Man’s Best friend, we all know is the dog, at least it is for me. It started out for me 10 years ago when my son William went off to college and I found myself high and dry without a weekend buddy. You see, like a lot of us dads and moms my weekends had been one continuous line of sporting events, fishing trips, and camping or hunting adventures. William and I went everywhere and did as many funs things. But, he grew up and in the fall of 2004 I found myself with little to do. I have to give my wife Christy credit, or she probably would tell you it was to keep her sanity and get me out of her hair, but she reminded me that I had always liked dogs and, I enjoyed hunting, so why not get a puppy and get busy and get involved.
That brings us to Jackson. A 10 year old American Hunt Lab that has been my companion and hunting buddy for the last 10 years. At the time I was introduced to Jackson, I made a new a now a great friend Tracy Hayes. Tracy, of Quail Hill Farms in Elkin, NC is a professional dog trainer and one of the best gun dog trainers in this area. Jackson is out of Tracy’s kennel and 10 years ago Tracy and Jackson began to train me in the art and science of dog training, duck dogs, and the great organization of HRC. HRC is the Hunting Retriever Club, Inc. The HRC membership is both amateurs and professionals who enjoy hunting and dogs and enjoy playing in HRC Field trials. Field trials are weekend events where hunters and their dogs compete at different levels in the game of a simulated hunt scenario and are scored with passes or fails. Weekend passes accumulate points with 30 being the maximum. Titles are achieved for the dogs at certain point levels. Jackson is the second highest level called a Hunter Retriever Champion, HRCH.
The highest level is Grand Hunter Retriever Champion (GRHRCH) and we have participated at that level seven times with getting to the next to the last day, 2 times. Only 10% of all HRC dogs have achieved the level of GRHRCH.
What Jackson has done besides filling a void, getting me out of Christy’s hair, being one of the best duck dogs I know, just ask Gib, is just this last weekend we completed another event and he achieved his 1000 points. Now let me say, Jackson doesn’t know 1000 from 100. But that Saturday afternoon a week ago when he sat beside me in a Georgia field and we started the contest , it was as if he looked up at me and said ,”boy hasn’t this been a fun 10 years and you’re the best.”
I cannot express enough thanks to people in my life. How important my relationship is with God. How blessed I am to be married to Christy. But I just wanted you to know there is a special friend named Jackson that without any conditions has followed me around this country from duck hole to duck hole. Jump in water too cold for me to get in, retrieved ducks, sticks and balls and always comes up with a warm wet nose to say I love you.
For me he is the best and I want to say ” WAY to go Jackson 1000 Points! You’re the Man!”