We are a multi-dog home. While we have loved and treasured all our dogs, a few stand out as exceptional companions, extremely talented, and our touchstones of what Weims should be.
Ch. Valmar’s Phoenix V Wustenwind CD, was our first Weim . He was out of Ch. Valmar’s Jazzman CD, NSD, V BROM and Ch Arimar’s Majestic Moriah. Phoenix introduced us to the world of showing and obedience. He was Lou’s personal gun dog. To be honest, Phoenix hunted because he enjoyed spending time with Lou in the field. He was broke in a weekend of hunting. He ran a short gun dog. He was a easy dog to train, and a joy to live with. He finished at eleven months with 3 majors. He had Best of Breed wins and group placements.
Phoenix did, on occasion, display the Weimaraner trait of persistence. When Phoenix was welcomed into our home, we had a Dalmatian, Sespe. I had trained Sespe to sleep in the hallway just outside our bedroom door. That’s where Phoenix would begin his nightly ritual….but he didn’t stay there. Every morning Lou and I awoke to Phoenix laying between us in the “dead cockroach” position. We had no idea how he got on the bed without waking us. One night Lou discovered his tactics. At about 1 a.m. Phoenix approached the bed and circled it making sure we were asleep. Over the next 45 minutes he monitored our sleep and finally placed one paw on the bed. At this point Lou was exhausted and fell asleep. When he woke Phoenix was laying between us as usual.
That became our nightly routine until he passed on.
Ch. Valmar’s Mace V Wustenwind CDX, JH, SDX, NRD, OAJ, NA, VX
I first met Mace as a 9 week old puppy. I had gone to Joan Valdez’s home to see a litter of pups that were just a few days old. She and Lee Meadows had chosen the two pick males from a litter out of Ch. Valmar’s EZ Jazz Time CD, OA, SD, VX, BROM and Ch. Valmar’s Top Flight. They had decided to keep Sage, and to place Mace in a show home. Joan stacked him up for me, and while I thought he was very nice, the pups had my full attention. That was until Joan asked me to let him out of her service porch, so she could feed him in her bedroom. I opened the service porch door and out strutted this confident tail up puppy. He cruised through the kitchen, dining room, living room, past the puppy room while ignoring the barking of the puppies’ concerned mother, and down the hall to Joan’s bedroom. I asked how many times she had fed him in her bedroom. She replied a couple of times, and I said “stack him up again.” I took him home that night.
I wasn’t really ready for a puppy. Thanksgiving and Christmas flew by with limited time to train. I was looking forward to beginning training in January, but that was shattered (literally and figuratively) by the Northridge Earthquake. Mace spent most of the next six months in a dog run, as we worked on repairing our home.
Once our house was repaired, I began to train. Unfortunately Mace’s adolescence collided with training. We were struggling in establishing a relationship. That confidence and boldness that I had so admired was now not so appealing. I was using traditional obedience techniques, and they weren’t working. Mace had a very high tolerance to corrections and an alpha attitude. My trainer suggested a pinch collar which didn’t affect Mace at all.
Then I had a most fortunate accident. I damaged my interior rotator cuff, which meant I couldn’t give corrections. I heard about Morgan Spectator, a clicker trainer. I began to train with him using only positive methods. Mace and I established a relationship that was magical.
Mace also had a strong relationship with my husband, Lou. Lou’s favorite memory of Mace was when he and our son were at a gun club. They were returning from a successful hunt through an area that multiple hunting dogs had covered. As they began walking up the trail, Mace locked up on point. The other hunters were eating lunch at the top of the hill, and they noticed Mace on point. A crowd began to gather. Even though Lou knew that ten dogs had worked the area, he never doubted Mace. It took Lou a while to flush the pheasant that was buried in a thicket. Finally, the pheasant worked his way out of the brush and flew. Lou shot the bird and sent Mace to retrieve. As they walked up to the summit, the other hunters came over and remarked that they couldn’t believe Mace found a bird in an area all their dogs had gone through.
Mace began to compete successfully in a variety of domains. He finished his show title with three majors. In obedience he was nationally ranked for Weimaraners. He earned 1st place in Open A at the Weimaraner Club of America Obedience Trial.
At the age of 10, he placed 1st at the WCA National Open Agility Jumpers. The day before that he earned his SDX. He was also field pointed and had 7 field placements. Not bad for a dog that wasn’t broke until he was eight years old.
More important than his talent and abilities, he developed into the best companion we ever had. He passed away at 15 ½ years old. We still miss him.
Ch. Valmar’s Unforgettable SH, NRD V lived up to her name. She will be forever in our hearts and memory. She had a unique personality and outlook on life. She was beautiful, brainy and birdy.
When Lyric was young, we would take all the dogs hiking 2 or 3 times a week. The other dogs would be zooming through the fields and up the hills, but Lyric remained on the trails. This went on for quite awhile. My hopes for a field dog were fading.
One day as we were hiking, we took a deer track that paralleled the main trail. Lyric was up ahead of us and didn’t see us leave the trail. She suddenly realized that we were no longer together. Her internal conflict was clearly expressed on her face. She had to with us but stepping into the brush was soooo unacceptable. We waited for her decision. Cautiously, she entered the brush and began to make her way to us. And then an amazing thing happened. A look of joy and wonderment appeared on her face and she began zooming around and over brush. She raced over to my husband and me and then zipped around to find our son who was farther up the trail. We went down the hill, and my son called out to us to call for Lyric. I heard her running on the hill above us, and I called her. She jumped over a fallen log on the hillside. Unfortunately there was no hill below her. With nothing beneath her, she crashed on the path in front of us. I held my breath as I approached her crumpled body. Before I reached her, she stood, looked puzzled, and then began running again. I had my field dog.
I took Lyric to a field handling class run by Bill O’Brien. It was a group class and lasted about eight weeks.. At the end of the eight weeks, Lyric was broke and would back with style. Her points were intense, her range was big gun dog and into All Age, and her retrieves were amazing. I entered her in Senior Hunt tests, and she quickly earned her title.
In the field she was a joy to watch, in the show ring she was elegant, and at home she was an amazing companion.
F Ch., National Amateur All Age Champion Outdoor’s Starfire
Gorden Hansen offered us a puppy from his litter out of Fld. Ch. Outdoor’s Fitz’s Duke and AFCH, FCH, NFCH Outdoors Boots FROM
He had been helping us in the field and didn’t feel that the dogs we were training matched the level of commitment we demonstrated.
Outdoor’s Starfire was a true All Age dog with an intensity and passion to hunt that were unmatched. She was poetry running in the field. As a companion, she loved to cuddle and snuggle. Tom Hansen, her trainer, nicknamed her “Worm” as she wiggled so much when around her people.
The first time my husband ran her in the field, he was amazed at her intensity, range, and natural hunting style. He recognized that even as a pup, as he told Gorden, she was something special. He was correct. In 1988 she made breed history by being the first Weimaraner to win 3 of the 4 Field Futurities. In 1992, Gorden Hansen handled her to the National Amateur All-Age Championship.
Star was also on the Top Ten Derby and the Top Ten All Age lists. She is the dam of Fld Ch Windchyme FROM.