( Dan Braman – Host / Athlete )
I was asked to write a blog about Molly, my retriever and arguably best friend. First, let me say that Ace Berry and Tommy Rutherford with Ace’s Gun Dogs are without question the best on this planet at pairing dogs with owners. I’ve owned retrievers since I was 15 years old and had some really remarkable dogs, but never anything like Molly. Ace and Tommy weren’t concerned with selling me a dog; they were concerned with selling me a dog that met my needs and that would work with my personality. The latter was something I had never thought of nor been asked by other trainers.  On the first telephone to call to Ace he asked me specifically what I wanted in a dog. I can’t recall exactly what I said but it was something like, I want a dog that can handle big waves, ripping current, oyster shells, and on top of all of that perfect obedience. Basically I wanted a robot but one that loved their job. If there is one thing I can’t stand about my friend’s dogs it is that they seem scared all during the hunt due to the electric collar around their neck. If I have to use a damn electric collar on my dog while I’m hunting (or any other time for that matter) I don’t want the dog. (Let me add at this point that I am by no means against these training devices. I simply feel that most trainers overuse them and make the animals not enjoy their job. I am a hound trainer and use these collars daily, but not to an extent that places fear and sensitiveness in the dogs) Ace told me that he had a red bitch at his place and wanted me to come look at her. Two days later I arrived at Ace’s place where I found him and other trainers in a large field working with various dogs. After a few minutes he sent of his guys to their kennel to bring out the “red bitch.” I noticed a man walking from the kennels with a red dog that at a distance looked more like a pit bull. Deep red color with a wide head and wider shoulders, I questioned Ace on her build and he explained to me that the British Labs aren’t built like their American counterparts.  Ace told me that Molly was very strange about meeting new people and although he thought her personality would work perfectly for me there was one hurdle we had to cross, if we could. He asked me to throw the tennis ball for her but warned that she probably wouldn’t bring it to me the first few times. I threw it and she brought it straight to me, that was four years ago and Molly and I are still together. I can say that she is not only part of my family but the best hunting dog where waterfowl is concerned that I’ve ever owned.Click edit button to change this text.