Yes, politics are important.  Better yet, who we vote for is MOST important.

Guns aren’t banned yet but if this administration had its way, they would be.  What this party can do it make it nearly impossible for us to own guns by making it a law to have outrageous insurance.  Another way to keep us from owning or using guns would be the outrageous price of ammo.

Peaceful decent human beings have the right to own guns.  We don’t use our guns as weapons.  We obtain them legally.  We use them legally whether it be when we are hunting, trap shooting, shooting at ranges and training/competing our hunting dogs.

Think of what we could lose if the wrong person were to be elected into office.  The responsible people who have purchased, trained, acquired titles and who love their Retrievers would be out of business.  That is just for starters.  If we are not allowed to use or are not able to afford to use our guns, we can’t hunt, train and compete our beloved Retrievers.  Some of us pay thousands of dollars for our healthy Retrievers.

There would no longer be hunting shows on television or the Internet.  That means that photographers, video masters, production companies and many more would be out of business.  Networks would lose hunting shows, which leads to subscribers dropping stations.  Training supply stores and firearm stores would be out of business.  No more hunting licenses.  The list truly goes on and on.

Crime and mortality statistics are often used in the gun control debate.  Controls often create burdens for law-abiding citizens and infringe upon constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment.  Some would argue, including myself that nationwide gun ownership is one of the best preventatives to crime as well as to a potential dictatorship, whether it be by our government or gangs.

Please pay close attention to who you vote for.  The wrong party could and would try to strip away the rights of law-abiding citizens.  To take away our right to bare arms and defend ourselves against criminals.  They will not only take our right to defend ourselves away, but this action could strip us everything that we have worked hard for.  They could and would try to take away our American Dream, the TRUE American Dream.

Trump for President?  Ted Nugent for President?  It’s a thought!  A great ticket might be Trump and Nug for his running mate.  Crazy or not so crazy?

Trump: 

  1. Has nothing to hide.  We know it all about his professional and personal life.  He lost millions and billions.  However, he did work to get it all back and is now better off and has even moreso than before.  He knows how to run a business.
  2. He has enough money to run his own campaign without asking for millions and promising a bunch of pork.  No need for him to bribe anyone for votes.
  3. Trump has back bone.  He would say “NO” and he would mean it.
  4. He would bring jobs back to the States.
  5. He is very informed when it comes to the US Constitution and our rights.
  6. Illegals?  What illegals?  There would be no more.  Especially if Nug is his running mate!
  7. I could go on and on and on.

Me?  I’m in hopes that Trump decides to run.  I think he would be the best choice for the US.

Possible running mates for Trump?  Palin.  Bachmann.  Nugent.

Hunters, Retriever breeders and trainers, Target Shooters and more….please remember that politics are most important.  Please study everyone running and make your choice wisely.

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Kimber at the office!

October 9, 2010

Kimber isn’t running in a hunt test this weekend because Mom had to run the office today.  My boss is in MO so I had to open.  😦  Not to fret, I have 55 minutes and 15 seconds left!

Needless to say, Kimber is bored and would rather be looking for some ducks than lying around the office with mom.

Look at this face…….she’s pleading with me to lock up so she can go play on such a beautiful day!

Shadowhill's The Hunter's Gunpowder And Lead "Kimber"

Shadowhill's The Hunter's Gunpowder And Lead "Kimber"

The Next Generation

September 7, 2010

This is a photo of my 8-year-old granddaughter handling Blu on a single mark.  The minute she wakes up she says, “Grandma, can I retrieve Blu?”  All shes wants to do is handle dogs and go fishing!  She is actually very good with my Labradors.  She learns quickly and is getting the hang of it.

She watched me work with Blu on blinds Saturday.  After she saw that, running  him on single marks wasn’t enough.  She motioned her arms as I did when handling him on the blind and asked if she could do what I did.  So, I sat up a blind on land after explaining to her what I was doing, how to do it and why I was doing it.  I explained the difference between a mark and a blind.  She understood completely.  She handled him on a land and water blind.  It was funny because I had to throw a blind into the water.  After I did that, she wondered why she wasn’t sending him on his name instead of back.

Mickey handling Blu on a Single Mark

Mickey handling Blu "Shadowhill's The Hunter's Blu Shadow on a Single Mark

Mickey and Blu, Shadowhill's The Hunter's Blu Shadow

Mickey and Blu, Shadowhill's The Hunter's Blu Shadow

I will be running Kimber at Midway HRC Fall Hunt Test.  I’m going to take Mickey with me as well as Blu so she can handle him at either a started test or a Jr. Handler test.  If they will allow her to run him in a started test, I’ll sign her up for that.  She’s very excited.

Wendy Porch
Shadowhill Retrievers
Total Retriever Photography and Supply Store

Hunt Test Training

September 7, 2010

I was at Busch Wildlife in St. Louis, MO Sunday.  We practiced for HRC and AKC fall hunt test season.  Kimber, my chocolate Labrador Retriever and I worked on our seasoned test for HRC.  She did really well.  Below are some photos that Matt Settlemoir took of us.  Thanks Matt!!! 

Kimber Chocolate Labrador Retriever

Wendy and Kimber, Chocolate Labrador Retriever

 

Photo by Matt Settlemore

Wendy and Kimber, Shadowhill's The Hunter's Gunpowder & Lead at Busch Wildlife in St. Louis, MO

 

Kimber training for seasoned hunt test

Wendy and Kimber, Shadowhill's The Hunter's Gunpowder & Lead at Busch Wildlife in St. Louis, MO

 

Hunt Test Training

Kimber on her Walkup

 

Busch Wildlife, St. Louis, MO

Wendy and Kimber, Shadowhill's The Hunter's Gunpowder & Lead at Busch Wildlife in St. Louis, MO

 

Kimber’s sire is Cuda’s Blue Ryder. 

Shadowhill Retrievers
Total Retriever Photography and Supply Store

Tolerance For Pressure or Not

September 3, 2010

Some retrievers do not handle pressure well during training.  Some retrievers can handle a lot of pressure.

If a retriever can’t handle pressure, does this mean that the retriever can’t be trained to hunt or to compete at hunt tests?  Some say yes, some say no.

Mitch and Jake

Mitch Hainsfurther, Webfoot Kennel, training Jake - Yellow Labrador Retriever

My opinion?  I believe a retriever can be trained regardless of its tolerance to pressure.  It may take longer to train to hunt or to earn ribbons and titles.  More time means you may end up spending more  money for your retriever’s training.  Take it from me, if you can find a trainer who will work with and respect your retriever’s boundaries as well as get the job done, it will be well worth every dime you will spend on training.

On the other hand, your retriever may love to learn, train and work.  Maybe the retriever won’t need as much training as one that has a higher threshold for pressure.  What I believe is that there are a lot of variables to consider with each individual retriever.

I’ll see you at the line this fall!

Wendy Porch
Shadowhill Retrievers

Fall HRC Hunt Test

September 3, 2010

Terra

Terra, Owned and Trained by Mitch Hainsfurther Webfoot Kennel, Carlinville, IL

Once again it’s time for fall hunt tests!  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and their retrievers.

Kaya

Kaya, Trained by Mitch Hainsfurther Webfoot Kennel, Carlinville, Illinois

Total Retriever will be photographing at Midway, Southern IL Hunting Retriever Club in Marion, IL and Gateway in St. Louis, MO.  I’ll be posting more hunt tests soon.

Good luck to everyone who will be attending the hunt tests.

I’ll see you at the line this fall.

Wendy Porch
Total Retriever Photography and Supply Store

Maggie

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

All of us look for the best laundry soap for our camo that doesn’t smell like flowers and that won’t ruin our expensive camo.  I have a solution.  I have made this and love it.  You don’t smell it, it’s very inexpensive and it works well!

The cost of this laundry soap is approximately 11.00 per 576 loads of laundry.  I use it at home and with my camo.  You can purchase the ingredients at most grocery stores.  They can be found at Rural King stores and most farm and home stores as well as Schnucks in the laundry isle.

You need the following:

  • 1 box of 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • 3 bars of Fels-Naptha
  • 1-5 gallon bucket with a lid (I purchased mine at Home Depot)

The three bars of Fels-Naptha with the two other boxes will make enough laundry soap for approximately 576 loads of laundry.

Note:  I also put a half of a cup of Oxy-Clean in my mixture for a little extra boost.

Many people say that they have made and used this laundry soap and are very pleased and impressed with the recipe.  Mostly, they like the cost because it is inexpensive and works as well as Tide, if not better.

Step 1:  Finely grate approximately 1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha bar soap and put it into a sauce pan with 6 cups of hot water. Do not boil the water.  Keep it hot though and stir it until the soap melts.

Step 2:  Once the soap is dissolved, Add 1/2 cup of Borax Laundry Booster and  1/2 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda to the sauce pan.  Stir until all powder is dissolved.  This is where I also add 1/2 cup of Oxy Clean.  You do not have to but I do.

Step 3:  Add 4 cups of hot water into your bucket.  Once you have added the 4 cups of water to your bucket, add your soap mixture from your sauce pan and stir briefly to mix.

Step 4:  Add 22 cups of water to the bucket.  Make sure the water is room temperature.  Stir to mix and let stand COVERED for 24 hours.  Contents in bucket should gel.

USE 1/2 CUP OF FINAL PRODUCT PER STANDARD LOAD

Note:  If it doesn’t gel, it will still work fine.  if it doesn’t gel, I would stir it before using it.  Store product in your closed bucket.  If you don’t, the water will evaporate out of the mixture.

For home use, once the mixture is cool, I add 15 drops of Geranium Essential Oil and 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.  I then stir it up and let it sit with lid shut tight for 24 hours.

Webfoot Kennel - Tara

Webfoot Kennel - Tara

This will be the final lesson for Platform Training and it will be off-lead.  Please remember to always use caution when using an Electronic Collar.  If not careful, you can do more harm to a dog than good if an Electronic Collar is misused.

Webfoot Kennel - Jake

Webfoot Kennel - Jake

Start your lesson with the lead on and heel your dog while commanding “Kennel” to the platform from all four sides.  With and without Electronic Collar pressure, keep it light and happy.  Now remove the lead if you feel your dog is ready and has not needed the assistance of the lead to get on or off the platform.  Up to this point, you have been moving towards the platform and have had the assistance of a lead if your dog needed assistance.

Webfoot Kennel - Zoey

Webfoot Kennel - Zoey

Heel your dog next to you at one of the four starting points that you have chosen.  Command “Heel” and move towards the platform while commanding “Kennel.”  Try it again this time while dropping the lead and use stimulation only when needed.

Go back to the starting point and remove the lead.  Heel the dog and start towards the platform while commanding “Kennel” and keep moving if needed to help your dog reach the platform.  Use collar pressure as needed.  Repeat lesson.  Each time, you move less and less until you can send the dog to the platform on the command “Kennel” from all four sides.

Webfoot Kennel - Augie

Webfoot Kennel - Augie

Once your dog is going to the platform with no assistance, try the same principle on a dog stand, in a dog crate and in a boat!  Start each new place at the beginning as we did with the platform lessons.  Each time you teach your dog to kennel to another place, the lessons should advance much more quickly.

If you have any questions or need any help, please don’t hesitate to reply to this blog or contacting Mitch or myself.

You can contact Mitch at Webfoot Kennel.  You can contact me at Total Retriever Photography

I hope you have enjoyed learning about platform training.  Please come back next week to read, Training With Mitch.

Mitch and I hope to see you at the line!!

Wendy
Total Retriever Photography

Welcome fellow Retriever and Hunting Friends! I would like to introduce you to “HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH.” Grab your popcorn and enjoy reading!

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH, Owned by Kenneth Farris

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH, Owned by Kenneth Farris

I was contacted by Kenneth Farris to photograph his dogs while attending the Music City Hunting Retriever Club’s Spring Hunt Test. We met at the hunt test and booked a setting for early morning Sunday.

Ken brought out one dog at a time for me to photograph. After I photographed one dog, he then went to the truck and brought out HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH. When I took my first glance at Brody, my jaw dropped. As I write this, I am trying to think of one word to describe my first thought of Brody. I can’t describe him in one word.

As he heels next to Ken while walking towards me, he looks regal. His gait is beautiful. Powerful. Stunning. Mellow. Well behaved. Attentive. Aware. Attractive. A stellar looking Labrador Retriever.

Each time Ken gives Brody a command, Brody does what his master asks willingly and obediently with no question in his eyes. I take many photos of Brody. My lens following his every move. I asked Ken to sit him so I could get profile shots. His profile is magnificent. He has a block head that is exquisite. Brody sat for Ken and he willingly sat peacefully while I took as many photos as I liked.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

I wanted Brody in the water. Water is my favorite place to shoot retrievers. Again, Brody obediently did what his owner commanded of him. He ran into the water. I took several shots. I had goose bumps watching this dog work in the water and on land.

As much as I didn’t want to photograph another dog, I had a job to do. Ken put Brody away and brought out another Labrador for me to photograph.

I knew Brody was running in the finished test that day so I made sure to come back to photograph him. Keep in mind that when I took his photos in the morning, he was working but we were mostly playing in and around the water and on the land. I had seen enough that I knew I wanted to watch this dog work, to hunt. To do what he was bred to do. I had to come back to watch him in his test.

I attend a lot of hunt tests. Even finished dogs in the holding blinds whimper, bark, and some try to break away to the line to pick up a duck. Not Brody. Brody does exactly what Ken commands of him. I was so amazed at his manners that I took a photo of Brody in the down position with no lead on. It was just before the test. When most dogs would be acting up and going crazy because they know what is about to come their way, here lies Brody as calm and collected as he can be.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

As calm, cool and collected as Brody is off the line, he turns it on at the line. His line manners are second to none. You can see the switch flip in his eyes once it’s time to go to work. He drives hard and fast. He marks like a pro. His blind work is straight on. My positioning for taking photographs wasn’t the best. I thought I would have plenty of time to move around from where I was and get set up for the next shots of Brody. Once he left the line to go after the next mark, he was just gone. I didn’t have much of a chance with Brody. His test didn’t take long at all. Once a dog leaves the line, I move up by the handler so I am able to get better shots of the dog swimming straight back at me without disturbing their test. Once they are about half way back to me, I have to move and get out of their way so I do not distract the dog. Brody was out and back in no time.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

I was amazed after watching this dog. So amazed that I wanted to write about him. I asked Ken if I could write Brody’s story. Sure, I love most Retrievers. But there are a few that are special. I see hundreds of Retrievers work at hunt tests. I have my favorites. I know the difference between a good retriever with drive and desire and one that does not have that desire or possess the marking skills that others may have. You know when you see a champion. You know when you see that one Retriever that you would want in your blind and in your kennel. Brody is one of them.

I will get to Brody’s story in a moment but there is something I would like to say before I do. Brody is a must see. I give him 10’s across the board on temperament, conformation, desire, drive, ability, skill level, intelligence and beauty.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

Brody did not come from a pedigree full of hunt test titles. Does that mean that Brody or his offspring are not capable of being a champion? Absolutely not. Brody is beginning his own pedigree right now as if the hunt tests are just beginning now. I would use Brody in a heart beat as a stud dog. I invite you to go see Brody. Don’t hesitate to contact Kenneth and ask him where he and Brody will be running at hunt tests. You can contact Kenneth Farris by email. Click to email Kenneth

Here is Brody’s story.

Brody, a 6 year old Black Labrador Retriever was purchased by Kenneth Farris of South Wind Outfitters at 14 months of age for a mere $100.00. Brody is named after one of the Crimson Tide Quarter Backs! The lady who owned Brody and sold him to Kenneth was a University of Alabama football fan. Ken thought that was ironic because he had heard that the particular quarter back that Brody was named after bought a Chessie and named him after Joe Nameth! Kenneth kept the name Brody but added his kennel name to his registered name and started his training.

Kenneth trains a few duck dogs yearly as started dogs. He thought that maybe Brody would be a good candidate to train and sell as a started duck dog. Kenneth knew the moment he saw Brody that he had to have him. Kenneth took home his new Labrador Retriever.

Once the training started, Kenneth ran into one small problem. When Brody arrived to his new home with Kenneth, he wouldn’t retrieve a biscuit!! Soon Brody began to pick up training at a fast pace and Kenneth found out that his Labrador was trainable and Brody worked very hard to please him. The best part, Brody enjoyed his job.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

Although at first Brody didn’t want to retrieve a biscuit, once he was introduced to ducks, it was “game on” for Brody. His whole attitude changed. He needed them. He had to have them. His drive was his motivation. He worked as hard and as smart as he could because he knew he was going to get a duck in the end.

I asked Kenneth at what point did he decide to keep Brody. His response, “Anyone that has ever spent any time around Brody would feel the same way. He has such a great attitude about his work and so much personality. Besides that, my wife Dawn is my partner. She told me that if I sold Brody then I should go right behind him.”

Brody does have the health clearances that South Wind Outfitters require to breed. He was purchased originally to train as a duck dog so at the time, Brody’s pedigree didn’t matter to Kenneth. Brody does have some HRCH and GRHRCH in his pedigree and it was a total surprise to find that out. So if you are looking for an excellent stud dog, don’t hesitate to contact Kenneth via email. Brody has sired a few of Kenneth’s litters and the pups went to duck hunting homes.

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

HRCH South Wind Brody Jo MH

I asked Kenneth about Brody’s future. He said, “Well, Brody loves his job. So, as far as I’m concerned he’s gonna get to keep doing it every time we get the chance. He retrieves hundreds of ducks every year and unless I’m letting someone else work their dog, I would not think of going to the blind without him.”

As far as Brody’s HRC and AKC career goes, he has titled HRCH and MH but Ken sees no reason to stop. Ken replied to my question by saying, “We have had many failures along the way but Brody’s attitude kept the team alive. When we failed it did not slow him down a bit. Just another day at the office for him. “Come on Boss, set ’em up and lets try again,” is his way. He wanted to keep going even when I wanted to quit. Now that the titles are behind us, the game is a lot more fun for the both of us. The pressure is off. I may run him in Master test when I have other dogs to run but, my current plans are to continue running HRC tests with him at least to the 500 point mark. He has just over 200 points now. Our main push and focus in life has been duck hunting. We spend as much time in the duck blind as is possible and still keep a job. (we push that limit) Everything we do with the dogs has always revolved around that. The Hunt Test games came later but have become a big part of our lives. Brody came to us for that purpose but made such an impression that it would have been impossible to let him go. He has changed our lives in such a positive way. I spend many hours with him in the solitude of the blind or on the road to the next hunt test or just resting up for the next days work. I probably spend more time with him than any person I know.”

Well folks, that’s Brody’s story. I hope you have enjoyed reading about this wonderful creature. Once you see this beautiful retriever run at a hunt test, please come back here and let us know just how much you enjoyed watching him!

We hope that you are able to see Ken and Brody at the line!

Sincerely,

Wendy Porch
Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store