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1. A Tribute to Paul Shoemaker.
PART ONE ( Wednesday, September 11, 2013)
Our good friend, longtime west coast pro and winner of two National Championships ( one Canadian and one United States), Paul Shoemaker passed away at the VA hospital in Seattle, Washington on Monday, September 9, 2013, after recently being diagnosed with cancer. Paul and Marcia and I had become close long distance friends over the past 6 plus years after the purchase described below. We talked nearly every day, mostly about dogs and training sessions or “workouts” as he referred to them. We will miss those lengthy conversations and the incite he provided into any problems that I was having. We are thankful that circumstance brought him into our Lives! It is our intention, in this tribute, to convey to you a little bit about a great dog man who ,while like all of us, was not perfect, knew and loved THE DOGS.
For now I would like to relay to you my very first conversation with this great dog man originally from nearby Champaign, Illinois. Two of Paul’s close friends wanted to give him a puppy for his 80th birthday in April of 2007 and chose a pup from a breeding that we had just done. Marcia whelped those pups on her own ( first time ever) on April 1 while I was judging a Master in Kentucky. At Paul’s birthday party Paul was told that he would be receiving a yellow female soon from a breeder in Illinois so……I answer the phone one evening and a gravelly voice on the other end says “ This is Paul Shoemaker from Arlington Washington. I know you don’t know me ( not really true because I had heard of him many times from my original mentor who began field trials in Washington state, I had seen his book ( I now own a personally annotated copy!) and read of his exploits in other places) but I’m getting a puppy from you. I wanted you to know that the very last thing I want or need on this earth at age 80 is a new puppy ( my heart sunk!)…but…my friends thought it important and I want you to know that I will give that puppy the very best home possible”…that puppy was A.D., for the Latin phrase Anno Domini and pronounced, at least when sent for a retrieve, “Eighty”. Marcia now owns A.D. and that was the beginning of a wonderful long distance friendship with a great dog man! Godspeed, Paul! All the dogs are waiting at The Bridge! More to come when we return from the BRC hunt test this weekend!
2. 2012 NATIONAL AMATEUR RETRIEVER CHAMPIONSHIP at Onaway, Michigan. It was my very great pleasure to attend my first National event as a spectator. I met some very nice dog folks, saw some great dog work and learned a bunch about handling and field trial testing. I wish that more of my friends could have been there to see how the handlers worked their dogs. Just as happens at a weekend hunt test or field trial, I saw handler errors and I saw some judging decisions that I have to question and that reinforced my belief in really paying close attention to small details in test setup and construction. More on each of these items when we return from the vet’s office…..
3. It is with great sadness that our first entry on this page is to announce the passing of Mercy, owned by our good friends, Truman and Kay Ellis, of Seattle, Washington. Mercy died on February 10, 2012 after ingesting rat poison. She was scheduled to be inseminated with semen from FC-AFC Dare To Dream, Cosmo, early the following week and had recently completed her SH title. She was one of the most beautiful dogs we have ever produced and is the sister to Paul Shoemaker’s A.D. also located in the Seattle area. God Bless you Mercy.