What started out as a kid wishing for a hunting dog, ended up with a man thinking that the time was just right. A pup to train turned into a dog to go afield with in the fall. Season after season together in the field. It ultimately turned into a lifestyle. I look forward to spending time with all the participants in the 2017 Invitational. This event is a showcase of the Master Hunting Retriever and all of those that work so hard to hold the hunting retriever in high esteem. I chose this picture because it was a life highlight for me. The dog, “Hope”, aka GMHR III Wishful Thinking QAA is a testament to where you can end up when you form that bond of being a team. As I say, “It’s not wishful thinking as long as you have hope.” See ya in the field!!! Harry
Gun Captain - Rick Zimburean
Field Test Secretary - Nora Williams
From Nordstrom’s and Kate Spade to Prois and LaCrosse in 3, 2, 1 … Poof!
I have always loved animals, and dogs are a particular favorite of mine. My first dog was a large, pink poodle won at a carnival by a family friend. I was three years old, and I named him Big Dog. Because my dad was active duty Air Force, my parents resisted pets due to the stress of cross-country and even international moves. Big Dog was as close as I’d come to having a “dog” for several years.
Something happens when you marry someone with dogs who enjoys living with them; hunting with them; and working with them in field events. You become … a dog mom or a dog dad. Today, I am the proud dog mom to three special canine “kids,” Wily, Tank, and Love. Happiness truly is a warm puppy … or three.
Since marrying Harry—in Nevada right before a NAHRA test, wearing jeans, fleece, and a camo ball cap (true story!)—my life has been the tale of where the Labradors take me. From my first mallard harvested on Christmas Day 2000 in the Potholes to the best pheasant hunting trip ever in South Dakota; to my annual birthday trip to Helena, MT for a NAHRA test to the wine country of California’s Central Coast; north to Alaska and Alberta then across the country to New York and Pennsylvania, my canine “kids” have been responsible for the very best of the adventures we’ve had. What started in 2006 on a mesa in southwest Colorado has become a highlight of our years with the “kids.”
Bird Steward - Tim Lockard
Field Test Marshal - Fran Seagren
I have been a dog lover since before I can remember. As a young kid, I would train my dogs to do parlor tricks and simple obedience commands. Growing up, my dogs were my constant companions, as they are today. I can’t imagine a life without a dog. When my husband and I got together about 30 years ago, he introduced me to bird hunting and of course the dogs that love the game, too. We both had just lost our older dogs and quickly decided to get a puppy. Our first dog together was a Labrador we named, Tekoh. I didn’t know the first thing about training a hunting dog and I quickly found out my husband hadn’t done much actual training either! I also didn’t know there were local organizations such as Puget Sound Retriever Club where a person could join and learn to train retrievers with other members and experienced people. There was no Internet, so back in "those days", I bought books and magazines. I force-fetched Tekoh and taught her blind retrieves. My husband taught me to shoot a shotgun and when pheasant season opened the next year, he took the two novices hunting. I was so excited; I couldn’t quit with the questions on the drive east. That first day upland hunting was the most fun - ever. Even though I couldn’t hit a single rooster, and Tekoh chased a hen off to the "hinterlands" completely ignoring all our whistle training exercises, it was an experience I will never forget. When hunting season ended, I couldn’t stand it. That’s when I discovered dog clubs and dog training groups. What a great way to spend spring and summer - and getting ready for fall hunting. To be part of the NAHRA Invitational is an experience I never thought would happen to me. I’m looking forward to it!
Equipment - Dennis Nichols
I have had dogs all my life. I have always loved dogs. However, these dogs were never trained as working dogs. I never had the time to train them. That changed a few years ago and I decided my next dog would be trained as a working retriever. I purchased the dog I now have (Bridger) and began to train him. I soon learned that I had no clue what I was doing (I think the dog was smarter than me). I was introduced to the Puget Sound Retriever Club. I went to couple events and thought, this is what the dog and I need. So I joined the PSRC. I have learned a lot from the PSRC and the NAHRA program. My dog and I have made much progress the last few years that would not have been possible otherwise. Not only has this program been educational, it has also been a lot of fun. We look forward to hosting the 2017 Invitational and we hope to see you all there.