Friday, March 22nd
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SHOOTER - "Claudette's Shootin the Moon"
September 7, 1998 - January 25, 2009
On Labor Day, September 7, 1998, Claudette went into labor soon thereafter, delivered 8 beautiful pups. Shooter was the "runt" of the litter and had to be hand-fed for a short time after his birth because of his size. Even before he could open his eyes, he was constantly using his nose. There were times when all the pups were huddled in a warm ball of fur by their mother's belly and if we walked in to the room quietly - Shooter would be the first pup to raise his head and wiggle his nose! Al knew then, that he was the one he wanted to train.
Al and Shooter soon became partners but not before Shooter chose another. His canine partner would soon be his brother, Beau! They were always together, playing together, fighting with each other, and sleeping together. They were inseparable.
Shooter's training started when he was 8 weeks of age and it didn't take him long to catch on the "trailing game". The only problem was - he always wanted to stop and "tinkle" on the trail. This frustrated Al until a good friend and old-time Bloodhound handler told him that perhaps Shooter was "marking" his trail as he worked and this helped Al to accept his unusual trailing behavior. Shooter always knew where he was trailing and by marking the trail and could find his way back.
Shooter worked both missing person and criminal cases. His most memorable criminal track was when he assisted police in determining a false report was filed. A young woman claimed that someone broke into her home and tried to abduct her baby after burglarizing her home. Shooter quickly started working from the home, into the yard, but worked over to the woman and her child. He indicated to Al that there wasn't an intruder but that the woman herself was the one who staged the incident. The woman later confessed to the police that she was guilty. The Chief of Police duly noted that because of Shooter's conclusion - it saved their police department many man-hours.
Shooter died 26 days after Beau passed away. In our hearts, we feel that he was under stress because of the separation from his brother. He was buried on the top of our hill along with the rest of his family - on the other side of the "Rainbow Bridge".