This is a special page, not for every dog we have ever owned, but certainly for the most special ones. This group of dogs could accurately tell the story of how we have been educated by them as to how dogs think, learn, and love. They taught us all we know about showing, training, and caring for dogs. Take a minute to read their stories and appreciate their beauty. Many tears were shed at their passing.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
I want to memorialize a very special dog by giving him his own page. He was the love of my life and a one in a million dog that can never be replaced. Please click below:
CH Sandpiper's Lickerish Stix CDX JH CGC (Rodney) Co-owned with Patty Pace
CH Hillbrook’s Royal Athercroft x CH Wildwood Sandpiper Destiny CD JH WCX
DOB 4-3-1986 – 2-1-1994
Rodney was bred by Patty Pace and Nancy Maggiacomo Schenck. He was Sherie’s first Flat-coat and was a handsome puppy. It was evident early on, that Rodney was very special, and we hoped that he would follow in the footsteps of his parents. His father, Brooks, was BOB at the national specialty, a multiple group winner and placer, and number one ranked conformation dog for flat-coated retrievers. His mother, Piper, was a BOS winner at the national specialty, and was also a multiple group placer. Rodney finished his show championship at only eight months of age, with a BOB and Sporting Group 4th, shown by Sherie as owner/handler. Rodney turned out to be a wonderful introduction to the flat-coat breed, and we can only hope for another that can equal him in the show ring. He had an exciting water entry, and loved his field work. He was campaigned in Utility obedience, and while he had yet to pass, after his first three or four attempts, he was extremely close to putting it all together. Rodney was lost to cancer at the young age of eight.
As written by Sherie for the 2005 Flat-coated Retriever directory:
…Rodney…was a multiple group placer in the United States and Canada. He was an avid, trainable, retriever and was trained through Utility. His outstanding movement, showmanship, and exceptional temperament were some of the qualities that made us fall in love with the breed. Rodney and his mother, Piper, were our introduction to Flat-coats, and we are fortunate to have collected him before he passed so that we may continue his legacy.
CH Wildwood's Sandpiper Destiny CD JH WCX (Piper) Co-owned with Patty Pace
CH Athercroft’s Deacon Blues x CH Athercroft’s Autumn Chemar CD TD
DOB 4-7-1984 – 6-28-94
Similar to the situation that happened between us and Eleanor Trew with Fever, Patty Pace offered Piper to us at the age of six, on a co-ownership. The idea was that we could put some performance titles on her and get a litter from her. At the same time, Patty could reduce her numbers by one, as she now had Piper’s son Rodney with her, full time, on the show circuit. We were never able to get Piper bred. However, we did manage to add a WCX (our first ever), JH, and CD to her name. Although our golden retriever, Puffer, was the first dog that could work with very basic hand signals during blind retrieves at short distances, Piper was one of two of the first dogs that we actually put through a regimented handling program (now considered to be standard protocol) for the field. She was working on pattern blinds at the time she came down with cancer. It is estimated that she would have been running in Senior Hunt Tests within a few months at the time her training had to cease. Piper had beautiful side movement, and won BOS and the flat-coat national specialty. She was a barn burner in the field with amazing speed and aptitude. It was an honor to train and love her, and we thank Patty for sharing her with us. Piper passed at the age of 10 years.
Renaissance Tropical Storm MH CD WCX CGC (Windy) (Co-owned with Kass Goulding)
CH OTCH Hob-B’s Knite Ryder MH WCX*** x CH Renaissance Spellbinder
DOB 8-24-1992 – 12-13-2005
Windy was our third flat-coat, coming to us after Rodney and Piper. We wanted a bitch that someday, could be linebred to Rodney, so we acquired her from Linda Randall DVM, at the recommendation of good friend, Patty Pace (from whom we had gotten both Rodney, and Piper). She was intended to be mostly a conformation dog (she never finished her show championship, although she was pointed). We were clueless as to her field potential at the time of her purchase. We sent Windy to a professional retriever trainer at around seven months of age (James Brengosz of Thomasville, Ga.), and she blossomed immediately. She went through training quickly and had massive amounts of talent, desire and tremendous speed. So much speed and recklessness, in fact, that she had previously broken two toes as a four month old, just coming out of her crate. Although she had worn a cast for a month, she never slowed down, and you could hear her cast thumping rapidly on the pool patio as she sped in or out. While campaigning to her field titles, we always received notable comments from judges about the style with which she performed her work. She had the type of heart that would never let her quit, or even let down for a second. As a two year old, during a stressful training session with Gates Kirkham (James Brengosz’s assistant), she went down from heat exhaustion, refusing to slow down until she collapsed. Consequently, at that time, we almost lost her to DIC, which is a blood condition that occurs from overheating, whereby all of the coagulant depletes from the blood. It took a transfusion from a greyhound to save her.
Windy always had to have something in her mouth, and managed to eat the stuffing out of her toys on two separate occasions which resulted in surgery in order to free the obstruction. She was also maniacal about carrying around her food dish. She would bark incessantly and carry on if you did not pay her the attention she was entitled to. The downside to all of this energy was that she could be very willful in her training at times. Because she was the first dog we ever ran in Master, we employed Kass Goulding’s help to finish getting her Master passes. Later, we signed Kass on as co-owner of the “Wee Wee Queen” (which was one of Windy’s nicknames). Our favorite name after being thoroughly bent over by Windy at a hunt test was, “that lying, cheating, bitch!” Terry Seeley and Andrea Holsinger also got in on the action by training her in agility and earning her CD title in obedience.
Windy was our first introduction into advanced field work, and duck hunting, too. She was our primary duck retrieving dog until the age of 10 years. We couldn’t begin to count the actual number of wild ducks and training ducks that she has retrieved, but I am sure it is well into the thousands.
Windy had only two litters of puppies, not having her first until she was almost eight. Both litters were sired by our Jamie (HRCH UH CH Hardscrabble’s Feath’r Fetch’r MH WCX). There will never be another “QUEEN”! We miss you Windy!
Originally sent out Dec 13, 2005:
RENAISSANCE TROPICAL STORM CD MH WCX CGC (CH OTCH HOB-B’S KNITE RYDER UD, MH*** x CH RENAISSANCE SPELLBINDER)
8/24/92 - 12/13/05
Our first Flat Coat Master Hunter, our hunting companion, the mother of our children, grandmother-to-be.
It does not get any easier, does it? Thank you Linda Randall and Paulette Schwarzendruber for 13+ wonderful years; she never even slowed down a lick until last week.
Clint and I feel blessed that we had some good quality last few days with the "Queen".
The Catledge house is a lot quieter today…………… Sherie
CH Bear Country's Mystique SH WCX (Misty)
HRCH UH CH Hardscrabble Feathr Fetchr MH WCX CGC x Renaissance Tropical Storm CD MH WCX CGC
DOB 6-2-1999 - 9-24-2008
Misty (aka Moo Cakes) was from the first breeding of Jamie to Windy. She was the one from that litter that stuck out to us as having the most field potential as a young puppy of only 8 weeks. That has proven to be true. Like Remie (who was from the second breeding), Misty had lots of focus and intensity in the field. She had a nice headpiece, nice side movement, and beautiful profile. She was a smaller, more compact bitch, but was rather solid, like her mom. Also like Remie, she had suffered from Clint having a full time job, but only working as a part time trainer, and especially from him spending most of his time and efforts with Jamie over recent years. Consequently, she was still working on her big dog titles. One of Misty’s littermates, Scully (CH Bear Country X-Files JH WCX), originally co-owned with us by Kass Goulding and Andrea Holsinger was shown at 2 national specialties, winning her class at the 2000 national specialty, and placing 4th in the competitive Working Retriever class at the 2001 specialty. Additionally, Scully's first litter produced nicely, with one pup placing in both of her classes at the 2003 national specialty, and another winning Best In Sweeps at a supported entry in California. Misty had recently run hunt tests to complete her senior title. She unexpectedly came down with cancer and succumbed to it rather quickly. Her death has been devastating to us and it is saddening to know that she had so much field talent, drive and desire, and could have been so much more in the field if we only had more time to spend with her as young dog. She is laid to rest on the top of our pasture with her friends, so she can play and romp, and be with us as we continue to train.
CH Twin Oaks Spring Fever MH WCX *** (Fever) Co-owned with Eleanor Trew
CH Spring Valley Moonstone UD MH x CH Spring Hollow’s Place A Bet
DOB 11-6-1991 – 4-12-2001
Fever was bred by Joan Sharpe and Patricia Sutton. Eleanor Trew was crazy about Fever as a puppy, and talked Joanie into letting Fever come to live with her. The rest is history, as through Eleanor’s tutelage, Fever became an outstanding field dog, achieving Qualified All Age status along the way. Fever came to live with us as a six year old, as Eleanor needed to assist her mother due to illness, and consequently, didn’t have the time available to give to Fever’s training. At the time, Eleanor told us that Fever was at the top of her game, and would probably not make any further progression in field trials. We ran her in hunt tests for her master title, got her WCX, and campaigned her to her show championship. She had two litters with us, before her untimely passing. One of Fever’s claim to fame was how she always knew when she was within a couple of miles from home or when she was entering the grounds for training or trialing. She would always begin barking when she knew. One other claim to fame, was her insistence on carrying birds by the neck. She went to great efforts to see that she only handled birds in this manner.
As written by Sherie, and published in the 2005 Flat-coated Retriever Directory:
…Fever…was my soul mate. I was honored when Eleanor entrusted her into my care, and I was devastated at losing her before I could say goodbye. Her children have the same sparkle in their eyes and the willingness to teach me the way. Fever gave me the courage to come to the line and face the challenges of both hunt tests and field trials. She had many fans and also friends she never met.
CH Bear Country What's It (Whatzit) Co-owned with Eleanor Trew
HRCH UH CH Hardscrabble Feathr Fetchr MH WCX CGC x CH Twin Oak’s Spring Fever MH WCX***
DOB 5-26-2001 – 10-19-2008
CH Bear Country’s Whatzit is co-owned by the Catledges and Eleanor Bertz Trew. He is from the repeat breeding of Jamie (HRCH UH CH Hardscrabble Feathr Fetchr MH WCX) and Fever (CH Twin Oaks Spring Fever MH WCX***).
His living here with us was the result of an emotional plea to Eleanor to let us buy him back from her. In April of 2004, we lost Whatzit’s litter brother, Diesel, to a horrible twist of fate early in his prime. Whatzit was Eleanor’s pick out of that litter (she had co-owned Fever with us at one time) and her husband, Gary, used to call her and ask how “WhoSiWhatzit” was doing (Gary being a LAB man and not that familiar with Flat Coats). So, needless to say, we got Whatz to help ease our pain from Diesel’s loss and we continued to co-own him with Eleanor.
Whatzit finished his Championship easily as he had fantastic movement and stopped on a dime and free baited like a statue. He was, however, Clint’s challenge child in training as he definitely had a mind of his own and was somewhat of an Alpha dog. But, he was also the sweetest goofball, and had made his mark in our household by singing along to any type of television music that included trumpets or horns. Don’t ask……….it was truly hysterical. Clint also claims that he spoke in human terms at times by saying “I love my momma”, but this is debatable.
Whatzit passed during the night due to a torsion of the intestine, resulting in a quick and sudden death. We miss him terribly and Clint will always be appreciative of how much Whatzit taught him about the art of field training and patience.