|"Lick" went from feed-store puppy to 1st Place-Amateur NBDA Upland Dog.|
|"How not to buy/train a puppy and still luck out."|
1. in the spring of 1997 the boys
(two grandchildren) needed a dog and I'm thinkin' maybe
it might hunt, it's been almost fifteen years since I last hunted and/or had a dog.
2. local feed-store has a "nice" female Lab (soon to have a litter)
3. great disposition, genetically questionable, never hunted, but sire supposedly does a lot
and he is AKC (at least, they said he was)
4. pup will have no papers or health clearances - living on the edge!
5. pups arrive and I had forgotten about telling them I was interested....."out of the blue"
came a phone call......You have first choice. Pick of the litter for $75! Do I feel lucky?
6. small, slick coated female is the only one awake and she licks my grandson's face so
that was the logical pick with a name to "boot" - "Lick"
7. my adult son was home (for an extended stay), he takes care of her most of the time,
luckily the concept of crate training was in place, he spoils her (excellent job) and
bonds with her for five months.....She still goes "nuts" when he shows the up.
8. OB fair, daily Frisbee (son's concept of training) turns her into a retrieving maniac with a
great mouth (go figure), a week of "hold" in late October and she went hunting for
pheasants at seven months
9. first bird (EVER) for her is a crippled rooster, spurred nose brings a yelp and a running
rooster, a couple minutes later back comes Lick with a bloody nose and the rooster. She
and I have died and gone to heaven. Hunting becomes a passion in one day (new for her,
"re-newed" for me). She likes me! She really likes me!
10. not being steady to flush was a pain, but she hunted close and got birds up in range - Did
I feel lucky? You bet!
11. Maybe I need to get serious about learning how to train a dog? So I buy an electric collar
(after all, she chases flushed birds I miss and loves to run deer when we jump one).
12. Lick and I learn how to use the Flyway Special. The only negative is the collar-wise
issue. Three hunting seasons and 100's of birds later find us doing quite well (relatively
13. I'm sitting in a brake shop waiting for my car, and I read something called "The Retriever
Journal". It was intriguing. The owner really trains Labs and tells me about HRC.
14. I attended my first HRC training session in the summer of 1999. The little black feed-store
puppy was the only one out of the litter to hunt and she has made a huge difference in
my life. Things have changed drastically since then.
15. HRC has a program where a dog can get a "Limited Privilege" card and run in hunt tests.
Technically she is not a UKC papered dog, but because of this special consideration we
ran our first HRC Hunting Retriever test. My grandson got a Started ribbon with her. Also,
she has a total of six passes and in our hearts will always be SHR Kwick Licorice.
16. I tried to teach her to line a pile and even worked on single T some. However, she was a
true upland dog and straight did not compute. If there were such a skill as "quarter to a
pile", she certainly would excel at that.
17. When Lick was five she developed a large fatty tumor on her chest and was diagnosed
with a mild heart murmur. These didn't seem to slow her down a bit....as she continued
to make things "impossible" for pheasants and became a terrific tower shoot retriever.
18. The first Kwick Lab was definitely a keeper.
This is a test. How many "things" did I NOT do with my next pup?
update: "next pup" was MPR HRCH UH Kwick Taffey of JoeMacs MH
"Fast forward" through a lot of upland hunting and Lick is now nine. It became clear
that fall, Lick's body needed to be retired. Therefore, to give her more personal time
she moved in with her original bonded human.....my son. She continued to absolutely
worship him. They went everywhere together....to the park for walks, short jogs beside
his mountain bike and many boat rides on the Rock River.
In the summer of 2007 her liver needed daily medication.......to which it responded.
There were several unsightly (but harmless) fatty tumors and her heart murmur was
not an issue (yet). She was getting very grey around the muzzle and content.
In the fall, my son and Lick moved to New Orleans. A few weeks ago her terrific nose
started a chain of fatal events. She somehow found and ate a full block of peanut butter
flavored rat poison. It appeared the vet got her past that with some quick treatments.
Then a few days later she contracted a serious dog "flu" that was infecting many dogs
in the area. At first there was some hope that too would not take her. However, with
the heart murmur and weak liver functions, those two "attacks" close together proved
to be just too much for her.
Lick was my first hunt test dog. The day Lick became a 1st Place-Amateur NBDA Upland
Dog (after starting out as a $75 feed store pup) was the story of her life.......unique. My
son has lost his wonderful companion and our first hunting dog, but the slick coated,
little black feed store puppy that licked my grandson's cheek lived a full life of hunting.
Whenever you wanted to go, she was always right there ready to "fire up".
SHR Kwick Lick the "Pheasant Machine" (May, 1997 - September, 2007) will always be
quick in our hearts.
The first photo shows Kwick "Lick" after a morning hunt at Blonhaven
near Orfordville, Wisconsin. At that time Taffey was only 9 weeks old and she was
totally enjoying her first look and scent of a pheasant. Not long after that, Noah
ran (and passed) his first HRC hunt test with SHR Kwick Licorice ("Lick") at Bong
Recreational Area in southern Wisconsin. The land series was run in the south
west corner of "The Bowl" with water in the famous "Gravel Pond".
Before running the HRC test, Noah threw a lot of birds as a bird boy and then
worked for weeks practicing his handling with Lick . The smile says it all!
(left click on thumbnails)