Tuesday, September 30, 2008

National Red Setter Shooting Dog Championships

Ch Double Jay
(Rusty's Jinx ex Willow Winds Eve)
National Red Setter Shooting Dog Championships
& Supporting Stakes

Thursday November 6 to Sunday November 9, 2008

Missouri Sportsmans' Club
Grovespring, MO

Drawing Wednesday Nov. 5 at 8 pm at Clubhouse
Clubhouse phone 417-462-3626

Manufactured Barrel guns only! .32 caliber or larger

Stakes run in order presented; trial chair may alter if circumstances dictate

One hour continuous courses
$500 purse divided 70-30 to winner-runner-up

30 minutes

30 minutes

May be run concurrently with Open Derby
Judgement ceases at shot; outright chasing of game will be faulted.

30 minutes

One hour
Entry fee TBA
Winner awarded Tritronics collar and possession of Fountainhead Trophy
Runner-up takes Silver Plate

Gary Cowell and Charlie Beeler, Lancaster, MO
and others to be announced

Additional Information
Trial Chairs
Dennis & Bonnie Hidalgo
303-886-6084 (cell)
(303) 655-1099 (home)

Lodging & Meals
Breakfast and lunch served daily at the Area Clubhouse. Please join us for dinner at the clubhouse on Saturday and Sunday evening. A bunkhouse is available for judges and reporter. Additional bunking is available on first-come, first-serve basis. Supply your own bedding.
Ample stalls/paddocks and kennels available on grounds
Lebanon, MO is located on Interstate 44 about 45 miles northeast of Springfield, MO and has several good quality motels and restaurants.

For additional information, check the National Red Setter Field Trial Club website at http://www.nrsftc.com

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yes, this is an actual letter from PETA...

Every once in a while, I get to read something that is so bizzare that it makes me wonder how these people function in the real world... so, here's a dose of "weirdness" for the day...

VERMONT -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman. "PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves," the statement says. PETA officials say a move to human breast milk would lessen the suffering of dairy cows and their babies on factory farms and benefit human health. "The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."

In a statement Ben and Jerry's said, "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child." Read PETA's letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield dated September 23, 2008

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's. Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers-and cows-would reap the benefits. Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease- America's number one cause of death. Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup. And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to 17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around. The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.


Tracy ReimanExecutive Vice President

PETA also pointed out that "humans are the only species that intentionally drink the milk of another species" Wow... it makes it sound as us "milk-eaters" are some type of vampires... never mind the fact that our entire ecological system is based upon "eat and be eaten." Perhaps PETA should go after those carnivores out there who are ravaging other species by eating them. Good luck with that.

The whole idea gives credence to some more interesting marketing ideas... how about "Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream "by the jug!"

OK... I'm going to lunch... I think I'll go have a bowl of ice cream. Cow ice cream, please.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pierce and Walker Show Their Stuff !!

Pierce Schultz and Walker UT

Ready to go hunting...

Several years ago I sold a couple of puppies out of one of our litters to a friend and former student, Chris Hall. Chris lives in the Dayton area with his wife and two stepchildren, Pierce and Grace. Chris became heavily involved with NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association), and not long after he tested one of his red setters (Ryland) to a Prize I UT and became the first person to ever quality a red setter to the prestigious NAVHDA Invitational.

Pierce and Walker head to the bird fields as the morning fog lifts...

Pierce heels Walker, gunners in tow...

Pierce, his 12 year old boy, like Chris, is also an avid hunter and loves to help out with the dog training. This past weekend, Pierce tested one of the family red setters, Walker, and obtained a Prize III Utility score of 182 points. According to dad, Pierce and Walker put on a show at the Central Indiana 3 day NAVHDA test, earning scores of 3 and 4 in the field and retrieve; Walker's only weak spot was the duck search, where he scored a 2.

Chris said that during one sequence in the field Pierce even crawled under a pine tree to flush a bird. "He did it on his own, I waited patiently at the truck during each event. I was more nervous than him."

The judging team, headed up by Senior Judge Mark Fraly, was very impressed with this young handler.

Not to be kept out of the picture, Chris tested his old standby, Ryland , to obtain a near pefect score 202 out of 204 Prize 1, to qualfy for the upcoming NAVHDA Invitational.

Chris said, "Thank goodness Pierce got a 3 in healing...I would have never lived that one down!
We had a great weekend, Pierce is already talking about what he is going to work on for next year. I'd say he has caught the NAVHDA bug, hook, line, and sinker."

I'd have to agree... and, it looks like he's caught a "Piece of the Purest Challenge" too!

The proud handler!

Congratulations to Pierce, Chris, Walker, and Ryland for showing once again how the red dawgs can do it!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Top breeder says Kennel Club is in denial over 'deformed' dogs

A leading dog breeder has accused the Kennel Club of being "in denial" over the health problems caused by the inbreeding of animals for shows including Crufts.

Alison Jeffers and one of her working Basset hounds

Alison Jeffers, who breeds Basset hounds, said the Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, needed to face up to the problems and take "urgent action".
Ms Jeffers, who has a pack of 30 hounds which are not inbred, said: "Our dogs are in good health and can work all day covering 25 to 30 miles.
"But the Bassets bred for shows like Crufts are so inbred that most are incapable of being working dogs even though they win prizes in that category."
"They weigh 35-40kg compared with our dogs' 20kg. They have very short legs, skin, ear and eye problems and suffer from arthritis, and yet judges turn a blind eye to all of that as if it is irrelevant.
"The Kennel Club and many breeders are in denial. They have to admit the scale of the problem and take urgent action to solve it."
The criticism from a leading breeder adds to the pressure on the Kennel Club to introduce compulsory health checks for show dogs, curb inbreeding and limit the number of times a stud dog can be used as a "sire".
Last week the RSPCA severed its links with Crufts - the Club's biggest and most prestigious show - after a BBC documentary revealed how inbred dogs had won prizes at Crufts despite suffering serious health problems.
Ms Jeffers set up the Albany Bassets after she was expelled from the Kennel Club's Working Branch of the Basset Hound Club in 2002 for criticising the inbreeding that, she claimed, meant Kennel-club registered bassets could no longer work in the field.
"The Kennel Club-registered basset hound had developed into a ponderous mutant incapable of hunting so we had to outcross," she said.
"The Club took umbrage at this and expelled us, an easier option than admitting to the fact they had ruined the breed."
The Government warned that it was planning to force commercial breeders to begin "programmes aimed at the eventual eradication of traits that cause unnecessary suffering in dogs".
Ministers are holding talks with the Kennel Club, dog welfare groups and veterinarians on the issue but want breeders to take the initiative in the meantime and start breeding out those traits, said a spokesman for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The BBC documentary revealed that prize-winning dogs suffered from a range of serious conditions as a result of inbreeding.
They included a Cavalier King Charles spaniel with a skull too small for its brain and a Best in Show 2003 Pekingese bred to have a perfectly flat face and subjected to an operation to enable it to breathe.
Pugs, boxers and bulldogs also had health problems caused by inbreeding, including female dogs bred with their male offspring.
The RSPCA urged the Kennel Club to halt the breeding of "deformed and disabled" show animals.
The Dogs Trust, Britain's largest dog charity, has also withdrawn support for Crufts over the breeding techniques.
Clarissa Baldwin, the trust's chief executive, said the Kennel Club officials must review breed standards to ensure that the dogs' health was the priority rather than appearance and artificial breed standards.
Ms Baldwin urged Defra to bring forward laws to regulate dog breeding.
Beverly Cuddy, the editor of Dogs Today, said the Kennel Club was an old-fashioned and out-of-touch organisation governed by arcane rules.
"It has to reform ," she said. "Breeds are under threat. The Kennel Club has to take the criticism on the chin and get on with it. Kennel Club registration should be a mark of a dog's health and quality. We have got to get back to that."
The Kennel Club, founded in 1873, has lodged a complaint against the BBC programme with Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, and is reviewing its 44-year-old contract with the corporation to televise the show.
Caroline Kisko, a spokesman for the Kennel Club said it had already been approached by other TV companies interested in covering Crufts. "But we have to resolve our issues with the BBC first," she said.
Ms Kisko said the Kennel Club was already funding research into the dogs' health problems but admitted: "We could have started earlier."
She added: "There is no blanket solution. We have to look at it on a breed-by-breed basis."
The Kennel Club was concerned that the documentary had already prompted many puppy-buyers to turn to non-Kennel-Club-registered cross-breeders whose interests were "purely commercial", she said.
The Club had made donations to the RSPCA and felt "betrayed" by the animal welfare organisation. "We helped them and they have stabbed us in the back," Ms Kisko said.

from Telegraph.co.uk

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No Crufts For You!!

LONDON - The RSPCA will boycott Crufts next year, accusing it of encouraging the breeding of deformed and disabled dogs.
The charity says Britain's premier dog show concentrates too much on animals' appearance rather than their welfare and temperament.
"Intentionally breeding deformed and disabled animals is morally unjustifiable and it has to stop," said its chief veterinary adviser Mark Evans.
"Dog shows using current breed standards as the main judging criteria actively encourage both the intentional breeding of deformed and disabled dogs and the in-breeding of closely related animals," Evans added in a statement.
The charity will not attend Crufts next March nor the Discover Dogs show in November. It called for more research into illnesses and causes of death linked with pedigree dogs.
It has ordered a review of dog breeding, which is expected to report back later this year.
Preliminary recommendations from the review call for a radical change in the requirements for pedigree dog registration and breeding strategies.
"We want to see the emphasis shifted away from arbitrary appearance, so that health, welfare and temperament are considered first and foremost," Evans said. "All those who benefit from pedigree dogs have a collective responsibility to solve what is now a very serious and totally unnecessary animal welfare problem."
The organisers of Crufts, the Kennel Club, described the RSPCA's comments as "unhelpful".
Club spokeswoman Caroline Kisko said in a statement that "the club invests a great deal of time, money and care into the area of pedigree health".
A health survey it conducted found that 90 percent of pedigree dogs do not suffer from illnesses that affect their quality of life.
"Dog shows are fundamentally designed to reward those dogs that meet a particular breed standard, which is the blueprint for a healthy dog," Kisko said.
"The Kennel Club is continually working to ensure that this objective is achieved by regularly reviewing breed standards and ensuring that judges are educated so that dogs displaying visible health problems will not win at dog shows.
"The fact that the RSPCA continues to make such unhelpful statements with regard to the health of pedigree dogs is extremely regrettable but we will continue to endeavour to work with them despite their stated position -- for the benefit of dogs."

(Reporting by Katie Davison; Editing by Steve Addison) REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Palin: Hunter or Exterminator??

Wildlife activists thought they had seen the worst in 2003 when Frank Murkowski, then the Republican governor of Alaska, signed a bill ramping up state programs to gun down wild wolves from airplanes, inviting average citizens to participate. Wolves, Murkowski believed, were clearly better than humans at killing elk and moose, and humans needed to even the playing field.

But that was before Sarah Palin took Murkowski's job at the end of 2006. She went one step, or paw, further. Palin didn't think Alaskans should be allowed to chase wolves from aircraft and shoot them -- they should be encouraged to do so. Palin's administration put a bounty on wolves' heads, or to be more precise, on their mitts.

In early 2007, Palin's administration approved an initiative to pay a $150 bounty to hunters who killed a wolf from an airplane in certain areas, hacked off the left foreleg, and brought in the appendage. Ruling that the Palin administration didn't have the authority to offer payments, a state judge quickly put a halt to them but not to the shooting of wolves from aircraft.
Detractors consider the airborne shootings a savage business, conducted under the euphemism "predator control." The airplanes appear in the winter, so the wolves show up like targets in a video game, sprinting across the white canvas below. Critics believe the practice violates the ethics of hunting, while supporters say the process is not hunting at all, but a deliberate cull.
Palin has argued that she is worried about Alaska's hunters, locked in perennial competition with the canine carnivores for the state's prodigious ungulate population. A hunter herself, Palin has battled critics of aerial wolf hunting with the support of the
Alaska Outdoor Council, a powerhouse advocacy and lobbying organization for hunting, fishing and recreation groups. In addition to so-called urban hunters, who shoot moose mostly for fun, Alaska is home to a significant number of subsistence hunters, including some of the Native population. Subsistence hunters rely on an occasional moose to make ends meet. The wolves, Palin has said, are stealing food from their tables.

"Palin acts like she has never met an animal she didn't want shot," says Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, based in Connecticut.

The controversy over Palin's promotion of predator control goes beyond animal rights activists recoiling at the thought of picking off wolves from airplanes. A raft of scientists has argued that Palin has provided little evidence that the current program of systematically killing wolves, estimated at a population of 7,000 to 11,000, will result in more moose for hunters. State estimates of moose populations have come under scrutiny. Some wildlife biologists say predator control advocates don't even understand what wolves eat.

State officials stand by their scientific findings on predator control. "Several times over the past several years, our science has been challenged in court," says Bruce Bartley, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. "In every instance it has prevailed."
Yet it is not hard to find Alaskans who say Palin's enthusiasm for predator control fits a broader narrative of how she edits science to suit her personal views. She endorses the teaching of creationism in public schools and has questioned whether humans are responsible for global warming.

In 2007, she approved $400,000 to educate the public about the ecological success of shooting wolves and bears from the air. Some of the money went to create a pamphlet distributed in local newspapers, three weeks before the public was to vote on an initiative that would have curtailed aerial killing of wolves by private citizens. "The timing of the state's propaganda on wolf control was terrible," wrote the Anchorage Daily News on its editorial page.

"Across the board, Sarah Palin puts on a masquerade, claiming she is using sound management and science," says Nick Jans, an Alaskan writer who co-sponsored the initiative. "In reality she uses ideology and ignores science when it is in her way." The initiative was defeated last month.
Gordon Haber is a wildlife scientist who has studied wolves in Alaska for 43 years. "On wildlife-related issues, whether it is polar bears or predator controls, she has shown no inclination to be objective," he says of Palin. "I cannot find credible scientific data to support their arguments," he adds about the state's rationale for gunning down wolves. "In most cases, there is evidence to the contrary."

Last year, 172 scientists signed a letter to Palin, expressing concern about the lack of science behind the state's wolf-killing operation. According to the scientists, state officials set population objectives for moose and caribou based on "unattainable, unsustainable historically high populations." As a result, the "inadequately designed predator control programs" threatened the long-term health of both the ungulate and wolf populations. The scientists concluded with a plea to Palin to consider the conservation of wolves and bears "on an equal basis with the goal of producing more ungulates for hunters."

Palin on a hunt

Apparently Palin wasn't fazed. Earlier this year she introduced state legislation that would further divorce the predator-control program from science. The legislation would transfer authority over the program from the state Department of Fish and Game to Alaska's Board of Game, whose members are appointed by, well, Palin. Even some hunters were astounded by her power play.

The legislation would give Palin's board "more leeway without any scientific input to do whatever the hell they basically wanted," Mark Richards, co-chair of Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, wrote in an e-mail. The legislation is currently stalled in the Alaska state Senate.

Predator control in Alaska dates back to the 1920s and 1930s. Even then, wildlife biologists insisted that wolves were important to the area's natural ecology and not responsible for inordinate deaths of sheep, caribou or moose. Yet the scientists fought a losing battle against ranchers, hunters and government officials, who backed the extermination of tens of thousands of wolves. Aerial hunting began in earnest in the 1940s and continued through the 1960s after Alaska had earned statehood.

But starting in 2003, Murkowski opened the airborne shooting to citizens with special permits and expanded predator-control programs to cover 60,000 square miles of state and federal land, the largest wolf-killing operation since Alaska became a state. The stated goal is to reduce wolf populations in some areas by 60 to 80 percent. Teams of pilots and gunners have killed at least 795 wolves since 2003. Conservationists counter that the total number of wolves trapped, shot from airplanes, chased down by snow machines, and killed legally and illegally in Alaska every year is more along the lines of 2,000.

Scientists insist that the Palin administration is systematically killing wolves with an inadequate understanding of the relationship between the carnivore and hoofed animals. The state responds that predators kill over 80 percent of the moose and caribou that die each year, while hunters and trappers kill less than 10 percent.

Haber says the state's numbers are wildly inflated. His decades of wolf research have shown that wolves are, in fact, mostly scavengers. "Sixty to 70 percent of the moose they eat are scavenged, not killed," he says. He adds that the state's wolf population estimates, based on secondhand observations and extrapolations, are also high.

Palin offered the $150 bounty for wolf paws in 2007 after efforts to kill wolves from airplanes that season were, in her view, coming up short. State officials had hoped that 382 to 664 wolves would be killed during that predator-control season. State officials were disappointed when only 115 wolves were killed from the air.

Palin thought the $150 cash bounties would do the trick. Haber has another explanation for the dry spell. "I can tell you from my own research that the reason they didn't get many wolves in certain years, particularly last winter, is because they have scraped those areas clean," he says.
Last year, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., introduced legislation designed to curtail predator-control programs, except as a last resort. "It's time to ground Alaska's illegal and inhumane air assault on wolves," Miller said. Palin quickly fired off a curt letter in response, applauding the state's programs as "widely recognized for their excellence and effectiveness." She pointed out that her state has "managed its wildlife so that we still maintain abundant populations of all of our indigenous predators almost fifty years after statehood."

Says Jans, co-sponsor of the losing initiative to outlaw aerial wolf hunting: "This is a reflection of a somebody who doesn't have any use for science."

(From www.salon.com)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Man's Best Friend...

Buddy and Mr. Stalnaker

Buddy the phone dog saves his owner - for the third time
(from Times Online News Services)

It was a call the emergency operator never expected to receive. Instead of tears, screams or a plea for help, she could hear only barking and a distinctly canine whimper. Anywhere else and the emergency services might have hung up, blaming a prankster. But the specially-trained German shepherd dog Buddy had already saved his master three times by making emergency calls to police with his teeth.
Police in Scottsdale, Arizona, released a recording yesterday of the latest call by 18-month-old Buddy when his owner suffered a seizure. “Hello, this is 911. Hello . . . Can you hear me? Is there somebody there you can give the phone to?” the emergency worker asks. Buddy responds by barking and whimpering, but the operator stays on the line because any call from his owner, Joe Stalnaker, brings up an alert on the emergency computer system to say that a trained assistance dog may call when his master is incapacitated.
Chris Trott, the emergency despatcher who took the latest call, said that it was the first time in her five years in the job that she had received an emergency call from a dog.
“It was interesting. The entire room was amazed. There are dispatchers who have been there quite some time – 20 years – and never had a call from a dog before,” she said.
After the paramedics arrived, Buddy rode in the ambulance with his owner to hospital.
Officer Dave Pubins, a police spokesman, said that the call on September 10 was the third time the specially trained dog had summoned help.
“There were two other occurrences when the dog had done this. It was the same thing before. They heard the dog in the background,” he said.
Mr Stalnaker is prone to potentially fatal seizures after suffering a brain injury while serving in the US military a decade ago. He adopted Buddy at the age of 8 weeks from a Michigan-based group called Paws With A Cause, which trains so-called “service dogs” to help humans.
Mr Stalnaker trained Buddy to pick up the telephone and bring it to him whenever he falls. All the buttons are programmed to call the emergency operator.
He said: “He doesn’t actually sit there and dial 911, but whenever he picks up the phone, one of his teeth inevitably hits the number, and if it’s held down for more than three seconds, it dials the police department.”
Without Buddy he would be forced to live in a home because of his disability. “He knows what to do. He’s looking after me,” Mr Stalnaker said.
Buddy is not the first “service dog” to call the emergency operator for help. Leana Beasley’s four-year-old rottweiler, Faith, made an emergency call by pressing a speed-dial button with her nose and barking urgently when her epileptic owner fell out of her wheelchair and hit her head on a kitchen cabinet at her home in Washington state in 2004.
“I sensed there was a problem on the other end of the 911 call,” said Jenny Buchanan, who took the call. “The dog was too persistent in barking directly into the phone receiver. I knew she was trying to tell me something.”

Friday, September 12, 2008

Red Setter Versatile Champion !!

Amy and Augie ready for the big day!

The National Red Setter Field Trial Club is pleased and honored to announce that a red setter has achieved the title of Versatile Champion. BB Augie (aka "Augie") passed the grueling Versatile Title test at the 2008 North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Invitational held near St. Paul Minnesota August 28 to 31. Handled by NRSFTC member Amy Gauthier, Augie achieved a total score of 191 of a possible 200 points, including a perfect score in water work! Augie is Amy's first red setter, and she sure started out with a bang! Amy is trained as a fish and wildlife biologist and is an avid hunter. She says Augie is an awesome pheasant dog, and he sure showed it with this great accomplishment. Augie is the FIRST RED SETTER in the history of NAVHDA to achieve the title of Versatile Champion. A Versatile Champion has demonstrated the ability to perform as a top level hunting dog, including the ability to hunt and point game birds through the entire sequence of pointing, steadiness, and retrieving to hand. The Versatile Champion must also perform extensive water work, including steadiness at the blind, water searches, and water retrieves. They must also demonstrate high levels of obedience and handling skills, and be biddable to the handler through all phases of the test. Only those bird dogs at the highest level of competence are able to achieve this honor.

VC BB Augie

Augie conducting a water retrieve

VC BB Augie

Congratulations to Amy and Augie...

...another piece of the Purest Challenge!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Red Setter Hall of Fame Update...

With only 3 days left on the general membership voting, here are the voting tallies as of September 3:

Wing Shot Fling 30
Sua Sponte 23
Smada Bird 17
Come Back Lady 9
Peabo 5

Remember, according to the rules for entry into the Red Setter Hall of Fame, the general membership votes their recommendations, and the NRSFTC Board of Directors makes the final determination. General membership voting cards must be postmarked prior to September 6 to be counted.