BY MARK WALTERS
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY STANLEY TIRE
A Pup Named Red/ A Happy Ending
This week I have some very positive news mixed in with what at times was a divcult sit uation.
Please read on for details of a pretty cool story.
Back in 1981 I purchased my first golden retriever and the same year I rented a farm and worked on a neighboring farm. I raised hogs, steers, chickens, market rabbits and my golden retriever Ranger would be the start of what has been nonstop goldens in my life since day one.
Ranger gave birth to Ben in '85 and in '89 I started writing this column. In ’91 I hiked 1244 miles of the Appalachian Trail with Ben and he carried a 12-pound pack.
When I returned from the AT hike I pur- chased Star who I had intended on eventually breeding with Ben. The day after I purchased Star the three of us left for a canoe trip of the Wisconsin river. That trip was filled with ad venture, paddling hundreds of miles and doing twenty something portages with a 711-week- old pup and Ben created hundreds of memories.
Star and Ben eventually gave birth to Pearl who would eventually create Ice who died at the age of seven due to Anaplasmosis (a form of Lymes). I had purchased Fire which was a golden pup and my plan was to get a pup from her and Ice and keep my line going. My line came to an end with the loss of Ice. I would eventually have Fire bred with Duke who was a field trial champion from Waupon and the pups that they created were second to none.
I kept Ruby who is the toughest female golden retriever that I have ever known, has fine, dark red hair and likes to talk to people. Ruby likes to sleep on the ice as much as she does a couch, is addicted to being in the truck, and like me, loves the canoe. My chickens love Ruby because she is free roaming and does her best to protect them from coyote, coon, opossum, and feral cats.
Last June at the age of five I had Ruby bred and was super excited all summer for a litter of pups and to keep a young female. Ruby went into what was a false pregnancy and she gained 14-pounds and grew breasts. I was completely convinced that she was pregnant and became concerned at day 63 when no pups were born. An x ray showed that there were no pups, and I was very bummed out and embarrassed.
This past late January Ruby went into heat, and I had her bred with Tango. Ruby and Tango had a litter three years ago, I did not keep one. I have been seeing the pups from this incredible pair and wanted one. Tango’s blood- line is tough dogs with lots of field trial back –
ground and Tango’s owner Dave Robel loves his buddy, Tango.
So naturally Ruby is due when I am sched – uled to be on a 4-day trip to Red Lake, Ontario for my buddy Pete Hagedorn's 84th birthday. I gave my word, and I was going. I have a backup plan of Michelle Chiaro, and her daughter Kylie for the first 36-hours and my daughter Selina for the last 48.
Calamity/stress strikes when Ruby gives birth to two beautiful golden pups but not a 3rd.
From Canada I call two vets, and I am advised to get her in for a look. This is not an easy process for Michelle and Kylie. I am given a call by the veterinarian and am advised that she needs a C section, a pup is blocking the birth canal and there are two behind it.
Ruby is in tough shape, Michelle is an ICU nurse, worked the night before and has to sleep. Selina cuts out from an important after – noon at UWSP. Mark Walters is super stressed out! Three hours later I get the call, there is a total of four living pups, two males and two females. Ruby and her litter are on their way home, both Michelle and Selina are very wor ried about Ruby as she has simply lost too much blood.
Meanwhile back in Red Lake, I have several friends to visit with from my days of working in the fly in fishing business. I do my best to be Mark Walters the fun guy, I felt very guilty and slept very little.
I drove home two days after the pups were born, for the most part there was no longer any health issues for Ruby or the pups.
When I opened the door to my house Ruby was in her nest box and it was obvious that she was beat up and mad at me. By 10:00 the next morning, she would wag her tail when I came around and now, ten days later, she lays on her back and whines and moans which is her way of talking to me.
Purchased my first golden forty-one years ago, it was the best decision that I have ever made!
P.S. My pup's name is Red!
There is a good chance this pup will be run – ning and gunning with Mark Walters for many years to come!