Kim Vassaur Freeman
Duck Diva August 2022 Blog
I give my heart to Diva’s Jack. Ahhh yes…my boy Jack is doing so very well this summer with my dear friend Keith Farmer and crew at Tremblin’ Earth Kennels. He hails from great breeding – I selected Jack earlier this year from a litter at ColMorg British Labs in Florida. He has wonderful parents both in temperament and constitution as well as peerless bloodlines. While I have quite a few dogs running around the lodge (as many of you can attest!), it’s been quite a long time since I had intention of having a lodge dog who I and quests can hunt over.
Well…needless to say I was pretty much heart broken when Randy and I took the drive to deliver Jack to the Tremblin’ crew in Georgia. I knew Jack was in the best of hands, but I never knew it would be so very hard for Randy and me to get back into the truck for the drive home.
It had been quite a few weeks, well actually close to two months, since I had seen Jack. So, we stole a Saturday a week or so ago and off to Keith’s we went. Admittedly, though I have been around more than a few handfuls of hunting dogs in the past, I’m clearly no dog-handler. While Jack was living the life of luxury at the lodge prior to beginning training, he’s quite a high-powered dog now that he has been introduced to the meaning behind his breeding. All signals point to him becoming a wonderful hunting companion for years to come.
Jack is pictured here retrieving one of his first ducks. Keith first instilled obedience training into Jack (much better than the warm-hearted obedience I gave him…ha!), then to some fun and basic retrieve work, then onto some conditioned-fetch training. Now, Jack is in the field just about every day and around the likes of crates, duck calls, other dogs, heavy cover hunting and the like. I guess there are no “secrets” to dog training as Keith explains; “It’s really about the basics of being patient and consistent in everything we do. Repetition is key, yet it’s also critical to change things up all of the time, place Jack in different situations and to work Jack in short burst as it is important to not over do things. Too, we always want to leave it with Jack on a positive note. I’ll either toss him a fun bumper or two, or end on a positive retrieve. Each and every dog is different, but I am seeing great things so far from Jack – can’t wait to see him in the field this fall.”
I want my boy back home but at the same time, am so pleased with the progress he has made to date. I don't quite know how I will react when I see Jack make his first retrieve of a wild mallard or pintail at The Elms. I’m basically welling up as I think about it. I know I’ll shed a tear or two, but a tear or two of joy. Really, there is nothing quite like a lab retrieving a duck. Fond memories of past hunts and anticipation of great hunts to come await.
With thoughts of great flights, stellar shots and peerless retrieves,
The Duck Diva