Gordie 1998 - 2014
Gordie, Gordo, The Gordster, Boots, Doodle, Gordon T Setter, The Shadow. Gordie started it all, started all this bird dog stuff. It all began in August 1998 when we pulled into a farm yard in Cass City Mi., opened a barn door and 6 puppies rolled into the yard, their mother trailing. She was a medium sized, field bred Gordon setter, Maggie. In a kennel next to the barn was the stud, a tall, broad shouldered, well-built black and white setter male.
An hour later we were on the road with a new companion. We stopped at a grocery in Caro, bought dog food, a bowl, a collar and a leash. When we arrived home we saw he was full of fleas. He spent the night in the back bathroom and howled till dawn.
Monday he was bathed, brushed, combed and picked thru until the last flea was gone. He then introduced himself to the neighborhood. We still hadnt named him, kicking around any number of ideas. It wasnt until Tuesday, the creative juices flowing; we called each other at work and settled on Gordie. It surely fit.
Thru Gordie we met a number of folks who remain friends to this day. First, the Craigs at the Huntsman, Craig Novotny and Craig Shaw. Craig Shaw spent the summer training Gordie and me. When we went for our final session we asked, Is he any good? Hell never embarrass you. He never did.
The following summer a desire for more formal training led us to Justin McGrail. On our interview run with Gordie he took a 40-acre hay field in one long cast. As he passed the planted pigeon he skidded to a stop in a cloud of dust, switched ends and stuck that bird. Oh my god! were the exact words from Justins mouth. Gordie stood tall as we walked the 120 yards to his point.
Looking for a place to free run our dogs we discovered Highland, the Silo course. That first day another guy running dogs chased us thru the course wanting to talk. It was Ron Levitan. He convinced us to go to Gladwin and run in the Amateur hunting dog stake. We did and we took home 2 ribbons on that trip. Gordie ran that same stake a number of times, placing 1st at 12 years old, second 3 times and a number of 3rds and honorable mentions. That first trial was our introduction to Gladwin. I think we are sticking around for a while longer.
Weve hunted nearly every county in Michigans lower peninsula that hold grouse. We have hunted the thumb and shot wild pheasant over his points. During a southern Michigan December hunt he stuck a covey of 8 wild quail. It might be his only find where he stood broke. He had some of his best bird dog days in the UP where we had a camp for 10 years. He hunted Montana at 15 years of age. He pointed his last wild birds the fall of his 15th year in Benzie County, 2 woodcock on a 10-minute run. His first and last grouse were no more that 100 yards apart in Kalkaska County.
This weekend on a trip north was the 1st trip north in 16 years without him in the back seat. Last Thursday he told us it was time. We took him, we unleashed him, we whistled him on and he took one last long smooth cast across the Rainbow Bridge to join with his kennel mates, Gwennie Mae and Ruby Lou.