Monday, November 22, 2010

Jack and Anna Peckitt & Quozzi

Who is in the photo at right?

That's Jack Peckitt, one of Yorkshire friendly faces; he breeds and trains gundogs in North Yorkshire, England and lends his dogs out to his wife Anna's bed and breakfast guests at Carr House Farm, Ampleforth in North Yorkshire.

Quozzi, born on April 1st 2008, is a working lemon and white cocker spaniel bitch.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We stop for coffee when we're out for the day picking game up between drives on a shooting day.

What's brewing?

Doewe Egbert's coffee with milk in a flask.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Anna's homemade cake.

Any treat for Quozzi on this occasion?

Quozzi's treat is a sausage roll.

How were you and Quozzi united?

She was born to Molly, one of my working cocker spaniels who rejected her as she was born 12 hours later than the rest of the litter. For a week we tried to suckle her to her mother, then she was brought into the house, put in a box on top of the Aga, and Anna hand-reared her. For the first 8 weeks of her life she was fed first with a pipette, then a syringe, before she started to eat on her own and was fed every 2 hours day and night.

How did Quozzi get her name? Any aliases?

Quozzi got her name from Quasimodo, the hunch back of Notre Dame, as she fell off the top of the Aga and dislocated her shoulder and got a concussion at 3 weeks old after she climbed out of the box which was in a washing basket with a cake cooling wire over the top and held in place by a book that weighed 16 ozs and she only weighed 12ozs. She looked quite deformed for a while. She also had pneumonia twice and the vet never thought she would live.

I see on your website that you train "gundogs" -- primarily labradors and spaniels. What are the principal merits of each breed? Would the kind of gundog one chooses depend on the kind of hunting involved?

Labradors are more for carrying larger birds like pheasants, and are more able on the moors for finding the grouse as they have longer legs to go through the heather. Labradors are seen more as peg dogs. They sniff the air to pick the scents.

little cocker spaniels are good hunting dogs for going into rough cover and will pick up birds but find partridges easier to carry than pheasants. They like to be fussed over and also make ideal pets.

You are in Yorkshire--are there any terriers around, or have all the Yorkies moved away?

We do not have terriers: they are not any good at been told what to do -- quite untrainable.

As for Yorkies, I am sure one of our Labradors could eat one whole.

Where is Quozzi's favorite place for an outing?

Quozzi's favourite outing is probably going out for a day working with the other dogs on the shooting field.

Who are Quozzi's best pet-pals?

She really loves Jack and Anna as she thinks she is half human; for ages she didn't mix with the other dogs as in her early orphan life she lived in the house. Then we got Bess, a Labrador, to keep her company. Quozzi's kennel is next to Hamish who is also a Labrador and they get on. She is fearless and is the boss of all of the 28 dogs even though most of them are a lot bigger then her.

If Quozzi could change one thing about you, what would it be?

She would come and live in the house if she had the chance as she did when she was young . I would let her but Anna doesn't like dogs in the house.

What is Quozzi's proudest moment?

Her proudest moment was probably when she found her first bird and brought it back to me on a shoot before the other dogs could get it.

Visit the Carr House Farm website and bed & breakfast blog, and the Cuckavalda Gundogs website.

--Marshal Zeringue