Rocky's rescue story began when we got a phone call in February of 2004 from a man who wanted to surrender Rocky because he didn't want to hunt him any longer. He had Rocky from puppy-hood and only kept him in an outdoor 6 X 6 run with limited socialization and attention.
The first time we had an opportunity to test his hunting skills, Rocky was very timid in the field- running close to the ground with his tail between his legs. He did scent point- but we felt he must have suffered terrible abuse from his previous owner. He was just pitiful.
After several months in foster care, Rocky's confidence began to grow and he learned how to be a dog again. He started to trust humans more and he also started to wag his tail! He was adopted by Mary Tiefenbrunn on August 27th, 2005 and it was love at first sight.
In October we invited Mary and Rocky to see an American Field Walking Trial. Rocky got to run on the grounds after the trial was over and after his first point on quail- Mary was inspired to try her new rescue dog in the field. In the Spring of 2005, Mary got Rocky registered thru the AKC with an Indefinite Listing Priviledge and soon his Hunt Test career was to begin!
This year's English Setter Association of America sponsored Hunt Test was held at the Ottawa Field Trial Grounds in Eagle, Wisconsin on October 10th, 2005. Mary and Rocky were entered as the only rescue dog team. They had just completed their AKC Junior Hunter Title the weekend before, so this Hunt Test was just for fun and to help Mary and Rocky get ready for the American Field Walking Trial they had entered the end of the month.
The Ottawa grounds in Southern Central Wisconsin are just beautiful- full of abundant tree lines and thick colorful brush. There are also areas of open cover for the dogs to really get out and stretch their legs. Rocky was ready to go!! His brace-mate was a lovely young bench Setter who was also eager to go at the start line.
Mary being the "old Pro", at these Hunt Tests knows when to water her dog. After about the 10 minute mark- Rocky slams on a stylish Point!! He held steady while Mary flushed her bird completing a very nice find.
After a good run out in the field, Rocky cleverly cools off at the water trough while his admirers look on. On this day Rocky ran a perfect Hunt Test with solid 10's in each of the catagories of Hunting, Pointing, Bird-Finding and Trainability.
The folks with the Kettle Moraine English Setter Club and the English Setter Association of America were very supportive and also so nice to Mary and Rocky at their very first National Event. What a wonderful memory and what an amazing rescue success story.
A very special little English Setter who has made his new Momma very proud!