I am fortunate to have friends who live and own property in northwest Iowa - an area with some excellent pheasant hunting. They have graciously allowed my dad and I to hunt on their property every year for the past 15-plus years. Over that time we have enjoyed some excellent hunting, but more importantly, have developed some lasting friendships with a number of people.
Meet Ralph Warkentin and his German Shorthair Pointer "Jack".
I can't remember exactly what year it was when I met Ralph, but it was at least seven or eight years ago. I consider Ralph kinda like one of my uncles. As I hunted with Ralph and watched how well his bird dogs worked we began to talk about the possibility of me getting a puppy out of the same bloodlines as his dogs. A couple years went by and the man who owned the female dog that was the mother of Ralph's dogs had been planning on having another litter, but things just didn't work out or he would change his mind and I would wait another year. Finally he decided for sure that he would let the dog have another litter of pups. Once again, it didn't happen, as an unfortunate accident occurred and the female was hit by a car. Well, Ralph made some contacts and found someone else with a female German Shorthair Pointer. Ralph worked out a deal with this fellow to use Ralph's male "Jack" to sire the litter of pups and allow me to have the pick of the litter. Needless to say, I was excited.
In April of 2008, Ralph called and said the pups had finally arrived. German Shorthairs are usually one of three colorations - 1)white & liver, 2)roan & liver, or 3)solid liver. I REALLY wanted one that was roan & liver, but I was willing to settle for either of the three colors. I had already decided I wanted a female. Ralph said that most of the pups looked like they were going to be white & liver. But, we didn't realize that the roan color began to show up after the pups were three or four weeks old. A few weeks later Ralph called again to get my email address because he wanted me to see the puppies, and he said you are gonna like how they look. So he emailed me these pictures of the two females in the litter.
EXACTLY what I was hoping for! Since I was 812 miles away and couldn't preview the puppies in person, I had to make my choice based on the picture. I don't like to pick out a pup based on appearance alone, but in this case I had to. So I chose the one with the most liver color. Steph and I made a special roadtrip to go pick her up. Before I even saw the pup, I already had a name picked out. Everything (at least alot of things) in northwest Iowa has the name "Sioux" associated with it - Sioux Rapids, Sioux Center, Sioux City, Sioux Falls (just across the line in South Dakota), the Little Sioux River (which runs through my friends' property) - so I named her "Sioux". She is now a little over a year old. With two little ones at home, I haven't been able to spend as much time training her as I would like, but I have big hopes for her.