Rescue Dog Brags

When I rescued my Pointer Westleigh in 1998 (Grandson of Miller's Silver Bullet), my main goal was to train him in dog agility. Fortunately for me--Wes had other ideas!! His pedigree showed he was from one of the most successful Field Bred Stud Book lines and he was determined to make sure his momma learned about FDSB Field trialing and AKC Hunt tests and Field Trials. Once Thelmalou, my Field Bred English Setter joined the family, I was able to learn the differences in running styles and bidability of both breeds. Buckwheat joined the family for one reason-- to show that dogs with mixed breed ancentry can also point and hunt like their purebred bracemates--and in most cases BETTER!!!

Wes, Thelmalou and Buckwheat had the benefits of being raised in a loving caring home which helped with their confidence in the field and training on birds. Most of the dogs and puppies we bring into IBR's foster care program are not so lucky. Most have suffered abuse and neglect and many are in poor health. Most of the dogs we bring in have suffered from harsh training methods and only a small percentage will regain their confidence through much TLC and patience in our foster care program. Sadly--most of our dogs come from the American Field trial community and are found as strays or are dumped into high kill shelters once their owners deem them useless.

IBR's work in this area is so important. Not only are we able to help some of these dogs overcome some of their past abuse and neglect, but we are also able to retrain and build their confidence in the field. These dogs are incredibly resilient and many do forget their horrible past and regain their joy and enthusiasm to work again in the field. As part of our adoption program, ALL are also spayed and neutered and THIS in no way affects their desire and natural ability to work in the field. Being treated with kindness and affection and being able to bond closely with their foster parents also creates a more loyal companion.

The dogs in this section are some of the few we were able to rehabilitate and many have gone on to loving hunting/pet homes much to the delight of their adopters.

GET TO THE POINT!--Westleigh,Thelmalou and Buckwheat.

IBR's Once Upon A Time JH

Cinders' Had A Great Field Trial Season for 2022- More Success in 2023!!

Much thanks to the TEAM CINDERS sponsors-- we made it to Dillwyn, Virginia for the Hudson English Setter Club's Field Trial October 22nd and 23rd. While there weren't enough puppies to run in Open Walking Puppy, Cinders did a great job to win Open Walking Derby. On Monday, October 24th, she also won Open Walking Derby in the English Setter Association of America's Field Trial. We got to run on the Gun Dog course which was hilly, wooded, had nice long tree lines and was so much fun for this puppy!!!! Cinders had a good forward run from the get go-- ran hard, was snappy and fast. She had FIVE bird finds with good points until the birds were flushed. She also ran hard until the end of her brace and was a little brat about being picked up when the judges called time. I am blown away on how Cinders has just figured this all out since our first trial and her first exposure to quail in September. She's so confident and bold and just a pleasure to walk behind. With both her Derby wins, she has 2 points towards her Field Championship.

We entered a few more trials in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri in November and December and Cinders' continued to do well, gaining more confidence, getting stronger inspite of her newly diagnosed Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. She finished 2022 with several placements including 3 Open Derby wins and 2 Open Puppy wins. We hope to enter a few more trials in 2023, but I am so beyond proud and overjoyed with how this little miracle puppy has done since she came into IBR's program.

UPDATE 2023: Cinders won Amateur Walking Derby at the English Setter Association's Walking Field Trial the end of January. She also took second place in Open Walking Derby. The course at the Munroc private grounds near Lexington, KY are set in the woods and Cinders ran 2 very strong races and held point beautifully on several birds.

In early March, we went down to Moraine View in Le Roy, IL and ran at the Heart of Illinois Brittany Club's Walking Field trial. I am happy to report she was the only non- Brittany to place in Open Derby with a third place finish. At this trial, Cinders also showed that she has some natural backing skills.

In April, Cinders ran at LaSalle Brittany and WON a 10 dog Amateur Walking Derby stake with 5 finds and a beautiful honor. I was so proud of my girl!! Now it's time for my baby to mature and more serious training. I really hope we can get to the point of running in Open Gun Dog in the future!!

On September 13th, 2022. Cinders turned a year old. She's had her ups and downs since she came into our program as a breeder surrender- due to her spine defect. We had no idea what the future would hold for this precious puppy, but the idea of running her in field competitions was not anything I could have dreamed of. She has shown in the past few months- that in spite of her birth defect, she has a desire to hunt and she also has a great nose for upland birds. Last December, she was dragging her back legs due to her neck being out of alignment- but chiropractic care every 5-6 weeks had helped her become stronger and has also helped her grow properly. I had actually bought wheels for her because I thought she might not be able to walk or run. As she was also infected with Rocky Mountain spotted fever from her mama, she's also fought hard to get that disease under control.

We did not get papers for her when she came into Illinois Birddog Rescue's program, but when she started sight pointing birds in the Spring, I had a wild idea to see if I could get her breeder to give them to me so I could enter her in field events in the fall. Thankfully he agreed, and after I got her registered with the Field Dog Stud Book, I pursued getting her dual registered with the American Kennel Club. That proved to be difficult as her FDSB papers were delayed several weeks and the AKC stopped taking those papers in July 2022, and her papers arrived the middle of July. I was contacted in late July that her papers arrived too late, but I pleaded with the AKC, especially due to the FDSB/UKC 5 week backlog and my persistence paid off and she was granted her papers. Most of the trialing I wanted to do was AKC, so I was thrilled with the opportunity we were given.

We have done some work in the field and she has had some training off leash at the local dog parks, and given the opportunity she will hunt independently, but she also has a really nice recall off leash. I was not worried about letting her go at an event. Next step was to get her on birds and we were able to get some pheasant in July. It didn't take her long for her natural instincts to come out and the picture above was taken after she scent pointing her 6th bird in a row. She was ready!! We entered an AKC field trial the middle of September and while she didn't place, she did learn about judges on horses and she sight pointed her first quail. The following weekend she was entered into an AKC Hunt test and she scent pointed many quail in the bird field and passed 3 out of 4 attempts in Junior Hunter.

I haven't campaigned a rescue dog in over 10 years. I never thought I would be gifted with such a special pup, that would help promote English Setter rescue, but Cinders' recovery is a miracle . With that in mind, Cinders and I need some special sponsors to help us in the next few weeks. She is entered in another AKC hunt test and with 1 more qualifier- she could finish her Junior Hunter title. After that we will be field trialing and the last 2 will be in Virginia and these will be especially fun because she will be competing against other Setters, and only English Setters at the English Setter Association of America's trial on October 24th. There will be a lot of costs associated with helping us on our quest and I have created 3 wine labels with the help of Windsor Vineyards. The varietals include a Brut Sparking wine which will be perfect for upcoming celebrations and gift giving. There are 6 other wines available including 3 reds and 3 whites. Additionally, I have come up with a shopping list of travel and entry expenses if you would like to help with that too. As we have so many Setters in the program that have complicated health problems-- much of this fundraiser will help with the care of those special dogs too. Here is Cinders' original Cinders' GOFUNDME as we would appreciate any donation to help with her continued care.

Cinders- Our Baby Setter With Serious Birth Defect (Original Post 11-21)

Cinder's Recovery Page

Please meet 10 week old orange and white American Field bred English Setter- Cinders. She is an Indiana breeder/ field trialer owner surrender because has a strange lump in her back. In foster care, we had xrays done that showed an issue with one of her vertebrae. It was also suggested by the breeder that if my rescue didn't have the resources to help her, he would explore other options for her so we acted quickly. We have gotten 3 puppies from this breeder the past few years, the last 2 both had Lyme disease and one had hip dysplasia that needed surgery. Cinders is on doxycycline in case she is also infected from her mother. I sent the xray to an orthopedic friend in the area and he felt it was a congenital birth defect and was surprised to read she can walk and run but the concern is what happens when she grows and when the soft bones harden when she becomes an adult.

His suggestion was to take her to a neurologist and we were also told that chiropractic care and perhaps water tread mill therapy would be a good idea. This is all new territory for us since so much about her care but will do the best we can to keep her from having any nerve damage or paralysis. She is a brilliant puppy in spite of her birth defect. She already comes when called and is stalking the dogs in her foster home. We are hopeful for her future and we hope we can get some funding for her care.


Rescue Pointer Brady-- VINDICATED!!

Brady finished his Derby season with first in Open Walking Derby at the Fort Dearborn GSP Club in September and a first in Amateur Walking Derby and another first in Open Walking Derby at the German Wirehair Pointer Clubs trial in October. Brady came into IBR's program in the worst health suffering from at least 3 undiagnosed tick borne diseases- Ehrlichia, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Brady had chronic diarrhea and bloody stool and was a pointing training reject. Brady has made the most remarkable progress in foster care with his loving foster dad Hector Becerra and while he had a few medical setbacks, he has regained all of his natural scent pointing and hunting abilities. As we have Brady's FDSB papers, we know his Great Grand Pappy is Hall of Fame Inductee CH Erin's Southern Justice and his pappy is CH Erin's Brave Heart . While he has fine genetics, being infected with tick borne disease caused terrible damage to his health while affecting his confidence and drive in the field. I knew we could help him and thanks to many sponsors, after a year plus of medication- he is recovering very well and we are thrilled at his success in Derby this fall.

To date Brady's breeder has no interest in this puppy's health or welfare and was unwilling to test his mom and sold her :O(. This lack of responsibility for the dogs breeding programs is a HUGE problem with the the American Field and with back yard breeders everywhere. Rarely are any of the puppies micro-chipped for their protection and so many of these magnificent dogs wind up in landfills or shot dead when they don't perform. We have proven over and over that these dogs are so at risk for tick borne disease working and training in tick infested areas or being borne to infected Bitches that there is no hope for them to recover unless they find a rescue as dedicated as we are here at IBR to help them succeed and find forever homes. Brady's Vindication is one amazing little Pointer- he looks like a million bucks on point and has the sweetest personality. I can not be more proud of Hector and Brady and am grateful that he trusted me mentoring him in the field- but that was easy- Brady was such a natural once he got over his bad memories and fear. On his last run at Des Plaines Conservation area on October 26th- he ran hard, was incredibly smart and bold following the Derby course and was breathtaking in point. Hector handled him magnificently and as a newbie to field trailing and Pointers, and brought back so many memories of my own when I ran my first Pointer in field trials so many years ago.

THANKS TO ALL- that donated and sponsored Brady's medical bills and Field Trial entries to make all of this possible. We do GREAT work here at Illinois Birddog Rescue and we need as much help as ever. Lisa- IBR Founder and President.

IBR's Talk To Da Paw JH- A Very Special Deaf English Setter

So many TO DO's on my TO DO list while trying so hard to raise funds and help save more- that I pushed Gavin's Story further down on that list. His story is an important one and I created his own Web Page. I never gave up on him- NEVER- even when it was suggested that he be put to sleep. I thank my own Setter stubbornness and my Setter guardian angel for helping him be the little over-achiever he was meant to be.

Hunt Test Success for Three Special Rescue Dogs

Congrats to Lani on completing his AKC Junior Hunter title!

IBR's Wild Orchid JH

Lani came into the rescue after being saved from an over crowded Kentucky shelter in 2007. Lani went from foster home to foster home for the first year he was in our program, as he suffered from OCD fence jumping, cage anxiety and destructive tendencies (3 couches and a door). As no one could manage his behaviors, he came to my home where he continued to have some very bad behaviors. We tested him on several different occasions on pheasant and he had no scent pointing abilities. His first tick panel from Michigan State University showed he was negative for all diseases- but I didn't understand titer values like I do now.

In the spring of 2009, Lani really seemed exhausted at the dog park after only 10 minutes so I did an IDEXX 371 on him and LOW and BEHOLD, there was the Lyme disease he was fighting the whole time. His titer was low at 1:100 so it was missed at MSU's starting titer of 1:160. He also had a low titer for Rocky Mountain spotted fever at 1:25. Knowing what I know now, Lani was probably infected from birth. Any 4DX Snap testing would have also missed his infections.

So I started him on doxycycline and after about 3 weeks, I noticed Lani locking up (pointing) tweeties in my back yard. The fall of 2009, we put Lani back on pheasant, and he scent pointed from 10 feet away!!! WOW!! I have just discovered something important here!!!

Lani continued to improve with his scent pointing abilities and off leash handling abilities and because of him, we have linked many more infected dogs with lack of hunting instincts. I could not be more proud of this dog and all that he has taught me and how he has helped and will continue to help so many abandoned hunting dogs that are dumped at no fault of their own because they are infected with tick borne diseases.

Lani is still on a maintenance dose of antibiotics since he is chronically infected, but he continues to be the most reliable off leash handling Pointer I have in my home. Lani has also been a huge part in Gavin and Meri's training off leash as he can run big, but he runs smart and checks in frequently. GOD BOY!!

There is no better training tool than having dogs run with a confident smart handling dog.

IBR's Talk To Da Paw

Gavin came into the rescue in December or 2010 from an over crowded shelter in Benton, IL. He was about 4 months old and deaf. He was dropped of at the shelter by a back yard breeder that has dumped many of his Setters when he no longer feels they benefit his breeding program, nor have any hunting ability. Most that we have rescued and tested are infected with Rocky Mountain spotted fever and since that disease is linked to deafness, Gavin started treatment with doxycycline immediately upon arrival. At four months old, he was too young to show any titer for disease. The next few months, he had several health issues that plagued him including kidney and liver problems and some ADHD and brain damage. He was also incontinent and spun out of control in his cage. He couldn't stop himself from running and didn't have any ability to settle down and play with toys or chew on a bone. He also didn't have the ability to play with other dogs.

As he went from foster home to foster home, he eventually arrived at my home in the March of 2011 as a last resort to help save his life. After a change in diet (Wellness canned lamb and Northwest Naturals Beef raw) changing his antibiotics to Tetracycline, adding Omegas, COQ10, digestive enzymes, and Milk Thistle detox, Gavin's liver and brain started to heal and the toxins in his body started to clear out. He had focus. He started to point birds. He started to play fetch and interact with the other dogs in foster care and he was able to lay down and chew on a bone. It was a MIRACLE!!!

In the fall of 2011, I started taking Gavin to the big 65 acre fenced in dog park in Wauconda, IL and his running skills proved to be very reliable as was his endurance, and when he checked in, he was rewarded with affection and cuddles. While Gavin watches for hand signals by me, he also tracks me in the field via scent. In February 2012, I brought Gavin to the Hunt Test grounds to see if he could handle for me and he did- magnificently.

While Gavin did get overly excited at the start of his Junior's braces and he also got distracted by tweeties flying by, he looked like a MILLION bucks when he pointed his first quail; high head and high tail carriage. My goal when Gavin started to recover was to try and work towards a Junior's Hunter title and we are half way there!!

Gavin sleeps with me every night. :O)

IBR's Lemon Meringue

Meri came into the program in November of 2010 after being rescued from a shelter in southern Illinois. She was a MESS!! She was overly bred, and was positive for Heartworms and subsequent testing via the IDEXX 371 showed she was also infected with Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (4DX missed the Lyme). Meri was GRUMPY and reactive to her new foster family. She also had skin infections and a lot of hair loss all over her body and she didn't have any tail feathers. Once we got her started on doxycycline and amoxicillin, her behavior started to improve and she was moved to a foster to adopt home.

After her spay and a month on antibiotics, we started her heartworm treatment that included two Immiticide injections. The aftermath of the dying worms while also fighting the tick borne diseases caused Meri to have some ragelike behaviors and she needed to be moved to my home as the foster family was not equipt to handle her psychotic episodes.

Meri was then switched to Ceftin and doxycycline and that seemed to help calm her down and after months and months of TLC, she started to act like a happy Setter again and also started to point tweeties in my yard.

Four months post treatment, she was allowed to start running longer and while she didn't have any recall at the dog park, her endurance was starting to build. In the fall of 2011, we got her Negative heartworm results but she was still fighting the tick borne diseases.

Through the fall, Meri's off leash abilities started to get better and better and I kept her running through the winter where she really seemed smarter in her hunting casts in the woods and in the open areas at Wauconda. She also checked in better and more frequently. I was pleasantly surprised that Meri backed her brace mate and also retrieved her live bird to hand with a soft mouth. She is still a bit too independent and needs more work on her recall, but she certainly has some potential and I am sure she was dumped because she was not hunting.

Like Lani and Gavin, Meri is on a daily maintenance dose of antibiotics because she is chronically infected. Like many of the infected Setters we have rescued, she also has some permanent vision damage and prefers not to go outside in the dark.

I really hope our message is getting out there because too many dogs are being killed for lack of hunting instincts and they are probably all infected. These dogs are also dying prematurely from kidney disease and spleen cancer. In Illinois and all over the country these diseases are epidemic and our infection rate is nearly 90% now.

Congratulations Chris Dewey &
MACH R U Gunnarunnamok Skeets RN NAP NJP OF

Master Agility Champion

Skeet's and Chris.

In June of 2004, we were told about a sweet Liver and White Pointer that was in danger of being put to sleep in an over crowded shelter in Robinson, IL. Nala was pulled to safely and after a few weeks of TLC- it was discovered that she was pregnant. She was so malnourished and as this was our first rescue litter we were unprepared for her complicated pregnancy. After a difficult delivery- Nala needed to be rushed to the ER as a puppy was stuck in the birth canal. After a C section we had 11 surviving puppies that needed to be bottle feed while Nala recovered.

Princess Nala and the Disney litter.

Got Lizards?

Skeets was born as puppy #2 as baby Baloo. Chris had just let her beloved Agility companion go and instantly felt a connection to Nala's litter. Natalie, Nala's foster mom, hand picked out Baloo for Chris and at 9 weeks old, he flew to sunny New Port Richey Florida to start his new life chasing lizards in the back yard while also learning all about dog agility.

Renamed Skeets after the World Champion hurdler Renaldo Nehemiah, Skeets and Chris have been entertaining the Agility crowds in and around Florida for years with his silly Pointer antics. After a lot of hard work and maturity, Skeets and Chris completed his Master Agility Championship in 2011. Skeets was also ranked the #2 Pointer in the country for breed rankings in Dog Agility in the AKC for 2011. We are so proud of them both for their amazing accomplishments. Please enjoy some of Team Dewey's photos below.

March 2012.

Skeets on the A Frame.

Chris and Skeets in the weave poles.


Skeets has wheels!

Air Skeets!

Climbing the A frame.

Skeets through the chute.

Skeets launching over a jump.

Skeets on the Teeter.

Skeets makes it look easy!

Skeets on the dog walk.


Congratulations Cassandra JH!

Cassie with her proud parents.

On April 3rd, 2011, IBR's adopted Pointer Cassie completed her fourth qualifier to achieve her AKC Junior Hunter Title with proud papa Steve. Cassie was saved from an over crowded shelter in Manhattan, Kansas in the winter of 2008. She was adopted by Christine and Steve Selep in early 2009. They have both worked very hard on Cassie's training and she achieved her four Junior's passes is four attempts gaining perfect scores of 10 along the way. Many judges were very complimentary of her hunting abilites and can't believe she is a rescue dog. Chris and Steve also adopted Pointers Abe and Petey (pictured above with Rex). You Go Girl!

October Hunt Test Success for Three Rescued Pointers!!!

Cassie was rescued from an over crowded shelter in Manhattan, KS in the fall of 2008. After bouncing from foster home to foster home in Minnesota, she finally arrived in Illinois. I thought she made the worst first impression upon the Seleps when I did their home visit with her but upon seeing her on pheasant in early 2009, Chris and Steve added her to their family. Cassie has two legs towards her Junior Hunter title.

Abe aka Abraham was found by animal control left for dead on the side of a ditch in southern Illinois. His beautiful tail had been severed off and he had several areas of road rash and we can only imagine he was most likely dumped out of a car and was hit soon after. Candy Thomas pulled him to safety when his time was up at the over crowded shelter he was at. Blood work soon showed he was positive for heartworm disease. Chris and Steve offered to foster him and prior to treatment it was also discovered Abe was infected with a tick borne illness common in Illinois called Rocky Mountain spotted fever--which he still struggles with today. The first time we tested him on pheasant-however-he was amazing! Abe has a breeder tattoo in his ear; could be from a big name breeder in IL. Chris adores this dog and calls him her squishy boy :O). Abe has two legs towards his Junior Hunter title.

Petey-Pie was a very frightened 6 month old puppy that would have been put to sleep at the Hinsdale Humane Society as unadoptable if Chris didn't commit to fostering him. He had terrible cage anxiety and food and fear aggression. While his first IDEXX 371 tick panel was negative, we started him on a month course of doxycycline. He continued to struggle with his issues although he was amazing on birds everytime we tested him. Follow up tick panel this summer did reveal the Rocky Mountain spotted fever that was hiding. He is being retreated but for much longer. Thanks to Chris and Steve he should recover and become a wonderful pet and hunting companion. We did track down his breeder as the original owner that dumped him at the Hinsdale Shelter did supply us with that information. Petey is now dual registered with the Field Dog Stud Book and the American Kennel Club.

Congratulations IBR's Unrequited Love JH

1st Q with foster mom- Pat 10/09.

Pointing pheasant 2/10.

BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Meg Hoffman and her IBR adopted English Setter Heathcliff aka Cliff for finishing his AKC Junior Hunter's title this spring.

Heathcliff was pulled from a very high kill shelter in Southern Illinois by a friend of the rescue, Cancy Thomas. He was out of time and while we didn't have a foster home opening, Candy opened her home and got his vetting started until we could make room. Cliff was ornery and "snarky" upon arrival to foster care but blood work showed he was infected with Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) and with the headaches, hot flashes and joint pain, that would make any dog grumpy. IBR was in the initial stages of our tick borne illness research and we knew that any aggression could be related to his low positive diagnosis. While undergoing doxycycline therapy, Cliff also suffered from severe separation anxiety and became a very challenging foster dog for his very experienced foster mom--Pat. Follow up tick panels also revealed Cliff was also fighting Ehrlichia and Lyme disease.

Through patience and understanding and months of antibiotics, a very crabby, frightened senior Setter blossomed into the amazing hunting dog. Pat's love/hate relationship with Cliff turned into a true love affair as she helped him overcome his demons. It took a bit of arm pulling on my part but having noticed Cliff's very reliable off leash skills and pointing abilities, I convinced Pat to run him in a hunt test last October once we had his AKC registration accepted. Cliff's PAL name became IBR's Unrequited Love as a tribute to the book Wuthering Heights and the character he was named after. I have NEVER in 6 years of my acquaintance with Pat, saw her as happy and proud as the day she ran Cliff and worked him magnificently in her first hunt test and PASSED!! She was a natural and Cliff made it look easy.

On January 30th, Heathcliff was adopted to a wonderful family in Madison, WI and they agreed to continue his medication and retest in the spring. Cliff was their first English Setter and he started working in the field and pointing birds to their delight. In the spring, Cliff's new mom ran him in 3 consecutive AKC Hunt tests with solid scores and her first titled Setter. We could not be more proud of them both. Cliff's follow up tick panel in June shows his Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are gone--but he still has antibodies for Ehrlichia so he will continue treatment and hopefully be negative in a few more months.

Here is a nice email we got from Candy once she heard of Cliff's recent accomplishment, "Meg, what a difference a year makes !!!! It was a year ago, June 1st, that I discovered CLIFF at the pound. He came in that day and just look at him now. This exceeds all hopes and dreams we have for our rescue dogs. There is so much sorrow and pain in rescue and many times when dogs cannot be spared euthanasia or illness strikes them, this is one case that keeps the hope alive and keeps the 'fire in my belly' as the old saying goes-- to continue on when all seems futile. --Candy"

IBR's Sweet Seventeen aka Jules

*In Foster Care!*

Jules looking amazing on point.

Jules on nice pheasant find.

Jules is one of IBR's amazing success stories. She only had a few days left in an over-crowded shelter in Hopkinsville, KY in December of 2008 when we located a foster home for her. Upon arrival to foster care, Jules showed some fear aggression and bloodwork showed she had Lyme disease most likely because her owner didn't use a flea and tick preventative. We started her on antibiotics even before we got the Lyme diagnosis because her behavior was untypical of a happy- go - lucky Pointer. After 3 weeks on antibiotics we had her spayed but it was too soon and she struggled with swelling and pain. Jules continued to show fear aggession and anxiety for several more months. The first time we tested her on pheasant the end of February 2009, Jules was overwhelmed, frightened and couldn't even be handled. She would just cower on the ground--she was so pathetic--poor baby.

In early March, Jules moved to foster care with the President of IBR to help build her confidence. With several months of antibiotic treatment for her Lyme disease, Jules finally started to show improvement in her temperament and personality. Much to our delight, her confidence and birdiness began to show through. As her brain started to heal, Jules started to lock on point on every tweetie bird and squirrel in the back yard. Off leash training started at this time and Jules showed herself to be a true Field Trial prodigy- running with huge independent casts, taking every tree line all the while her tail whipping back and forth with such energy and enthusiasm. Jules also showed herself to be 100% reliable with her recall no matter how big she ran while her off leash training continued.

In April of 2009, with Jules' progress in foster care and her natural ability to point coming back, she was registered with the AKC and was allowed to run in a Field Trial for ribbons. Jules ran beautifully off of horseback and we have no doubt she is from Ferrel Miller's breeding stock- watch Animal Planet's Breed All About It--Pointers. Sadly, what Animal Planet doesn't know is that any dog or puppy that doesn't meet with Ferrel's standards are culled (killed). It is common knowledge that Mr. Miller will take a load of pups to Canada for training and several won't return to Paducah, KY.

With the 17 Jules has tatooed in her left ear--she is just one of many of a Field Trial Pro's assembly line of Pointer pups (much like the puppies in the Animal Planet Video) that didn't cut it--through no fault of her own because of her undiagnosed Lyme disease illness. What a tragedy it would have been if Jules had been euthanized in an over-crowded shelter and dumped in a land fill in rural Kentucky somewhere.

As a side note, TWO IDEXX 4DX Heartworm, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma Snap Tests missed her Lyme disease. A Tick Panel Serology test caught it. We treated Jules for 12 weeks on doxycycline and retest 2 months later showed she was cured.

Read more about Jules' success story.

IBR's Unrequited Love aka Heathcliff


Heathcliff is another member of the IBR Rocky Mountain Spotted fever (RMSF) club. RMSF is the most common tick borne illness we are diagnosing in our rescue dogs--especially those anywhere in Illinois. Heathcliff came in from Southern Illinois and began treatment right away as he was exhibiting neurological issues and aggression. As he started to feel better his energy level and concentration and focus got better and his snarkiness disappated. Who wouldn't be cranky with a fever and headache?

With his focus came his desire to hunt and amazing bird finding ability at the fall hunt test. We are hopeful Cliff will be adopted and adored by a loving family that will allow him to work in the field as well as being a spoiled rotten pet. Special THANK YOU goes out to Pat Malcor, IBR's Blog Mistress (pictured with Cliff). She had never competed in a hunt test before but as his foster mom- I wanted her to be the one to handle him. Much to her delight they did a great job!!

Read more about Heathcliff's rescue story.

Christine's Marshmallow Squish aka Honest Abe


Left for dead in a ditch in Southern Illinois January, 2009, Abraham has come a long way in a short time. Not only did Abe loose part of his tail in what we can only guess to be a hit and run accident, he also has some scaring on his back legs.

Abe�s road to recovery took many months of TLC as he was also diagnosed with heartworm disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) once he arrived in foster care with Christine Selep and family on Valentine�s day. While Abe started on his antibiotics to combat his RMSF prior to heartworm treatment, he struggled with nausea, joint pain and fevers. Because we took our time, two months after heartworm treatment, Abe�s tests are now NEG!!

During Abe�s convalescence, Christine decided she just couldn�t let her �squishy boy� be adopted by anyone else. She has worked hard on his off leash hunting and recall training as Abraham has an amazing nose for upland birds and quite a stylish point. Both were rewarded with their first Junior�s pass at a recent AKC Hunt test. We have no doubt that Chris and Abe will go on to complete his JH title.

Read more about Abe's success story.

IBR's Cass Ole aka Cassie


Cassie on a nice pheasant find.

Cassie and Steve's first Hunt test Q.

Cassandra was pulled from an overcrowded shelter in Manhattan, Kansas after voluteers tried their hardest not to put her to sleep when conditions became over crowded. What a waste that would have been--but sadly Cassie's story is all too common as many aren't as lucky as she and don't make it out alive. It took Cassie a long time to bond with Steve and Christine as we do think she was ignored most of her young life and didn't even know how to respond to cuddles and affection. Abe was very helpful in building Cassie's confidence around humans and now she is very well adjusted and a spoiled rotten house pet with an amazing hunting drive in the field.

Read more about Cassie's success story.

IBR's One Over Par aka Bogie

*In Foster Care*

Bogie came to the rescue in June of 2006. I am convinced he came to me for one reason--to learn how Rocky Mountain spotted fever, RMSF (a tick borne illness) can affect English Setters. Bogie's health and allergy issues for the past 3 1/2 years can all be linked to his RMSF exposure and all the bad advise we got from many vets who were sadly following outdated information that is available about this troubling disease. The spring of 2009 I took matters into my own hands and treated Bogie for his "exposure titer" and almost immediately he started to feel better. His fevers, itchiness, skin leisions and behavior started to improve and we hope that follow up testing will confirm that he is in remission.

Bogie is a MANIAC in the field--but with his RMSF scatterbrained behavior--would hunt on his own. He is one of the most independent Setters I have ever met. I am hopeful to continue his training and get him to be a reliable hunting companion. He may always have allergy issues--but I am thrilled that I never had to get him on life shortening steroids to help find him some relief. I am hopeful that what we have learned about Bogie--will be published in a way to help vets better dianose dogs with chronic allergy issues.

IBR's I'm A Keeper aka Bosco


Read more about Bosco's success story.

IBR's Give Me A Slice aka Tinky-Pie


IBR's Rugged Vigilante


Bronson on the road to his Junior Hunter Title

Bronson's new AKC registered name is now IBR's Rugged Vigilante ILP# 159490. ILP stands for Indefinite Listing Privilege and is a limited registry for pure bred dogs that have no proof of pedigree. Now that Bronson has his ILP- he will be entered into a few Hunt tests this fall. Bronson was an abused hunting dog and he is still leery of strangers- but his rehab and TLC has helped him build his confidence and I am hopeful he will get his Junior Hunter's Title while in foster care.

09-04-07 HUNT TEST UPDATE: Well Bronson did very well at his first local Hunt test. He has come a long way from the frightened abused Pointer who was pulled with days to spare back in March of this year. He made his foster Mommy very proud on Labor Day getting his first JH pass. He pointed several quail and even retrieved one to hand. He appears to be over his gun shyness but needs a lot of work on his recall. It was a feel good to see him somewhat at ease around new dogs and people- especially men.

Bronson's stay in foster care with IBR is another testament to the good work we do and how important our volunteer efforts are to help save and rehab these abandoned birddogs. Our goal will always be to place these dogs in pet homes first, but if we can help a homeless hunter (who by no fault of their own ) are dumped into a high kill shelter deemed unworthy by some good ol boy who in Bronson's case- treated him unkindly - and then bring them back to the point where they can be hunted over again someday, then that really makes our extra efforts worth while.

Bronson has turned into a first class house dog too and the fact that he lives indoors and IS neutered has no affect on his hunting desire. Many folks would argue that these dogs won't hunt unless they live outdoors and are left intact- NOT TRUE!!

Be sure to check out Bronson's Blog to read his full story and to follow his progress.

Nala Puppies Place in Field Trial

On July 26, 2004 Princess Nala, a once stray pointer, gave birth to 11 healthy bouncy pointer puppies. On April 16th, 2005, several of Nala's pups participated in their very first AKC field trial.

In the puppy stakes, placing first was parvo surivor, Hercules (pictured on right), placing third was Maverick (middle), and placing fourth was Duchess (left). Way to go puppies!!!

April 16th and 17th, 2005, at the Weimaraner Club of Northern Illinois several IBR dogs took home orange ribbons and a got a few steps closer to their Junior Hunter titles.

Way to go Alex and Ben!!!

Rocky got 2 legs towards his title that weekend!

Rocky in the field. (Photo by Pet Personalities.)

March 19 and 20th, 2005, IBR dogs participated in the German Wirehair Pointer Club of Illinois hunt test.

Mary and Rocky grab their first orange ribbon.

Rocky with a beautiful point in the bird field.

Zac and Maverick (one of Nala's pups grab their first orange ribbon also.

Mav on point in the bird field.

Ben and Alex grab their first orange ribbon also.

Alex with a stunning point in the bird field.

Alex is greeting the crowd.

Mav's hanging out in the clubhouse waiting for his ribbon!

February 12th, 2005 IBR dogs qualified at the LaSalle Brittany Club hunt test.

Rob and Ivy secure their second JH leg.

Rob and Oliver also had some success.

Over Halloween Weekend 2004, several of us participated in the American Field Amateur Walking Field Trials at Moraine View State Park.

Among the IBR dogs represented were Wesleigh, Thelma Lou, Oliver, Ivy, and Ginger. While everyone did an excellent job and ran their hearts out, we are especially proud of Rob and Oliver who took 3rd place in the Open Gun Dog stakes on Saturday!

Over Labor Day weekend 2004, a couple of our adopted rescue dogs participated in a couple of Hunt Tests.

Rob and his pointer, Ivy, earned their first leg towards their Junior Hunter Title. Debbie and her little English Setter, Ginger Snap, earned their final leg needed for their Junior Hunter Title. Way to go rescue dogs!!!

October 26, 2003

This past weekend IBR rescue dogs - Billy, Pete, Alex, and Pixie- participated in American Field walking Trials. They all did a fabulous job! Illinois Birdog Rescue alumni swept both field trial days taking home at least 20% of the total placements!!! Way to go rescue dogs!!!

Saturday at East Central Illinois Pointer and Setter Club (ECIPS) Pete took 3rd place in Derby and Billy took 3rd place in Gundog. Both dogs had outstanding runs. Pete had about 3 finds in the Derby. Billy did not find any birds, probably due to the drizzling rain, but he handled better than he ever has.

On Sunday Alex, one of our newest rescues, creamed the competition in the Central Prairie Field Trial taking both 2nd place in Derby and 2nd place in puppy. Billy again took 3rd place in Gundog with an excellent bird find! Pixie was a little overwhelmed with excitement at her first field trial. While she didn't hunt as nicely as her mom would have liked, they both had a fabulous time walking.

Congratulations to everyone!!! We are proud to have you represent Illinois Birddog Rescue, Inc.

Billy - 3rd place Gundog and Pete - 3rd place in Derby

Alex - 2nd place Puppy and 2nd place Derby

Billy - 3rd place Gundog

October 12, 2003

Buckwheat's first baby picture

Buckwheat earns his Junior Hunter Title

Thelmalou's Little Rascal aka Buckwheat finished his Junior Hunter Title on Saturday :O). Weeties came in with a litter of 6 Pointer looking puppies a year ago April from Connie Guthrie of Save Our Strays. He was the only one of the six to come down with Parvo and survived and I just couldn't let him go. One of my goals with him was to ILP, ( Indefinite Listing Privilege ), him as a Pointer and try and get an AKC Hunting title on him. On his way to his Junior Hunter Title he proved himself to be quite the little hunter and in many cases he out ran, and out hunted his Pure bred bracemates. His scores were always very respectable too. I am very proud of him and that we achieved this goal.

Wes did a fabulous job on Sunday. I entered him only that day because I knew the judges would appreciate my big running Pointer. He was braced with a young Weimaraner who gave up trying to chase him after a few minutes. Wes ran big but under control. As he entered the bird field he slammed on Point and I heard the judges say, "That's what I'm talking about!", commenting on his style. He continued to run big covering the trees lines surrounding the bird field and hit every edge always keeping an eye on me and cracking his happy long Pointer tail. He just handled beautifully for the short time he was on the ground. Both judges went out of their way to say how much they enjoyed watching him work and how flashy he is and of course they had to ask if he was altered...

They also LOVED Jessie's "Billy Bob" and gave him great scores and great compliments on his running, hunting and pointing style. I filled them in on how he was a rescue out of Knoxville, Tennessee and that he was surrendered because he was gun shy- NOT!! Jessie and Billy finished their JH on Sunday as the second Illinois Birddog Rescue to achieve that title. This is Jessie's first ever Pointer and Billy just ADORES her-he gives her googily eyes. WAY TO GO!!!!!!

We will be heading down to Leroy, Il for an American Field Walking trail the end of October to run with the Good 'OL Boys and the Pointer Birdawgs...Actually they are very nice and appreciate the work we are doing for Illinois Birddog Rescue.

Lisa Spakowski-President
Illinois Birddog Rescue, Inc
Illinois Birddog Rescue
Lucky Pets Petsitting/ Lucky Canine Agility
Lucky Pets--Facebook

Billy Bob's first qualifying round

Billy Bob's second qualifying round

Wesleigh's qualifying Junior Hunter run