HRCH Super Kwik Pic, MH "Lotto"
July 11, 1996 - April 22, 2008
Son of FC AFC Super Pic and Grey Dawn's Kwik Trick
Lotto was the one that started it all for us. When we got Lotto we had 3 Labs, Nugget - a fox red, the matriarch - and 2 daughters a chocolate and a yellow. We were looking for a black to complete our collection. We knew nothing of competition. Lotto's breeder Mac McGee was a field trialer and tried to explain them to us. He told us to look into FT or as he put it something kinda new they have called hunt tests. He said they have one in Shreveport sometime in the fall.
We took our little bundle of black home that day and did go out to watch a hunt test that fall. It was raining and everybody sat in their trucks. We didn't arrive in time to watch more that a few dog running in Junior and said...Our dogs can do that....so it began. The quest to find out how to play the game, when and where a test might be.
Lotto proved to be a special dog....not one who was easy but one who taught us how to train. He had so much natural talent, but was always three steps ahead of us. He achieved his JH title April 18, 1997 at 9 months.
When he was a year old we attended a Dobb's seminar on how to train with the electronic collar. We had attemped to FF Lotto and he got the "fetch" part really well....loved it in fact, but "Hold" was another story. He would roll and toss what ever he was retrieving all the way back. We knew if we wanted to take him further he had to get a better hold. We offered him up as the Demo dog for that segment of the seminar. Usually Jim would spend 15-20minutes explaining and demonstrating a segment and show progress. Lotto was on his table for 45 minutes and still was coming up with new avoidances. His final advice to us was to take him home and make him carry a bumper around the neighborhood on walks on lead. If he dropped it, apply pressure and put it back in with the hold command. We did that daily for several weeks....no retrieving, just that. Finally Lotto had "Hold."
That fall we had our yellow dog, Dusty, entered in a Senior test. Nobody had a test dog. We had been working on doubles and a little bit of handling with Lotto, but he wasn't really ready to enter yet. The judges kept asking for a test dog and I finally asked Dave if he didn't want to volunteer Lotto. Dave was sort of apprenhive about it. I said he can do it, go ahead what will it hurt? One of the judges said this was a pretty difficult Senior set up, and that scared Dave more, but there was no one else so they asked Dave to go get Lotto.
Dave came to the line with a 45 lb male....little bitty thing, nobody knew us. The judges asked how old is that puppy ...15 months...well ok then....The Test was down in a dried creek bed. very rough terrain and lots of cover. first bird down was thrown from a dead tree on the crest of a hill that had several uneven terraces on the way. I would guess it was 85 yards or so. Go bird fell behind a large bunch of 4 foot high reeds about 45 yds away. Lotto flew into the reeds and all you could see was the tops wavering as he ran straight through them and back. He approached Dave and sort of tossed the bird at him and took off like a bolt of lightning for the second bird. At the top of the hill, he snatched that bird up, tossed it into the air as he spun around, and came flying back down the hill. The blind was a short one but difficult in my eyes because of the terrain. It was straight up an 8 - 10 foot embankment. Lotto one or two whistled it. People who we knew were professional trainers asked why we didn't entered him? and I said just wait....on honor on lead, tucked back in the trees and up the hill a bit from the working dog, Lotto launched after the 2nd bird was thrown. Dave held him tight and Lotto flipped on his back. "That's why." I said. We had offers to take him that day, which we declined, knowing that Lotto would teach us everything we needed to know.
Water was not Lotto's friend. He had very tiny feet and was frustrated by the fact that he couldn't get there fast enough because couldn't run on the top of the water. He'd thrash all the way out in a puppy swim and only smooth out when he had the retrieve in his mouth. He found that the farther he could leap, the less he had to swim, so he developed a huge water entry and even won some ribbons in one of those Dock Dog competitions at 8 years old.
We did have help from two professionals with Lotto. James Davis took Lotto through water force for us at the time that Dave was traveling all over the US with his job and only home on weekends. James had him spending so much time in the water swimming laps, that he finally figured out how to swim.
Dave ran him through his Finished tests and Masters until he broke on what would have been his title run and it was at the last test of the season in Texas. Our friend Bill Corcoran offered to take him to Colorado when he went to get that last Master pass. Then he needed only one more Master pass to go to the Master National, so we allowed Lotto to travel with Bill that summer up north.
Our plan was to travel to Georgia for MN that fall, but I had a 4 wheeler accident and hurt both wrists and Dusty had to have TPLO surgery 10 days before MN started, so we asked Bill to run Lotto for us. It was Bill's first MN and he took three dogs. Lotto was the only one that passed for him that year. Bill said Lotto made him feel more like a Caddy than a handler. He didn't have to be handled on any marks all week and only needed 8 whistles on the blinds. We requalified him for the MN the following year and Lotto took Dave to the line this time. He was #13 and it proved to be unlucky. We were still very proud to be there with him. We decided to retire him at that point, he had done more that we ever thought of and had taken us farther than we ever dreamed
Lotto had not been himself for the last few months. We first noticed it when we took Lotto out to run some set ups for fun with our training group. Lotto reponded to whistles but wouldn't handle, just started to come in instead. We thought maybe he was losing his eyesight...but when we tossed a mark for him he nailed it just like he used to.
Then we began seeing lots of little things....
he became afraid of his buddy Jive and actually jumped him....
he wouldn't heel with us on walks.....
he started barking all day long if he were outside in his kennel...
he started marking in the house...not incontinent but purposely marking.
Just not normal behaviors for Lotto. So we took him for some testing, blood work normal, thyroid - normal, no other real symptoms.
Last night, Lotto was sleeping in his kennel beside my bed since he could no longer be trusted to sleep on the bed with us. At 2:15, I was awakened to a thundering noise. Realizing it was coming from his crate, I sprang out of bed and called his name. He was having a seizure a very hard and violent one. Dave got the light in our room on and we undid the screws holding the crate top on. He finally stopped thrashing and was calm for about 5 minutes when it started again. Dave called our vet and we took him to the office. He was in an almost constant seizure the whole way. Once there she said (and we had already guessed) that he most likely had a brain tumor and we decided to end his pain at about 2:45
Lotto, Dear Lotto, you always played hard and you died hard.
We love ya, Man, and we'll miss you!