Pheasant hunting season brings out the best in Tess, a 5-year-old German wirehaired pointer who became a national champion despite the loss of one leg. “When you let her out of the truck, she’s hunting from the second she jumps off that tailgate. Just like that,” said the dog’s owner, Keith Kemmer, snapping his fingers.
“She never quits. The other dogs, by the end of the day, they’ll come up and lay by the truck. Not her.”
It was Kemmer who accidentally ran over the dog’s right rear leg with his pickup about four years ago. He said he was devastated, not only for the dog’s suffering, but also because she had shown great promise as a pointer.
“I thought about it all night long. Should I put her down?” Kemmer said. “Then I thought maybe I could make a pet out of her. A house pet.”
Tess still qualifies as a house pet. She’s the only one of Kemmer’s three hunting dogs who gets to come inside. But she’s also developed into the prize-winning hunting dog that Kemmer envisioned when he got her.