By BARBARA GREEN
Bowie’s Joel Moore says it takes three things to reach the top at the Hunting Retriever Club International Grand: A good dog, good luck and the stars have to align just right.
He and his dog, Juice, a three and a half year old female Labrador Retriever, hope the heavens will shine on them this week as they compete in part two of the “Grand.” The pair will travel to the international competition in Opelousas, LA, Oct. 6-10 where about 600 dogs are expected.
The 41-year-old Moore says training hunting dogs is a passion sparked when he was in high school, but it was not until after college he got back into the sport and he has been with it the last 15 years.
Moore is assistant fire chief for the City of Bowie Fire Department where he has worked the past 16 and a half years. He grew up in the Boyd area and before becoming a firefighter worked as a journeyman electrician. Moore makes his home outside Bowie with his wife Kathy and a bevy of dogs he says are “like family.”
Moore started training a dog for basic retrieval for him on duck hunts.
“Duck hunting is much more social than other hunting sports. There is lots of talking, joking around and hanging with your buddies. I hunted deer for a long time too, but I found duck hunting more appealing and through the years deer hunting phased out for me,” he explains.
Moore laughs training a hunting dog follow a stereotypical line, “Mine is better than yours.” Everyone wants to have the best dog in the field. Dog training has become a big part of his life and while it is hobby, it could become a business if he ever retires from fire fighting, but for now it is mainly for fun.
“You are taking an animal that will give you everything it possibly can and really you don’t give them much back. Water, food, some affection. They give you all their love, their attention, their devotion. It always amazes me how much an animal will give you. With me they become part of the family,” exclaims Moore.
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