Wednesday, August 22, 2007

DC/AFC Dunkees Justa Top Flite MH & NAFC/AFC/CH Justa Tequila Sunset SH

Topper & Tequila
When Putter was a young dog, I decided I wanted to look for a future bride for him. I always admired the dogs from the Sure Shot line owned by Doug and Penny Ljungren who lived in the Seattle area. I had seen their dogs many times at our National Championships and they were consistent performers generation after generation. They had good short, harsh coats, decent enough conformation and were bird dogs!

The Sure Shot Connection
The Sure Shot line was tightly line bred to FC AFC Halb von Pommoregon and Penny had a breeding with her very successful bitch FC AFC NAFC Halb's Miss Chief to a young male she owned, Sure Shot's Benny Boy. I decided this was the direction I wanted to go, so I bought a puppy bitch from that litter.

That little girl was named Sure Shot's Justa Racie Lacie. Lacie was a small bitch, with a good natural liver and white ticked and patched, harsh coat. We showed her a couple of times and she accumulated a few points toward her show CH. But Lacie's bag was the field. We trialed her as a puppy and derby and she easily won her puppy and derby points. One highlight in her field career came at a trial run by the NJAFTC, which was open to all breeds, both American Field and AKC. I couldn't be there, so a friend took her to that trial and ran her in the Derby stake. The majority of the entries were AF pointers, the best on the east coast, mostly run by the pros. When my friend took Lacie to the line, everyone wanted to know what kind of dog she was, and just why she was entered? To everyone amazement, this little fuzzy dog took off like a shot and brought home the blue ribbon! That was a sweet win!

Lacie also was 2nd in the GWPCA Field Futurity in Southern CA in 1988. She lost the Futurity to Sure Shots Cascade Miss Tique owned by Penny Ljungren who would later be bred to Lacies' son, Top Flite.

When Lacie was 2 yrs old, we had her hips OFA'd (came back Good) and we planned the timing of the breeding with Putter. The litter was born February 2, 1990 and totaled 8 puppies. We were quite surprised to see we had 3 white puppies in that litter, all males. It wasn't expected, especially considering that there were no white dogs anywhere in 5 generations. In fact, there were more solid livers than anything in the pedigrees.

When they hit 8 wks old, all were sold except 1. A white male. I didn't want a white dog, since at that point I was still heavily influenced by the old German thinking. In Germany white is not an acceptable color for a GWP and while there were liver and white dogs here, they were not very popular. But, once again, no one seemed to want this puppy, so he stayed. Again, thank goodness no one wanted him.

This puppy turned out to be
DC AFC Dunkees Justa Top Flite MH, Topper to his friends.

Top Flite
When this puppy was 4 mos. old, we took him down to the pond to do some introduction to the water. I tossed a bumper for the big dogs, and the puppy played in the water and started to swim. Then I tossed the bumper for him, short tosses and he retrieved them all back to me. One toss got a bit wild and it landed across the pond and up into some underbrush, I figured I'd have to bring out one of the older dogs to go fetch it up. But to my surprise, this little puppy swam across the pond, crawled up into the underbrush, found the bumper and brought it back to me. Hmmmm, maybe he is a keeper I thought.

Topper proved to be a keeper for sure. He had wonderful conformation with a beautiful smooth ground-eating gait. When he ran, he floated over the ground, never looking like he was working hard. In the show ring, his effortless movement brought him many Best of Breeds and Group wins. Topper was a very sound dog, both in mind and in body.

At that time, in the mid 1990's Topper was the only GWP who was a Group winning Dual Champion. His accomplishments included multiple Specialty wins, and was a Top Ten Group and Breed dog and at the same time a Top Ten Gun Dog, one of only a few who could boast those accomplishments.

Topper was just a good dog, and could be trusted in almost any situation. He traveled in the motor home with us, always choosing the front passenger seat so he could look out the window. Or he would curl up on the couch to nap while traveling. When Topper was 10 years old we took him cross country to compete in the GWP Nationals. The event was in Oregon, so it was a long trip from PA. We also took along our young bitch, Weasie (more on her later) who unfortunately came into season just before we left home. He was fine with her, until we arrived on the west coast when the stress of being with a bitch ready to be bred was apparently too much for him.

I arrived at the show grounds, and went to say hello to old friends and wanted to find out where to park. When I returned to the rig, Topper came out the door in obvious distress. He was bloating, and in trouble. Luckily we had a vet on the grounds that took immediate control of the situation (I turned into a blubbering mess) and we got him to a local vet within minutes. They performed emergency surgery on him and saved his life. Three days later we picked him up from the vets office, took him to the show, showed him in the Veterans class, and he won! There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Everyone except the judge knew what had happened to him and he got a standing ovation. The appreciation from my fellow GWP brought me to tears and they will never know how much that meant to me. As soon as we were done showing him, Topper went back to the vet’s office and stayed for the duration of the Nationals. It was the safest place for him to recover.

Topper proved to be a very good stud dog and was bred to a nice assortment of bitches from around the country.
With 13 breedings he produced:
  1. 22 show champions
  2. 2 Dual Champions
  3. 3 Field Champions
  4. 3 Amateur Field Champions
  5. 3 Master Hunters
  6. 1 Best In Show winner

    Sire: Dual Champion/Amateur Field Champion Dunkees Justa Hole N One CD MH UT NAVHDA NA Supreme ROM OFA good
    Dam: Sure Shot's Justa Racie Lacie OFA good
    DOB: 2/2/90
    Breeder: Bernee Brawn
    Owners: Bernee Brawn & Dr. Francis Sakiey

    Toppers Accomplishments
    Show Championship 1991
    17 Group placements/3 Specialty Wins
    Field Championship 1994
    Amateur Field Championship 1994
    24 Gun Dog placements 1992-96
    GWPCA Field Futurity- 2nd Sunnyside WA
    GWPCA NAtional Amateur Championship 1993- 2nd Ionia MI 1995- 3rd Ionia MI 1996- 2nd Solon Springs WI
    GWPCA National Championship 1992-4th Branched Oaks NEB
    Master Hunter 1997

    As a Sire:
    Supreme Register of Merit GWPCA

    1 BIS
    22 Champions
    2 Dual Champions
    3 Field Champions
    3 Amateur Field Champions
    3 Master Hunters
    3 Senior Hunters
    18 Junior Hunters
    1 Tracking Dog
    3 Companion Dog
    1 Comanion Dog Excellent Excellent
    3 NA
    2 NAJ
    3 OA
    2 OAJ

His kids include
DC AFC Jet Set's RagTop Day at Scotia, the breeds only DC Best in Show winner. "Cruiser" was bred by Jane Bonnacorso and Laura Reeves and is owned by Tom and Jodi Quesnell, Idawire GWP's.

Topper stayed in wonderful health until he died quite suddenly when he was 13. I don't know if I will ever be lucky enough to have another one like him, an all around wonderful animal.

Unfortunately, Toppers mother, Lacie was killed by a car and was never bred again. I will never know if that breeding just clicked, or if she was a super producer.

This Lacie/Putter breeding also produced another wonderful dog. Ch/AFC/NAFC Justa Tequila Sunset SH, a liver roan bitch.
Tequila was co owned my good friend Dr. Francis Sakiey. She lived with, and was trained by Fran to all of her field titles.

Tequila was a typical GWP bitch, always wanting to do things her way, but she was no where as bad as her grandmother Bump. One time I was taking her to a trial in CT, and she was in the back of my pickup truck (with a topper on it) in a crate. For some reason she decided she just didn't want to be in that crate anymore, and she broke out of it. We were on Rt 95 heading in NY City, on the Cross Bronx expressway when I saw her nose the window open. I kept hitting the brakes to knock her down, but she accomplished her goal of getting out, and out the window she went!

Now, keep in mind, the Cross Bronx expressway is a very, very busy 4 lane highway in NYC and I was also towing a horse trailer, so there was no way I could stop right there. I had to keep driving until I found a place to pull over. When she jumped, we were in a tunnel under the river, so it was dark and at that point I figured she was a goner for sure.

Once I was able to pull over, I jumped out and started running back down the road. An ambulance came out of the tunnel and they were waving their arms and gesturing behind them... I wasn't sure if that was good news, or bad. But then, a miracle, out came Tequila, running for all she was worth with a line of slow moving angry New Yorkers behind her!!!!

Luckily she ran right to me, I scooped her up and ran back to the truck. She came out of that jam with a small scrape on her leg, but I darn near had a nervous breakdown. Tequila ran in that trial in CT and brought home a ribbon for her troubles. Needless to say, she rode home on the front seat, right next to me.

Tequilas' shining moment came at the 1993 GWPCA National Championships when she was named the National Amateur Champion over 18 other GWP's. She was handled to that prestigious win by Fran. That National was a lot of fun for the Justa GWP gang with Tequila winning, Topper coming in 2nd, another of our dogs, Bounty winning 3rd.

Tequila was bred twice to FC AFC NFC Selkirks Bounty Hunter and produced DC/AFC Bounty's Justa Pegleg Pete and Ch/AFC Bounty's Justa Margarita, along with many other wonderful hunting dogs. She lived to be 12 yrs old.

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