In summer and early fall of 2011 Tony Bly and I were working a bunch of dogs trying to get them ready for the fall wild bird trials. I had Wild Apple Jack and Wild Apple Deuce. Tony had Stokely’s Ginger B, Stokely’s Kir B, and John Bilodeau’s Mr. Ted Stokely. It was a pretty good string of dogs with Jack and Ginger already having won multiple championships in the woods and the other three were all strong contenders. I always enjoyed the workouts when Tony would run Teddie with Jack or Deuce. We had one spot where we got a good hour plus run in and out of cover mixed with sections of more mature woods. It came close to resembling many of the courses our wild bird trials run on and gave the dogs a really good workout. As the summer progressed Teddy got in great shape and could do the hour with ease. Like his littermate Kir B, Teddy was an eyeful on point and was often found locked up on a grouse or a woodcock in one of the birdy sections of the course.
Shortly before it was time to run at the Northeast Grouse and Woodcock Championship, Tony developed an eye infection and could not go to the trial to run Teddy, Kir B, and Ginger, so, I took the whole string. Kir B and Ginger didn’t have good performances but the other three all finished their hours strongly with bird work. Jack had run one of his usual big races albeit a little rough in few places with two grouse finds and Deuce put down a nice hour with a couple of finds. But Teddy went around his course like he was on a string — hitting all the right spots and looking good when he would cross to the front. He needed very little handling and had three or four beautiful finds. I went home before the trial was over and got a call from Al Ladd (one of the judges) the next day. He wanted to be the first to tell me that Jack was named Runner-up and Mr. Ted Stokely had been named champion.
It was a well deserved win for a really good dog. The sad news came yesterday that John had to make the hard decision and Teddy was put down after a long illness. I’m glad I got to be a part of Teddy’s life and field trial career.
|Three littermates from left to right: Rip with Kit Foster, Teddy with John Bilodeau and Kir B with Tony Bly. The picture was taken in Michigan in the parking lot of Alibi Hall.|