Welcome to the ATB blog "J & A's Brittanys" where we love to write about, share stories, post videos and pictures featuring our beautiful, well bred Brittany family bird dogs. With their established and recognized hunting heritage our dogs also measure up to the breed standard regarding health, appearance, movement, and temperament. Enjoy the stories of whelping puppies, tips on field training, bragging rights on accomplishments, sharing joys and sorrow, announcements and as the name implies - ALL THINGS BRITTANY! With a love of God, family, friends, and dog we welcome you.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

There's a New Bird Dog In Town

Sire: CH J&A's Magnificent Obsession of Acton JH "HEMI"
Dam: CH Birch Spring PC Luna Eclipse JH, NA II "LUNA"
Breeders: Phil & Sherri Thayer   Owners: Maryann Day & John Short Sr.
UPDATE:  This amazing pup at 6 months old and within a two week period with our daughter handling earned a NAVHDA Prize 1 title, earned her AKC Junior Hunter title in 2 weekends, and a 2nd place Amateur Derby field trial win!  She will have her show debut in the spring of 2016
J&A's Brittanys is proud to introduce the latest Brittany to the ATB family of close working gundogs as part of "TEAM AVATAR".  "Toph" has come home to join "Zuko".  At 7 weeks old we visited Toph and she was retrieving a frozen gamebird used for bird dog training. Just for fun! Then today today at 8 weeks of age she had her first experience in the field with live birds. Also, just for fun! We get excited when we see such strong natural instincts at such a young age!  

An 8 Week Old Pup
Author:  Dave Jones (Thanks, Dave...)
Caly (pronounced as cal - ee )
She's only 8 weeks old, pointing and running bigger than you'd expect for the age! How can that be? Just the thought of her developing into a great gun dog is thrilling to me. She conjures up old memories of what has been and what will be. What can I expect from this wonderful Brittany pup? Love, attention, quiet days afield and fireside memories. Memories of our 'oneness', of old friends, of days that pass too quickly.
A whole world is ahead for the tiny puppy. Imagine how this unguided creature would fair without my careful guidance? I have a huge responsibility that makes normal duties such as her safety and welfare pale in comparison. I shall take her afield and have pleasant memories with her. She will challenge me but I will know that in the end, we will merge...we will become a team. I shall endeavor to properly introduce my young charge with all that is good. I will hold her and comfort her when she becomes sick, injured and old - I know this will happen and I will be there. I will always be there for her. It is my job as her master to be there. I do not take this responsibility lightly.

Many breeders before me have taken this charge and carried it out dutifully. How many countless hours afield have her ancestors spent afield? Not to mention those 2 legged hunters who have logged lifetimes finding the perfect pup, breeding the best to the best.

I try to imagine way back in time, the time of wolves and prey. Wolves, true hunters who pursued game through wit and physical prowess. I marvel at how man harnessed this primal instinct and formed it into such a magnificent animal.

We will offer one another mutual kinship. On days when she must remain behind, she will send me off with a wistful look in her eye. When I return home, she will greet me as if I truly am the king of the world. I must be how she worships me and loves me unconditionally. I have many faults but she will not know or care.

My new puppy thinks I am the bird god. I give her an exciting wing to attempt to catch in her early days. Watch the intensity on her face! She races to catch it but misses. Within a few flights of the wing, she instinctively begins to creep ever so slowly towards the twitching wing...then POUNCE, "Darn, missed again!" she must think. Now she slows even more and OH, how beautiful!...She has raised her tiny right front paw and paused in mid-step. Her ears are forward, head up and tail high! Why can't I make it last forever? I don't have my camera and even if I did, the picture wouldn't do justice to the moment.

I take my young prospect afield and make sure there are birds to be found.  When no birds are found, she does not blame me. I think she regrets that she has somehow let me down. How can I communicate to her my shortcomings and inability to always take her to where there are birds? This is not 1000 years ago with abundant game, where all one needs is wit and power to catch dinner. We fool our young charge into thinking that we are the ones with wit.

Then, as suddenly as I daydreamed of her skills afield, I think ahead, just briefly, to the day when she will breathe her final breath. God, can we go together? Is there a way that we can at least continue this hunt, this friendship, in the everlasting? Why God, did you create such a magnificent creature that cannot live as long as humans? Am I selfish? I rue the day of her passing. I know I will weep for days, caring only for my own selfish feelings, feelings of having been left behind once again by yet another wonderful dog.

What does a Brittany feel that has lived a full and rewarding life with a devoted master? Are they like some humans who have lived full lives and are ready for the hereafter? I have contemplated what might be their last thoughts and always pray they slip peacefully away with no suffering. I wonder if they think "I have served my master well as he has served me. I would like to hunt just once more in my mind but my body says it's time to go. Thank you master."

"Live today like there's no tomorrow" some say. This is so true when speaking of a companion gun dog. I have books by my fireside that remind me of others great dogs but somehow, no stories compare with my own thoughts of what was and will be....I pale in comparison to real writers for if I were a real writer, I might be able to impart just one ounce of what I feel for my baby, an 8 week old Brittany that is already showing the fires of what will be...

Y'all take care and give your dog a fancy treat for me. - Dave Jones

NOTE: This excellent commentary written by Dave Jones of Chiefs Brittanys is used with his permission. Please do not reproduce or forward this without the express permission of Dave Jones.  Chief's Brittanys® All rights reserved 

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