Dogs make friends all over the world, as testament to Queen Elizabeth's love for them

Dogs make friends all over the world, as testament to Queen Elizabeth’s love for them

Like most Minnesota waterfowl, Steve Cordts, of Bemidji, a waterfowl specialist in the Natural Resources Department, rarely leaves home without a Labrador retriever.

Until sometime in November, when Minnesota’s ponds froze, Cordettes and Larkin, mentioned by a 3-year-old Labrador, would climb into Cordates’ truck on cold mornings to immerse themselves in wet swamps, hoping that teal and arrow other birds from a half-lit sky And the banks on their snares.

Cordts’ love of Labradors, and the countryside where they make their old callings, puts him in good company—not just with the tens of thousands of Minnesota waterfowl who will be going away with these loyal animals on Saturday, the first day of the regular state. Duck season, but with the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen had been a dog lover her whole life and mother to dogs of over 20 Labrador’s – and expertly led her mission – had at heart a country woman who was more comfortable in Balmoral or Sandringham, her estates in the countryside of Scotland and England, respectively.

These were my impressions, however, while observing them over the course of several days and while meeting them several times at Sandringham, where the Royal Family shoots regularly and where the British Retriever Championships are regularly hosted.

When the Queen died on September 8 at Balmoral, her body left the 50,000-acre farm in an oak sarcophagus on the shoulders of the six Balmoral gamekeepers—the farm’s bird managers and pheasant buds.

The portrait of my working jelly bearing their queen and girlfriend was lacking for the ensuing festival processions in London. But she emphasized the kinship she shared with common field interests, whether they were king or courtiers.

The Queen was also a lifelong fancier of Pembroke Welsh corgis as a companion in the house, and she first learned about game archery and dog recovery at her father’s facility, King George VI.

George VI, in turn, had his first shoot with his father, King George V, whose huge days were and are unparalleled in Britain.

In 1913, he was among a firing squad that shot down nearly 4,000 driven birds in a single day, causing enough even for him, a well-known birder who fired double pistols by Birdie and Westley Richards, to admit in a tone, “Maybe we’ve exaggerated.” On the matter today.”

Like Balmoral, and in contrast to other properties owned by the Crown, Sandringham is owned or was personally owned by the Queen, after a long succession of ownership by her predecessors, beginning with its purchase as a property of the Fire in 1862 by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.

It is known that it was Edward VII who ordered that Sandringham clocks be set half an hour before Greenwich Mean Time to extend the time available for shooting. This became known as Sandringham Time and was in effect from 1901 to 1936.

. . .

I first met the Queen at the 1987 Retriever Tournament. My friend Tony Parnell ran Sandringham House and its staff for the Queen’s favour, and at Sandringham, at various times, he wrangled for me and some of my friends’ invitations to the little receptions which the Queen warmly hosted.

I had traveled to trial because of my interest in British Labradors. In terms of behavior and the way they are trained – no electronic collars – remember the Labrador family I knew when I was a kid in North Dakota.

Qualifying for the 1987 tournament were 30 or so competitors, including the eventual winner, John Halstead, who that year achieved a Labrador, Breeze, that no Briton had done before or since: winning the championship three years in a row.

Breeze’s results were flawless throughout the two-day trial, and by the end of the second-day shootout, as the judges were preparing to tally the results of the four finalists – with Breeze decidedly the winner – the Queen stepped in.

Up until that point, she was just a trial observer, albeit a highly knowledgeable one. Four of her Labradors, after all, would win top places in the championship during her reign: Field Trial (FTC) Champion Sandringham Sydney, FTCh Sandringham Slipper, Sandringham Flora and FTCh Sherry of Biteabout.

On the morning of the 1987 trial, the Queen had driven her personal Land Rover Defender into the firing range. The military vehicle had a small Labrador crest on its hood, and the dog carried in its mouth, fittingly, a pheasant.

The Queen came out of the rucksack, in a silk sash and barbour’s overcoat, and keeping her feet dry, was accompanied by a friendly lady who, other than that, the Queen was unremarkable from the others present.

Now, just at this last moment of the trial, she was dealing with the judges. She said that a high-altitude partridge was winged during the last moments of the drive and the bird was flapping down far away, behind the walled fence.

With her dogs, the Queen would regularly pick up pheasants, grouse and rabbits on her Sandringham shooting days, and she didn’t stick to the idea of ​​a lost game.

That was bad news for Halstead, because Breeze was close to redeeming him, and his chance of a third championship hangs in the balance.

If recovery can be done, the mileage may be 200 yards or more, and an impenetrable wall must be expanded back and forth.

“Back!” Halstead ordered, and Breeze lined up for the wall.

“Come!” Halstead shouted. Breeze climbed up the wall and disappeared.

“come back!” Halstead called out to the invisible dog, directing him to continue the matter.

Minutes passed.

Then Breeze topped the fence again. In his mouth was a wounded bird, but he was still alive. The fair erupted in cheers, and the Queen smiled widely.

. . .

On Thursday, I called Steve Corditz to ask if he and his best friend were ready to hunt for the opening game of the Minnesota Ducks on Saturday.

The shooting time near Bemidji on Saturday is about 6:40 a.m., by which time, Cordts said, he and Larkin will be searching for teal and other birds for arrows from a half-lit sky and bending over their snares.

“We’ll be there together, and hopefully we’ll see some ducks, and Larkin will get some bodies,” Corditz said.

So it goes.


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