The romance with the Drent started in 2001, when I was searching for a gun dog. Not an easy task, as the dog needed to be suitable for the variety of game birds we have the opportunity to hunt in our area.
Partly because of the unique qualities of the Drent, partly for sentimental reasons, I purchased a pup from Gerrit Kramer (Van Oudsher kennels in Friesland) and we had our Anna.
(Anna-left, Patches-center, Clio-right)
In 2004, I added Bowi, from the kennel of Rob and Tiny Key in Noord Brabant (The Gloucester). Bowi was returned to his breeder because he was "unmanageable". That was our good luck: he was the most manageable dog we've had-after he ran for a couple of miles.
Bowi illustrates that a high energy Drent should be allowed to do what he was bred to do: hunt, run, play on the farm, pull the kids around on their bikes and whatever else kids and dogs can come up with. In the field, he was truly amazing. He could alternatively pin Huns and Sharptail coveys, often from 40 yards, and still get a pheasant to hold for him at 10 yards, all on the same day.
We miss him, still. All he ever wanted from me was to hear he did a good job. Bowi, you were a good dog.
Then, in December 2007, I tried to satisfy the growing addiction with Clio (Van 't arret). And, is she ever a little ball of fire!
The biggest compliment anyone ever paid her was to say she's "the real deal". She is tireless in the field, calm in the house, has a magnificent point, and is a wonderful mother.
Clio is at the smaller side of the breed's range, small enough that she can sneak on the couch and get away with it. She's a very dutiful mother, and has taught her son Patches he should retrieve the ducks in January and bring them to her, so she can deliver them to hand……..
She is our sharptail specialist, and hunting them over Clio with six seasons of experience rarely offers surprises. She leaves the truck, goes to work, finds the birds, and points the birds. Repeat as desired……
We all have that "once in a life time" dog, and Clio is ours.
When we lost our Bowi in 2010, we kept one of his pups out of Clio, and Dutchboy's Patches now rounds out the threesome. He is all I ever hoped him to be - and enthusiastically so!
Patches has all the enthusiasm of both his sire and his dam. Loads of energy, great bird drive, great stamina, fearless (except for skunks….thankfully!) and always looking to please his master. One thing, though…… he just can't understand why we don't go hunting EVERY day!
He's so proud of his muskrat! He thinks "versatile" means retrieving anything with fur as well as feathers!
Dutchboy's Sweet Madeleine (Maddie) is the latest addition to our pack. She is a pup from the Clio x Matthijs litter born in April 2014.
She is incredibly calm and quiet but don't let that fool you - she is ALWAYS thinking!
She was hunting with her mother & brother at 6 months old and while she still needs some practice at pointing, she's already a great little retriever.
She will do anything her idol, big brother Patches, does - except get into the water past her belly!