PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

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PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby Hdc » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:36 pm

My 4th year with Cricket has been full of new surprises (some good, some not so good), but I am still enjoying the journey and can’t imagine my life before Cricket.

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Immediately after duck season ended, we started training and planning to go to NAVHDA test in Georgia to see if we could improve on his UT score and possibly get a Prize 1 so we could go to the Invitational. A week or two before the test, I got a call from my daughter in hysterics saying that Cricket’s foot “was gone” and that they were headed to the vet. Long story short, he hung a toe in a crack between two wooden boards on my fence while we were at work and just about chewed off all the pads on his right front foot to get out.

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Recovery was long. It included two weeks at the Ms. State Vet School, a failed pad transplant surgery, and the amputation of about a 3rd of one of his toes. He limped for months on that foot, but the pads on all but the partially amputated toe grew back.

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I took it very easy on him during the Spring and Summer. We really didn’t do any sort of training out of fear that his foot needed to be fully healed before our trip to ND in October. I bought a set of boots for him and headed off to ND.

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I invited a PP breeder from Florida to go along on the trip. He had a female that he wanted to breed to Cricket, and coincidentally, she was in standing heat when we arrived in Dickinson. Accordingly, we not only had a fantastic hunting trip, but Cricket also bred his first litter. That breeding produced 8 beautiful pups that will go to new owners on Feb. 6 and 7, including one male that will go to one of my closest hunting friends.

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But, the breeding didn’t stop there. He bred a second female in Dec. (pups due around Feb. 14), and there is a third female at my house right now that we expect will be ready for breeding later this week.

Duck season has been fun. Despite most of the duck hunters in Ms. having low numbers for most of the season, we have been consisting killing ducks.

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Cricket’s retrieve totals are down this year because we almost always have had one or two other dogs hunting with us and we are making the dogs take turns retrieving. Nonetheless, his 4 year waterfowl retrieve total exceeds 500 already this year. I have also had the pleasure of hosting 4 different North American Pudelpointer Alliance Breeders and their dogs for duck hunts. All totaled and including mine, we have had 7 PPs at the camp this year. I doubt that any other duck hunter in the South Eastern United States can top that.

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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby orhunter » Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:36 pm

I like..... Thanks for the photos.
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby mtlhdr » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:54 pm

That foot was gruesome! Can't imagine how much that cost to put back together. Cricket is one dang fine looking animal. I bet it will be fun watching one of his pups grow up. Thanks for sharing the great photos.
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby bntsetter » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:05 am

Nice Pics of a great looking PP. Gruesome pic of the foot. Sounds like Cricket is one heck of a nice dog.
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby JTracyII » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:53 pm

It is always good to read the recap of your with Cricket. I appreciate that you take the time to share it with us. Cricket seems to be a good dog and is lucky to have landed in the hands of someone who can develop him as you have. Now that his paw has healed do you plan to run him UT again this year or have you decided to pass?
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby Hdc » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:06 pm

These yearly updates were sorta inspired by the posts I read about Hank and his PP, Ellie. Hank started a post years ago and chronicled his adventures with his PP up to the time of her tragic and unexpected death. I read all those posts when researching and thinking about buying a PP. They also are good for me to go back and read every now and then to reflect on how far we have come. Additionally, when folks call me wanting to know about my dog and my experiences with him, I ask them to read my annual posts on this site then call me if they have any questions. They usually call back just to say that they have read the posts and don't really have anything else to ask.

As for the UT, I am torn. I will not do it this Spring and due to the hot weather here in the Summer, I don't think we can be ready for a Fall test. The following Spring is a possibility, but really don't know right now.

Glad you enjoy them, and hope others do as well.
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:09 pm

What a great outcome from where you were when the paw injury occurred.
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby CEA » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:12 pm

You're a very lucky guy that also put a ton of time into this great pup. Best of luck to you and Cricket in the future Hugh. You were the first PP owner that took time out of your day to talk to me about PP dogs. When I hung up with you I was sold on my decision to get a PP. thank you for your time it has bennifitted my life for sure.
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby Deuce » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:36 am

Glad to see this post. I was wondering the other day how Cricket was doing, I followed the injury post closely. Looks like a great season! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby bullfrog » Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:05 pm

I sure am glad to see he healed up so well. Congrats on a great season!
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby Hdc » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:16 pm

Cricket and his 8 week old son, Rogue.

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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby Houghtonic » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:45 pm

Is that your hunting buddy's new pup? Is Rogue a smooth coat as well?
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby Hdc » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:07 pm

Yep. Rogue is my hunting buddy's new pup. I suspect that his coat will be pretty close to Cricket's (dense, short and tight). It's guesswork at this point, but he may end up having a little more furnishings than Cricket. The litter of 8 had a mix of all coat lengths from short to long, but all were nice and tight and dense.
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Re: PPs Are Great Duck Hunters and More -Part 4

Postby Deacon » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:43 pm

Great pic! You will look back on that in a few years and smile. It is amazing how fast they grow up.
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