Articles on Pointing Breeds
By Phil Heye, AKC Executive Field Representative
Most people think their dogs can do everything, but few people have had dogs as complete as Jay and Mary Reeg. During 56 years of marriage, Jay and Mary have been lucky enough to have a family of Vizslas. The Vizsla's original dual purpose was for pointing and retrieving, but in the last 20 years they have become a widely admired family companion. Jay and Mary have found their Vizslas to be all of that and have obtained numerous conformation champion titles, obedience titles of CDX, and Hunting Test titles of Senior Hunter (SH).
Vizslas are excellent gundogs and have a good nose; they follow trails diligently and retrieve game with enthusiasm. Jay and Mary have traveled with their dogs all over the United States, including Alaska. Their dogs provide companionship and entertainment. In fact, while traveling in Alaska, their Vizslas briefly chased a bear. No one got hurt, but the event provided a bit of a scare for Jay and Mary and an interesting story to remember.
Jay enjoys hunting with their dogs and is now enjoying running Hunting Tests with what may very well be called their most complete dog, a 23-month-old male named "Ranger." In addition to hunting tests, Ranger is also being trained and used as an assistance/service dog for Jay's wife, Mary, who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. With the help of Ranger, Mary is able to lead a very full and active life. Assistance/service dogs are trained to perform important tasks that assist a life-functioning need. Typically, an assistance/service dog will guide, signal, perform physical tasks, alert to seizures, alert to psychological/psychiatric disabilities and provide therapeutic companionship. Ranger started his service dog training at 10 weeks of age and has earned his AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate after completing numerous obedience classes with Mary. Ranger has also competed successfully in Junior Hunter Pointing Breed Hunting Tests. For such a young dog, he has definitely proven himself to be superior.
So if you happen to see Jay and/or Mary in a restaurant in Florida or a Hunting Test in Missouri, be sure to say hello and salute them and their "superdog" Ranger.