Happy returns for gun dogs duo

Otago Gundog Club members Aven and Allan Hamilton, of Abbotsford, with their Labradors (from left) Briar, Georgia and Beau. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Otago Gundog Club members Aven and Allan Hamilton, of Abbotsford, with their Labradors (from left) Briar, Georgia and Beau. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Allan and Aven Hamilton's lives have gone to the dogs - in a good sense.

The Abbotsford couple have been married for ''40-odd years'' and for the past 25 have been active in the Otago Gundog Club together.

Mr Hamilton said he joined the club 43 years ago, but he was happy he was able to share that part of his life with his wife for last quarter-century. The couple had a shared love of dogs.

''Ever since we have been married we have had a dog,'' he said.

''At the moment we have four [Labradors].''

Craig Marshall and his dog, Tika, winning the limit-retrieving event at the club's South Island trial last month. Photo supplied.
Craig Marshall and his dog, Tika, winning the limit-retrieving event at the club's South Island trial last month. Photo supplied.
Training the gun dogs was as good for them as it was for the dogs.

''The dogs keep us active,'' he said.

''They need to be exercised and you have got to do it, so when we get as old as us it works out good.''

The club held a South Island-wide trial last month and while the club did not perform as well as hoped, member Craig Marshall won the limit retrieving event.

''His dad was a member about 30 years ago and now the offspring are back, which is good to see,'' Mr Hamilton said.

The club, which has about 15 members, will hold its 75th jubilee trial next March. Most members are preparing for duck-shooting season, which opens on May 3, before club activities fire up again in spring. For more information about the club, phone 488-4677.

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