LONE PINE'S AWOL AVA
January 16, 2016 - November 29, 2021
We weren't going to keep a pup from Callie's first litter. Really we weren't...
Ava is Callie's very first born pup on January 16th, 2014. She was also the smallest pup of the litter but by no means a runt. She was the first to explore everything, the most rambunctious, had a very distinct personality and was usually the last pup we found when it was time to go to bed at night, hence her name. But of all the pups, she was the one to look straight into your eyes like she was reading you. She always looked like the wheels were turning when she looked at you like that and I couldn’t help but wonder what that little mind was thinking. When all the other pups were clamoring to get out of the whelping box, she would sit back patiently and watch everything happen. Then she’d go on about her daily exploration of the world. Within 4 weeks, she had stolen my heart and I (Alycia) was completely in love with this independent, adventurous pup. We didn't have a confirmed buyer for the 10th pup because people like a choice I guess. As the weeks went on I got more attached to little "Peanut" as I liked to call her. Her personality fascinated me. I gave her a pink skull and crossbones collar because it fit her dynamic personality. At first I was sure someone would pick her and I wouldn’t get to keep her so I didn’t think about it too much. By the 7th week, I started saying, “if nobody picks her maybe we’ll keep her”. Mike insists I didn’t talk her up enough to buyers because I didn’t want anybody to pick her. That might be a little true. As the weeks went on I could tell she would be a challenging pup with her independent streak and rowdy personality. You could punish her and it seemed to have no effect. She chewed things, harassed everyone, and failed miserably at most of the puppy tests you do when picking a puppy. But I loved her independence and enthusiasm for life. When she ended up being the last pup left, I knew we were meant to keep her.
She is still my independent and enthusiastic pup. We now affectionately call her “The Terrorist”. She has zero respect for personal space and loves to give kisses. Her version of snuggling is to lay on top of you as close to your face as she can get. She’s a sneaky counter surfer with no regard for the consequences of her actions, so she’s crated when we’re not home. She seems to have an affinity for expensive cheeses. I really hope she grows out of it.
But then comes the good stuff. She is whip smart and learns fast. She can read you like a book and always seems to be thinking. While we didn’t really need to force fetch Callie, I did do it with Ava. Her personality needs the no nonsense authority that force fetch instills. She had some difficult moments when we started the process, but once she understood what was happening and that she needed to comply, the process was a breeze. Once she understands what you want from her, she is incredibly eager to please. Once she learns something, she is consistent and confident. She is happy, funny, loving, and completely loyal to her family.
Ava was a very quick study in her upland work and is every bit as driven as her mother. She has a steady pace in the field and has a thoughtfulness about her almost like she’s trying to reason out exactly where the birds might be. She has a beautiful solid point, a great retrieve and a soft mouth. I love watching her work. At 12 weeks old, with no prompting she walked out into a pond and started swimming and has loved the water ever since. When introduced to live ducks at about a year old she went after them with abandon. I can’t wait to see her on a duck hunt next year. She earned 110 Prize 1 score at her NAVHDA Natural Ability test.
She has grown to be the same height and weight as Callie but looks a bit lankier and is clearly much fuzzier. She has a medium dense, medium harsh coat, weighs 50 pounds and stands 23 inches at the shoulder.
Sadly we lost Ava in 2021 to Canine B-Cell Lymphoma. Another dog lost too soon, leaving us broken hearted. Someday, I will write an article about our experience with Ava's Lymphoma but it's still difficult to think about. If you know of any pudelpointers who have been lost to cancer, please contact me as I am trying to keep track of those I learn of.