Hunter Tribute


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A Tribute to Hodag's Hunter


May 1990 - December 2002

     Hunter became part of the family because I wanted a retirement companion. There were other pet dogs through the years, but I'd never trained a dog in my life and knew nothing of the world of dog competition. Attendance at a Conestoga Vizsla Club Fun Day shortly after getting Hunter from the Mealy's was the beginning of our close and unique relationship. I was enthralled by the versatility of the Vizsla, especially their field work. The man-dog bond grew each day as Hunter and I trained for both the field and the ring. He really taught me how to be a handler as I learned what he was telling me through his body actions; the direction of his eye balls, not his head, which pointed to the bird; the tick of the tail to indicate a walking bird; a resolute stance which would not be broken if he was in the scent of a bird, and the smile on his face and glow in his eyes after a successful outing. He so enjoyed what he was doing and seemingly did it just to please me.

     Producing wonderful companion dogs is probably the most important contribution Hunter made to the Vizsla breed. He threw his personality, intelligence, and versatile sporting abilities to each of his puppies who in turn are following in their dad's footsteps. He has sired numerous conformation champions, field champions, master hunters, and numerous other pups with titles covering the entire spectrum of the sporting breed titles, as well as many true personal hunting dogs, assistance dogs, and just wonderful companion dogs to many owners. It's always a thrill for me to watch one of his pups perform and to see the love relationship it has with its owner.

     Following are a few of Hunter's achievements: first Vizsla ranked simultaneously in Top Ten Derby and Amateur Gun Dog; awarded NFC, DCH, AFCH, & MH titles before he was 3 1/2 years old; first DCH to earn the most difficult UDX obedience title; finished his conformation title with back-to-back 5 point majors, and was the chosen representative by the Eukanuba Company for advertising and promoting their newly formulated dog food for seniors.

     What more can I say? "Hunter, you were the dog of a lifetime and I was so fortunate to have you. You meant a lot to both my physical health and mental well-being. You were my shadow every minute of the waking day, sleeping at the foot of my bed at night. There is no greater bond than between man and dog and I know you're waiting at the foot of Rainbow Bridge for me. Until that time, Hunter, you have given me your son, Huntley, who is helping to make this transition in my life much easier. You will be remembered as `one of the greatest`. Be at peace, Hunter, my buddy!"

Jack Sharkey, Owner, Trainer, Handler


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