August 16, 2010

Her name is Maggie.  A beautiful, spirited black Labrador Retriever. Maggie, ABA Jake was Maggie’s registered name.  Owned by Lowell and Marilyn Summers, Southern Illinois.

Maggie, RU Spring Hunt Test 2010

Maggie, RU Spring Hunt Test 2010

I first met Maggie this past spring in Southern Illinois at Gun Creek’s HRC Hunt Test. I saw her again at RU and at SIHRC Hunt Test, fully expecting to watch this little gal run this fall for her HR Title.   Maggie is such a dream to watch.  She was fun, spunky and a darn good retriever.  I always looked forward to watching Maggie at the line the next time.  This past spring when I knew Maggie would be at a hunt test that I was attending, I would look for her and Lowell.

We see people and retrievers at hunt tests each spring and fall.  Before we leave, we say our goodbye’s until the next hunt test.  We take for granted that we will see our friends and their retrievers at the line the next time around.

I sent Lowell an email a few weeks ago telling him about a litter that a friend knew about, asking him to pass it on to anyone who was interested in a well-bred puppy this fall.  I was not expecting the reply that I received.

Maggie, Gun Creek Spring Hunt Test 2010

Maggie, Gun Creek Spring Hunt Test 2010

Lowell wrote back to me.  Maggie was 13.5 months old when she was struck by a vehicle last month and killed.  When the door was open, she got out of the house and ran towards the road.  Lowell (Buzz) and Marilyn brought Maggie home when she was 7 weeks old.

Maggie had just finished her SHR in April. This past year she had retrieved 107 ducks and 47 geese. Four times she traveled with a group of hunters and Buzz in a 500 horse power 24 foot air boat across the frozen reaches of Rend Lake to hunt geese.  Buzz wrote to me that Maggie was something to see retrieving geese over ice.  I believe it!

Buzz took her everywhere he went each day. She loved to ride in a golf cart that Buzz used each day to take her to the water.

Buzz had a dog blind set up in the house and each night he would tell her to go to  her blind and she would enter it and lay down.  When Buzz told her to come out, he would give her a treat. After a while she would sit down in front of him and if he said nothing she would go to her blind and lay in it.  Maggie’s favorite toy?  The three rubber rings you see in every pet store was her favorite.

Buzz never had children and his wife Marilyn has one grown daughter from a previous marriage.  I am sure each of you reading this can see how important Maggie became to Buzz and Marilyn.

Maggie and Buzz SIHRC Spring Hunt Test 2010

Maggie and Buzz SIHRC Spring Hunt Test 2010

Buzz has now placed a deposit on a pup from David James, a well-known trainer in Central Illinois.  He is going to name her Casey Fork’s Junkin.  I asked Buzz why that name.  As we all know, almost all dog’s names come with a story or some sort of meaning.

Buzz and Marilyn reside near the  North end of Rend Lake.  Actually a thousand feet from a boat ramp that gains access to the Casey Fork Sub-impoundment area that becomes 2000 acres of flooded crop fields in the fall. Nearly 5000 ducks are killed there each year.

Buzz retired as a Park Ranger at Rend Lake after 30 years and now hunts 60 or so days each year.  Hence the Name Casey Fork.  Junkin is a combination of the pup’s Dam (Jump) and Sire (Duncan).

I wish the best for Buzz and Marilyn and their new Labrador Retriever, Casey.  I am looking forward to watching little Casey at upcoming hunt tests.

Maggie RU Spring Hunt Test 2010

Maggie RU Spring Hunt Test 2010

Any of us who knew Maggie and had the pleasure of watching her work will miss her very much.

Buzz, Casey & myself will see you at the line,

Wendy Porch
Shadowhill Retrievers
Total Retriever Photography And Supply Store

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