First Irish Water Spaniel Master Hunter Upland

The First IWS Senior Hunter Upland Dog

by Elissa Kirkegard

Gali has once again done me proud (and I hope the breed) when on Saturday, June 11, 2011, he became the first IWS to acquire a Senior Hunter Upland title. This title became available to our breed in March of this year which, coincidentally, was about the same time Gali and I were finishing up "picking up" at local pheasant shoots. Gali is eight and has been doing this type of upland work since he was a pup. I have seen him grow from an inexperienced dog to an observant partner in the field. He knows how to handle cripples, he knows when a bird has been hit and is coming down and his nose has led him to many birds that were invisible to me.

So it seemed natural to try to run him at these upland tests. We have a very active group of spaniel people who host a number of tests in this area. They were very kind in including us for training, test information and making us feel welcome.

We ran our first test on May 14 and Gali quickly picked up four legs. His water entry has become legendary and everyone gathers around when it is his turn. I guess that comes from dock diving and spending his life bouncing up and down.

Gali did a beautiful job for his last leg. He quartered like a pro and was very aware of where I was and where his birds were. We were awarded the last leg with the warmth and support of our spaniel friends.

Thank you for your encouragement and the opportunity for the dogs to do some upland work!

Elissa Kirkegard
Ch. Realta's Galileo CD TD SH SHU QAA WCX CGC