Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Life of Finn McCool

Our dear Finn McCool passed on this week... he was a great gun dog, family member, and Deb's inseperable companion around the house. Many of you saw him each month in the Flushing Whip, as he was often with Deb and usually engaged in some Flushing Whip "project!" Here some pics of Finn from over the years... he was a central part of our life and there is an empty place in our home since he is gone...

The "family photo" at a local hunter's trial... that's Finny in the upper right...

Finn's first flea bath right after arriving home... about 8 weeks of age...

Deb and Finn during a NAVHDA training session. Finn was the first red setter in 30 years to achieve a Utility Test pass... Deb tested him and they received a Prize II (missed a Prize I only because of his tendency to pull on the lead during heeling!)

This used to be a cart! Finn discovered a mouse inside the cart and decided that "dismantling" the cart was the best way to get the mouse! He got it, too!

Al and Finn taking a nap... this is pretty common in the Faze's house during TV time! Finn was a bit of a "stand-offish" dog with most people, but he loved cuddling with Al and Deb, and this was a typical spot to find him during the evenings.

Some pics taken during a hunter's trial at our local gun club, the TRW Gun Club. Deb often ran Finn in the local hunter's trials, and he had 1st place ribbons in both pointing and water trials. In one water trial, he beat out 25 labs and spaniels to take the blue ribbon. That was a fun day!

Finny and Eva. Finn was great with our young dogs and puppies. This is the picture found on our red setter puppy listings page.

Finn and Al doing some training... Finn was around 18 months old in this pic.

Al (on horseback) and Finn (being held by a visitor from Norway) at the breakaway of the National AKC Irish Setter Futurity, in Booneville, Arkansas. In the background (white shirt) is Ken Ruff, who bred both of Finn's parents (Quail Ridge Gabe x Brophy's Lightning II)

Deb and Finn training for NAVHDA. Finn was a "retrieve to hand" dog.

Finn and one of my good friends Chuck Torre (on the right) at a pheasant hunt in Canada. This was a regular weekend event each fall for several years.

Finn on point. He was never a stylish dog, and usually pointed with a flat tail, especially when he was young. But his points were intense, and he had an excellent nose. And, like most good versatile NAVHDA dogs, he pointed anything... birds, rabbits, groundhogs. He also was an outstanding tracker, and could track running game for long distances.

Finn and Al just a couple of months ago... watching TV together. Finn was slowing down by this point, but still went for walks with Al and the puppies in the local woods.

Deb and Finn during Christmas 2010. His health deteriorated not long after this picture.

Finn and Deb playing "catch the snowball" ...Finn's all time most favorite winter game. He was 12 years old in this picture, not bad for an "old man."

Pointing a bird during a training session for his NAVHDA U.T. test This picture was actually used by a British real estate company called "Red Setter Real Estate. The picture is found on all of their business cards, brochures, and website. Cool!

Finn pointing as a derby dog

Visiting with Jim the Postmaster at the Kingsville Post Office... Finn often stopped by to visit with Jim and the staff during the Flushing Whip mailing drop-off

Finn participating in the annual 4th of July parade in Chardon Ohio... he always carried the flag in the parade... for the entire parade route, usually around a half hour...

We think Finn could have written this book... he taught us a lot about bird dogs over his life and career...

One of Finn's favorite spots in the family room...

Finn checks out the "cannonballs"... unusual concretions found along the Cannonball River in western North Dakota, during one of our visits with Dr. Boser at his summer training camp. This was one of Finn's favorite spots... next to the Raleigh Reservoir, where he could swim during the heat of the day...

Finn visits with Tillie, one of our grandkids

In the kennel, waiting for dinner...

Finn and Deb posing for a photo session for the Flushing Whip.

Happy Fourth of July!

Finn had the science of begging down to a "fine art." Here he is showing his stuff in the kitchen next to the "dog biscuit" drawer.

Finn hanging out with one of the new puppies. Finn was our best "puppy trainer"... he helped us housebreak them, learn to hunt, and run, and was a great training companion.

Finn and Al checking out one of our northeast Ohio snows

Finny at about 4 months of age... pointing grasshoppers near our neighbor's pond

Taking a swim to cool off... about 4 months of age... he loved swimming and was also an excellent retriever.

Finn as a young derby

Finn giving us the "snake eye"...
Thank you to Ken Ruff for breeding this wonderful dog. He was a joy and gift for 13 years.

Chantilly Has Passed...

Red Setter Champion Chantilly

This past week I received the sad news that the great red setter Champion Chantilly had passed on. Dr. Roger Boser informed me that “Kelly” had recently suffered some health problems and had died on December 20 after a short illness. In my years as a member of the Board and Futurity Chair for the National Red Setter Field Trial Club I have had the pleasure of seeing many red setters, and Chantilly was always guaranteed to put on a show. She never disappointed. Sired by the Red Setter Hall of Famer Champion Desperado out of Come Back Dixie Girl, Kelly garnered a total of 85 career placements during her 8 year career, including 5 championships and 9 runner-ups. She started her career by winning the Red Setter Futurity in 1999 and clinched the Red Setter Derby of the Year. Under the tutelage of her owner, breeder, trainer and handler Dr. Boser, Chantilly was a force to be reckoned with.
Chantilly was always a pleasure to watch. She had a racy and smooth going gait, and she seemed to glide over the ground as she gobbled up the terrain. Her intensity and demeanor around game never ceased to inspire, and she had an uncanny ability to dig up wild bird finds where others had gone birdless. Without question her greatest performance was the 2003 National Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational Championship. Here is what Joyce Taylor, the reporter for the Invitational had to say: “This dog is fast. She can fly, no matter the footing, today on snow. She ran a big race, sometime all-age range, and handled well. She improved each day, better than the day before, just what you look for with an Invitational format. She handled to perfection, ran hard and consistently, always to the front. This little Irish setter is an absolute perfectionist on birds with intensity before, during and after flush. She proudly and deservedly took home the runner-up title.”
I was fortunate to see Chantilly run for several years while she was in her prime, both at trials and in training on the prairies and in the Carolinas. She was devoted to her handler Roger, and it was such a pleasure to see them work together as a team. Though she was a wide shooting dog, Chantilly had a “sixth sense” and always seemed to know where her partner was heading, as she would show to the front as if she knew exactly what direction Roger was moving. Roger once told me that working with Chantilly gave him such pleasure because she had such a “team” approach to bird hunting. She was a true partner in the sport.
Chantilly was bred sparingly during her career, but the get she produced was exceptional. Red setters Breakstone and Aiken are but two examples of the exceptional red setters who have come out of Chantilly. Dr. Boser notes that Breakstone may one of the most exceptional red setters in his 40 plus years of field trialing. Aiken has proven to be an outstanding All Age performer, running the Kansas circuit under the direction of Don Beauchamp.
Kelly was retired in 2007, and for the past three years she had been a constant fixture in the Boser household. She always had a special place in the hearts of the Boser family, and usually was found lying next to Roger or his wife Mary in their summer home in Pennsylvania, or at their winter training farm in North Carolina. She will be sorely missed by her family, and by the members of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club. May she hunt in those places where bird dogs go, joining the legions of great red dogs who have gone before her, running the great hunt with Bearcat, Abra, Desperado, and Askew’s Carolina Lady. Rest in peace, Chantilly.

Allen Fazenbaker
National Red Setter Field Trial Club