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In our world, dogs are not just a part of our life; They ARE our life!
Just click on the photo or go to our puppies Page
for more info
Three generations of North Country Retrievers;
Butters,Tater and Spirit
Last June Tater qualified in the Treasure State Retriever Club AKC Master Hunt Test in Butte Montana. He is now half-way to his AKC Master Hunter title. He is only 3 more qualifications short of his NAHRA Grand Master Hunting Retriever title.
South Dakota November 2010
Greg & Rick on Missouri River Nov 2010
Tater & Spirit in Presho SD, Nov 2011
Just a Dog!
From time to time I hear the comment "its just a dog”. Many times followed by “that’s a lot of money to spend for Just a Dog”. It is obvious that they don’t understand the love, mutual bond, companionship, pride, devotion, delight, happiness, and pleasure derived from Just a Dog.
I have spent countless hours where my only company was Just a Dog, and I never felt judged, slighted or embarrassed, and I know that my deepest secrets and insecurities will never be compromised by just a dog.
Some of the saddest moments of my life have been brought about by the loss of Just a Dog. And in my days of darkness, the gentle touch of Just a Dog gave me comfort, support, strength and happiness.
Just a Dog brings into my life the essence of loyalty, friendship, trust, and companionship. Just a Dog brings out the compassion and patience that help to make me a better person. Just a Dog helps to bring out what’s good in me, and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. I hope that someday, everyone will understand that it’s not Just a Dog, but one of the things that gives me humanity and keeps me from being Just a Person. Because of Just a Dog I will rise early, take long walks, and try longingly to be the kind of person that my dog believes I am.
Just a Dog is the one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never proves ungrateful, or treacherous. Just a dog stands by me in prosperity & poverty, in sickness and in health. Just a Dog will sleep on the cold wet ground only to be near my side. Just a Dog will kiss my hand when I have no food to offer and guard my sleep as if I were a king, and whose unconditional love is as constant as the sun in its journey through the heavens. Just a Dog has taught me that true love has no conditions, restrictions or boundaries.
If you too think there is something like Just a Dog, then you will probably subscribe to other meaningless phrases such as “Just a Friend”, or “Just a Promise”, and many other meaningless and unimportant things in your life.
So, for me and many folks like me, there is no such thing as Just a Dog. So the next time you hear someone say “its Just a Dog”, just smile and go about your day, because they Just Don’t Understand.
Rick & Tater relaxing 2009
MHR WR SR
North Country's Tater Chip
For more info click on the photo
The following is a response received from Adam Monroe on a blog inquiring about how guide/working dogs are viewed and treated by their masters and trainers. Adam and his sidekick Kaya, are Pheasant Hunting Guides in South Dakota every fall. Kaya is a North Country Retriever. Adam and his dad Greg are part of our closest, dearest, and most respected family members. His response captured our sentiments so perfectly that I have reprinted it here on my site with his permission.
Thank you Adam.
"Of course our dogs are our family. They ride shotgun, and make us laugh and smile daily, they are trained to get the t.v. remote from across the room, and retrieve a bird from across the swamp. They wake us up every morning and beg us to throw something... anything.. they become batman's robin, starsky's hutch. They become visually depressed if we are gone for a day, and are uncontrollably excited when we return. When we get into the field they will work until their hearts explode. There have been countless times when their actions have been worthy of a sports center highlight reel, but all they want is a head scratch and a "good girl." Its them that make the sport what it is. We watch them being born ,we teach them, we love them, and we watch them grow. We don't hesitate to go broke to keep them healthy and we know from the day they open their eyes that we will be the last person they see when they close them for good. And when that happens... we have their babies to keep their memory alive!
Truly mans best friend, so you mess w my dog, u mess w me."
If you think you are a person of great influence; Just try ordering someone elses dog around. The experience will do you good!
Glacier National Park, July 2012
Riding the Grizzly is the next best thing to hunting around our house.
Chunka & Nikki
Our first Board of Directors 1988
If you dont like my dog; You damn sure wont like me!
Call Rick at
North Country's Maggie Mae
High Point Intermediate Dog 1997
Annual Bird-a-holics meeting 1995
Annual Bird-a-holics meeting 2001
Tater in Presho SD, Nov 2011
Spirit at 2 days old