It’s Monday, and (my calendar tells me) it’s April. Oddly, as I just informed my editor, all the days seem to run together lately, and I was quite sure we only had a couple weeks left until May — and wild turkey hunting season — arrived. Nope. It’s a Monday in early April. And now seems the perfect time for another dose of cute baby bird dogs.
Last week I introduced you to guide Jeff McEvoy’s latest litter of English cocker spaniels, which seemed to be plotting a takeover of the kitchen. In this follow-up filmed four days later, the puppies’ invasion still seems to be in the planning phase, which leads to some great video of the cute little devils.
“My home has a step-up into the kitchen, which gives the adult dogs a bit of safety and security,” said McEvoy, who owns Weatherby’s outdoor resort in Grand Lake Stream. “The pups want badly to get everywhere that they cannot get. It is just a matter of time before they are big enough to invade the kitchen and bedrooms.”
The pups are nephews and nieces of my English cocker, Teddy, who is now four years old. McEvoy vouched for the breed when I was in Grand Lake Stream working on a story, and my wife and I took him at his word. We’re lucky we did.
Last week I asked him how he discovered the breed.
“Why cockers? I was always a springer [spaniel] guy. I love the way they hunt and that they are great family and people dogs unlike many other hunting breeds,” McEvoy said. “Friends of mine were into the cockers and I went to [a field] trial to see what they can do. They’re still spaniels, but smaller, and they seemed to be more in tune with the handler.”
English cockers aren’t too common in the U.S., though, and McEvoy had to look long and hard for a dog with good blood lines.
“One thing I have learned is that breeding is everything. So I found a trialer in the Syracuse area of NY with a litter and picked up my first cocker about nine years ago,” McEvoy said. He bred that dog with another top-notch field trial cocker, and kept one dog from that litter: Curly Fry, the mother of the present litter.
“[She is] absolutely the best dog in the world. I am not biased.” McEvoy said. “Great hunter and sweet dog with kids, people and in the home. Phenomenal companion dog, whether you hunt or not.”
And as you may have seen, she also produces some pretty cute pups. For the record, River is a white and tan female, while Weatherby is a white and tan male. Moxie is black and white, Finnegan is a chocolate male, Tippet is a chocolate female, Guiness is a black male and Happy is a tan male.