The Elk River near Fernie, British Columbia

Back to Canada

Since about 2006, Canada has been a special place to take my Springers to run field trials. I first traveled there with Dr. Jim & Donna McCreedy (see “Special People“) when we all lived in Kalispell, Montana. Field trials in Canada are a special and really fun experience! Especially if you like cold beer and hockey!

That’s why, when COVID-19 hit and I decided not to be vaccinated, it was such a difficult decision. It meant giving up travel to to Alberta for field trials and to British Columbia to fly fish the Elk River near the beautiful resort town of Fernie.

Then a few months ago I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. During my first meeting with my oncology team at the Boise VA Medical Center I asked, with an open mind, about my COVID vaccine status. Both of my doctors and my nurse all three, at the same time, said get it…today! So I did.

So Canada is again a place I can travel to and I’m glad. My Springer, AFC JoJo’s Easy Keeper, is qualified for both the Open and Amateur Canadian National Championships this year and we will run him in both,,,as well as both US Nationals. His trainer, Gary Riddle, took him and about 15 of his closest buddies to Alberta this weekend for a qualifying field trial.

Keeper needed to be run in both the Open and the Amateur so my Canadian friend, Greg Royer, happily agreed to handle Keeper in the Amateur for me. Greg judged Keeper in his final puppy stake on the same grounds back in 2018 but had never handled him. With just a few minutes to get acquainted on Saturday morning, Greg and Keeper had a fantastic time together and finished 2nd out of 31 dogs.

Yesterday Gary took over, handling Keeper against 17 other pro-handled dogs and some of the best amateur handled dogs in North America. At the end of the day, Gary and Keeper earned another 2nd. Place!

All-in-all…a very successful return to “God’s Country North”!

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