I took a year to decide what I was going to do; am I going to retire as I retired Murphy (he was retired march 2013)? Am I going to continue working dogs? If I continue to work dogs what discipline do I want to pursue? Do I want to continue with Search and Rescue or do I want to do something else? Do I want to change breeds or stay with the Field Springer?
These are some of the question I asked myself over the last year. All questions needed to be answered with a yes and a plan if I was going to continue. Dogs are a huge commitment; but when you add a working dog into the mix you are committing to train train then more training; it never ever stops. Working dogs need
I also had to take into account my personality. What breeds do I work best with? If I am changing breeds; why am I? Which will make the best fit to be my partner/team mate? I looked for another Field Springer from Murphy's breeder. After 3 breeding's not working for various reasons a breeding of 1 pup came about. I had to put a lot of thought into whether I wanted to deal with the challenges of a single birth. They have their own set of challenges (not necessarily bad or good) I decided I did not want to add that to the mix of training I already had a head of me. Plus, I have 2 older dogs to consider. They still need attention and exercised and so on. So, I passed. Why did I not go with another breeder; the other reason for changing breeds is shedding. Lots and lots of shedding. My husband is a saint when it comes to my love of training dogs. He has allergies that are terrible. It's not just animal its plants and so on. So that was the other factor.
My friend Karen and I were looking through a book of different dog breeds and we both spotted the Pudelpointer. I remembered a conversation my husband Mike and I had after he came back from bird hunting with a friend. He told me about this breed he had the privilege to watch work and how impressed he was. Well two people I most trust in the world spot the same breed, that had to be a sign I was on the right track. Plus I already knew the sporting breeds was where I would find my next partner.
The search was on. Let me tell you these guys are hard to get. Now that I have one I can understand why. They are awesome; yes a pain in the ass but what high energy puppy isn't. Crazy smart, easily bored. Yea I am in trouble. But that is a story for another day. The next thing on my list was what discipline. What organization was I going to be with if not Search and Rescue. After being with SAR for 14 years this was a HUGE decision to make. After talking with my friend Jennifer who was an ATF handler and fire fighter I decided on accelerate training. The change from Search and Rescue to a Fire department is still new and has not really hit me yet. I won't know the difference until Loki is certified and we are working missions. But, so far their help without reservation has been wonderful and very welcoming. It is a new adventure for both Loki and I. I am so looking forward to it. I will keep you posted on our adventure through training and the oh so not fun of potting training.