Chugach Chesapeakes

Veterans and Tributes

CH MHR Chugach’s Katmai Tazlina MH
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OFA hips good (10190G86F-VPI)

OFA elbows normal (EL2124F86-VPI)

OFA eyes normal (016033)

PRA carrier
DM normal (DM391/38F)
EIC Clear (D15000043)


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Tazzy was my pheasant hunter extraordinaire. She had an outstanding nose and used it extremely well. She pointed and was responsible for many, many pheasants dying. For pheasants, I would put Tazzy up against any dog, any breed, any day. She was absolutely the best. She hunted in five different states and, in addition to hunting pheasants, she hunted ptarmigan, chukar, quail, ducks, Hungarian partridge, and two species of grouse. I trained Tazzy myself and she achieved a Master Hunter title (MH) and the NAHRA equivalent, Master Hunting Retriever (MHR). Tazzy got a late start being trained for dog games because of the DM frenzy that exploded in 2006 and the fact that she had a full-blooded sister die of it that year. It was not until 2009 that a test was developed and as it turned out, she was clear. But, at that point, it was too late to train for field trials, so I never ran her in trials, just hunt tests.

Tazzy won the "Chukar Challenge" which is a competitive event put on by the Arctic Bird Dog Club. She beat all the pointers, setters, and spaniels and did it at their own game. Tazzy was a dog that naturally quartered and was an excellent marker.

She was very well built and had a great coat which led to a brief show career. Despite being the only deadgrass in the ring, she quickly achieved three majors and achieved a CH title.

She had 3 litters of pups and was an absolutely exemplary mother. The largest litter was 12 pups and she took care of all of them providing more than enough milk.
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She was a sweet, very athletic, very birdy girl who just loved to hunt. One of her first birds and her final bird are chronicled in the following tribute that was written at the time of her death:

I dedicated my fall hunting trip of 2018 to my beloved female, Tazlina (Tazzy), properly known as CH MHR Chugach's Katmai Tazlina MH. It was in 2010 after the death of my first and extremely beloved dog, Katmai, that I first journeyed to Montana. It was an experience, as I had no idea what I was doing or where to go, but I learned a lot and it set the stage for the future. It was during this trip that a notable experience took place with Tazzy. Tazzy had very large shoes to fill in replacing Katmai. I chronicled it at the time: We were out exploring and I notice 4 sharptails fly across an old creek bed. Tazzy and I hotfooted it over to where I saw the sharpies land. I am ready with my 20ga over-and-under and I send in Tazzy. "Put them up" is the command. In she goes, and instead of sharpies, out comes a cackling rooster. He is flying away and I shoot. The shot rocks him but he does not go down. He is still flying but low to the ground and labored. The ground is a harvested pea field. Tazzy sees this and is off in hot pursuit. Tazzy is very fast and athletic and both the bird and Tazzy are covering some ground very quickly going directly away from me. The chase continues with the bird staying just in front of the dog. This goes on and they go over the horizon out of sight and into the gathering darkness. So there I am staying by the side of a pea field worrying and fretting whether I'll ever see my dog again. I don't know how long it was. It seemed like an eternity. Finally I spot a tiny blonde dot in the distance moving quickly towards me. It took awhile, but I could finally make her out and it looks like she has something in her mouth. By God, she has the frigging bird (still alive)!!! Good girl, really good girl. Just an epic retrieve. A defining moment, one that I will not forget. I have no idea whether she was able to get close enough to snatch him out of the air, or the pheasant went in to some cover. He had no tail feathers left so it is my guess that there were a number of attempts to snatch him out of the air and then finally one succeeded. The bottom line is that she was determined to bring me back the bird and she did. Tazzy never looked back and only got better. She more than filled the talent hole left by Katmai. Subsequent years found Tazzy and I returning to Montana romping about the Great Plains hunting pheasants.
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When I left northeast Montana in 2018, I knew Tazzy would not be returning. My girl, who had given me so many pheasants and so many great moments and joy, was not going to be coming back as her time on earth grew very short. It was a very important goal of the trip to try and get her one last bird. There is a spot, that is very unique in southeast Washington that is relatively flat with a dirt road running through it. Her mobility is impaired and she is very limited as to how far and where she can go. Flat road is it. There is a fair amount of cover along this road, so I fervently hoped that we could jump a bird out of the cover along the road. She was quite labored walking down the road so I kept the pace very slow. After about a quarter mile I paused, and as if on cue, a rooster jumped out of the cover and cackled loudly. I shot and the rooster went down. Tazzy saw the whole thing and gave a shriek of excitement. Her passion had not dimmed at all despite her body's degradation and she staggered out and retrieved the pheasant. She dutifully delivered it to hand as she had hundreds of times before. It was a very emotional moment. It is difficult to describe the depth of emotion that comes with a relationship that exists between the hunter and his/her hunting dog. I will tell you that it is deep and special. This is especially true for the Chesapeake because the Chesapeake sets the standard when it comes to loyalty and devotion to the owner. They are truly and totally committed to their owners. Tazzy would not have hunted for anybody else, but for me, she gave her absolute all. We were a team and we certainly loved one another.

There is much anguish involved when one's dog starts degrading to the point where the dog can't hunt anymore. Watching the dog deteriorate is very hard. One of the heart rending things is that the dog does not know it cannot hunt anymore and looks at you with these hurt eyes saying why are you not taking me, for the dog still very much wants to hunt. The period of time between the dog being unable to hunt anymore and its death is a very difficult one. It is full of anguish and loss. This is the one downside to dog ownership and I am currently fully experiencing the grief associated with it and it is hard. Tazzy had a great run. She was treasured and deeply loved and got to pursue the passion that she was bred to do. She loved to hunt, especially upland birds. She did her breed proud. While overall, the trip was great, it was tempered by sadness and her impending death. I was very glad to have gotten her one last bird, and I will always remember that bird and the bird in the pea field.

Tazzy died in January of 2019. She was euthanized next to the whelping box that she was born in and had her pups in. The house is just not the same without her. I miss you very much, Tazzy.

Tazzy is survived by her daughter, Nizina and granddaughter, Ivishak.
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