Wyeth & Watson, the Paddle Pups!
My dogs & me.
This is my on-going tribute to how Wyeth & Watson enrich my life,
each and every day.
Click here to watch our new Video Montage!
Song: I Love My Dog by Cat Stevens (1966)
This lovely video montage was a gift from a customer of our restaurant. It really captures the essence of The Paddle and the warmth and enthusiasm of all the folks who visit us. Of course, the underlying theme is the love Chef Phoebe and I share for my German Wirehaired Pointers, Wyeth and Watson.
I hope you enjoy, Mandy
May 17, 2013
Wired for Sport
Wyeth, forever the athlete ...
May 16, 2013
Chef Phoebe, Wyeth and a Frisbee
Wyeth misses only one catch this afternoon but not without a valiant effort - truly an amazing sporting dog. Watson can be seen periodically ... reprising his role as Ferdinand the Bull ;)
Click here to watch today's short video!
May 15, 2013
Wyeth's Beautiful Jump
Check out her mouth ... going for it!
May 14, 2013
My Little Snuggle Bug, Watson
Watson always touches me in some way when we drive, while his big sister - reluctantly - stays in the back (most of the time).
May 14, 2013
There's a little Ferdinand The Bull in all of us!
May 11, 2013
Channel 5 Facebook Page!
Wyeth jumps, as Phoebe and Watson look on ... Channel 5 kept this photo up for 4 days! Awesome!
May 4, 2013
May 3, 2013
Watson watches his sister ...
April 25, 2013
Orvis Cover Dog Update
Thank you to all of you who voted for Wyeth, the original Paddle Pup!
In just 8 days, we raised $1,185 (sixth in most money collected in this contest) and overall most popular dog in all of the past seven contests with 70 "unique" voters! With camera always in-hand, I'm searching for the next photo to enter in the current Orvis Cover Dog Contest which began April 1st.
Click here to read the official Orvis blog, "Top Fundraisers and Most Popular."
I'm also told that Orvis is currently working on a "Hall of Fame" ... when that link is sent to me, I'll share it with you, too!
April 24, 2013
Training, Singing & Napping
Watson Joins Wyeth on the Whoa Board ...
Watson had no idea at this point that he was "next up" for the training ...
and he did really well for his first time! Having just returned form the vet (annual check-up and shots), I now know how much he weighs - 83 lbs, compared to Wyeth's 60 lbs! ;)
Click here for today's car song I sung to my pups.
Thought I'd share with you all today's song that I sung to Wyeth and Watson. Please remember, I know I can't sing ;) This little song is called "Tools" - it is John Denver's shortest song he ever wrote and has special meaning to me. When I was hell-bent on learning to play the guitar, this was the tune my mom turned to for my first lessons. The song stuck, my guitar playing ... well, let's just say I haven't picked up that instrument in 40 years!
April 23, 2013
Watson's Pretty Little Point
(click on photo to enlarge)
Early this morning, Watson pointing a "tweetie bird" on the road -
love how the sun is shining on him!
April 18, 2013
My Wyeth. Of my two pups, she's definitely the more adventuresome one. Always looking for the next tree to climb, stream to jump over, ledge to jump off (into water, of course) ... and now, apparently, old cars to pose.
Watson really does a lot, too, while he keeps up with his big sister. He's constantly looking for the next awesome stick to throw around, piece of bark to chew or gross old discarded fish head to roll on. Truly, in some ways, he couldn't be more different than Wyeth.
But, he delights me all the same. And, is a comforting sibling to Wyeth, I suspect. It's all good.
April 17, 2013
An Easier Tree to Climb
(Above) Wyeth is definitely tracking some scent ...
(Below) Another pretty pose by my pretty dog ...
It was a gorgeous spring morning!
April 13, 2013
Playing "Tag, You're It" and Portraits, of sorts ...
Click here to watch a short video of Wyeth and Watson playing their favorite game!
Chillin' ... until they saw the turn into the state park ...
Taking a break to rest my knee, my pups have "my back" ...
I always feel safe when they're by my side!
Love Watson's "furnishings" - how they're all askew!
April 10, 2013
It's Official - It's the Paddle Pups' Office!
It is all about the dog.
Made the office door into a "dutch" one so Wyeth and Watson can be a part of the daily activities; the door plaque makes it official!
April 3, 2013
Chef Phoebe takes a break from her dinner prep to play frisbee with Wyeth!
Wyeth and her brother, Watson are all ready to help out with tomorrow's big Easter Brunch ... NOT!
March 29, 2013
Just Being Dogs... and Doing What Dogs Do Best ;)
Click on the photos below to enlarge! Wyeth goes"out on a limb"; followed by her little brother, Watson; playing tag in the mud bog; Watson shows off his bone with leaves!
Watson takes a stroll in icy lake Champlain ...
March 25, 2013
Watson's Snow Face
March 23, 2013
Vote for Wyeth ... and help raise money for canine cancer!
Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest - ends March 31st!
Photo caption for Orvis: Old Vermont dairy barn and classic bird dog.
Yesterday, I entered Wyeth's photo in the Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest. (I took the picture after our first major snowstorm this winter.) If you'd like to vote for Wyeth, that would be awesome - it requires a minimum donation of $5 that goes directly to the Canine Cancer Campaign. It's really quite easy to do - takes a few minutes!
Every dollar equals one vote. The contest ends on March 31st - so, we're getting a late start. But, every dollar I can raise to help other dogs in need is very important to me. Voting is confidential, by the way.
Thank you, ahead of time, for your consideration. Oh, feel free to share this with your friends ...
Click here for the link to Wyeth's page!
March 17, 2013
Happy St. Patty's Day from The Paddle Pups!
(Above) Wyeth strikes a pose; (Below) Watson gets impatient while Wyeth knows what "whoa" means ;)
March 14, 2013
Celebrating the Blue Paddle Bistro's 8th Birthday!
Birthday cake, anyone?
March 7, 2013
My Friends ...
For Watson & Wyeth, a quote from Winnie the Pooh:
"Any day spent with you is my favorite day.
So, today is my new favorite day."
March 6, 2013
Early Morning Playtime on the Lake
(click on photo to enlarge)
Watson takes to the air in quite a little athletic feat ...
March 5, 2013
A Pretty Backdrop for my Pretty Dog
Simply Wyeth ...
March 2, 2013
Rompin' Through the Woods
Watson takes such delight in pure frolicking ... while Wyeth is off hunting some little critter or bird!
February 28, 2013
Mossy Rocks & My Handsome Pups
The top two photos were taken yesterday ... which was a warm, bright, spring-like morning. Bushwacking down the mountain, we discovered all this beautiful green moss. This morning, despite the rain, the three of us returned to our new favorite area for another moss rock portrait!
February 10, 2013
Watson and Wyeth ...
We've invented a new game this afternoon since it's clearly not "dock-jumping" weather - chasing snowballs over our railing behind the Paddle. We had a good-size snowstorm recently so all the parking lot snow is pushed up against our fence behind The Paddle. (Makes for a soft landing, at least in one direction!)
February 10, 2013
Wyeth, from Puppy to Poised Three-Year-Old
February 4, 2013
"Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening"
"These woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
January 25, 2013
Memories of Dad Reading Pooh ...
January 16, 2013
Another Home Portrait
My two dogs, Watson and Wyeth - always so patient with me. I've been pretty sick the past 10 days and haven't been able to take them hiking. Lots of playing in the house, though: running around chasing each other, tugging on mismatched socks and rough-housing thrown in for good measure.
Of course, no matter how I might be feeling, there's always time for some home portraits of my two wonderful dogs. And, they are always willing to oblige.
January 5, 2013
I've Got Your Back
Wyeth and Watson.
January 3, 2013
December 28, 2012
(click on photo to enlarge)
I whistled for Wyeth and over the bank she emerged, regal and striking her own pose. The red barn served as an awesome backdrop, complimenting her profile. The snow on her coat and nose ... and that stare (where's the bird?). It was an "oh my" moment for me. She's so terribly handsome and sweet ... and my friend. Just an awesome dog.
December 27, 2012
(click on photos to enlarge)
Wyeth, December 2010 Watson, December 2012
To date, these are my two favorite snowy face photos ... but the winter season has just begun so I reserve the right to change my mind! On the left, Wyeth poses for me after a long day of hunting over in the Adirondacks a couple of years ago. We were visiting the Weller Mountain Fish and Game Preserve - of which we are now members! Watson, on the right, is from today - his first real snow storm and he couldn't get enough of it. Oh my, he loves the snow as mush as his sister does ...
December 26, 2012
December 25, 2012
Ho Ho Ho from our own Santa Claus & her Elf!
Wyeth and Watson ...
December 22, 2012
It's All About the Stump!
(Above) Wyeth finds the perfect tree and scales it looking for the elusive field mouse.
(Below, clockwise) She surveys her first stump, which is actually a tree and I think surmises that it's a bit too tall; finding the stump-du-jour, she surveys the best side to climb as Watson stands sentry; after climbing, she works at making the lower hole large enough to look inside; and, finally, on the way home, Watson awakens from his nap to give his big sister a kiss!
December 21, 2012
Pointing and Backing
Wyeth (top) goes on point and Watson "backs" or "honors" her.
Backing means that the second dog is confirming the first dog's point. Watson hasn't been trained to do this - today, it just came naturally.
Truly, I was amazed. Very pretty to watch.
December 3, 2012
Perhaps, Watson & Wyeth's Last Lake Frolic ..
(Click on photo to enlarge.) The Paddle Pups' photo in the Burlington Free Press and on Channel 5, WPTZ on the same day!
November 29, 2012
Animal Planet's Dogs 101
Many folks have been asking about Wyeth and Watson's breed. So, I thought
I'd share this interesting short video.
Copy and paste this link into your browser:
November 15, 2012
The Start of a Tradition
It's my birthday today so I thought I'd start a "family tradition" of taking self-portraits of Wyeth, Watson and me every year. All I can say is thank goodness for tripods and remote timers ...
Click on second row photos to enlarge ...
November 14, 2012
A Gal Couldn't Ask for Two Better Birthday Presents!
November 13, 2013
Oh my ...
Sitting at my desk now on my day off getting caught up with "stuff" and in comes an email from Phoebe (who generously took the Paddle Pups hiking) with this photo and caption:
"W's new tree. It's a bit big for her."
Wish I was there in-person to see this amazing climb by my most amazing Wyeth ...
November 11, 2012
Happy Veteran's Day from Watson and Wyeth
With their vintage helmets and camo binoculars, the Paddle Pups sit proud in front of Old Glory ...
November 6, 2012
Watson and Wyeth and their American Flags
Although The Paddle Pups wouldn't let out a bark about whom they would vote for either locally or nationally, they did want to help encourage their neighbors to get out and vote on this very important election day.
What started out as a "photo op" on The Paddle front porch turned into a grueling campaign-of-sorts.
Decked out in their safety orange, they hit the pavement to bring awareness to the importance of exercising this constitutional right! Hours later, they returned with Campaign Coordinator Phoebe exhausted and ready for a well-deserved biscuit and nap ...
Watson and Wyeth are dog-tired from all their morning activities ...
November 2, 2012
Wyeth and Watson by Vermont Artist, Rachel Laundon
I'm in heaven right now because of my dear friend Rachel Laundon. She just presented me with this wonderful gift, my "birthday present". Oh my. After hugs and tears (on my part), I had to take this photo of this incredibly talented artist and my treasure to share with you all. This picture doesn't really do it justice - trust me, when you visit us here at The Paddle, I'll be sure to point it out to you. (Although, it's hard to miss!) Simply an awesome gesture of generosity and kindness by the neatest woman ...
October 31, 2012
October 27, 2012
I adore Rachel Laundon, a freelance artist from Waterbury Center, Vermont.
I called her up a few years ago after I saw her amazing fish and dogs hanging in a local gallery. I knew she would be a perfect fit for The Paddle. Of course I had to get her to make a sculpture of Wyeth ... which adorns a wall in our downstairs dining room. Shortly after Watson's arrival, we talked about his portrait and we both came to the same conclusion: wait until his "furnishings" (aka beard, etc) grow in. Well, here is the almost finished Watson rendition. Somehow, magically, Rachel will combine the two sculptures into an overall wall decoration. I CAN'T WAIT! ♥
So, if you have a special dog in your life, please visit her web site:
Watson & Wyeth - two very wet and dirty dogs from running all over the state park this morning.
Wyeth, the hunter!
October 11, 2012
I Never, Ever Question Wyeth's Sense of Smell
Click on Wyeth to enlarge ...
Oh my ♥ Let me set the scene:
Phoebe and I met very early this morning for a hike in the
state park before starting our day. On the last leg of the walk,
we were coming up that main trail with the steep embankments
on both sides. (Do you know the one I'm talking about?) Wyeth
tore up the left bank like there was no tomorrow. We heard a lot
of rustling of the leaves and branches on the ground above us ...
and then we saw the upper part of this very tall stump sway to and fro,
ever so slightly. Up Phoebe ran, with me behind her - very slowly
'cause of my knee, holding on to all the little saplings so as not to fall.
When I reached Phoebe, I stood in amazement with her ...
October 9, 2012
The First Day of a New Season
(Click on photos to enlarge)
(Above) Phoebe follows Wyeth as she "quarters" the field, working her way up to the tree line; on point in the corn stalks; the retrieve after a great shot by Phoebe; with the command "out", Wyeth gives the bird to her hand; proud finish for these two hunting partners!
(Below) Watson's introduction to a live bird - I'm letting him see and smell it, piquing his interest. After this little session, we just let him run through the fields on a check cord ...
After our field work, Phoebe and I took the Paddle Pups for a hike in Niquette Bay State Park. Wyeth, once again, located yet another stump - insisting that there was something there for her! Lo and behold, she was right (she almost always is!). As I say to Phoebe, trust her nose ... bird, field mouse - it doesn't matter. My almost three year old German Wirehaired Pointer just loves 'the hunt'! We'll see how Watson comes around ;)
October 6, 2012
Foliage, a Frisbee & a Flying Dog!
Phoebe's the master of throwing the frisbee for Wyeth ...
truly teamwork between these two friends!
(click on the jumping photos to enlarge)
With the command "out", Wyeth releases the frisbee -
just like with hunting and her bird!
October 1, 2012
Well, they do call the German Wirehaired Pointer a "versatile hunting dog" ...
Truly, Wyeth's Prey of Choice is the Upland Bird ...
but, judging from this photo, you wouldn't know it.
German Wirehaired Pointers are considered to be "versatile hunting dogs" - meaning they'll do it all. According to the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, versatility is defined as "the dog that is bred and trained to dependably hunt and point game, to retrieve on both land and water, and to track wounded game on both land and water." (NAVHDA Aims, Programs, Test Rules)
Well, my girl loves her grouse, pheasant and chukkar. And, clearly, loves those little critters that make the stump in the deep woods their home. Watching her run through the forest at full speed and suddenly lock up on a tree is a lot of fun to watch, for sure. But, seeing her work a field, point and and retrieve a bird ... well, that's the real McCoy and really makes one appreciate the true nature and purpose of a hunting dog.
Ruffed grouse season opened up two days ago in Vermont. Enough with the stumps ...
P.S. I'm going out with a friend on my birthday in mid-November to observe him (and his dog) duck hunt. If I enjoy it, I'll be introducing that sport to Wyeth next fall! And, as for my "little" 10 month-old Watson, he's going to experience his first bird this week! Wish us luck ;)
September 20, 2012
The Dog's Nose Knows
Wyeth and her little chipmunk do a "dance" around the tree ...
Jan told me when she agreed to sell me Wyeth, over the phone, that I would be acquiring quite a hunting dog. I was baffled at how she could tell at only four weeks, but I readily accepted the challenge of getting a driven dog. I mean, I'm an active gal, I'll keep my pup busy ...
(Remember, if you've been following this web page long enough, you'll know that I never intended to hunt and I was Jan's very first exception of selling to a non-hunter in almost 50 years of her breeding dogs!)
None the less, she forewarned me once again when I flew out to get Wyeth that she was a Mason Creek puppy and that with my little pup, I should heed her kennel slogan, "Hunting ... it's what we're all about!"
Well, we* do hunt with Wyeth and she does manage to find her share of birds, and anything else that may scurry across her path. She's an awesome dog, full of life and I cherish each and every moment I am lucky enough to share with her.
* A special shout-out to my business partner and best friend, Phoebe R. Bright - you're a terrific hunting partner; thanks for helping me train Wyeth over the past two and a half years ;)
September 18, 2012
Oh my, what's a girl to do?!
Wyeth eyeing the mother lode of seagulls ...
September 14, 2012
Love their New Dog Bed!
Just back from a long hike with Phoebe, Wyeth gets cozy while Watson still drips from his beard - he was thirsty!
September 6, 2012
We always close our little restaurant for a couple of days after Labor Day to give both our Paddle Crew and ourselves a little much needed rest after a busy summer season. This year was no different.
Usually, I just hang around catching up on personal errands. Not this time. Phoebe asked me last week if I would like to go over to her beloved Keene Valley with the Paddle Pups to go hiking and swimming for an overnighter. Of course, that was a no brainer, for sure. To be able to hang out with Phoebe in the Adirondacks, with Wyeth and Watson - not to mention at a beautiful "camp" that her dear friend owns - I mean WOW!
The trip, truth be told, was really for my dogs. They really needed some space to run and play and swim without the confines of roads and boundaries.
In fact, coming home the next day on the ferry, Phoebe turned to me and asked: "Do you think the dogs had fun?" I smiled. She was thinking the same thing I was at that particular moment. You know, at least for us, it really is all about the dog!
Trailrunning and swimming ... does it get any better for two active hunting dogs? Finding some birds, maybe. Well, I failed to mention that Wyeth DID flush out a rafter of turkeys! But, it happened so quickly I was unable to snap a photo. By the way, with the top photo, I took some artistic liberty ;)
August 27, 2012
The Roles are Reversed
Wyeth takes in the panoramic view of Calm Cove as her brother, Watson, leaps for the stick ...
Click on photo to enlarge ...
August 21, 2012
Watson & Me
Photo taken by Heather Hotchkiss
August 18, 2012
Watson and His New "Doggles"
Hanging out on the front porch ...
August 13, 2012
Watson Perfecting His Form
Unlike Wyeth who jumps for the sport of it (chasing a thrown object), Watson is more likely to just run to the end of the dock and leap ... for pure joy. I suspect it's because he isn't trained on birds, yet. You know, retrieving an object-to-hand. It doesn't matter, though - he's just so darn cute when he does his own thing. Both Phoebe and I laugh every time.
August 8, 2012
Team Blue Paddle's Very Own "Flying Squirrel"
This just goes to prove you don't have to travel across the pond to experience Olympic spirit ...
Wyeth just loves to jump ...
August 3, 2012
Our Reflection of the Day
Watson had his first complete water retrieve this morning: he dove off the dock for his little duck, nabbed it and returned to the shore and gave it to me ... without dropping it! I was so proud of my little guy!
Here's Wyeth and me (with her favorite bumper-in-hand) watching Watson on his second retrieve. I think Wyeth was as surprised as me - she just calmly next to me watching her little brother. Oh my, way too cute ...
July 24, 2012
A Day of "Firsts" for the Paddle Pups
Oh, what a glorious day I had yesterday ...
... I got to spend almost six hours with my best friend, Phoebe and my two wonderful dogs, Wyeth and Watson, playing in the lake! It really doesn't get much better than that on my scale of what makes me happy. Honestly.
I'd be lying, though, if I didn't say that my day was made even more special by the fact that my pups each had a milestone of their own - Watson jumped off the end of the dock for the very first time and Wyeth experienced her maiden voyage in the kayak with Phoebe!
I'll let this pictures (and short video) do the talking ...
Click on the camera to watch
Phoebe's big challenge!
(Above) Wyeth and Watson jumps for the bumper tossed by Phoebe;
(Below) Wyeth joins Phoebe in the kayak!
July 19, 2012
Watson's First Interest in a Bird!
Watson swims after his seagull. (Click on photo to enlarge.)
Watson finally was "into" his first bird! Spotted the seagull while he was swimming and took off after it. Finally, after about 150 yards, I got nervous and called him back. (Reluctantly.) So, excited, I just called my friend Jan of Mason Creek Kennel - yup, the three of us will be taking an October road trip out to Wisconsin. Jan will introduce Watson to birds and we'll do some hunting with Wyeth! Can't wait ;)
P.S. I won't be falling and fracturing any more knee caps ...
July 12, 2012
"I Love My Dog"
Click here to watch our new photo montage!
Song Written & Song by: Cat Stevens
Release Date: September 30, 1966
Photo Montage Produced by: Peter Savigny of TimeStories and generously donated to the Blue Paddle Bistro.
Peter's is awesome! And, not just because he gave us this very special gift.
I met this neat guy earlier this week when he walked through our front door and asked for a table to have dinner. We were very busy and all I could offer him was our Chef's Table - you know, the front counter by the register where I hang out a good part of the night, ringing up checks and greeting our guests.
Peter was accompanied by his two friends who recently moved to Vermont; he was visiting them. You could tell that they were good friends by the way they were so comfortable being in each other's company. I liked all three of them immediately. Of course, I started chatting with them (close proximity, you know) and really enjoyed their company that busy evening. After Peter finished his dinner, he got up and walked around The Paddle. (Checking us out, getting a sense of what we're all about, I suspect.) He came back and handed me his business card and told me that he has a business called TimeStories and suggested that I check it out. Of course, I told him I would. As they got up to leave, I asked if I could take their photo for our website ...
Two days later I received a very nice unexpected email from Peter. He had taken the liberty to download photos from our web site, chosen a song and written the verbiage for our own photo montage. It was a gift! I opened up the file and started to cry. I was so touched by his generosity but really moved that he captured the true essence of our little bistro and the love that Phoebe and I share for my two dogs, Wyeth and Watson. Just amazing.
I'm truly in awe of Peter's warmth and spirit ...
P.S. We love this montage so much, that Phoebe and I have decided to do an on-going series throughout the year. Stay tuned. We will also be asking for your pup photos for use in an upcoming "edition" - so get ready!
For those of you who are interested, here is Peter's contact information:
TimeStories | Always Moving
Personal Video Biographies & Tributes
FYI, I am a 5-time Emmy Award winning art director with over 20 years in television design for History Channel, ABC News & NBC Sports.
I designed the '88 & '96 Olympics for NBC.
That was a career, what I do now is a passion!
I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through.
All he asks from me is the food to give him strength
All he ever needs is love and that he knows he'll get
So, I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through.
All the pay I need comes shining through his eyes
I don't need no cold water to make me realize that
I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through.
Na, na, na, na, na, na, nana...
I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through.
Na, na, na, na, na, na, nana...
I love my dog, Baby, I love my dog. Na, na, na...
I love my dog, Baby, I love my dog. Na, na, na..
July 9, 2012
Wyeth and her bumper.
July 6, 2012
Edie & Winston Come to Visit!
Martha Prakelt and I go way back to my UVM days. 31 years, actually.
She's a dear, old friend - so it was really nice having her join us for dinner last night. She hasn't changed a bit. Still so sweet, totally in shape (she's a personal fitness trainer in NYC) with a killer smile - just an awesome person. Dining with her friend, Lisa, and older sister, Helen.
Their company made my night, for sure.
Before they left, we made a "date" for our dogs to meet this morning. They have two neat pugs, Edie & Winston. Wyeth & Winston hit it off and played together. Watson was full of pent-up-energy - first day he was allowed to play post his little boy surgery and he seemed to revel in his new-found freedom. And as for Edie ... she's a little more reserved, observing the play from the sidelines. She did get to go in the Paddle Pups' pond for a little swim, thanks to Martha ;)
Lisa Binassarie entices the Paddle Pups to sit with a treat, while Martha Prakelt hangs out with their two sweet pugs, Winston & Edie.
July 1, 2012
Just another day at the office ...
Click on photo to enlarge.
June 30, 2012
Wyeth and Watson
(Above) Wyeth on a retrieve, enjoying the lake on this very hot day ... while Watson (below) gets to hang out on the front porch while "Mom" waters the plants. One more week and he, too, will be able to go swimming.
June 24, 2012
You Know Your Bird Dog Needs to Go Hunting When ...
Click on photo to enlarge.
May 31, 2012
My First Walk in the Park
(post knee surgery)
(Clockwise, from top left) Watson; Phoebe (love this photo); Wyeth in her 'ready' position waiting for the toss of the stick; and Phoebe eyeing Watson.
Phoebe has been diligent in taking my two dogs hiking (exercising) daily in Niquette State Park. Located right down Route 2, this beautiful property runs the shore of Lake Champlain.
Today, I accompanied her, every so slowly, for her morning ritual. I just wanted to be outdoors, with the three of them. Phoebe showed a great deal of patience. Still sporting a rather nifty leg brace, I relied on my friend's shoulder when going down, and her comforting hand when walking over the large tree roots that adorn the beautiful dog-friendly paths.
Here are some photos that I snapped ...
May 28, 2012 Memorial Day
Soaring for the Red, White & Blue
Flanked by Old Glory, Phoebe throws the bumper for Wyeth this Memorial Day morning.
May 23, 2012
Watson's First Water Retrieve
April 30 - May 1, 2012
"Getting Back on the Horse"
I've been feeling bad that I haven't been able to train Watson like I did when Wyeth was his age (two years ago). With my knee injury, just simple things like walking have been difficult. Still, in my head, that's no excuse & ... truth be told, I have been very disappointed in myself. (We're our own worse critics, right?!)
And, since I'm laying out all the cards on the table, I also have to admit that I've been very nervous about the training. What happens should Watson run away? How would I be able to catch up with him? If I were to stumble out in the woods, how would I make it home with a pup in tow? You know, all those crazy things that go through one's mind. Especially, the latter thought. Thinking rationally, I suspect it's because I'm reminded of bringing Watson home on the plane when I was injured & how concerned I was about the pending trip ... only to be relieved. Watson was a pure gem, a perfect travelling companion & the flight was a piece of cake.
So, on this particular morning, I awoke with the sun finally out & my knee feeling better. Today was the day. Just like that. It was if something snapped in my head. Watson's outdoor training officially begins today.
First, I decided to take each dog out separately for a long walk. Watson was first. He did awesome. Running down the trail, I'd hide & he'd come find me. My "Hide & Seek" training method taught to me my my friend, Jan Nahorn (the breeder). Then, I took him to the large secluded field. I'd walk, he'd run ahead & when he got a little too far out "there" I would change direction. Yep, sure enough ... he started to keep an eye on me & follow suit. Just in case, I put a beeper collar on him but it wasn't necessary.
We even had a little excitement. As we were walking along in the woods, a handful of beautiful deer (7-8) bounded on the trail before us, about 30 yards away. Watson's first real sighting of something live. He sure didn't know what to make of all the situation. I suspect the commotion caught him off guard but he did have a great little point:
I brought my very tired pup home & exchanged him for Wyeth. Off my older dog & I went to the same wooded area down the road. Of course, all this was a cake walk for Wyeth. She's a hunting machine, a pure joy to watch. Fifteen minutes into our walk, we enter the field that Watson & I visited just a short time ago. Without hesitation, Wyeth takes to the field. Doing what she does best - looking for that elusive bird. To see her work a field is amazing. Back & forth, back & forth working her way down the length of the grassy stretch. In the hunting world, this is called 'quartering'.
Took both Wyeth & Watson. Wyeth just knows to come back & "check in" & Watson copies her. With my knee, I'm a bit slow despite the flat terrain but my dogs were pretty darn patient.
Well, I guess you could say that I got back on the horse & confronted my fears. And, you know what? I can't wait to go back out tomorrow, bum knee and all! I have to remember to have trust in my pups. Nothing makes me happier then to see Wyeth & Watson enjoying themselves, doing what they are meant to do.
Until next time, happy hunting of your own sorts ;) -MH
April 26, 2012
Watson & Wyeth
Still recuperating from my knee cap fracture, and subsequent surgery, I've had to rely on Phoebe's help with exercising my pups. Today, she took them for a walk in our local state park just down the road.
(Thank you, dear Phoebe, for all your help over these past two months!)
(Click on photo to enlarge.) Now, a little over 4 months of age, Watson is on the left while Wyeth keeps an eye out for any bird - or little creature - to point!
February 19-22, 2012
Meeting Watson out in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
I flew out Sunday morning, via Delta Airlines, rented a car in Milwaukee & drove out to Mason Creek Kennel - only about 45 minutes away. Jan, my friend & the breeder of my dogs, met me outside her home with open arms and a big hug. It was so nice being back in Wisconsin; of course, the anticipation of seeing my new little puppy was killing me and she sensed it. "Well, what are we waiting for?, " she asked, "Do you want to see Watson?"
And, off we walked ... down to her kennel. I spotted him right away - the biggest of the three puppies still left from the litter. (The other two puppies were being boarded there so that Jan could "start" them as gun dogs. Six months from now they will be ready to go to their new homes ready for the hunting world.)
To say that I fell in love with him from the get-go would be an understatement. He was everything and more that I thought he'd be from what Jan had told me, as well as the photos she had forwarded. Just a perfect match for Wyeth. Whereas Wyeth was a small, petite female puppy, he is all-boy. Big and boney with a blockier head. Sweet, calm and, seemingly, fearless.
Watson, a 9 week old German Wirehaired Pointer, is Wyeth's brother.
After playing with Watson, we take him for a ride in his carry-on bag so that he begins to get comfortable for the trip home on the plane. Back in the motel room, he falls asleep immediately - what a big day it was for this little guy.
Jan invited me to go with her and her Monday hunting partner, Nancy, to see how they work their dogs on pheasants. What a first-hand experience this was going to be; of course, I said "yes!".
Jan's dog, AvaStar, locks up on point; bringing back the pheasant. This is only an 8 month old puppy. She was awesome this morning. She is truly a "star" ... trained by the best of the best, Jan Nahorn of Mason Creek Kennel! In the hour and a half that we were out there, AvaStar found 6 birds! (Usually, the hunt lasts a little longer but it was cut short; read on ...)
I was the designated photographer and, honestly, wasn't paying attention at this point to where I was walking. It was just a bit later that I ended up tripping over ... (drum roll, please) ... a frozen cornstalk and fell straight down on my knee. I fractured my knee cap and Jan (on the left) and Nancy had to carry me out of the cornfield to the car. The rest is, as they say, history.
Going home with an awesome puppy, a shiny pair of crutches and a huge grin on my face!
As a side note:
In many ways, Wyeth and Watson are two peas in a pod. Like his big sister two years ago, Watson was amazing on the airplane. He never barked or whined once. In fact, he drew a great deal of attention - from the flight attendants to the TSA folks, he was a hit!
To learn more about Jan Nahorn and Mason Creek Kennel, please visit:
February 6, 2012
Vermont Woman Newspaper
Just out on the newstands, the newest edition of Vermont Woman newspaper* can be found - with a wonderful article of Chef Phoebe. Two page spread, with five photos - one being of The Paddle Pup!
Here's the paragraph that talks about Wyeth:
(Early on in the story) "Down the wooden stairs bounded 'Paddle Pup' Wyeth, a bouncy German wirehaired pointer. Chef Phoebe was in the kitchen getting ready to cut up a big piece of fresh tuna, and co-owner Mandy Hotchkiss came down the stairs to greet me and affectionately scold Wyeth."
Yes, true to form, my dog loves people and tends to be a little overly happy to see everyone who visits our restaurant. Yes, it's true I "affectionately scolded" her (Wyeth, stay down girl). And, yes it true that I'd rather have a pup that kisses a person to death, matter of speaking, that barks or growls ...
Indeed, I have one joyful happy little dog ... thanks, in part, to Chef Phoebe, whose talents do not start and end in the kitchen but flow into our every day life.
Congratulations, Phoebe on an article that truly captures the essence about you - that you are one terrific human being who has endured so much that life has thrown at you with a smile in your on your face and a true will to survive. Your an inspiration to us all!
Soon, this story will finds itself framed and on a wall here at The Paddle. My two best friends on one page ...
* Vermont Woman's Newspaper was named "Newspaper of the Year, 2011 by the New England Newspaper & Press Association.
January 31, 2012
Coveting her Football
Although she hasn't disclosed her "pick" for Super Bowl Sunday, she loves her football. When will she let me know who we'll be rooting for? Hmm ...
January 26, 2012
Thursdays we offer live music at The Paddle. So, at the end of the night on Wednesdays, we remove our first table and erect our little stage in preparation.
Every Thursday, when Wyeth & I come in to work, she always runs to the platform & sits there - as if she's waiting for something grand to happen. Even though it's a weekly ritual for her, I always find myself laughing out loud. Always amused by little girl ...
Today, I ran upstairs & grabbed my Canon & clicked away; I swear, she's meant to be in front of the camera.
January 16, 2012
Looking Good in Black
Posing for a quick photo before their walk in the 'back forty', Phoebe & Wyeth proves just how fashionable they are - donned in black!
December 26, 2011
Just waiting for the bird to flush ...
... then a little stroll with Phoebe, sans the vest. I love the eye contact, the connection between Phoebe & Wyeth in this photo. Very sweet.
December 11, 2011
"These are a few of my favorite things ..."
Presenting the bird to Phoebe. With her 20 gauge open, Phoebe kneels down and ever so quietly say "out" - Wyeth's command to release the bird. I just love this picture: the snow on my dog's face & that earnest look of hers, Phoebe's softness and, of course, her coordinated outfit ... and the wintery morning backdrop of a Vermont farm. Definitely, this is going down as one of my all-time favorite photos of my two friends! (Click on photo to enlarge.)
December 9, 2011
Frisbee & a Friend
Little feet stopping on the other side of the office door.
Wyeth cocks her head.
A soft rap on the door.
Yeah, Emily has come to play with The Paddle Pup ...
... who can't hide her excitement to see her.
Tail wagging, and wagging, and wagging ...
Once outside, a quick frisbee 'refresher' for Emily & all is calm between these two friends.
Listen to the video - darn cute. Emily's discusses with me why 'Wyatt' (that's what she calls her) is "so frisky".
November 22, 1011
"Back in the Saddle" (sans stitches & rarin' to go)
Phoebe snapped this photo of us after our training this past Monday;
Thanksgiving morning can't come soon enough for the three of us!
November 18, 2011
Today, It Was All About the Mouse!
(click on photos to enlarge)
Click on video for short video ...
While I was in a meeting, Phoebe took Wyeth - and her two dogs, Oscar & Lucy, for a hike in Niquette State Park. According to Phoebe, she got wind of the mouse (mice?) & made a b-line right to this stump ... love the photos, Phoebe - thanks! It's my pup's birthday (2 yrs!) this Sunday. Guess what I'm giving her as a birthday present? Yup, a little bird-hunting!
November 1, 2011
12 Days Later ...
... and she's healed! Stitches are out, watch out birds - here we come!
A special 'thank you' to Millie Armstrong (and "company") at Petit Brook Veterinary Clinic - ever the professionals, yet so sweet & caring
- just a great bunch of folks!
November 1, 20100
Two Awesome Days of Bird Hunting ... ending in ...
Leslie Wheelock & her daughter, Page, join Phoebe & Wyeth to pose for the camera. This was the first of our two days of training on Leslie's beautiful 400 plus acres in Colchester.
... 6 stitches & 2 weeks of laying-low! (For Wyeth, that is!)
Just home from the vet.
This was the best two days of bird hunting we have ever had in Vermont. Truly. Wyeth found every bird, held point and retrieved-to-hand. Just beautiful. Phoebe was an excellent shot - and between the two ... well, poetry-in-motion.
Looking for the last bird. Wyeth got wind and b-lined through the thick cover, on the edge of the woods. Right through the barbed wire. Off ripped her orange hunting vest, but absolutely no sound from her. (I remember wincing ... like it was me, you know that feeling?) Phoebe crawled over the fence, shotgun up, after her. Boom. The Paddle Pup went on point at a 45 degree angle downward (she was on a rock ledge, bird - obviously - under her nose). Tail up, body dead still and nose (we shortly found out) inches from the bird. Phoebe looked at me and whispered: "I can't see it?" "Trust her; it's there," I whispered back. Over Wyeth she stepped to flush"" the bird" (kicking at the dead leaves) and off it flew. The shot, the retrieve ... just perfect. Phoebe had tears in her eyes as we were reliving the pure execution between Wyeth and her. It's truly a team sport where both parties have to have a mutual trust.
As always, whenever my dog goes through barbed wire (or any other menacing obstacle), I always pat her down. Nope, no blood ...
Until we got into the car, all our gear stowed away. Wyeth was "standing" on the console (front feet only, of course) ... straddling the front and back seats as we backed out of the field. It was then that Phoebe noticed the gash (later we found out there were two) on her upped left arm, above her elbow. Wyeth could have cared less, she had other things on her mind ...
P.S. Wyeth is going to be fine ... keeping her on a leash for two weeks - well, that's another story ;)
October 25, 2011
If Wyeth were a fish ...
As many of you know, Wyeth had her very own mixed media sculpture made by Vermont artist Rachel Laundon.
At that time, Rachel was also the featured artist in the downstairs dining space. Her school of fish was one of our most popular art shows in our past 6 plus years since we opened our doors.
One day we struck up a conversation about the Paddle Pup & what she would look like if she were a fish. Two months later, here's what my friend came up with, along with the caption: "If Wyeth were a fish, she'd have a belly full of frogs!"
Thank you, Rachel - I absolutely love my Wyeth Fish.
P.S. Many of Rachel's fish adorn the walls of our small dining room upstairs. Now, affectionately called The Rachel Laundon Room,
the fish will be on display as long as Rachel wishes ...
October 10, 2011
Early Morning Point
(Above) In the field across from home, Wyeth spots her first turkey
& goes on point. (Below) Turkey in-flight, with Wyeth's eye on the prize.
(Below) "Calm down, girl, calm down ..."
(Photo courtesy of Phoebe)
P.S. There's a lot more to this story but that's for another day ;)
October 7, 2011
New Colors - It's all about the dog tee!
Now available in white (with black lettering), charcoal
(with gray), ... as well as "Wyeth brown" (with light blue) .
& Men's sizes.
Small Paddle logo high on the back of the tee. $18
Phoebe is sporting the new charcoal tee as she admires The Paddle Pup!
September 30 & October 3, 2011
R.I.P, Mr. Frog.
His last swim ... It was inevitable ...
A few days later, still looking for her frog under the lip of the pond ...
September 28, 2011
A Rachel Laundon Original
(work still in progress)
Jumping for Joy
Wyeth, the Paddle Pup, as captured by Vermont artist, Rachel Laundon ...
check back to see this work in progress ...
September 14, 2011
Poetry in Motion
If you've been following these Paddle Pup page entries, you know that I have been attempting to teach Wyeth to actually catch the bumper in the air as she jumps off the dock. Why? The purpose being to let her know that she can reach the object, thereby creating the most ideal "Big Air" jumping situation - achieving both distance & lift with the right amount of speed. This technique in the Dock Dog world is called the "chase".
Well, the summer is almost over & today, yes today, trusty sidekick Phoebe once again rose to the occasion! The rest is history ...
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
Setting up for a smooth toss. Calling Wyeth, beginning the throw.
Good follow-through. Wyeth hits her mark, eye on the prize.
The take-off. Reaching for that bumper.
Connection! Holding & landing.
Splash-down; love Phoebe's Returning with her bumper!
As a side note: I was thumbing through my new Gun Dog magazine today when I came across an article by Dave Duffey titled "The Most Critical Characteristic: What makes a good sporting dog?" His revelation: ENERGY. Well, I think there's no denying - Wyeth's has all that, and more ...
Another day, another great jump ... posted this photo to show the height Wyeth is reaching. FYI: The spots on Phoebe are the "spray" of water from Wyeth's coat as she runs down the dock! Cool, Huh?
(photo taken 9/17/11)
Cute outfit, Phoebe ;)
September 2, 2011
Wyeth makes the new 2012 Ugly Dog Hunting Catalog!
(Am I proud or what?!)
She's the handsome dog swimming with the orange Avery hexabumper!
By the way, Ugly Dog Hunting, based in Hinesburg, Vermont, is a awesome company! (Click on image to enlarge!)
August 26, 2011
Wyeth's "Infinity" Pond & Her Frog
Under the lip of the far side of Wyeth's pond (the infinity side, wink) lives Mr. Frog. Of course, being a frog, he likes to swim in the water ...
at least until the Paddle Pup shows up! Wyeth is fixated on that frog & today
she held point for the longest of time. Thank goodness we're going over to the Adirondacks tomorrow morning to look for birds!
August 6, 2011
A Glorious Saturday Morning with My Two Best Friends!
(click on photos to enlarge)
Okay, seldom ... actually rarely ... do I take an entire summer morning off to just hang-out at home. But, that's exactly what I did today. Truth be told, I made that decision last night as I drove home from work. I've been a bit tired (in a good way: been busy at The Paddle) and have missed just hanging out with my dog with no self-imposed time limit.
So, I woke up, told Wyeth we were going swimming (she gave me that cock of her head as if to let me know she understood look) ... & out the door we went. What made my morning so much more fun was Phoebe's surprise visit to our dock.
She knew I had a difficult time the other afternoon taking pictures of my pup while I was also throwing the duck for her retrieves. She had come to help! (Yeah) So, I got in the boat, rowed out a bit and readied the camera. Phoebe, armed with both the mallard and white bumper, took the dock position. And, as for Wyeth: she's always ready.
At one point, I thought it would be a good picture to shoot her straight-on. I rowed out about 30 right in front of the end of the dock. Wyeth got in her usual 'down' position & didn't seem to mind until the actual jump. She'd get to the end and twist her body to jump off to the side, as if trying to avoid jumping on me.
( I wonder if dogs have a different sense of depth of field.) After a few attempts, both Phoebe & I grew concerned that Wyeth was becoming confused with the change of protocol, perhaps even a bit agitated & then it became a safety issue for her. So, we nixed that particular photo angle.
(Next time I'll bring my long Canon lens!)
As a rule, we always end on a "good note" so we decided to go back to the usual toss & jump routine (with me in the boat out of the way) so that Wyeth would feel both confident & successful. (A lesson I learned from my friend, Jan Nahorn of Mason Creek Kennel - Wyeth's birthplace.)
After the picture-taking, we then took a spin around the cove & even ventured out to the broad lake until the wind came up, followed by the white caps. Slowly, Phoebe turned Wyeth's Boat around & we headed for shore.
Thanks, Phoebe, for taking the helm while I enjoyed watching you -
my two best friends in this whole wide world!
August 4, 2011
Wyeth's Own Stash of Lighted Frisbees!
Wyeth loves these Aerobie Skylighter Flying Discs so much that we are now selling them at The Paddle for less than you can find them in stores: only $12, plus tax. (Regularly around $16!)
Click on camera to watch the Paddle Pup last night enjoying her 'pond' & the frisbee! You won't be able to see Wyeth actually catch the frisbee (too dark) but she did every time it was thrown!
"Way to go, Wyeth ... way to go!"
July 28, 2011
Dock Dogs - Here We Come!
Click on video camera to watch Phoebe & Wyeth:
pure harmony in motion! The toss is so important - Wyeth goes after the object, trying to reach it ... and consequently, gets the 'lift' needed to propel her farther over the water. Her record last year was 19'4" at the tail. Although there is no way to measure at my house, both Phoebe & I think she's jumping bigger than last year. I guess we'll find out at Dock Dogs this fall ...
July 26, 2011
Wyeth's (New) Boat
Click on camera for a short video of us cruising around Sunset Cove in Grand Isle while our best friend, Phoebe, watches on. A couple of days "taking it easy" (and slow) & we'll be all set to enjoy a longer, maybe speedier jaunt. Although, in reality, how fast can one really go with a 2.5 horsepower motor?!
* * *
Any day, our new dog ladder will be arriving - can't wait to see if she'll jump off the boat for a retrieve. I'll keep you all posted ...
July 19, 2011
Otis Pays a Visit
Our very good friend, of long standing,
Jennifer Silpe drove over from Underhill to
visit us this morning. For her co-pilot, she
brought along one of her two Wheaten Terriers,
Otis, to meet Wyeth.
They got along famously. Once the initial 'meet & greet' was over, they were more interested in the pond and Rosie's Beef Jerky ...
(Above) Meeting for the first time; Otis checking out the pond; Jennifer entices the two pups to dive after a Rosie's Beef Jerkey treat ... & Wyeth takes the bait!
(Below) A little dog begging going on ...
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
July 14, 2011
Diving for Golf Balls
Wyeth's new favorite thing to do with Phoebe ... searching for golf balls at the bottom of her pond!
In her free time, Phoebe often practices her swing out back, shooting for the
tall tree back on the edge the woods, right on the tree line. About 185 yards.
Wyeth waits until she hears the smack of the ball hitting that tree & off she goes - bounding through the tall haymeadow to search for the ball. And, she normally finds it and returns, dropping it right at Phoebe's feet.
Here's a new twist of Phoebe's golf ball game with The Paddle Pup.
The videos will crack you up!
Under the water ... for over 30 seconds!
Click on video cameras:
July 8, 2011
Another Jumping Season!
We're off to a good start.
The dock, in all it's shining splendor, is now in the water in front of our home. Once again, glistening in the sun, with the waves lapping against it's underbelly.
Beckoning Wyeth to come and play on its back ...
And as Wyeth's "trainer", of sorts (one could argue that she trains me), I thought it would be a smart idea to get her a new throw dummy. You know, perhaps give her a little extra spark in her jump. So, over the winter I purchased a Dokken Deadfowl Trainer from my favorite hunting dog supply company, Ugly Dog Hunting. I chose the" Mallard" simply because I liked the bright colors. I tucked it away in my office closet until the warmer weather.
It's finally summer ...
Today, I decided it was time to test out my theory. Wyeth was certainly excited about her new present. Jumping up and down, wagging her tail ... to my delight! She loved it. But, truth be told, she also was thrilled to retrieve her basic white bumper we used last year. What can I say?
She just loves to jump. I guess it doesn't take a "secret weapon" ...
Wyeth and her new Mallard. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
July 2, 2011
Wyeth's First Sculpture!
Vermont artist, Rachel Laundon, Mandy & Wyeth's "portrait";
Rachel is sporting a "It's all about the dog" t-shirt!
WOW! I love Rachel!
Okay, there's a new art gallery in the Champlain Islands - Grand Isle Art Works.
The owners (and customer/friends) of The Paddle's have been asking me to visit
for a short spell now. I finally did a few weeks ago. What a gorgeous renovation they did on an old Vermont farmhouse. And, what a spectacular collection of Vermont artists are housed within its walls.
That's where I saw Rachel Laundon's art work. She primarily sculpts fish, beautiful, bright, fun fish. I was amazed. Then I saw a dog sculpture she had done of a boxer. Immediately, I called her up on the phone and asked if she would consider sculpting a piece of Wyeth.
And here's the end result.
Wyeth's first art piece that now hangs on the wall over the hostess stand. The light from the overhead track seems to cast a halo around her head. (It just happened that way but it seems fitting, wink wink).
I can not say enough about this artist. She's really awesome. In fact, our next art installation here at The Paddle will feature her fish. Her show will debut on Monday, July 25th and run through mid-September.
I encourage you to visit her website: www.rachellaundon.com
June 24, 2011 T-SHIRT SPECIAL
Summertime & Dogs
We thought it would be fun to offer periodic "deals" on our PaddleWear & Accessories. So, what better first offer than on our t-shirts inspired by, of course, our official Paddle Pup - Wyeth!
After all, summertime and dogs go hand-in-hand. If you have a dog, you know what I'm talking about - swimming, and jumping, and hiking, ... and just lazing around on the front porch ---------------------------------------------------------->
Gotta have this tee!
It's all about the dog.
Authentic pigment-dyed brown with light blue lettering on front;
small Blue Paddle logo on upper back. 100% Cotton.
(Reg. $18; you save $5, plus no shipping charge)
Call (802) 372-4814 and we'll ship yours today FREE ...
or stop by The Paddle & pick one up. Offer good through July 15, 2011.
Pictured above, Chef Phoebe & Wyeth, the Paddle Pup!
June 22, 2011
Rockin' on the Porch, Cars & Ants
Wyeth "quartered" (crisscrossing) the field all the way up to the tree line & back down this mowed swath of pasture coming right upon the bird (no wind) and locked up on point! (Click to enlarge.)
Summer is really here; I know because as of today, we're open seven nights a week ending with a "double" on Sunday. (Brunch, you know ...)
It's all good, actually great. We love the summer at The Paddle. For lots of reasons. But, with the warmth and the long days, the reality of losing that extra bit of free time sets in - as it did this morning. Sitting on the front porch, with Wyeth on my lap. I was watching all the cars drive by, while my pup was eyeing an ant lugging a huge piece of something across the floor planks. She was fascinated. Fixated.
Enough. I picked up the cell phone and dialed my trusty first mate for bird-training: "Phoebe, will you go with us to Leslie's field to plant my last two chukkars?" I really thought I'd hear a long pause but no: "Sure, I'll walk over and we'll go!"
Quick action. Called Leslie. She was in. Called Everett. He was home and would help me catch the birds. Got my boots, training vest, checkcord. Got Wyeth.
And, off we went.
And, my little hunter did great in spite of the wind dying as soon as we arrived at Leslie's farm in Colchester.
With almost 54 years beneath my belt, I know that there are only a few things in life that are certain - Wyeth's nose being one of them. Happy hunting, my little dog, happy hunting!
(Sure beats staring at that ant, doesn't it?)
May 21, 2011
Swimming in the Pond ...
... with her good friend, Emily, who is the daughter of Rick & Wendy Bellows.
(P.S. Emily can also throw a pretty good frisbee for her four-legged friend!)
May 23, 2011
Phoebe and Wyeth taking a break
during their ritual walk around the "Back Forty" ...
(my, oh my ... that wind)
April 28, 2011
Her Own Private Idaho ...
With all the rain comes Wyeth's very own pond, of sorts -
and she just can't get enough of it!
(Click on photo to enlarge.)
April 3, 2011
I recently joined The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA), and along with my membership came a subscription to the organization's monthly magazine "Versatile Hunting Dog."
The March issue recently showed up at the post office and imagine my surprise - as I'm flipping through the issue, I spot my dog! Yes, Wyeth is one of eight dogs featured in Nancy Anisfield's article, "Bumper Love."
How proud do you think I am?
Can you spot Wyeth? She's on the right page, first dog, second row! If you'd like to read Nancy's article, click on the photos to enlarge ...
March 18, 2011
"Jumping for Joy"
(click on photo to enlarge)
Dock Dog season is approaching. And so I've begun researching strategies to improve our team's performance. Not that Wyeth did anything but spectacular last year at the Champlain Valley Fair's competition. Second out of 68 dogs is not too shabby at all.
But, the synchronization - you know, the "dance" - between us can be richly improved. It really stems from my inability to throw the bumper where it should be. You see, my friend, Jan from Mason Creek Kennel (Wyeth's birthplace) suggested last year that I throw the object (bumper, in our case) right in front of Wyeth so it could appear to be catchable. Thus, she concluded, it would help my pup jump farther. Well, I never heeded her advice. Didn't think I had to ...
... but I've had a lot of time on my hands during these few past wintery Vermont months to research what the most successful Dock Dog teams do to earn their place in jumping fame. And you know what? Jan was on to something.
In anticipation of the summer, I've been investigating the secrets behind the most successful Dock Dog champions ... here in the United States, as well as abroad. (That's right - this dock jumping thing has become global!) The key, apparently, is learning something called "The Chase". According to SportMutt:
"There are three aspects to a successful Big Air jump: Speed, Lift, and the Ability to Hit the End of the Dock. ”The Chase” is a technique that helps ensure the dog gets that ever elusive Lift. The idea is to set the dog at the start point, the handler stands at the jump point, the handler releases the dog and times the throw so the dog will Chase the object at the moment the dog jumps. The purpose is for the dog to jump up and out after the object, thus getting the Lift. The motivation for the dog is to try and catch the object. It’s that simple."
So, all these ramblings lead me to the real purpose of this little story - Wyeth is now jumping for a frisbee. She KNOWS she can catch it and loves the challenge. I figured a few weeks ago that we could introduce the idea of "The Chase" in the Paddle's back forty, the snow serving as a soft cushion in which to land. In theory, I figure that once we have warm weather we can, with a few modifications, transfer this technique to the dock. Makes sense, right?
This story would not be complete without crediting Phoebe with Wyeth's success. Literally, I brought home this special soft frisbee one afternoon a few weeks back. Proudly presented it to my business partner. Phoebe, being Phoebe, took control of the situation and introduced the frisbee to my pup inside The Paddle. First, just encouraging Wyeth to take the disc in her mouth, followed by short, ever so short tosses to my dog. Then it was outside and literally within minutes Wyeth caught on. Hmmm. Thanks, Phoebe, for all your help - and devotion - to Wyeth Ray. You know, she adores you, as I do ...
P.S. Phoebe's middle name is Ray!
The meaning of Wyeth Ray = "courageous guardian"
Taking a break while coveting her frisbee ...
February 9, 2011
The painting is entitled "Christina's World." It is one of the best-known American paintings of the middle 20th century. It depicts a woman, disabled by a earlier bout with polio, lying on the ground in a treeless, mostly tawny field, looking up at and crawling towards a gray house on the horizon. It was painted by American Andrew Wyeth.
The dog, disabled, in effect by the deep snow, gazes across the white field, attracted by the work of a tractor, as distant, both in mind and ability (and in this case mistress), from reaching that alluring goal as Christina from the gray house on the hill.
The dog's name, by pure coincidence, is Wyeth.
February 4, 2011
King of the Mountain!
Behind The Paddle, the snowplow's pile keeps getting larger ... and larger ...
and taller and wider. Wyeth seemed a bit intimidated by it's 'growth' over the past week or so, running around the base, staring at the tippity-top. Curious about the enormity of the thing, I suspect.
All it took was a toss of a tennis ball and now ...
February 2, 2011
The BIG snow storm!
Click to enlarge.
Photo by Phoebe ... using her Iphone!
January 7, 2011
Phoebe's Idea of Dog-Sitting
"Want to come over?"
When I'm busy with office work, Phoebe often offers to take Wyeth to her home to play with her two dogs - Oscar, a Miniature Dachshund, and Lucy, a Cockapoo. You know, a play date. I know my dog loves to go because she can't wait to follow her outside & jump in her Subaru.
And now I know why - click on the video camera to see for yourself what goes on during their playtime ... with Phoebe's encouragement!
(Video from Phoebe's IPhone)
January 6, 2011
Wyeth and her Outerwear
Never thought I would in a million years, but I did.
I caved in and bought some outerwear for my pup. Sure, she has sported a blaze orange safety vest throughout the hunting season. I consider that different than wearing a coat ... or boots, for that matter! (I've always teased Phoebe, for instance, when she has "dressed up" her little dogs in sweaters. I mean, come on - dogs are dogs, right?)
But, that's exactly what I went ahead and did. Ordered two winter coats - a black polartec fleece and this red soft shell jacket. And, are you ready for this - polar trex boots that are great for insulation and traction!
Now, I have to admit that she doesn't wear the coats all the time - just in extreme weather conditions.
Click to enlarge.
And, as far as the boots go - we'll still trying to master those contraptions. I think they'll work well, however, when I learn how to properly tighten the cam buckle (think ski boot) and the top closure. Just a bit more 'field research' I figure. (I really need to master this - I hate to see her paws bleed like they have been when the ice builds up between her pads.)
As far as the coats go - what can I say? They look handsome on her athletic pointing dog body. Very stylish, indeed. However, to say SHE loves her coats, I'd be over-reaching. I think Wyeth craves being outside so much that she would put up with most anything I had her wear.
So, I let her run, and hunt, and explore ... and she's blissfully ignorant of how she amuses me, not to mention how sporty she looks!
With a big smile on my face, this little story ends.
January 2, 2011
Feeding my Chukkars
Recently I acquired the last 30 chukkars remaining at Everette Dubuque's bird farm down on South Street in our little town. If you've been following this Paddle Pup page you know by now why I wanted them - for Wyeth's bird training. Of course, with ownership comes responsibility ... so I'll be feeding my new little friends all winter long.
Wyeth comes along in the truck with me; she loves pulling into the barn's driveway because it means birds. I have to admit, after my caretaking job is done and I get back into the truck she does go a bit crazy. The scent on my clothes.
For my pup, it's the sign of good things to come ...
December 24, 2010
A Christmas Eve walk with my dear friend, Daphne!
(click on photos to enlarge)
Daphne & Wyeth (I love this shot!) Playing with my dog
Daphne leads the way ...
December 14, 2010
Hanging out with my two best friends ...
Wake up to fresh snow! My cell rings as I'm on my way out for a morning hike.
It's Phoebe, asking what I was doing. "Taking Wyeth out for some exercise,"
I replied. "Want some company?" was all she said. All she had to say.
I absolutely love hanging out, spending time with Phoebe.
Ten minutes later, we were on on our way.
The three amigos ...
Phoebe leads the way ...
December 6, 2010
Hunting Grouse at Weller Mountain Fish & Game Preserve
in the Adirondacks
Wyeth takes a break from her hunting to "check-in" with me;
(Below) George Fowler poses for the camera while hunting for the elusive
Ruffed Grouse. Click on photos to enlarge.
A big "thank you" to my friend,
George Fowler, for inviting Wyeth
and me over to the Adirondacks!
George had asked me months ago if I would like to bring Wyeth over to Weller Mountain Fish and Game Preserve where he has been a member for 50 years. He told me how beautiful the 18,500 acre reserve was but, boy-oh-boy, was I taken in by it's enormity & Adirondack grandeur. Just simply gorgeous.
Of course, the fresh blanket of deep snow added to the deep woods mystique.
I loved being there with my my dog trying to find some birds. George was a gracious host and made me feel so welcome. Between "hunts", we drove around the property (thank you, Four-Wheel-Drive!) so that I could see some of the preserve's quaint cabins, as well as learn about it's rich roots dating back to the 1800's. I can see why this is his favorite place. It would certainly be one of mine ...
In fact, it already is ...
To learn more about this very special preserve, please visit:
George Fowler is the Owner and Editor of our local newspaper, The Islander.
November 27, 2010
The season's first snow.
Wyeth and I took a little hike today in Niquette State Park, just off Raymond Road in Milton.
It's definately one of our favorite places, especially in the "off-season." There's very few things I enjoy more than seeing my pup run ... and jump ... and hunt ... without a care in the world. Just being a dog. Too cool.
And, what made today even more special was the sudden snow shower. We both came back a little damp and a tad tired (in a good way). In fact, she's lying on her bed right now as I write this. Hmm. I should probably wake her up, play with her some more so she's down for the count during service tonight.
Gosh, I sound like a mom ...
November 20, 2010
It's Wyeth's first birthday!
So, what are we going to do today?
A little bird hunting ...
... it's all about the dog, remember?
Click on note!
A cake for all of us to share ... while Wyeth gets her own all-natural
dog cupcake ... a present from Tamara (the gal on the far right, above.)
Pointing a chukkar on her birthday ...
November 10, 2010
Wyeth, my model?
During a recent training session down at the home of Ugly Dog Hunting, Hunting Dog Photographer Nancy Anisfield asked me if she could take a few photographs of Wyeth swimming. Of course, as her proud "mom", I lit up with enthusiasm. I mean, this terrific photographer wanted to capture some images of MY dog. I couldn't wait to get her in their pond.
What I failed to mention is that a client of Nancy's is Avery Sporting Dog. Doubleclick on the photos and see the bumper's perfect product placement ... not to mention Wyeth's very white teeth!
A future catalogue photo?
Hmm, who knows.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed ...
October 3, 2010
Off to Wingshooting School ...
It's apparent, quite apparent, that my shooting skills need to be greatly improved.
Years ago, I shot quite a few clay pigeons with a little old Beretta BL3 - a sweet 28 gauge shotgun I got over in Maine. (I loved that gun, but that's a story for another time.) I wasn't a bad shot back then. Let's put it this way - I managed to hit more of those orange discs than I missed.
A few weeks ago, I ordered a rather nice automatic clay pigeon thrower so that Phoebe and I - and our friends - could practice our shooting. My good friend, David, put it together and cautioned me to watch the lengthy video with all the company's precautions & warnings. Phoebe offered and sat through it.
We decided to stop prolonging the inevitable and lugged the machine and marine battery that "drives" it over to our buddy Leslie's property in Colchester. It took the three of us to find the perfect site in one of her pastures to plant the thrower. Out came all our shooting stuff - guns, shells, clay pigeons, ...
After a little treaking, the thrower worked remarkably well.
Leslie did great. (She's actually a committed hunter of bigger game.)
Phoebe was runner-up. (Good job, buppa!)
And, as for me. I broke one. Just one lousy orange clay pigeon.
I could blame it on my new beautiful 20 gauge, light weight Caesar Guerrini ...
but that would make me a pitiful fabricator of tales. No, it was all me. How possibly can I shoot a bird for Wyeth as it flushes out of it's cover if I can't shoot a simple, straight-away?
So what's a girl to do? I know - enroll in the upcoming Orvis Wingshooting School down in Manchester Center, Vermont and bring her best friend, Phoebe, along for the ride.
Keep your fingers crossed that this pricey instruction helps me be more of a fitting hunting partner to my extraordinary little bird dog, okay? I'll need all the help I can get ...
October 10, 2010
The Whoa Board
Thanks to my very dear friend, Marc Tomasik, Wyeth & I have a new "whoa board" for the next phase of our training. Whoa boards are used for teaching the dog not to "creep", to "honor" a point and most importantly, it enables the handler to stop the dog quickly, on the spot, in dangerous situations. The concept around the board is that a dog will rely on a picture and this board provides the pup with a visual boundary in which to learn the skill, to be consistent with the "whoa". In addition, dogs typically don't like to be off the ground; this little height helps reinforce the command.
With all that being said, I have to say that my ltitle pup loves her new whoa board. She now runs up on it on her own volition ... and stops when I give the command. She definitely is a "working" dog - she thrives on having a task!
Whoa, Wyeth ...
October 18, 2010
Orvis Wingshooting School
(click on photos to enlarge)
Mount the gun well & focus only Bruce keeps a close eye on Phoebe's
the object! shot ...
"Okay, left-handed - I can do this!" Mounting & firing left-handed!
A chilly, brisk autumn day. Brilliant hues surround us. The crackling of dead leaves as we walk along the shooting course. The occasional fluttering or scampering of something out in the woods. Oh, and let's not forget the billows of smoke from the shotgun as it is opened.
Yesterday couldn't have been any better.
More of the story and photos coming soon ...
One of my favorite photos of us - Wyeth taken by photographer Andrew Wellman. Andrew was at The Paddle photographing new food portraits
for ourweb site; after the shoot, I asked him if we could pose. (Actually,
those who know me will know why I particularly like this shot - I'm hidden!) (7/12/10)