- Owners Gayle Watkins
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Loved by: Gayle Watkins
FLYER was the granddam at Gaylan’s for many years, leading the pack with her usual aplomb and joie de vivre. She was an energetic bitch who has fulfilled all of our expectations in training. She was a hard-driving, birdy retriever that excelled in the water. She completed her Junior Hunter by 13 months by passing four of five tests. She followed this shortly by her WC. We put Flyer’s field training on hold for five years but brought her out for the first time at the Garden State GRC WC/WCX where she passed both tests with flying colors. This earned her the WCX title on her first try. She went on to pass numerous WCXs during her lifetime and finished her career by earning her WC at nearly 13 years of age in August 2007.
Flyer was also an enthusiastic worker in agility and obedience. In agility, she surpassed all of our expectations while in obedience, she was a flashy and precise heeler, with good attention and focus. Flyer earned her CD in her first three shows with three first placements, including her second CD leg with a 196 1/2 in a snowstorm! Her other scores were a 198 1/2+ and another 196 1/2. These scores earned her what used to be known as a Dog World Award.
Flyer started her agility career in late June 1999. In the next four months she completed her Novice Agility (NA), Novice Agility Jumpers (NAJ), Open Agility (OA), Open Agility Jumpers (OAJ), Agility Excellent (AX), and Agility Excellent Jumpers (AXJ) titles. She placed for all but one leg, most often first or second. In the last few weeks of the season, she also completed three MX legs and earned her first MXJ leg. She ended 1999 nationally ranked among golden retrievers in both Novice classes and both Excellent classes. Unfortunately, a very serious back injury resulting from a freak fall on a practice jump ended Flyer’s agility and obedience careers. She retired with 9 MX and four MXJ legs. All of her titles earned her the GRCA’s Versatility Certificate.
FLYER’s conformation was correct which enabled her to pass the GRCA’s Conformation Certificate Assessment (CCA) two weeks shy of her 11th birthday. She was 22 3/4″ at the shoulder and weighed 67 pounds. She had moderate bone with good substance. She was an athletic bitch who maintains exceptional muscle tone, especially in her shoulders and thighs, a trait that she passed to many of her kids. As she matured, her coat wemt from light to medium gold. It was short, dense, and water repellent. She did not carry as much undercoat as I would have liked but her outer coat was quite correct, shedding dirt, burrs, and water very well.
FLYER had a nice head with a sweet expression and a short broad muzzle. She had correct ears (small, thin and correctly placed), very dark eyes, a scissors bite with complete dentition, and average pigment. FLYER also had an elegant neck, level topline, and a good forechest with nice depth of chest. Her front assembly was average needing slightly more angle in her upper arm. She had a strong back with short loin, slightly sloping croup and correct tail set, although she carried her tail a little higher than I prefer. She had very good rear angulation. FLYER stood and moved true front and rear, converging toward the center with increased speed, and had nice side movement.
FLYER was a very healthy bitch with no allergies or chronic health problems. At two years of age, her hip x-rays were rated OFA Good but her rating dropped to Fair when we had them redone at 4 years. Her hips had PennHip distraction indices of .46 (right) and .44 (left), putting her in the 70th percentile for golden retrievers (better than 70% of dogs x-rayed). In addition to Flyer, five of her littermates have received their OFA clearances, three were “excellent” and two were “good.” Flyer was also cleared of elbow dysplasia and heart defects at 24 months. Her annual eye clearances have revealed no genetic or non-genetic eye abnormalities until her death. She had a vWD rating of 110% and normal thyroid evaluation from Michigan State University, although her T4 is slightly low. We eventually put her on thyroid supplements at 10 1/2 years of age.
Flyer developed Cushings disease at 12 years of age. Unfortunately, the treatment for Cushings destroyed her adrenals and she now had Addisons. We struggled to stabilize her Addison’s for 18 months but never really got it under control. She died on July 2, 2008 from Addison’s. We had a necropsy done and there were no indications of cancer in any of her organs.
Living with Flyer is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. She was my teacher and guide through the last 13 years. I miss her terribly but will be forever grateful to have spent so much time with this magnificent animal.
You can see Flyer’s pedigree briefly below and in greater detail here.
Flyer had four litters of pups, who proved and continue to prove themselves in conformation, field, obedience, agility and flyball events. The first two litters qualified Flyer as an Outstanding Dam from the Golden Retriever Club of America. Her pups have gone on to achieve Master Hunters, American and Canadian Championships, Master Agility Championships, Tracking Dog Excellent and Utility Dog titles. You can see more of them on the Lunar litter, West Point litter, the Flying litter and the Golf litter pages.
Flyer’s Titled Kids
Am CH Gaylan’s West Point Guidon CDX NA SH WC VCX CGC Dog World Award
MACH Can CH Gaylan’s Born to Fly CD SH MXS MJS OF WCX OS VC ADHF CCA CGC
Can. CH Gaylan’s Hole In One CD GN MH MX MXJ NF CGCA WCX OD VCX CCA TT
Gaylan’s Firefly’s Golden Glo CDX MH WCX CCA VC OD CGC TDI
Gaylan’s Lunar Mission UD JH MX MXJ WC CCA ASCA CD HIT
U-CDX Gaylan’s West Point Cadet UDX SH WCX CCA
Gaylan’s West Point Whistler UD RAE JH WC FMX HIT
Gaylan’s Twentyonegun Salute CDX TDX JH AX MXJ OAP OJP WC FDCH
U-CDX Gaylans Stony Lonesome UD CCA CGC
Gaylan’s Reveille at Fernside CDX NA NAP NJP TDX
U-CH U-CD U-AGII CATCH Gaylan’s High Flying Abbi CD RE JH MXB MJB OF NAP WC OD CCA VC AD EAC