Mike Greer, Columbus, GA (WC/WCX)
The first time I attended a dog event sanctioned by AKC I was too young to understand what a dog hunt test was all about.
In the late 1950’s in Western North Carolina, our neighbors took my sister and me in as their surrogate grandchildren. Our parents were very supportive of our surrogate grandparent’s desire to treat us as their own and we got to take many vacation trips with them. My sister and I still carry fond memories from the many experiences that our surrogate grandparents created for us.
One memory I have is that they owned a small herd of beagles and I fell in love with dogs because of them. On several occasions we would take trips with all the beagles loaded on a trailer. At the time I had no idea why but later learned that these trips were made to run their beagles in field trials.
Because of the impression the beagles had on me at such a young age they continue to perpetuate my love of dogs. The first retriever I owned was a Golden Retriever named Champ. He epitomized everything that a Golden Retriever can be. He was a loving pet, a great hunter and easily a best friend. After college I began to travel with work and had little time to devote to owning another retriever.
A couple of years before retiring I started making a plan and created a bucket list. The first thing on the list was to add a retriever to the family. My wife and I fulfilled that bucket item and it has been non-stop ever since.
Lily, our Yellow Labrador Retriever, has taken us to many AKC and HRC events. She has earned hunt test titles from both AKC and HRC and has taken us places that we would never have dreamed. In another milestone, she was bred with an MH and a five-time GRHRC and gave birth to seven Chocolate puppies in November 2018. This litter is how we acquired Maggie, our second retriever.
I am a member of The Greater Atlanta AKC Retriever Club and treasurer of Old South HRC Club. I also volunteer with Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in the Canine Performance Science Department. I am there one day each week and have the privilege of helping trainers teach Labrador Retrievers to become detection dogs.
Thanks to Lily, I have had the privilege of judging dog’s hunting test skills for both AKC and HRC and have been able to meet great people, have made lasting friendships and will continue to make new friends in this incredible dog enthusiast sport.