How a pheasant from Wales made a duck from America to be forgotten_nl


Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Roel & Danita Dik

Waterman 13

2665 WJ Bleiswijk

The Netherlands

Tel.:      +31 (0)10 5218852

Email :

update 19-02-2020

How a pheasant from Wales made a duck from America to be forgotten

After meeting Jane Pappler at the British/American Specialty last summer,

which we loved (you will be seeing more of us in Britan) our dog Awesum Hero was

invited to go to America. He was entered in a hunting test where they use

live ducks, Danita handled him. One of his first retrieves was a roughneck

Jane Pappler (Redlion) with Awesum

duck that bit him on the nose. Awesum is a gentle dog, he seemed to never

get over it, so he will never trust Donald Duck again.

We were convinced he wouldn't pick up live game anymore.

He came back just before Christmas, we started training again, only there is

very little hunting in Holland and if there is, there are more people than

game to hunt, so we were left to train with cold game. The trouble is dead

ducks won't fight back. What to do? Tracking could do the trick, the duck

isn't moving but his smell will. We made a track through wood and ended

through a reed border just along a footpath so we would be able to see him

picking the duck. Awesum started beautifully, made the corners and just as

he was supposed to be coming out of the border,

A big St Bernard came walking along the footpath and scared the ........ out

of him just as he was about to pick the duck. This is the end of his and

mine career as "a man and his working dog" I was so sad.

The Winners Dog Show in Amsterdam was held in November, we had nothing to do

because of a duck so we decided to go. We met Janet Morris, who we told

about the duck, she very quickly invited us all to come to Wales and make

him forget. If all the answers were so easy, we said yes and the trip was

planned. After a very rough ride over the channel to Harwich, we arrived

late at night at Black Beech Farm. With very little sleep we were up early

the next morning driving on the wrong side of very small roads to Glan Usk

Estate. Meeting the local handlers who made me look like a city slicker but

gave me very warm welcome and a handful of blue strings?

The first drive.

You take a dozen men and women, a lot more dogs, a very tiny pony-carrier,

shove them all in and off we went. Awesum never know what was coming, marked

the guns, but was astonished by a rain of pheasants. The second horn sounded

the drive was over and off he went but couldn't decided which bird to take

first. This isn't working, we are making a fool of our self's.

Second drive

Working in water, that we could do, Holland the land of water and dykes.

Holland the land of floating water? Very fast floating water? Awesum had

never worked on fast moving water, the Usk was swollen with rainwater, he

never saw them floating past - dark birds almost under the water. Throwing

a stone could help him mark if he stopped looking at the stones. The second

stone did the trick and off he went, marking, swimming and retrieving. YES,

I do have a working dog!

Third drive.

Marking, tracking and catching runners like there have never been a stupid

duck in America.

Fourth drive.

I even learned about blue strings and braces, male female pheasants,

beaters, bread with cheese and onions. We could climb the world.

Second day

Me and my big mouth. Hunting on the Black Mountains. In Holland we got hills

that looks like speed bumps comparing to your mountains. Me short of breath

because of lack of oxygen or condition, my dog jumping up and down wanting

more. Do you know one of your legs will get shorter because of walking along

the side of mountains. I know I am still limping because of that mountain.

Awesum only learned and learned

Third day

He is getting more steady and I am getting more aching muscles.

Fourth and last day

My dog is a top dog, now I must find a person who can keep up with him. I am

exhausted but happy. We came home with lots of memories, photos, pheasants

and the gift of a lovely thumb walking stick each from one of the beaters

Horse & Hounds 'Awesum Hero' and Roel Dik