Author Archives: chris

The Excitement of the Catch

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One winter afternoon, I had a date with two Vizslas named Midget and Mimosa. They were both young, energetic dogs owned by a fabulous trainer in my hometown of Chatham. I had never spent any time with Vizslas. I only knew they were wonderful hunting dogs who were recognized for retrieving upland game.

I set up my tripod amidst a lovely wooded lot with a fresh coating of snow. The trainer had explained how she trains the dogs with birds beginning at an early age.The birds used for hunting practice are closely monitored and protected by the individual towns. I was anxious to see how the bird training was executed. I heard the trainer say, “Are you ready?” I exclaimed, “Yes!” What happened next was a blur. All I recall were the alert expressions on the faces of Midget and Mimosa. Their bodies were in a pointing position, apparently preparing to do something great. Seconds later my focus went completely awry. I heard a furious flapping of wings, two dogs sprinting in the air, and a pit in my stomach, front and center. I had no idea what happened until I saw Mimosa running back with a bird in her mouth, alive! I asked the trainer how it was possible that this dog retrieved a bird without killing it. She told me, in a very matter of fact way, how they are soft-mouthed hunting dogs who are always on the lookout for bird scent. Their intention is only to retrieve, not to kill.

It took me a few minutes to gain my composure before I could start photographing. It had been a magnificent moment. These dogs were amazing!

Since that experience, I have met many Vizslas. I have the utmost respect for their many talents and their affection and loyalty to their families.

A Dog’s Loyalty Knows No Limits

A Dog’s Loyalty Knows No Limits
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As we celebrated the safe finish at the second Boston Marathon after the catastrophic bombing of 2013, we remember those who helped our family and friends during that horrific day.

Being a dog lover, I was so touched by Adele’s story as told to me by her mom. Adele is the first cardiac dog in the United States. Adele was one block away with her mom, whom she protects with her life, when the explosions began. With all of the chaos and confusion, Adele’s dad, had been separated from the two of them. Seeing the panic in the eyes of Adele and her mom, searching and screaming desperately for her husband, the crowds rallied and chanted, “Jeff” until they were thankfully re-united. When the crowds realized how vulnerable Adele was with the hoards of people running for their lives, many formed a human shield to keep them from being trampled.

There were so many heartwarming stories played over and over that day. The love of this dog for her mom, instinctively knowing that the tremendous stress being placed on her heart, literally and figuratively, could bring imminent danger and require life saving efforts.

Because all transportation had ceased, Adele and her mom and dad, had to walk 11 miles before they reached their home.

It has been two years since the bombings. Adele is now preparing to retire and let the transition begin with a new service dog taking care of her mother. Due to the major expenses that will be incurred, there will be a fundraiser in Boston on Friday, May 15th. These contributions will assist with the costs of training the new labrador, Hector, through Canine Partners For Life. Please go to Adele’s website to get more information on the fundraising efforts, www.bit.ly/martyandadele

Adele is in my book, DOGS ON CAPE COD. I am honored to have her; she is an outstanding dog who has given her mom a quality of life she could have never had without her.