Perky was an extraordinary bitch that was very well known for her escapades in the field. The following article was written for the Labrador Quarterly and may give you a small peek into what made her so special.
Ch. JanWood’s Lady Perkins WC
5 January 1980 - 17 March 1993
Breeders/Owners - Lloyd Woodhouse & Janis I. Grannemann
Lloyd (Woody) Woodhouse and I starting our breeding program in 1979. Woody, an avid hunter and world-class competitive shooter, needed a hunting companion and I needed a home for Cindra, my foundation bitch. My husband was on active duty with the US Army, and with the all- too-frequent moves, we were limited in the number of dogs we could keep. I only kept dogs that I was actively showing. Cindra was a nice bitch, but injured a leg when she was a puppy and was not showable. I wanted to keep her for my breeding program, and up stepped Woody to volunteer to give her a home. It was a perfect arrangement that has worked for almost 20 years.
My first show labs were out of Ch Shamrock Acres Light Brigade and I started looking for a stud for Cindra from those lines. When I found Ch Franklin’s Golden Mandigo CD I knew my search was over. He was not only out of the sire I wanted to use, but both of his parents were top producers. Three breedings produced Ch JanRod’s Little Miss Muffet CD, Ch JanWood’s Tigger Tremayne WC, and Ch JanWood’s Lady Perkins WC. Several others from these breedings were pointed, including Denji’s Golden Daze, who produced several champions. I was not able to keep any puppies from these litters because we were still in the Army and moving frequently. Muffet went to a pet home, but I was able to show her. She finished in 12 shows with one 5_point and two 3_point majors, BOBs, and group placements. She is one I wish I could have kept. Woody was able to keep both Tigger and Perky. Tigger was shown only 14 times with 10 WD or RWD. He had one 3_point and two 5_point majors and was RWD at the Houston LRC Specialty show under George White. Tigger was also the first dog of my breeding that I handled to a group placement. It was a very special day at the San Antonio show. Woody had taken Tigger hunting and he had been badly cut up by a barbed wire fence while retrieving a dove. The breed judge, Glen Sommers, asked if the cuts were "badges of honor." I said "yes." He then asked if he had completed the retrieve. Again I said "yes." He said "good" and gave me the breed. I immediately called Woody and he came over to watch the group. When Tigger placed in the group, I thought for sure that now Woody would let me show the dogs even during hunting season. But no such luck. Hunting will always come before showing with Woody.
After the success of her brother and sister, I thought it would be easy to finish Perky. She was in excellent shape because Woody started hunting with her at five months of age. Woody took her out with two field trainers and their dogs her first time in the field. The men had winged a goose which flew out into the middle of a pond and Woody’s companion sent each of their dogs out, one after the other, and the goose drove off both dogs. While the men were discussing what to do next, Perky jumped into the water, swam straight for the goose, and was promptly bitten on the nose. With a yelp, Perky started swimming back to shore. The men were telling Woody that his dog was probably ruined for life, but that he was lucky that the goose had not drowned her. About that time Perky turned around and swam back toward the goose, but instead of swimming straight to the bird, she started swimming in circles around the goose. All three men started yelling and calling Perky. They made so much noise that the goose stopped following the puppy and look toward the shore and the men. Perky saw her chance and grabbed the goose by its butt and swam him to shore. That was the beginning of her field career and the end of any serious show career that I planned for her. I first showed Perky when she had just turned a year old. Back then, the 12-18 class was not offered at all-breed shows, so Perky was entered in the open class. Needless to say, we did not set the world on fire. She got a few class placements and nothing more. The summer of 1981, at 1½ years of age, it was a different story. In July we showed in San Antonio, Texas and went RWB from the Bred By class under Michael Parsons. In Corpus Christi in August, she went BOB from the open bitch class over five specials for a 3 point major and placed fifth in the group. The next weekend was the Houston LRC specialty with Andy Stewart judging. I had never seen so many yellow bitches! But Perky pulled it off and went WB and BW for a 5 point major!
Then came hunting season and I lost my show dog. I was able to take her to one show in late September where she again went BOB for another point, but other than that, Perky was busy teaching Woody the finer points of hunting with a dog. For example, if you have a well trained dog, trust it. It took two sessions before Woody learned it truly is a partnership.
The first lesson came when we were walking back from a training session with our dogs at heel. Perky suddenly left Woody’s side and dove into a pond. As Woody started telling her to get back into the heel position, she dove under the water and out of sight. She then surfaced with a mallard in her mouth. The duck was wounded, but alive. Neither Woody nor I saw the duck or any ripples on the water indicating that the duck had gone under water. Perky had either seen it or smelled it, but she certainly knew it was there. The second lesson came during hunting season. Woody shot a duck and saw it go down across a pond directly toward a large oak tree. He sent Perky on a retrieve. She swam across the pond and ran straight for the oak tree and then turned right. Woody stopped her with a whistle and sent her back on a line toward the tree. Perky again went a short way toward the tree and turned right. After stopping her several times and attempting to get her to take a line to the tree, Woody put her on a stay and rowed across the pond. He then took Perky back toward the tree, and you guessed it: no bird! With a very red face, Woody told Perky to fetch up the bird. Off she went to the right and returned with the bird in her mouth a short time later. Woody could be heard saying "trust your dog, they know more than you," or "believe in your dog, their nose knows" for months afterwards.
I finally got Perky back to some shows in January of 1982. Perky was now two years old and I thought she looked good. At her first show back she went WB for two more points and then RWB the next day. But at the next five shows, she didn’t even get a placement. February came and she went WB, BW and BOB for two more points, followed closely by two RWBs. She now had 13 points, but I was running out of time. Rod, my husband, and I were again being assigned to Saudi Arabia; no more dog shows for two years. Before we left, I attended nine more shows. Perky placed in most of them, but no points. While I was the Middle East, Woody had a professional handler show Perky. I do not remember the number of times, but she only got one more point. We were now well over 30 shows and still needed one point to finish. With the kindness and understanding of my wonderful husband (he made me say that), I planned a trip back to the United States that just happened to coincide with the Houston LRC specialty. Perky and I went 3rd in the open yellow class under Rick Whitehill. The next day under Norton Moore, Perky went WB and BW for another 5 point major. Nice way to finish her championship!! I returned to the Middle East a very relieved and happy person.
Woody spent all his spare time in the field and Perky’s reputation as a gun dog started spreading. For example, whenever a new game warden came into the area, Woody and Perky would go out into the field with them at the start of hunting season. Woody would explain that he would not shoot more than the allowable limit, but he might come back with more than that in his bag. He would then release Perky to run in the field as they continued their walk. Sooner or later Perky would return with a bird in her mouth. The majority of these birds had been shot by hunters and left in the field because they could not find them. End of discussion.
Because of Perky’s reputation and Woody’s consideration of property owners, he was able to hunt areas not open to other hunters. One place was a large rice farm in south Texas. The owner was very fond of roasted geese, but did not have much time to hunt and did not like to have other people hunt on his land. Sometimes the people were thoughtless and the dogs unruly (ask Woody about the lab whose name he thought was "Dam nit Lady"). Woody offered to demonstrate the ability of his dog to put a goose on the farmer’s table. Woody and the farmer sat out on a dike talking while Perky laid next to Woody. A flock came over and the farmer winged a goose who locked his wings and sailed out of sight over the horizon. Woody sent Perky for the retrieve. Both men watched as Perky ran across the rice fields and up and over the dikes until she was out of sight. The farmer lit his pipe and told Woody he had probably seen the last of his dog. Woody just smiled. As time passed the farmer said, he was sorry, but that dog was gone. Woody just smiled. Then off in the distance both men saw a small white spot appear on the top of a dike, disappear, appear again on the top of the next dike and disappear. Finally it appeared close enough for the men to see that it was a white goose held firmly in Perky’s mouth. The goose was not happy and was fighting Perky the whole way, until Woody took the goose. The farmer took the pipe out of his mouth and immediately offered to buy Perky. Woody, of course, refused the offer. The farmer said he could hunt on his property anytime as long as he could hunt with them occasionally.
Perky's first breeding coincided with my return to the States from Saudi Arabia. We decided to breed her to Ch Anderscroft Mijan’s Bravo. This litter produced five puppies. I took two bitches with me to California; Ch JanWood’s Sugar and Spice, a BOB winner and JanWood’s All That Glitters, a beautiful bitch who hated to show and retired from the show ring with 5 points. Glitter was bred three times, once to Ch Campbellcroft’s Angus and twice to Ch Mallard’s Flying Cloud of JanRod WC. Several of Glitter’s puppies are pointed with one having both majors and needing one point to finish. Two puppies have Master Hunting Titles and another two have CDX degrees. One of the two males in Perky’s litter, a black named Rowdy was trained and used as a drug dog in San Antonio, TX. The third female was sold as a hunting companion. The last puppy, a yellow male, was sold as a hunting dog, but his owner returned him in 1986 after the dog was injured and no longer able to hunt. He finished his championship in very short order and went BOB the first time shown as a special in California. He was Ch Duke of JanWood CD.
Perky then started her cross country travels. Woody would send her to me in California and I would breed her, whelp the litter, and send her back to Texas. On her first trip to California, she was bred to JR, a spectacular young black dog I co-owned. JR was major pointed from the puppy class, had gone RWD at LRC of Southern California, and I couldn’t wait to use him. He was x-rayed at six and nineteen months and everything looked good, so before he was two years old, I bred Perky to him. Well, at two years of age he did not pass OFA! I was devastated! I had a litter of seven puppies and their father was dysplastic. I had kept two of the most beautiful black puppies and decided I could not, in good conscience, use them in my breeding program. I neutered and spayed both puppies and found them new homes. I offered money back to all my puppy buyers if they had their dogs neutered. This was a very expensive and emotional lesson! Never again!
Meanwhile, Perky was back hunting with Woody and getting in the last word. It was a cold winter morning and Woody got up very early to go hunting. After several hours in the cold and wet weather with not a bird to be seen, Woody was getting very frustrated. Finally seeing a flock that was probably out of range, Woody fired hoping that he could at least wing a bird. Hearing the shot and knowing that her "hunting partner" never missed, Perky jumped up and looked to the sky. Nothing. Perky again settled down and waited. A while later, another flock flew by and once again Woody fired. Again, nothing. The third time it happened, Perky jumped up and ran out a short distance and returned to Woody’s side. Woody was irritated that she had broken and expressed his displeasure. Not put off by this, Perky stared up at Woody and wagged her tail. Finally, she started pushing at Woody’s hand. Exasperated, he said "what!?" and held out his hand. Perky then placed the still smoking shell casing in his hand as if saying "Better try again." With that Woody, packed up and went home.
The winter of 1986, Perky was once again bred to Bravo. The resulting litter gave me another first, my first OFA excellent puppies. They were CH JanWood’s Lemon Juice Dust and JanWood’s Abbie. Both Abbie and Juice have produced champions and more OFA excellent puppies. Another littermate, Maggie, has done well in the field and produced puppies with field titles. Perky’s last litter was born in the summer of 1987. She was bred to my Swedish import, Ch Mallard’s Flying Cloud of JanRod WC. Once again, Perky gave me another first. This time it was my first Best In Specialty Show and group winner - Ch JanWood’s Secret Agent CD WC. "Spook" was BISS at the LRC of Southern California specialty under Kendall Herr. This was a great honor and huge thrill for me. "Spook" has carried on his mother’s record of dual purpose labs by siring the 13th Champion Master Hunter _ MHR Ch Cook’s Midnight Bandit MH. Perky’s last litter also produced Ch JanWood’s Mountain Mist. She is a dam of a Best In Sweeps puppy, JanRod’s Lady Solitaire, and several champions. Shortly after weaning this litter, I sent Perky back to Woody. He was invited by the Texas Rangers to join them for a dove hunt. There were so many doves in the area that they were doing major damage to the crops. The local farmers had gone to the Rangers for help and a dove hunt had been arranged. The Rangers invited Woody to come and bring his dogs. Although Woody accepted the invitation, he decided to take only Perky. Several of the Rangers had dogs that were not well trained and Woody believed he should leave his males at home. He knew that Perky was not in hunting shape after coming off a litter of puppies, but other people would bring their dogs and she would enjoy the day out. When Woody arrived, it became apparent that Perky was going to be the only dog there. The Rangers told him they had left their dogs at home because they knew Woody would be bringing his "good hunting dogs." Woody estimates that Perky retrieved more than 200 doves that day. Needless to say, she slept for several days after that, but she was back doing what she enjoyed the most.
To the end, when it came to hunting, Perky did not let anything get in her way. One day Woody got out his gun to clean in preparation for a hunting trip. He did not plan to take Perky because she was old and it was going to be a rough, cold hunt. Perky had other ideas. Later that day when he got ready to feed the dogs, no one could find Perky. They called and called, no dog. They checked the house and the yard, no dog. Thinking that she might have gotten out when someone came home, they ran outside and alerted all the neighbors. No one had seen her. Woody got in his car and drove around the neighborhood looking for her, nothing. After receiving a suggestion to park his car in front of the house with the door open so Perky could get in if she came home, Woody went into his garage to get his van, his hunting car. There was Perky in the van curled up on top of his sleeping bag and not about to get out! No one can figure out how she opened the door between the house and the garage, and the only way she could have gotten into the van was through an open window. Not bad for an old dog. It convinced Woody that she might be able to do just one more hunt.
Ch JanWood’s Lady Perkins, thanks for 13 years of wonderful memories. You are missed.
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