EASTON — An estimated 200 people enjoyed splashes and tail-wagging of the second day of the Waterfowl Festival’s retriever demonstrations on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Eight dogs jumped into the chilly pond to get their share of fetching a thrown or hidden dummy. Both new and returning visitors, adults and kids alike, made it a point to admire the dog’s bravery in fetching through cold weather.
“It’s enjoyable to see the large turnout, and that is why we do the demonstrations. We like to show off the dogs, and the more people the merrier,” said Butch Chambers, president of the Talbot Retriever Club. “I hope the audience takes away the conservation aspect of training these dogs. They have skills that allow you to hunt ducks and geese and lose very few.”
To entertain the guests before the show, Festival volunteer Russ Wilkinson did a fly-casting demonstration.
The first dog, Miah, handled by Lee Nelson, demonstrated a single. The simulation was Nelson was hunting in the pond and a single duck came in and was shot in the pond, and Miah was set to retrieve it.
The second dog to do a demonstration was Keeper, handled by Larry Hindman, demonstrating a double. In this situation, a pair of ducks came in and they were both shot in the pond. Keeper was sent to retrieve both of them.
The third dog, Dakota, handled by Jerry Serie, did a double and blind. The scenario is that they were hunting, and three birds came in, two were shot and landed in the pond and the third one glided off across the pond on the hill. Dakota was sent to pick up the two in the water, and then Serie sent her to a blind retrieve with hand and whistle signals.
The fourth dog, Rosie, handled by Sam Anderson and his 8 year-old niece Lexi Anderson, demonstrated a bulldog. They were hunting the same pond, and a pair of ducks came in and were shot in the pond. Then Rosie was sent to pick one up, and as she was coming back, a third bird came into the pond. Rosie picked that one up, too.
The fifth dog, Boo, was handled by Winston Chance, and together they demonstrate the blind first. They were hunting the same pond, and this time a pair of ducks came in and one of them was shot in the pond. The duck in the pond died, and the other one was lying on land, still alive. Chance had Boo retrieve the injured bird first and then pick up the dead bird.
The sixth dog, Moe, handled by Augie Argabright, demonstrated a triple. In this scenario, a group of ducks came in, three of them were shot, and Moe had to retrieve all of them.
The last demonstration was by two dogs: Rusty, handled by Jerry Harris; and Bailey, handled by Michael Galante. In this scenario, hunters brought in two dogs, a pair of birds was shot in the pond, and Rusty and Bailey picked up both birds.
Galante is a member of the Talbot Retriever Club and participated to support the Waterfowl Festival. He also wanted to demonstrate retrievers as hunting companions and conservationists.
“Bailey is 19 months, and this is her first demonstrations, and she is probably the youngest dog here today,” Galante said. “I have had six or seven dogs, and I have done this for 15 years, and it is neat to see the crowd enjoy what the dogs do. It’s a lot of fun.”