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My Maggie

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My Maggie
I Just want yo tell the story of my gunning partner for 17 years. I was just a kid of 20 when I started reading allthese storys about the big bad Chesapeke Bay Retrievers. So I figured that was the dog for me. I knew nothing of the breed outside of what I had read. I found an add in the New York Times. It was from a man in Lindenwold NJ named Ed Cahill. So I took a ride down to see his pups. I didn't have a clue as to how to go about picking one, so when this ball of Dead Grass fluff walked up to me and said take me home. I was easy to agree with her. Maggie came from the 1st litter sired by a dog named Chesdale Chippawa Chief. I picked her up on her 49th day and headed back to Long Island. I knew I had something special when I brought her home and she scratched on the door to be let out to do her busssiness. I bought Richard Wolters, "Water Dog" and Maggie and I went to work.. We never missed a day, but it was not without set backs. On opening day Maggie was ready. I laid in the Tide Pond just off the State Channel in South Oyster Bay that morning. When I dropped the 1st Black Duck and sent Maggie she charged out picked it up and then just as quickly spit it out. On the 2nd bird she wouldn't even go. I was furious, a years work wasted . When the week end came we were still fishing. In those days the Windy was a part time operation. Stacey Rose, my gunning partner at the time took a walk to Big Reed Pond in Montauk for some pass shooting. We had Maggie with us, but I didn't expect much. She was out playing in the bushes when I dropped a Bufflehead. At the sound of the shot Maggie came running. I had to thow a rock toward the bird and Maggie made her 1st retrieve. The 2nd was on a body shot Red Head, That fell in the bushes across the lake and up on the hill almost 1/4 mile away, Mag wanted to go so I sent her, She made that retrieve and the rest was history. In her life time she probably brought back over 10,000 Ducks and Geese. In those days we used to kill 600-700 ducks a season and a like amount of Geese. She was a legand. Many times I saw her swimming under the ice after a lively Black Duck. She lived to be 17 and at the end of her life she was stone deff and need help to come out of the pit, but she never faltered. She was the Dog of a lifetime. She wasn't much of a watch dog though as she didn't even bark when someone came to the door. If that was her only fault, I'd sure like to have another one like her.
Sportfishing spring thru fall and gunnig Sea Duck, Puddlers, Divers and Geese all season long. Call me at 1-631-668-5741 http://www.windyducks.com
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Re: My Maggie In reply to
Sorry to hear of your loss, Maggie sounds like a great hunting partner. I know you are looking for another Chesapeake bay retriever, and I can't blame you they are really great dogs. Nice to hear the stories of our old 4 legged friends, they never go away.


Proud to be a DHBP Member Cool
Shoot them in the lips!
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Re: My Maggie In reply to
Sorry to hear Capt. God speed to Maggie..................Kevin
http://www.ironfirerailings.com
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Re: My Maggie In reply to
Great dog,and great tale Capt'n.Sorry for the loss.We take them to our hearts,knowing they are only here to please us for a little while then its off to the heavens to wait for us.

Ciao
Joe O
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Re: My Maggie In reply to
Capt Jack - Thanks for sharing this about a dog that truely was special. I hope that in time you have only happy memories. They go too fast I know having shared many happy times gunning with 3 good companions over the last 30 + years myself. I trainied my first also using Walters book and I want to tell you about an experience that I had.

Not being too experienced, I left my 3 month old pup with a friend when I had to be away for a week on my honeymoon. I asked him to shoot a gun off when he fed the dog as I had done some of this with a cap gun. Because the dog was in a strange place and the real gun much louder, he became very gunshy in about 1 day. My friend was smart enough to stop but when I got home I had a real problem. Walters was still working in advertising at the time and I managed to leave a message for him and he was kind enough to call me back and patiently listen to the whole story. He felt that I had a only slim chance of correcting the problem but said to get the dog very excited about a duck and then gradually reintroduce the noise from a distance and then closer etc.

I'll bet I spent 2 months trying this without being sure if things would work and finally I took Thumper to the marsh. As luck would have it we put a black up right under his nose and I dropped the bird behind some high grass in a tidal creek. He took off like a rocket and I thought that it was hopeless until I realized that he was headed for the duck. When he emerged from the tules with the cripple in his mouth I understood just how special hunting with a retriever that you trained could be. It was fun to write a thank you note to Richard and thank him for his help. He passed too young and was a very nice person from what I could tell and he had a great way to describe the training process.

I have now spent 2 seasons without a retriever but do plan to get another when I can work less. I hope your search for a new pup finds the right dog to fill what must be a big void - again thanks for sharing this with us. You have reminded us about why gunning with a good dog is so great.

sarge
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Re: My Maggie In reply to
Thanks for your comments. Wolter's book was an unbeliveable help for me. I new nothing of training a retriever. The one thing I didn't like about his method was his method of disaplines I think back , I think I was to hard on her at times. But we both got over it. I'll be getting a new Chessie soon and I am really looking forward to training once again. We the dog becomes your gunning partner and does her job you get complacent with her abilities, but now that she is gone some 20 years I appreciate her more than ever
Sportfishing spring thru fall and gunnig Sea Duck, Puddlers, Divers and Geese all season long. Call me at 1-631-668-5741 http://www.windyducks.com