Shown here are all of our angels that have gone over that rainbow bridge. We miss them all, and whether they were with us 2 months or 7 years, they were still dear to us, and it broke our hearts to tell them goodbye.
CRIMSON'S TNT BY DESIGN, MH39 "Pyro"
FC AFC Hardscrabbles Powder My Buns X Double G Cosmo's Dream Girl, MH
June 29, 2010 - May 26, 2018See Pyro's Pedigree
They are all part of our family. With some of them, you get 12-14 years, and you know it's coming well before it happens. But every once in a while, life throws you a curve ball. It punches you in the gut, and comes out of nowhere, and you lose one way too soon.
It was a very sad Memorial Day weekend. We had no idea going into the weekend we would be burying one of our hunting buddies.
Pyro was a handsome boy that loved hunting and picking up birds. He was a creeper like his momma, and always kept us on our toes, but he was such an easy dog to have around the house. Hunting season won't be the same this year. We will be missing our big and goofy boy.
DOUBLE G BIG HOOTERS DOLLY "Dolly"
NFC FC AFC Dewey's Drake of Moon Rivers X Candlewoods Talk Around Town
December 14, 2004 - May 8, 2018See Dolly's Pedigree
Dolly may not have titles with initials and numbers behind her name, but if there were titles for awesome mom, and sweet nature, she would definitely have those wrapped up! Dolly came to us when she was a year old, and we knew that a hunt test career wasn't in her future. She had a great pedigree, and a super sweet personality, so we knew that her puppies would be great companion dogs, and we just couldn't resist adding that sweet face to our family She had a few litters of puppies, but spent most of her time hanging around the house and giving love and kisses to everyone that stopped to pet her.
The last two years we had with Dolly were extra special - she really wasn't supposed to be around that long after a nasty round with cancer and a pretty significant surgery. But she proved every one wrong, and we got about 18 extra months worth of love and memories with her that we weren't expecting.
Dolly was the ultimate loving and faithful companion. Everyone should be so lucky to have a friend like Dolly - she would greet us every day, bouncing like a bunny rabbit, tail wagging and those beautiful dark eyes looking straight to your heart!
We will always miss our sweet Dolly Girl.
DOUBLE G COSMO'S DREAM GIRL, MH35 "Abby"
FC AFC Dare To Dream X Lean Mac' Lil Devil
November 5, 2004 - March 26, 2018See Abby's Pedigree
I've started this post multiple times. I haven't been able to complete it. My heart is in denial - and writing it down will make it too real. But she deserves it.
Yesterday I lost my best girl. Abby - AKA Crazy Abby - AKA Breaking Bitch - AKA My Best Girl.
Abby was without a doubt the most talented dog I have been lucky enough to own. Her drive and desire to retrieve a bird will never be matched by any other dog I own. Her score card can never reflect just how good she was. It does reflect her biggest fault - her inability to sit still. But her biggest fault was a product of her biggest attribute - her enormous heart and her love of the game. The craziest thing about my "Crazy Abby", was her off switch. It was an immediate kill switch. Put up the birds, bring her in the house and let her lay at your feet - and you would never know she was there.
Abby has given us the foundation for our kennel. We have 3 Abby puppies - Andi MH, Pyro MH and Glory MNH. She had 4 litters, with 3 different sires, and produced at least one Master Hunter in all 4 litters. We have an Abby granddaughter, Minnie MH, and hopefully an Abby great-granddaughter on the way. We owe so much of our success to her and her lineage.
Abby played her own special part in mine and Jimmy's love story. And Abby has given me one of my dearest and most respected friends, Helen. I can never thank her enough for giving me those special people in my life.
Oddly enough, of those 35 Master Passes and those 2 silver plates, none of those were achieved with me at her side. Oh, Abby loved me more than she loved most anyone. But she didn't want to be at the line with me. No, she wanted to be at the line with her daddy or her "other" mom - Helen. I wasn't sure that we would ever get that last Master Pass and get that title - I'm not sure Helen thought we would either. But we finally did, thanks to Helen, and then we hit her infamous streak - of breaking 10 tests in a row. We were most certainly done at that point - or at least I thought so. We sat out a year, and Jimmy took her from me - and they went on a fabulous run, and they were pretty much unstoppable for about 4 years.
Abby went back to her "childhood ways" in her last competitive year. We chose to retire her instead of tightening her training again. She had earned that luxury. I ran her in her last hunt test in July 2016 with our friend Allen Dillard judging. I desperately wanted to pass that test. We knew it was her last, and I wanted to be able to say we had passed at least one test together. Abby went out and smoked his first series, and was one of only a handful of dogs that did it clean. And then, in true Abby fashion, she broke on honor in the second series. I couldn't even try to stop her - my emotions and tears wouldn't let me. I cried all the way to the truck - not because she broke, but because it was the end of an amazing career.
Now, our quirky statistic is one that I cherish, along with so many wonderful memories of my best girl. I look forward to more Abby lineage, and my new puppy that's on the way. I hope she has the heart and soul of her great-grandmother, and if she has half of her talent, we'll be just fine.
RIP Abby - You don't have to sit and wait for your birds anymore. The judge called your number and they're all yours now.
TUBBY'S MAXXIMUM TROUBLE, MH59 "Maxx"
Troublesome Fat Chance, MH X Jessica's Chocolate Cait, MH
March 22, 2005 - January 8, 2018See Maxx's Pedigree
Monday night, January 8, 2018 was supposed to be an exciting night - filled with lots of anticipation, anxiety and hopefully in the end, lots of happiness and "Roll Tide" cheers. Instead, the National Championship game became very unimportant, and not at all what we will remember about that day. This day was instead filled with sadness and tears as we had to make the hardest decision that dog owners ever have to make - to let go of our own feelings and do what is best for our companion and friend. January 8th to us will always be the day we said goodbye to our buddy Maxx.
Maxx was one of the best dogs I ever hunted with. He was steady as a rock and quiet in the pit. He was the ultimate gentleman. He could mark as many birds as we could knock down, and seemed to have eyes in the back of his head to even know where they landed behind him. He knew how to give you "the look" when you missed - "REALLY???", his eyes would say. I swear he could raise his eyebrows at you. He loved a pop-tart as much as his mom Cait did, and was as handsome a dog as you could want.
Walking to the line with Maxx at a Hunt Test was truly a pleasure. He never made noise, he never crept, and ran as straight a line as you could ask for. For me, as a novice handler, when I ran my first Master Tests, he was the perfect dog to get "line time" with. Really, he just needed me to take the birds. I'll always be thankful to Jimmy for sharing him with me, and allowing me to make my newbie mistakes with him. He always bailed me out and made me look good.
Maxx is the last of the 3 dogs that Jimmy owned when we got married. That made it so much more difficult to be the one at home making the decisions, since Jimmy was in Arkansas hunting. I'm sure it was equally hard for him to be away from home and not having the chance to say goodbye. As I sat with him in the kennel, waiting on our amazing and compassionate vet to arrive, I told him what a good boy he was, and that his daddy loved him.
It seemed very fitting that on Tuesday morning in Arkansas, a single came in, just at shooting time, and hung fat in the front. Buzz called it - "This is one is Maxx's". Jimmy's was the lone shot that brought down Maxx's final bird.
RIP my handsome boy - And may they all be flyers from now on.
JESSICA'S CHOCOLATE CAIT, MH40 "Cait"
Pease's Hershey X Pease's Harley
April 12, 2000 - April 5, 2014
Tracy's Facebook post the the day that Cait died:
Today was a really tough day. Back in December I posted about us losing Toby. Today we lost Cait. Toby was one half of the reason Jimmy and I are together. Cait is the other half. Cait and Toby are what got Jimmy and I both involved in hunt tests, which is where we met. So, today before we buried our sweet girl, I thanked her for sharing her daddy with me. I promised her that I would love him, protect him and be as loyal as she was to him. From the back of a pickup truck in the Kroger parking lot, to hunt tests all over the US, to hunting trips and a life devoted to her daddy, Cait was a wonderful dog. She had one Master National pass, and we got her MH40 certificate a couple of weeks ago. She ran Master National in 2012 and was the oldest dog there. She would have been 14 next Saturday. One of the pictures below is Cait on her very last hunt in a rice field in Arkansas in 2012. Her very last retrieve was a bird that I shot. Against his better judgement, Jimmy let her chase that cripple about a hundred yards, into some tall rice. We couldn't see her for several seconds. When she came out with that bird, I started crying, and cried her whole way back to the pit. We knew it would probably be her last. She was a special dog and I owe a lot to her. Momma dog, I hope they are all flyers tonight. RIP sweet girl.
TOBY BOY BRYANT "Toby"
Hunter McCann X Trussell's Brown Sugar Baby
August 28, 1998 - December 14, 2013
Tracy's Facebook post the day that Toby died -
Today at approximately 4:00 I lost one of the best friends I've ever had. He's been with me through lots of ups and downs and several failed relationships. He's kissed away my tears and snuggled in bed with me on some long cold lonely nights. He's chased me in circles while I laughed like a crazy person and we've made so many memories together. I owe everything to him. He changed my life. Without him I wouldn't have met Jimmy, which means I wouldn't have my greatest joys, Nathan and Sidney or my beautiful stepdaughter Jessica. I wouldn't have friends all over the country or silver plates on my wall. He wasn't human, he was so much more. He was a dog. He was supposed to be Chad's dog and I really didn't want him. But I fell in love with him. And he was so great I wanted another, which led to another..... And that's how Crimson Kennels was born and I was introduced to a whole new world of Hunt Tests. So you see, he really did change everything for me. A piece of me died with him today. I buried a huge chunk of my heart beside him. I will be sleeping in this house tonight without him for the first time ever. He moved in the same day I did. Toby, I love you buddy. You were my heart dog. You will never be forgotten and you can never be replaced. Thank you for making my life what it is today. We had 15 years and 4 months of love and companionship. It was a hard decision to let you go, but it was the right thing to do for you. Thanks to Jimmy for being so wonderful and to doc for being so understanding
MOSBY'S BIG JAKE, MH41 MNH "Jake"
Rebels's Major Mosby, MH X Jessica's Chocolate Cait, MH
November 10, 2003 - June 12, 2015
Jake was our first Master National Hunter and was such a fun and quirky dog to be around. As frustrating sometimes as he was lovable, there was never a dull moment with Jake. He had a tongue that was a mile long, and he loved to use it at every opportunity! His panting, creeping and happy feet were signs of his love of the birds. For several years, Jake was the lead man hunting in Arkansas, and I can't tell you how many hundreds of birds he picked up. But I can tell you he loved every minute of it. Jake has his own special place in the story of mine and Jimmy's relationship and how it developed. I'm glad he needed one more pass Michigan in late July to qualify for Master National. Jake's health declined rather quickly, and it was his time to go almost before we even realized what was happening. Fly high big guy, and you don't have to sit still anymore!
JASMINE JESSY BRYANT "Jessy"
Toby Boy Bryant X Precious Penny Bryant
August 17, 2000 - March 20, 2015
Jessy, Jessy. Oh my sweet Jessy Bug. I could just go on and on about my Bug. Jessy was one of the puppies in the very first litter ever born here. The litter that was born by accident because I had no clue what was going on. Since it was the first puppies I had ever had, I obviously had to keep one, right? When Jessy was a year old, she got hit by a car in our driveway, and after 4 surgeries in 3 months she ended up losing her back left leg. I cried more than she appeared to be bothered by it, and she never missed a beat when she came home. Jessy was the dog that leaned against you when you sat on couch watching TV, and nosed your hand until you would pet her. She was also the most mischievous of the dogs we've ever had. From chewing up the 4 wheeler seat, to eating a box of fireworks, there was never a dull moment with Jessy.
BRANDY BELL BRYANT "Brandy"
Talley's Big Brown Buck X Miss Maddie Marmalade
November 16, 2001 - January 24, 2016
Brandy came to us when she was a year old. Her family was having some struggles and had to move into an apartment that would not allow dogs. Brandy was a Toby granddaughter, so it was an easy decision for us to take her. Brandy was a great mom, and had several very large litters. She was our first real attempt at breeding, and she made it very easy for us to fall in love with breeding labs. Brandy was always very low maintenance and laid around pretty quietly. She lived a very long life and gave us lots of love and laughter.
MAGGY MAY BRYANT "Maggy"
NAFC FC AFC Candlewoods Ramblin Man X Brooks Molly II
October 20, 2002 - February 23, 2015
Maggy was a sweet puppy that was our first "real quality pedigree" purchase. Just like some of other dogs, Maggy also played a special part in mine and Jimmy's story. I had taken her to someone I had been referred to that had a nice dog to have her bred. At the time I knew nothing about Hunt Tests or dog training, and meeting Don introduced me to that world. Jimmy was his best friend, and when I started going on the weekends to watch, that was the beginning of mine and Jimmy's friendship that we had for many years. Maggy was an excellent mother, not only to her puppies, but to any puppy that was around. She was a life saver one year when we had to bottle feed a litter of 12 starting at 24 hours old. Even though she had a litter of 8 of her own at the time, she took 4 of those puppies and raised them as her own. We lost Maggy very suddenly on a cold winter night. While I do appreciate that she never suffered, I do wish I had been able to tell her goodbye and that I loved her. She was my pretty girl and I miss her very much!
LITTLE LUCY BRYANT "Lucy"
Lori's King Cody X Lori's Little Maggie Girl
April 21, 2002 - May 20, 2014
Lucy came to us at 6 months old. A friend contacted us and said she knew of someone looking to rehome their puppy because they had small children and the puppy was jumping all over them and playing way too rough. We went and picked her up, expecting a wild and crazy dog. Well, we got a big surprise, and hit the jackpot with our sweet Lucy. She was a sweet and laid back girl, and jumping was never an issue. With lots of love and attention, she settled right in, and was one of the best mothers we ever had. In her later years, she went to live with our daughter and son-in-law. She was our grandson's bed partner and lived out the rest of her life knowing love and being spoiled like crazy. The day we lost her was tough for all of us, but especially an 8 year old boy. We will always be thankful for the folks that thought she was "too rough". The only thing that was ever too rough about her was losing her!