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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mr. Bora started a thread a few weeks ago about "When a Legend Calls" . The jest of that thread was enjoying the time we have with each other and our dogs. Telling stories and listening to those old stories.

The "Westwinds Bold Tiger" thread got me to thinkin about old dogs and old friends.

Full disclosure my real name is Randy Buettner, I'm no legend and not hiding behind my screen name (RND- that's Randy without the vowels).

In the few short months here I have run into some old friends and talked about some old dogs. I thought it might be fun to start a thread and maybe exchange a few of those old stories. (readers digest version of course)

My idea so I guess, I have to go first:
From reading RTF it seems like the HRC folks like to have a "good" time at the tailgate etc.etc. Well some of the NAHRA folks knew how to enjoy themselves as well...........

There was (may still be I don't know) a NAHRA club in Alpena MI. The president of this club owned a fast food restaurant or two. When we went there we could NOT spend any of our own money. So a group of us from PA. and western NY. make the trip up to Alpena. Friday night - steaks, beer, shoot trap targets from the 3rd. story deck of the "Hunting Camp" yada,yada,yada. Saturday somebody makes us breakfast (hot eggs,bacon etc.etc.) a bloody mary and we're off to the test. Judges set-up the tests everything goes well. Lunch shows up for the judges,workers and helpers. Lunch is HOT Wendy's burgers frys the works (loved that club). Do the tailgate thing Saturday night then go out. Remember the can't spend any of your own money thing??? We have a car dealer from western NY and the president of this club almost fighting over who is buying...... the rest of us are waxed these guys can't buy fast enough... SO
Sunday shows up late start.... Doesn't matter too much to us (the judges were with us). The morning grinds on. We get to the water blind for the senior dogs. My buddy Mike Weaver is planting the blind on a bank across a wide creek. Everybody is feeling better by now and the beer is flowing again. Mike is hiding behind a "Charlie Brown" type christmas tree. Everytime he finishes a beer he sticks the empty can on a limb of that tree. It's taking awhile in between dogs so as the time goes on this tree has about a 12 pack of empty beer cans hangin all over it. Handlers would come to the line and say where is the blind? We say under the recycle bin:D Towards the end of that test Mike ran out of beer (he still had birds) handler waiting in the holding blind says to marshall; whats the hold up????

Marshall says; We need to "Re Beer The Bird Boy" Everybody, judges, marshal, handlers, bird boy laughed like hell..... Maybe you had to be there??

For years after that whenever there was a delay in a set up or whatever the joke was we were re-beering the bird boy.

I didn't mention too many names because most of these guys are still alive :D

Oh: I judged that

I'm sure someone can add to this.......
 

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I'm all for having a good time, but alcohol has no place at a test until after all dogs have run. I pay good money to run a test and to have some drunk make a mistake would tick me off.

Don't mean to sound like a fuddy duddy but that's my opinion..
 

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I like the story, in some ways I wish it was still that way. I will settle for beers after the work is done. I have some outstanding memories of putting everything back in the trailer, drinking cold beer and shootin the sh!t with my RC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm all for having a good time, but alcohol has no place at a test until after all dogs have run. I pay good money to run a test and to have some drunk make a mistake would tick me off.

Don't mean to sound like a fuddy duddy but that's my opinion..
Met, Read: "readers digest version" I don't have to justify my story but, nobody was "drunk" - during the test. The only mistake anybody made was if they chose to not go to Alpena.

It was nothing like the big turnouts you get today. In fact if our little caravan didn't make the trip they would of canceled the test. By Sunday everybody knew everybody. It was a double test, but MAYBE 10 dogs were in it to that water blind (last test) and I think all but one was a GMHR or MHR. nobody was going to lose their dog on it. ( Or their money)

The story is not about a bunch drunk college kids rippin it up. It's about a group of middle age folks enjoying their dogs and friends.

The idea for the thread was to try and get a few of the folks with some stories to tell................ to share them.

I've read some of your posts, you've been around the block one or twice share a tale or two.

Ken's "Easter Dinner" story was a blast to read and pretty much every time Gooser chimes in it's funny.



I like the story, in some ways I wish it was still that way. I will settle for beers after the work is done. I have some outstanding memories of putting everything back in the trailer, drinking cold beer and shootin the sh!t with my RC.
Gavin, I like the way you roll. If I ever get down to your part of the country again I'll have to look you up.
 

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I enjoyed the story. Keep them coming. I especially like the stories of the great dogs that ran and the great handlers.
 

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Randy I really enjoyed yur story. It seems like now instead of having fun you need to be politically correct. Times have changed from when friends got together and enjoyed each others company and their dogs. Nowadays there are no winners ,,,,,,,,,,it hurts when someone loses. Well speaking as a 70 year old it sure is fun now but back then it was hilarious sometimes.......Keep the stories coming Randy !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sundown, & Moscowitz, One more then I REALLY would like some of our more polished writers to tell a few. I'll use a real name here because you may know this guy and I'm sure he wouldn't mind....Keith Nichols was, is the king of story telling. Love to hear those stories of great dogs and handlers.

This is the story as told by Mr Nichols to me: It was 1970 something at a picnic trial in Pa.

There is a thread going on now about how to get your dog to stop and sit at distance without the use of the collar. (yes, it was not always called the "e-collar"). Anyway they are talking about some of the tools and methods used.

One of those old school tools was the Slingshot. That tool had many uses.

On to Keith's story. They were shooting a flyer at a picnic trial or maybe using a shackled duck I'm not sure anymore it was awhile ago. The dogs are running the set up with some dogs needing help. When a dog would need help the thrower/gunner would splash a stone in the water or whatever they could do to help said dog. So Keith runs his dogs and now takes his turn throwing.
Remember the slingshot?? Well Keith always had one in his pocket and more times than not he was using it for one reason or another. He could get a correction on his dogs at a picnic trial without most folks ever noticing it. You know slingshots are naturally silent unless fido says something nobody knows.

So he's throwing the ducks when one one poor dog lost it's way. Keith the trainer that he is thought he would help this poor pup out. This duck has swam out of the fall area and he wants to help out the pup. So Keith pulls out his trusty slingshot (yelling and splashing stones is too primitive) He draws back with his weapon and fires a marble towards the duck fully intending to get the dogs attention....... Well he hit that duck dead center in the head instant dead duck, didn't even flap.

The small group watching all this unfold clap and cheer a bit.

So I ask him what did you do????

Keith says well I DID NOT take that slingshot out of my pocket again that day...lol

Always keep 'em guessing......


No alcohol, no parties just good good clean fun.

Who's next??

Thank you, Randy
 

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So Baldwinsville, NY. is the furthest west I go in my test circle. And my normal weekend at my job is Sunday and Monday. So when I have a dog I am campaigning for a title I look for double NAHRA field tests and enter Sunday only. I get up at 2 or 3 a.m. the morning of and drive to the test. The dogs love it. It is the same time we get up to Goose hunt. Setting decoys takes time you know? So Anyway, I show up at Baldwinsville on a Sunday for a NAHRA Field Test. And its a long drive from Burlington, Vermont. So I am a bit fatigued. And by the grace of God or Dumb luck (are they one and the same) we make it through the land series and the upland with two dogs. Everybody breaks for lunch. They had a wonderful cook out at like a block house thing??? Anyway everyone fires up the pick up trucks and takes off like some group of NASCAR wannabee's while I'm munching the last sausage off of the grill (to be helpful you know?) So, SOMEBODY trying to expedite, cause it's Sunday afternoon now and everybody has been to every location........... TAKES DOWN ALL THE FRICKEN TEST SIGNS!!!!!!!!!! I'm munching the last sausage remember? So here I am, tired as the dickens, super well fed and hopelessly lost driving around this three rivers wildlife management area in my pickup truck with three Chessies and enough gear to put on a series all on my own and the obligatory cooler of cold ones for site pick up time. And this area has roads that go on forever. So I hear in the distance the sounds of life fire. I hear the test. So I start banshing down this field road full four by four speed. The thick grass in-between the when track going thumpity thumpity on the front bumper and I see a clearing ahead and as the truck, and I, burst into the clearing I stop. Dogs regain composure after bouncing off of the dash board and we all look out of the passenger window. Immediately out the passenger window. Less than four feet away from the passenger window. Is a tall dirt berm about, maybe forty feet long. And in row in front of it. Neatly set up. Are rifle targets. I think to myself, "self, those are rifle targets" And for no reason in particular I look out the drivers side window. And across the meadow. Maybe 200 yards away, at the other end of the meadow. Were about two dozen New York Sate Police cars. And Benches and equipment and one feller with a real loud bull horn that kept saying something about a range needing clearing. So two wee little young officers on 4-wheelers (isn't it funny when cops are younger than you?) ride up to me and I told um I was lost and they said I could drive up and talk to bull horn guy because he knew everything. So we did and he was ever so helpful and did indeed know where the afternoon water series was. Oddly I wasn't sleepy no more! They all liked my Chocolate Labs and even more Oddly I did not feel the need to correct them, as I usually do and drove on my way.
 
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
" I think to myself, "self, those are rifle targets"

Thank you Ken!!! I laughed so hard at that point I had tears in my eyes.

I've been to Baldwinsville. Judged for those folks a few times. They always took good care of us and ran a very nice trial (sorry I ment to say test). We would stay at a rustic lodge type of place just off the main road I can't remember the name of the place but always good food and company. There was a member of that club I think her first name was Michelle. She was a real sweet heart and worked her butt off for that club.

You are spot on not knowing where you're at on the preserve. It's like a maze or a grid you drive around for ever and still have no clue where you're at.

I always wanted to run at Yankee Waterfowlers trial but it always seemed to conflict with another event.( Or the war department would tell me I was stayin home that weekend) Although as you said they would make it to NY and us from Pa would go NY. So we did get to share some time.

Talking about Baldwinsville made me think of the Mitchell brothers Rob and (Dah, his brother... I can't come up with his name now) anyways do you happen known those boys??? They made Alpena look like boy scout camp:)

And thanks again for the save!!! I was looking for this to be an exchange of good times. Not one guy posting stories.

Who's next?? look at the number of views - the folks are readin em just not tellen 'em


Thanks, Randy
 

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Who's next?? look at the number of views - the folks are readin em just not tellen 'em

Thanks, Randy
Randy,
Ever seen a dog named Molson that ran blind retrieves with the "Gee & Haw" verbal instead of whistle?
Ever meet Ned Spear?
Have any fun stories about our own Chris Atkinson when he was a young whippersnapper? Or old photos we can blackmail him with?;-)

as for the number... rtf is just like every retriever club ever.... 15% do everything, 85% just look :cool:


.
 

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Many of you don't know, but Cleo and I started out in NAHRA. We had gotten involved with Tom and Beth Rentz of Covington, GA and had gone with them to Fredricksburg (I think) to spend the night with Jack and Diana Jogada and to attend what was supposed to be a NAHRA judging siminar put on by Richard Wolters, Ned Spear and others. The meeting was held in a meeting room next to a dining room of a large motel. Richard had on his nickers, silk stockings, his Lord Fontleroy shirt, bow tie and his Sherlock Holmes hat. The meeting was long as Richard told us how the AKC folks tried to take them to the wood shed and take advantage of them. Somewhere in some of the stuff we've collected over the years I have a recording tape of most of the goings on.

This was the second time I had met Mr. Wolters, the first was at the Rentz's in an "Introduction to NAHRA" gathering in Coventon. After the meeting, as we started out of the meeting room, thru the dining room, a pompus looking lady spied Richard passing by and looked him up and down, from his frilly shoes to his white stockings, knickers, hat and back down like "What the hell is that?" As I passedby her, I bent down and whispered "And he's just as weird as he looks". I don't whisper too well and Cleo kicked my shins just to shut me up. I will never forget the look on that ladies face though. Bill
 

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Bill must have forgotten another tale on Richard. We had known him a good while and became friends. We had parked our travel trailer at the Rentz's property and Richard was staying in their house and after his afternoon nap he was wandering around and looking into things on the property. He opened the door and stuck his head in and 6 full grown brown dogs exploded at the intrusion. He found out just how fast he could move and shut a door. We hushed the dogs and invited him is and he came. Since the dogs were in their crates which occupied the sitting area he came in and sat on one of the twin beds with me. He always liked the ladies too but that is another story. We were all talking and all of a sudden we realized he had gone to sleep and was snoring loudly. He took a long nap and all of a sudden he came to and continued the story he had left off. He was a Hoot and good company too.
 

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A few years ago the National Open was held in Oakdale. I went to watch and had brought along a friend of mine that was a long-time hunter, just starting to get into hunt tests. This was the first field trial she had ever been to. We had parked our trucks and were walking up the path to sit in the gallery. The holding blinds were set up off to the side of the walking path, and they were loaded up with handlers and dogs waiting to run. My friend and I were walking along and I was explaining some of the etiquette of watching from the gallery when all of a sudden she veers off the path, strides up to a holding blind and starts chit-chatting with the handler there, introducing herself and asking questions about field trials and the like. The person she had randomly chosen was none other than Mike Lardy and the look of surprise on his face was priceless! As I watched the whole thing play out I was impressed with his manners and genuinely nice demeanor.
They had struck up a conversation about duck hunting and as they were busy talking, the dog slowly reached out and took a bite of the ham sandwich my friend was holding in her hand. My friend kinda giggled and held the sandwich up high out of reach of the dog and petted it on its head, then wished the handler good luck and returned to the path where I was standing waiting. I was trying really hard not to laugh because my friend had no idea she had done anything out of the ordinary. When I quit laughing enough to explain what she had done and to whom she had done, at the Nationals no less, she was embarassed but, being the great sport that she is, laughed along with me. To this day we still giggle about it. And Mike Lardy went on to win, although I doubt it was with the same dog.
 

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the Saturday tailgate parties were at many venues the highlight of the weekend,since those were the pre internet days, it was often a place to hear the gossip from one region to another, for a young guy like me I had no idea who they were talking about, until months or even years later..it was also a place where training ideas were traded back and forth, some nice some not so nice, some down right heated...my instructions were always very simple, sit down,be polite, don't ask questions, and you may learn something...funny they were right..learned a ton

but it was also a time of sharing whatever food or drink you had with other trialers, from other parts of the country, and every once in a while you were treated to a home cooked meal from one of the locals....unfortunately those days are long gone and life on the road may consist of the nearest fast food joint, or whatever you can nuke in the hotel room microwave

the friends you made at those tailgate parties lasted beyond the trial, even after you or they dropped off the scene for one reason or another...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bill, Ken , I think we may have a winner started here. I don't know squawdusch about AKC hunt tests but if you want to talk about old NAHRA I can hold my own...lol

Bill, I do remember your name and kennel name. As I mentioned before I'm into chocolates.. You can't be into chocolate gun dogs and NOT know who you and Cleo are. Thank you for all those years of improving the breed. Although I know you sold your operation, if you wanted to offer any suggestions to me via PM about my quest for my next trial prospect I sure would like to hear what you and miss Cleo might have to say.

Ken, YES!!! To all you questions. But as you may suspect each is a story in it's self. I to have met Richard Walters. He was indeed a very colorful individual and was a much better story teller than he was a trainer. I DO NOT mean that in a derogatory way. He was a writer and as any good writer he loved to spin a good yarn. Richard was very much in the spirit of this thread, an individual that literally would sit on the tail gate of anybody's truck and tell GREAT stories all day.

Last question first: Do I have any stories of our own "Chris" Yes indeed I do..... BUT if I told you, HE would have to kill me!! don't want to go there.....yet
On a more serious note yes, Chris and I have enjoyed some trials together and told a few lies over an adult beverage or two. Our wives as well. Chris was still single or a newlywed I can't remember.( you know the mind goes first??).But yes I do know Chris personally and he's even a better guy in person. I remember his big yellow looked a lot like my Choc male in stature.

Now that dog named Molson!!!-- This may take awhile. First you don't look like the guy that owned that dog so I may be ok telling this one. I know his name but there is no way in he!! I'm going to come up with it tonight out of the blue(no pun intended). The owners name may of been Chris too.(edit. I got it now. name was Sean)

The Gee & Haw thing was, as I know you know (just from your posts:) ) a mule handling thing. Long story short it didn't work very well.

Having said that, Molson was a good retriever and I'm reasonably sure he was titled. I had the privilege of watching that "Dog and pony (mule) show" more than once from the judges chair.... Do you know how hard it is to be respectful while watching that show. If Molson was yours or a friend of yours no harm meant. The owner of that dog was a good sport and accustomed to the ribbing. Believe it or not that is NOT the story on Molson!!!!

Molson the story: As I mentioned he was a good gundog in spite of his donkey complex. His bigger problem was his monkey appearance. What!! Monkey and lab you say???? Oh ya it gets better.

Molson had what the show folks call a "Happy Tail" You know the "gay" tail that curls up high over the back of the critter. Well Molson was a good sized specimen of a Labrador so his tail was not only "Happy" it was long too!!! Not only was it held high it made a complete loop and then some, think of a Q .

Sorry guys that's just the set up. (you asked Ken)

Story:: I think it was at South Western PA. Retriever Club. It's Sunday evening at the awards ceremony and everybody is eating and having a few adult beverages. (remember my first post on this thread:) . As was the case back then the club had a huge raffle and prizes to give away after the ribbons. Well Molson and company( I really did like his owner I just can't remember his name) receive their ribbons yes two senior ribbons. ( See above he was a "good retriever" ) OK Ok we're getting to the good part...

There was a local artist (very talented by the way) that gave a personalized custom portrait of your dog.... If your name was pulled. Well as I'm sure you guessed our hero won this.

Now it's August and the days are getting shorter so it's dark and the party is all huddled around a bon fire. Somebody yells out to our hero "What are you going to have painted"??? ---- Wait for it........... It's good....

Remember the monkey tail... Also remember Tom Stazerowski has been mentioned before . As our hero is forming a response.... Tom yells out from the darkness.... A PICTURE OF A LABRADOR HANGING BY IT'S TAIL FROM A TREE.... There wasn't a dry eye in the crowd!!! well maybe one . That folks was an ending to a great weekend. If you were there it was funny as all get out!!!!

I remember Molsons owners name now it is/was Sean. He was a thick skinned good sport and I liked him. Sean if you're on here I know you'll appreciate that.

Thank you, Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A few years ago the National Open was held in Oakdale. I went to watch and had brought along a friend of mine that was a long-time hunter, just starting to get into hunt tests. This was the first field trial she had ever been to. We had parked our trucks and were walking up the path to sit in the gallery. The holding blinds were set up off to the side of the walking path, and they were loaded up with handlers and dogs waiting to run. My friend and I were walking along and I was explaining some of the etiquette of watching from the gallery when all of a sudden she veers off the path, strides up to a holding blind and starts chit-chatting with the handler there, introducing herself and asking questions about field trials and the like. The person she had randomly chosen was none other than Mike Lardy and the look of surprise on his face was priceless! As I watched the whole thing play out I was impressed with his manners and genuinely nice demeanor.
They had struck up a conversation about duck hunting and as they were busy talking, the dog slowly reached out and took a bite of the ham sandwich my friend was holding in her hand. My friend kinda giggled and held the sandwich up high out of reach of the dog and petted it on its head, then wished the handler good luck and returned to the path where I was standing waiting. I was trying really hard not to laugh because my friend had no idea she had done anything out of the ordinary. When I quit laughing enough to explain what she had done and to whom she had done, at the Nationals no less, she was embarassed but, being the great sport that she is, laughed along with me. To this day we still giggle about it. And Mike Lardy went on to win, although I doubt it was with the same dog.

That story is priceless... you just never know what or who you may run into
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
the Saturday tailgate parties were at many venues the highlight of the weekend,since those were the pre internet days, it was often a place to hear the gossip from one region to another, for a young guy like me I had no idea who they were talking about, until months or even years later..it was also a place where training ideas were traded back and forth, some nice some not so nice, some down right heated...my instructions were always very simple, sit down,be polite, don't ask questions, and you may learn something...funny they were right..learned a ton

but it was also a time of sharing whatever food or drink you had with other trialers, from other parts of the country, and every once in a while you were treated to a home cooked meal from one of the locals....unfortunately those days are long gone and life on the road may consist of the nearest fast food joint, or whatever you can nuke in the hotel room microwave

the friends you made at those tailgate parties lasted beyond the trial, even after you or they dropped off the scene for one reason or another...

Bon, I sure hope your are wrong about the way things are "now" I am very much looking forward to picking up where I left off. I think people would still be receptive to bit to eat and a drink at the end of the day... Maybe it's gotten too big - or too serious??? If there are no more Saturday tailgates I may re-think this whole dog thing and keep on boating??? ( I doubt it but jesss no tail gate parties W.T. oops :)
 

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Dont know if this fits the criteria.
But a few years ago me, dawg, dad, and brother were out dove hunting on a hot day.
I was behind a hay bale and brother behind another a good distance away. I had a cooler and he didnt. He called me on his radio said he was going to come get something to drink. I told him I would bring him one. So held the beverage in my hand and told dawg to fetch, then lined him up like running a blind and handeled him to my brother for delivery. He wouldnt give beverage to my brother so I hollered drop and he dropped it in his hand. Never thought he would have done it but just having fun on a slow hunt
 

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My first or second Hunt test was 14 years ago, I went to Tennessee where they are wonderful! I drove up in my gold Volvo station wagon, through the cow pastures where everyone had trucks. I did ask if someone would pull my car out if I got stuck, and they all said yes. I ran my trained dog (VBG) Trader, and he stole the bird boy's food before he went on to pick up the bird, and my untrained dog who was wild as hell, who picked up the birds. I think Henry Ragle was there, I know Lisa Styles was, and not sure who else-but they were so nice!
Fast forward 81/2 years, a huge suburban, my first Senior with a 9.5 year gray faced old dog at Cooper Black- he was semi trained, but that dog could mark. Everyone was awesome, the Lewis's, Harry ? and the rest of the judges, and like Ken I had left at 3 am as I could not afford a hotel and entry fees:)I was so nervous!! My first blind with people watching, the judges and Marshalls were great. BUT my first blind with people watching. I did it, and I was told I handled well, but I think they were being kind!! The other handlers were great and gave me hints as to where to whistle, where not to lose the dog, the judges were so sweet, asked where my gray faced dog had been, what a great time!
I will be venturing forth again, and was told a good marking, good handling dog won't be able to do it, too much other stuff! I hope they are wrong, but we shall see.
 
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