Topbrass Smoke'n Escapade CDX JH WC (Buffy)
7/27/1999 - 3/11/2012
Buffy was Pat’s girl. Pat never trained her, that was my job. However, Pat had a new convertible Mustang and Buffy went everywhere with her. Pat had quit her job to run the office for me as my new business was taking off and I needed administrative help. Pat worked from the house, and Buffy was almost always at her side. The exceptions were when I was training or taking her to the hunt camp with me.
At that point, hunting and fishing were still my main hobbies and I worked at them. Buffy would go to the hunt camp with me and she had a nose. While she never tracked a wounded animal for me, as I was a pretty good shot, I would always take her out to where I had made a fresh kill. I would set her up and send her on a line that would cross the path of the blood trail. When she crossed that path, she would put the brakes on and pick up that line and follow it to the deer. She would start barking and grabbing at the deer’s ears and she began to believe that she got the deer. Buffy learned early to ride the four wheeler with me. I would load the deer on the four wheeler and she would ride proudly back to camp. Even to this day, if she sees the four wheeler she wants to load up.
Buffy was easy to train and her obedience title came easy. Certainly my trainer, Jane, was getting me trained and I was doing a better job as I understood what we were trying to achieve. Even so, I was the limiting factor as Buffy’s dad was an OTCH and she had it in her. I just did not have the time to push that hard as work was dominating my life.
Buffy and I went to our first hunt test with very little training. Buffy passed the land series and we went on to the water. Buffy had never seen a real duck or decoy before. So after she was sent for the duck in the water, she went to each and every decoy and nudged them with her nose. That was when I first learned that Poodles were water dogs as one was the pick up dog. I mocked the idea that you would have to have the Poodle get you duck for you. However, I had a new respect for Poodles after watching that dog work. At that point I did not understand the meaning of the test as I thought all you had to do was bring the duck back, but clearly to the judges, she had failed the marking part of the test. Determined to get the duck and not have to turn to the Poodle, I began to handle Buffy as I had seen others handle but we had never practiced before. Amazing to me and others, I was able to handle her out and over to the duck. That saved us the embarrassment of turning to the Poodle for help. Needless to say, I was amazed at Buffy’s almost natural ability to retrieve ducks and take hand signals as I certainly did not properly train her.
Buffy’s breeding came from a line of Show and Obedience Champions on her father’s side, and her mother’s side was hard core field dogs including her great grandfather FC NAFC Topbrass Cotton (Jackie Mertens ’78 national amateur field champion and one of the best field goldens ever). Buffy was so obedient, but that show side of her breeding did not produce a great deal of drive in the field.
Buffy finished her Junior Hunter title and was bred to Bouncer. We kept two puppies out of that litter, Josie and Diesel. Buffy did not get much more training as my time was shifted to the new puppies. However, Buffy was later run at the Senior test level when I had gotten Diesel and Josie to the level. Again, I was the limiting factor and I did not have the time and know how to achieve that level of success.
Much later in life, while running her granddaughters, I entered Buffy in a Working Certificate trial. Buffy, without training for years, went out and picked up her ducks and achieved her WC title. By then she was old and out of shape, but she still knew what to do. She did not run, but moseyed out, picked up the bird, and moseyed back. Her work in the water was even slower, but she got the ducks. We tried the WCX test even later, but she was not quite good enough to make the grade. By now, Buffy was huge and the judges were joking that you could put a platter on her back and send beer across to the bird boys without spilling a drop.
After she retired, Buffy became the Queen of the house. She went everywhere with Pat and became her shadow.
Buffy became a great grandmother after we obtained Sharlie and we had four generations of girls in our household with Buffy being the matriarch. She had a fun life and would spend hours fishing in our pond. Later in life, she enjoyed her time in the shallow beach entrance of the pool fishing for the pop up cleaning heads.
Buffy brought us much joy throughout her life and her legacy will live on through her future Turbo pups.