Four months ago I didn’t believe I would have the chance to write this post, but tomorrow will be Hunter’s 17th birthday. He’s a lot slower, and spends more time sleeping than anything else, but he is still with me, despite the diagnosis last winter of a likely brain tumour. Medication has kept the seizures pretty well under control, he has had a few, but not at all what I would consider bad enough to let him go. He still enjoys his food tremendously, and his constitutionals around and around the yard. I think with spring in sight, he may even perk up as he can be outside getting more excercise (the ice and potholes are hard when you can’t really see where you are going).
So here is 17 years of pictures for those who may not have known him in his glory days. A little bit of history of a dog who will be around in pedigrees for many years to come.
Hunter came into my life in the summer of 1996 from Barb Hoffman. I have tried to find some pictures of him as a tiny puppy, but unfortunately they seem to have disappeared over the years. I was undecided between names, tossing back and forth a few – Bobby being the one at the top of the list. However, at that time I was much more involved with my wolfhounds, and he would hide in the tall grass, stalking the ends of the wolfhounds tails, then bounding out, pouncing on them and biting them. I used to laugh at him and call him the mighty Hunter, and that is the name that stuck.
Hunter with the gang - Donovan on futon, Ruari and Megan on blue pillow, Penny on plaid
Hunter’s show career was not as phenomenal as that of many of his descendents. As a puppy he earned a puppy group placement under J.R. Glendinning at one of his first shows at 8 months.
Hunter - Best Puppy In Group - 8 months
I finished his championship just over a year of age at the spring Trillium shows.
Hunter - New Champion - 13 months
He was basically unnoticed here in the far north for two years. I used him myself for two litters with Abbey – the Hannukah litter which produced Judith and the spice litter which produced Megan.
Judith - new Champion - 1 yr
Megan - 6 months
Judith, unfortunately ended up never being bred, but Megan went on to produce several more champions for me.
Hunter did a bit of winning in Canada, but nothing especially noteworthy, picking up occasional group placements.
Hunter Group 3 - 1998
In 1998 Hunter made his ring debut at the American Nationals. At his first Nationals he was Best of Winners under Jon Kimes.
Best of Winners - CWCCA 1998
He followed up this win by completing his championship in the US with two more Regional Specialty wins, and RWD at the 1999 CWCCA National. During this time he sired a litter at Phi-Vestavia – the Storm Litter which produced the ROM producers Camille and Riley, and my girl Gale, who is behind many of the dogs I show today.
Reserve Winners Dog - CWCCA 1999
Hunter continued to show on a limited basis in Canada – only showing to judges I felt could appreciate him.
Group 4 - 6 years - Cheryl Myers-Egerton
In 2006 Hunter sired a couple of very nice litters for Barb Hoffman and Jon Kimes – one of the litters producing the 2007 CWCCA Best of Winners dog – Merrymoon Pluperfect Pathway (Brett).
I also bred Hunter back to two of his granddaughters – Rocky (Am/Cdn Ch Yasashiikuma Scirocco) and Ruby (Cdn Ch Yasashiikuma Weetartan Sedalia). Rocky’s litter produced Dolly and Ruby produced Jade who later became mother to Dragoon.
In 2007 Carolyn Cannon approached me about breeding Alice to Hunter – a breeding which produced Chase, Pilot and Libby, who have all gone on to produce champions themselves.
Despite all of his children’s successes – Hunter has never earned an ROM himself. He has more than enough points, as several of his children have maxed out on their contributions, but unfortunately we were never able to find one more person willing to put a title on one of his kids. I had hoped we would see it happen while he was still alive, but I know that won’t likely happen now. He has left his mark on the breed nonetheless.
Hunter in the meantime has sort of faded into the background. He has come out for the National Specialties and Western Reserve.
In 2008 at the CWCCA National at the age of 12 he won his class in regular showing and veterans sweeps as well as the Stud Dog class.
Stud dog class- CWCCA 2009 - with Dolly and Chase
Over the next couple of years Hunter only showed in Veterans classes, as he started to slow down winning the Sweepstakes at the Western Reserve Specialty and the Canadian National. The judge at the Canadian National told me that at 14 he was in serious contention for the breed, but she awarded it to his daughter Dolly, and BOS to Grandson Dragoon.
CWCCWR - 2009 - Best in Veteran Sweeps under Eileen Eby
Best Veteran - 14 years old - Canadian National 2010
His last show was the U.S. National in 2012. No longer competitive, Hunter made his last trip around the ring with me in the Parade of Titleholders. It was a sad moment for me, as it really hit home that it was the last time I would get to show him, this year the national is just too far and the Western Reserve show is just too hot to subject him to. So this is Hunter’s life now, dreaming in front of the fire.
Happy birthday to a very grand old man!