At the end of the summer of 2009, by pure chance, fate or divine fortune, we heard of a family near Salem, OR who needed to re-home their GWP quickly. They had had a hardship and needed to move but could not keep this dog that they loved. She had been confined to a back yard, hunted butterflies and retrieved a stuffed toy. They wanted to find a home where she could hunt and live a fulfilling life doing what she had been bred to do.
We took her on, not knowing for sure if we would be fostering her until we could find her another home or keeping her, but she had no such doubts and immediately claimed Ed.
Hannah is very much the lady….petite and delicate….she didn’t even look like a wirehair when we got her but more of an oversized “Benji” type dog. She was incredibly gentle but not shy or skittish despite her limited exposure to strangers or other dogs. Little did we know that this little ”princess” was going to be such a tough hunting, bird crazy girl. Her eyes always seem to twinkle, she has a joyous outlook on life and she is ever alert and watchful of the world around her for an opportunity to hunt.
I contacted the breeder and he said she was one of the smaller pups in the litter…. but both sire and dam were excellent hunting dogs. Despite her size and appearance, he anticipated that she would have the same hunting skill and drive that the other pups from her litter had exhibited the previous season. She proves the saying that great things come in small packages.
She had never been groomed or stripped out. I sat and groomed over a trash bag of hair off of her the first weekend we had her….and low and behold, under all that fur a German Wirehair started to appear. Bob Perry helping to transform her into a semi-respectable GWP, and thanks to his efforts and his handling skills, she now has some show points to her name. Once stripped of all that puppy fuzz, her wire coat has come out and she is now easy to maintain with just normal grooming.
She is an avid hunter and dives into every thicket and bush without hesitation. Once she is in the field, the ”princess” behavior is gone and she becomes one the of toughest and most intense hunting dogs I’ve ever seen. Just as her breeder had indicated, the hunting instincts in her are strong and she has an incredible prey drive. She has a keen nose, beautiful point, holds on the flush, and reliably retrieves to hand. She is tenacious about finding game and has incredible endurance. She runs and bounds in the field with the grace and stamina of a dancer, seeming to float rather than run across the fields. She is a near to medium ranging dog and never gets too far ahead of her hunters. She earned her Junior Hunt title in just one weekend with high scores from the judges.
She will work for anyone, she loves everyone, adores children and even puts up with the cats laying on her…a happier and gentler dog and a more avid and talented hunter you could not find in this breed.
….but at the end of the day, she is still Ed’s dog or he’s her “man” and we laughing say it is his “other woman”.