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Thread: Thanks/Introduction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Thanks/Introduction

    Hello there!
    I just wanted to take a small amount of time to introduce myself to the forum. I first learned of Bob Milner in the mid to late eighties through DU, and a few other select outdoor magazine articles. I had owned a couple Labs who were the progeny of backyard breedings. Although I did have some luck with these dogs, they always seemed to be just on the edge of being 'wild'. And by wild, I mean just this side of feral.

    It was with great expectations that I , and a close friend, travelled to Grand Junction TN. to look at some of Bob's dogs. I could not have been more disappointed with the puppy parade that ensued. Every dog that I previewed had some characteristic that reminded me of the chuckle-heads that I had back home.

    Finally, Robert Parks came out with the last pup that was on the premises and told me that this was the last one but, "You don't want this dog". He was a dog that left behind, passed over, unwanted. I asked why the dog had been left and Robert said that he would show me.

    He then proceeded to open the pups crate and the pup would not exit. All that he would do is cower in the corner and try to make himself smaller. Robert finally had to dump him out of the crate whereupon exiting he ran for the furthest corner of the room, buried himself in a mound cardboard boxes, and relieved himself of all waste matter. After we dug him out and cleaned him up, I was certain that was the pup that I wanted to go home with me.

    I was done training dogs with a 2 x 4. I was done training dogs with hot motors, but no brakes. I was done worrying about what trouble my Lab was going to get into next. I had a gut feeling that this dog was going to be a special dog. He came from a great bloodline, he just needed a little extra love to bring out his best.

    Hannah's Shadrach Abednego was ( and forever shall be ) the best dog that I have ever owned. He was off of Wildrose Hannah and Wildrose Paddington. He was the largest Lab that anyone I have known has ever seen ( 125 lbs. extra lean, I don't like fat dogs ). He was also the most invisible dog that I have ever owned. He was the birdiest dog that I've ever been around. People would wait for us to finish hunting so that Shadrach could hunt down their cripples at day's end. He was a great companion, I miss him dearly.

    I guess that the main purpose of my little saga is to first of all thank Bob Milner for the opportunity of a lifetime by his becoming a very well informed Lab lover. I also want all who read this to know that it really does come down to "picking the litter", you can't go wrong with one of Bob's dogs. But when given many choices of pups you find one that you think is special, try and get that dog. You will spend more time with the dog, allowing you to truly develop the bond required to form a symbiotic relationship that is , at once, both beautiful and mystical. It is the stuff that legends are made of, and causes teary-eyed posts to be written to total strangers on message boards.

    So, thank you Bob for affording me the opportunity of a lifetime. And thank you Shadrach, you were, and are, the best that I've ever shared a blind with!


    Scott AKA Shadrach
    Last edited by Shadrach; 02-28-2017 at 02:16 PM. Reason: missing word

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008


    Scott (aka Shadrack),

    Thanks for the great post! Not only was it well written, but it took me through several twists and turns in my reactions to your statements. Personally, I am not a fan of skittish dogs. I think Labs should be bold and self confident. However, I understand that you can have too much of a good thing. I doubt I would have had the patience to work with such a dog. I also was struck by the size of the dog; 125 lbs. is not my image of a British bred field Lab.

    I must admit I was skeptical about the authenticity of your post and at one point I thought you were going to slam Robert and his breeding program. Those are some of the twists and turns my mind made while reading your post.

    While I can't say I agree with your choice (it would not have been mine), I must wholeheartedly agee with your following statement:

    "But when given many choices of pups you find one that you think is special, try and get that dog. You will spend more time with the dog, allowing you to truly develop the bond required to form a symbiotic relationship that is , at once, beautiful and mystical. It is the stuff that legends are made of, and causes teary-eyed posts to be written to total strangers on message boards."

    To me training a dog isn't following a series of drills, following a receipe that has proven successful for others. It's about making a connection with the dog and becoming a team together. You made that point very eloquently!

    Welcome to the forum! I hope to read many other well composed comments from you. I think you will fit in well here; many of us have taken a different path and I think we are the better for it.

    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is freedom. In water there is bacteria."

    Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Hey Swack !

    I appreciate that you took the time to travel through "the twists and turns" of my post. It has taken me this long to even view this forum again. Only God knows how much I miss that dog.

    I could never say anything bad about Bob Milner , or his dog breeding practices. That is what led me to my beloved Shadrach.

    Someday, when I have less responsibilities, I will own another Bob Milner dog. And yes, I know that I broke most of the common sense rules when it comes down to puppy choices, but I knew what I wanted and I came up with Aces when I picked that skittish, left behind dog.

    I have photo's of my (then) five year old nephew putting that dog through steadying and blind retrieve drills that I plan to post when I can dry my eyes again.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Cedar Rapids, IA


    Shadrach -

    Your post brought tears to my eyes.

    I truly believe that we always get the dog that we were meant to have. Each dog teaches us valuable lessons about life and training. It is up to us to bring out the best in each dog and learn from that experience.

    My current lab has taught me so much about life and training. Although he came from a good breeder, he has health issues. When he was diagnosed with the problem, I almost quit. But, I realized, none of us know when we will die, so we keep on training - that was 3 years ago. He needs one more qualifying score and he will have his Obedience Utility title. I can never repay Louie for all that he has taught me.

    Thank you so much for your heartfelt post.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Nearly two years later... Cutty !

    I can hardly believe that it has now been 20 years since I last saw my beloved Shadrach. I remember our last goodbye like it was yesterday. My ex-wife collected him from me one late Winter afternoon in 1994 only to never return again. I never thought that I would be truly happy ever again.

    Many good things have happened to me , in the meantime. I remarried ( my childhood sweetheart and best friend ) , adopted her children and gave them my name, resumed duck hunting and my passion for duck dogs ( Bama , you will always be my special yellow girl ).

    Now I have seemingly come full circle, as I am, once again, the proud owner of a pup bred by one Robert Milner. I see so much much of my beloved Shadrach in " Duckhill Cuithbiert Onchu " aka 'Cutty'. This dog has been the source of nearly as many tears of joy as the departure of my Shadrach caused so many years ago. I love him...

    Thank you , again, Robert Milner. Thank you to all here on this forum for piquing my interest for the past five years. And , perhaps, most importantly, thank you to all of the staff at Duckhill Kennels. Your hard work and dedication made my decision to purchase a Duckhill Lab an easy one.

    Also, I would be remiss if I did not single out one special staff member for steering me to my newly beloved Cutty. THANK YOU MAURY! You are the reason that I now own Cutty and I shall remain forever grateful to you for leading me to that litter ! ( Boomer x Versi )

    I'm sure that you will see me post updates on Cutty's ascent into the Pantheon of 'Once in a Lifetime Dogs'!

    May all of us feel so Blessed !


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