Wild Apple Jack was the best dog I’ve ever had the opportunity to have as a companion, hunting dog, and field trial competitor. In his field trial career he won five championships and one runner-up championship all on grouse and woodcock. His first win was the 2007 Grand National Grouse Championship run that year 15 miles from home in the Kilkenny Management Area of the White Mountain National Forest. Over the years, in addition to the Grand, he won the Northern New England Woodcock Championship, the Lakes States Grouse Championship, The International Amateur Woodcock Championship, the Southern New England Woodcock Championship and was runner-up at Northeast Grouse and Woodcock Championship. During his competitive years he earned five invitations to Grand National Grouse and Woodcock Championship and competed four times.
Wild Apple Jack January 4, 2004 to September 9, 2015
Although those would be enviable accomplishments for any cover dog, Jack was foremost a wild bird hunting dog. I shot his first of 100s of grouse for him his first season when he was just over 9 months old. And we continued to hunt him until last year. During his life he traveled from Mexico to Montana to Canada in pursuit of wild birds and went to Texas for seven of his eleven winters. Just this week he snuck down to the bird field as Bruce Shaffer was working some dogs on pigeons and was found pointing when Bruce showed up with his dog.
The individual memories are way too numerous to account here. Suffice it to say I feel fortunate to have been granted the privilege of following behind him for all these years. The lives of our dogs are far too short and their lose is always tough. Last Wednesday, as his body was failing him from the cancer within my tears ran down onto the Vets table as I cradled his head and scratched between his ears for the last time. When his ashes come back, I plan on spreading them on the Lonesome Ridge course in Kilkenny where he won the Grand National in convincing fashion.