I would like to share a story with you that I experienced last week.
First, my dog of preference has always been German Shorthaired Pointers, love them. Approx. 35 years ago my favorite girl was stolen from me and between having my heart broken and raising a family, never got another one. I also stopped bird hunting, just no passion.
Recently, the interest in hunting birds again woke up and I started thinking about a dog.
A good friend of mine, Jon, is a semi pro trainer that has two beautiful Drathaars that I fell in love with. He called me back in January about a local 4 YO Drahthaar that might become available because the owner was not happy with how she hunted.
As I understand it, he spent over $3,700 to buy her, then another $3,000 plus training her. He expected to pay someone else to train the dog and never put any effort into bonding with the dog. Anyone that has ever worked with a bird dog knows, it is allot of work and mutual respect has to be established! Apparently, he did not understand this.
He gave up on her because she would only retrieve birds that he shot on his right side, birds shot and downed on his left side she would not go after???
We let him know I was interested and would like to see the dog.
For the past 4 plus months, after repeated phone calls and text messages, he finally called my friend to see if I was still interested. He also sent a photo (posted below) of her and my heart broke.
Of course, the timing was terrible because we had just gotten a 4 month old Golden Retriever puppy, shit…..
My wife and I talked it over and decided to go look at the dog. I told myself, “I need to get this dog away from this guy, she did not deserve to be mistreated like this!”
When we arrived to see the dog, my heart sunk, my god what a mess. She had an infected fly bite on her ear that was bleeding and swollen up into a knot. Her nose was bleeding.
Told the wife I was taking her, worst case I would find her a good home that she would be cared for.
The owner gave me her papers that showed she came from a very good line and highly respected breeder here in So Cal. Her shots were out of date and she was filthy, covered in mud and dirt. She had been living under an old boat.
I took her for a walk to the end of the street to a vacant lot alongside a river bed, walked with the leash on heel. When I released her in the lot, to my surprise, her nose went to the ground and quartered from left to right in front of me. Called her back, she immediately came to my side. I was sold right on the spot!
Got back to my truck and told him I would like to take her and he said fine, hope she works for you. Amazing!
Opened the tail gate and the crate door, tapped the gate and said “Kennel”, she leaped up and into the crate like she did it every day, wow (I have a high 4WD truck).
On the way home I told the wife we are changing her name to help her forget about this horrible experience, so we changed her name from Abby to Dixie. Dixie was the name of my Grandfather’s favorite English Pointer and I wanted honor him.
We got her home that night and took her to our walk in shower for a bath. My son helped me get her ready for the bath, when I spread her feet with the warm water to make sure she wouldn’t panic, she just stood there with the relieved look on her face. Never tried to get away, never resisted. We had to wash her three times to get the dirt out.
On Tuesday we took her to the groomer to have her basically shaved (no way to save her coat) before going to the vet. The groomer said she was buried didn’t have time today, maybe Wednesday. I explained that we just rescued her and could not take this dog to the vet like this. We asked her to come look at the dog. When I opened the truck door, she gasped and said “OMG, bring her in, I will take care of this”
We left her there for about 4 hours and was shocked at the difference in her when we picked her up. She told us that because we rescued her we were getting a big discount.
Later we took her to vet for shots and check up. Vet said she was overall healthy and gave her some antibiotics to clear up her skin problems and ear infection.
We gave her a new bed, I don’t believe she ever had one, and she sleeps alongside our bed at night. She has only had one accident in the house. Every morning, she gets up with me and we go outside for her to do her business. This is from a dog that has never been in a house!
Along with her papers was sheet with all her commands that she had been trained with. Admittedly, she is a little rusty, nobody had worked with her in over a year. Her training is coming back now and I am proud to say so far she is one of the calmest and well behaved German Bird dogs I have ever been around!
On Sunday, we took her to Prado Dam to work with my trainer buddy and some other dog owners. Jon is a member of NAVADA (he is the one that referred me to Lion Country) and they work their dogs there every 2nd Sunday.
What a wonderful experience meeting the other handlers and dog lovers. We took Dixie into the field to work her on a few planted birds and for a dog that had been pinned up in dirty back yard, she did fantastic! John and I were both very pleased with her performance. We feel it is going to take very little work to bring her back to where she should be.
I am very very proud to say “I think she is very happy with us and we have fallen in love with her!”
In closing, I would like to say “If you have a dog (or any pet), it should be part of your family, if not, you don’t deserve it and the animal does not deserve to be SUBJECTED TO YOU!”
After a trip to the groomer…
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