What was so special about the puppy pickin’ at Wildrose on Good Friday? Lots. First, we had eleven Wildrose littermates, including a passel of blacks, several yellows, and a beauty of a fox red. Second, these dogs came from a breeding of FTCH Rusty and Tess, who represent the finest of UK lab genetic lines. (More on their pedigrees later.) And the third special thing is that these pups were delivered and hand-raised by Associate Trainer Jay Lowry and his family—wife, Erin; son, Jack, 5; and daughter, Piper, 3. Jay’s mom helped out, too, so, it was a real family affair. Using Jay’s mobile kennel, the Lowrys transported Tess and her pups from their home and kennel in Vandalia, Illinois.
As Mike gathered folks for a facilities tour, he didn’t show the bruises from last weekend’s harrowing kayak spill in the raging Little Buffalo River in the Ozarks. (Deke, who was forced to bail out before Mike did, came out of the ordeal ahead: he received his Adventure Dog kayaking merit badge.) On a day that began with an overcast sky the sun burned through the cloud cover by mid-morning, setting a sunny, warm scene for the event. Severe thunderstorms had roared through at midweek, so we welcomed the sun, although the sodden ground limited the tour of the facilities.
After the brief look around the grounds, Mike convened the group in the classroom behind the Wildrose Trading Company for the healthcare briefing and training presentation. Because Jay had raised these pups at his place, he spoke to the group about the pups’ feeding and care routine, thus far. And he had to endure Lanette Drewrey’s good-natured ribbing that he, a dentist, does not brush his own dogs’ teeth.
Mike presented his well-organized session on the first five Wildrose Laws, and on obedience training, including the essential behaviors to instill in the pups, the reinforcements, and the types of rewards.
Then he invited folks to step onto the back porch to watch Blake Henderson give a demonstration with WR Trace, Blake’s black, five-month-old pup, performing basic obedience drills and a couple of retrieves. Finally, the guests went to the SLC (Super Learner Center) for their very own puppy pickin.’
With so many pups involved and with the date falling on Easter weekend, some owners scheduled for other pickup dates or for a pup to be shipped. Three new owners attended the event: Teresa Dunn, Munford, TN; Kate Jackson, Nashville, TN; and Chris Wilke, New Orleans; LA. Teresa, a former special education teacher in nearby Pontotoc, MS, first met Cathy Stewart when they were both educating youngsters in the local schools. She began her acquaintance with Wildrose dogs when she got a retired mama, Tanya, and used her as a therapy dog in her class. Teresa’s new pup, Duke (WR Dunn Deal), will join her family of dogs. She plans to train Duke as a Diabetic Alert Dog to help her monitor her blood level.
Kate Jackson, a long-distance runner, will raise her pup, Ollie, to be an adventure dog, accompanying her on the jogging paths around Nashville.
For Chris Wilke, a participant in the Double Gun and Retriever Classic, dogs are a family affair. Chris and his wife, Lani, share their home with seven-year-old WR Sailor, a gundog. After obedience training and some Wildrose gundog training later on, the dog will join Sailor and Chris hunting in the Louisiana marshes.
Among some other folks who got pups from this special litter are these new Wildrose family members: Corey Doyle from Anchorage, AK, is Bill Behnke’s work associate and friend. Jay will keep this gundog pup for obedience training, turning him over to Corey in October.
Gene Boyle got a pup that will be trained for bomb detection in Washington, DC. Gene’s nonprofit organization, DenimCross-USA, First Responder Puppy Program, supplies pups to be trained as
Search and Rescue dogs. Having committed to buying six pups, this is the third Wildrose pup that he and his organization have bought and donated for homeland security related operations. Check out his organization’s worthy mission at its website, http://denimcross.us/ .
Texan Mindi Frederick will train her pup to be a Diabetic Alert Dog. Jason Cubbage, Oklahoma, will also train his dog to be a DAD to help maintain his son’s health. Cindy Leonard, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, also was able to get one of these pups, which she will use as an adventure dog on her outdoors activities.
And, last but not least, Jay is keeping one for himself—that fox red beauty. And speaking of Jay, let me tell you a bit more about him. Have you seen this very tall, thin man before? On video, maybe? More on this in a bit.
Associate Trainer and Tess’ owner, Jay Lowry is a practicing dentist in his hometown of Vandalia, Illinois. History buffs know about Vandalia, where, among other things, Abraham Lincoln launched his political career. The historic town of 6,500 features many historic sites and elegantly restored homes.
Jay bought his first Wildrose dog in August of 2003, and two and a half years later, in April of 2006, he won the Wildrose British Championship with WR Duke. In September of 2006 Jay assumed his position as associate trainer for our started dog program. Jay provides training support for on-the-road Wildrose seminars and demonstrations. Plus, he has a special relationship with the DAD program, having donated a trained dog and having worked with the trainers and clients.
New pup owners appreciate Jay’s video series, “Training Ms. Maizie,” which he developed over the last two years as he trained WR Ms. Maizie, a yellow lab pup, for a client. In each video segment, Jay explains and demonstrates succinctly how to train a pup in essential behaviors. All of the videos, which originally appeared on our Facebook page, are archived on YouTube. Recently, Jay has begun a new video series, featuring training behaviors for an older pup. Watch for it on our Facebook page.
Finally, what about these pups’ parents? As the picture shows, Irish FTCH Rusty is a fox red with beautiful confirmation. He is the recipient of the 2009 Strokestown Perpetual Trophy, the prestigious award by the Irish Kennel Club for the best working retriever of the year (commonly known as the Irish Retriever of the Year). He scored more points in the 2009 trials than all dogs in competition that year. He is the only Irish Dog of the Year to be exported from the country.
Tess is a littermate to Molly (Black). Both came as pups out of our Irish Partner Nigel Carville’s dog, FTW Astraglen Amelia and FTCH Levenghy/Peacock. Nigel sold Amelia to a Moscovite, who ran her in Russian competition, where she became a FTCH and also won the Russian Retriever Championship.
Jay trained Tess and Molly from pups as gundogs. Molly resides at Wildrose as another of our prized dams. Even though Tess is a laid back dog at home, in the field she shifts into high gear as an energetic and tenacious hunter. In fact, she was hunting with Jay this last season early on in her pregnancy with this litter.
All in all this Good Friday was a very good day for the Wildrose world. New owners got started with their pups, beginning the fulfillment of long-awaited dreams. Jay and Erin brought their kids on an overland journey from the Midwest to the Deep South with their pups, including a visit to Wildrose with family overnights in the cabin. And Mike, Cathy, and the staff oversaw this wonderful process of a community of like-minded folks revitalizing the Wildrose culture.