By: Annie Johnston, johnstonarms.com
In March, Wildrose Texas hosted an event with the Dallas Women’s Sporting Club and Johnston Arms. Several ladies and their four-legged companions had the opportunity to attend, myself included. As the participants began to trickle into the century-old wooden building on the property, Guy Billups, owner and lead trainer at Wildrose Texas, lectured on proper dog handling. He covered a wide range of material in a relatively short amount of time, before we were sent to get the dogs and head to the field. Since I’m still waiting for a puppy, Guy let me borrow his dog, Wildrose Bleu, for the event.
During the event we worked on several drills. Each dog in attendance was unique in his breed and personality. WR Bleu performed fashionably. I wish I could say that I was responsible, but it was evident that Guy had spent months training Bleu to get to this level. At one point, Guy moved all of us to the duck pond for some water retrieves. When it was my turn, I received very specific instructions to convey to Bleu. I tossed the first bumper into the water. “WHRRR,” I puttered, as it splashed some 30 yards in front of me. Turning to Bleu, I said his name, and he leapt off the edge of the mound and into the cold pond below. Halfway between the shore and the bumper, I whistled for Bleu to stop. Immediately he turned around mid-stroke, stopped, and watched me as I threw a second bumper to his left. He didn’t even flinch. Then, I gave him the back cast to retrieve the first bumper. As he swam back to the shore with the reward in his mouth, I was extremely impressed with the discipline and maneuvers Bleu was capable of.
This was the first class I had the privilege to attend at Wildrose Texas. As with any experience I have had with Wildrose, the facilities, dogs, and trainers demonstrate a profound amount of knowledge. Better yet, they are capable of sharing and communicating it with me, a new trainer, and making me feel both comfortable and confident in my abilities. Through this event, I gained even more respect for the Wildrose Way, the handlers, and their skilled four-legged companions. Wildrose Bleu, by the way, was later featured at the Kevin’s Catalog Fashion Show in Houston. His ability to transition from the field to the runway is quite impressive. Thank you, Wildrose Texas and your fantastic team, for putting on such a great event. I hope to participate in more in the future.
A note from Guy Billups:
Since arriving June 2017, the Wildrose Texas facility has transformed from a cabin dating back to the early 1900s, a slab of concrete, and some schematics into a fantastic facility. Receiving the feedback such as this has been awesome. In just a short year we’ve grown into a fully-booked, 30-dog kennel, a trading post and health care facility. We have hosted a “Starting your Dog the Wildrose Way,” Women’s Clinic, and a summer group training program.
What’s next on the agenda? The kennel is looking to employ two more kennel assistants. Our import, Wildrose Harvey, will be joining the stud dog ranks. Many more training seminars are on the horizon and one of the most exciting developments is the Wildrose Texas Jamboree. The Jamboree will be held the first of March and will be hosted graciously by the private Dallas Hunting and Fishing club. Events include steadiness work on the clay course, a Texas quail run scramble, and a Euro tower shoot. Johnston Arms will be providing shooting instruction and we hope to be joined by other retail partners and sponsors.
We thank you all for joining in our endeavor to ensure that the sun never sets on the Wildrose experience.
Guy Billups, firstname.lastname@example.org, 972-266-6808