Last February everything seemed perfectly normal, apart from the Covid-19 crisis in China. The first unexpected change in our 2020 planning was the fact that Rumi’s sister Phoenix (Flow of Spirits Holly Blue) came into heat. Rumi has up until now always followed her sister with 1 1/2 year in-between heat. Lenk Krispijn (Rumi’s breeder) and I had up to that point been on the outlook for the right stud for Rumi for some time already, but we had had a hard time finding Mr. Right. I remember Lenk calling me with the news about Phoenix being in heat meaning Rumi would probably follow soon..we were both excited and overwhelmed at the same time, because we had expected the girls to come in heat during winter 2020.
Our stud search and last health checks had to speed up because if we did not find him on time – we might miss the chance of having puppies within an acceptable time range for Rumi. So Lenk and I pushed a lot of computer buttons and we narrowed the search down to 3 studs who looked promising on paper. All German owned dogs with good working pedigrees and moderate temperament. Two of the dogs were father and son and I met the last two dogs in Germany myself on beforehand. I liked the father the most because he had such a people oriented character and something gracieus in his way of being with Rumi and his owner and I had a good connection.The son showed a lot of drive for running and game, a really nice stud too.
Meanwhile Covid-19 had started to reach Europe… and Rumi came into heat, so we really had to speed up in decision making. We decided to go on a road trip to Germany and meet and test the studs. First we had some planning and consideration to do as Covid-19 was closing in. We went with the VW bus full of handgel, wine and snacks, booked a nice hotel and on the road we went.
Day 1 visiting north Germany:
Testing father Pax and son Aki. It was a really nice day and we worked all three dogs – the dogs were put out on a limb with difficult exercises (marking, free search, problem solving and tracking). Rumi was a bit hormone jumpy and not showing the best of her heel work but worked very quickly as usual and had no problems getting all retrieves in. The two boys did great and they showed talent, will to please and problem solving too. We were very pleased and found ourselves in a luxury position having two possible studs for Rumi. We enjoyed time with kind Sandra, who has fantastic perseverance and passion for the breed and together we enjoyed some wine and cheese that I had brought and later a lovely dinner.
The next morning we continued to the Hamburg area to meet Ulrike and Brösel. We had little time due to Ulrike’s schedule and our limited time so after a long drive and a quick cup of coffee we went outside to work the dogs. Before we even got started with game and dummies we were all three rather impressed by Brösel’s energy. He was joyful and friendly, soft in his way of greeting and he settled down very quickly. While talking to Ulrike he came to cuddle a bit with all of us but again in a polite and soft matter for a stud. This is the overal impression, he is not filling the room so to speak like Rumi does but his energy is calm, happy and settled, not asking for much attention, awaiting what is happening next without being too timide.
His heel work is very good for a dog that is primarily being used to hunt and has no problem complying in what his handler asks. When the leash comes off he focuses and when away from his handler the energy goes up and the tail action rises. We were very impressed by his power of working, solving things easily, how lightly and easy he moves in different terrein and when presented with challenges he takes a moment to work it out and then takes an eager go at it. I like that he works with passion without losing the thinking part. After having done an extensive amount of different retrieves it was time to show Rumi to Ulrike. The hormone effect had risen an extra nudge and my heel work was a disaster but Rumi sure put herself on the screen. Full of power and passion – tail up high and shamelessly flirting with Brösel who got no chance of attempting anything. Rumi sure held controle on her side. Luckily Ulrike liked Rumi too and after a quick goodbye we drove back to the Netherlands with raw skin on our hands of all the disinfecting.
We knew right away that we had found Mr. Right. He just fits the best: great working skills, good anatomy for Rumi because of his modest size and compact build body, cool temperament without being dull or slow, pedigree to die for and he is very healthy. Apart from all of the above there is something about Brösel that makes you want to wrap him up and bring back home..So in my eyes, it does not matter if the future puppies will resemble him or Rumi, they will all be Flatastic flatcoated retrievers.