environment, and I was asked if I could find her a good hunting home. To do this, I decided to take a look at her. It was basically "love at first sight", but I didn't need another dog. I spent alot of time thinking about prospective homes, but none I could think of measured up to the home I thought she deserved. I came to realize that this was because I truly wanted her myself!
I asked my wife to just come with me one day and take a look at her. I knew what the outcome would be, as my wife is probably more of a dog lover than I am. When we arrived, my wife put her fingers through the chain link of the kennel, and Sandy bore her body into my wife's fingers.. At that point, the die was cast, and Sandy came home with us..
She's been with us now almost four years, and while she'll never make a gundog, and that's her decision because of baggage from previous encounters, she is the best companion there ever could be..
I saved this little dog from a life in a kennel, but this little girl has given me much more than I've given her...
So here's to Sandy...