About Us

Our History with Elhew Pointers

Autumn Memory Kennels was started in 1985 with the purchase of a Brittany Spaniel pup from Frank Pride of Windham, Maine. Many years earlier I had been introduced to these rugged performers by my father, Charles Calcagni, with whom I shared countless wonderful hours afield in the pursuit of ruffed grouse in the beautiful covers of my native Vermont. As the seasons passed and my string of dogs grew I found myself drawn to the sport of field trialing. Then as today, the most compelling argument for participating in trials is the many additional opportunities presented for enjoying a fine dog. Some years later when my interests evolved from liberated bird trials to grouse trials the stage was set for my initial foray into the pointer world. In 1989 at the urging of the legendary grouse trialer Dick Shear, I purchased a young pup from Bob Wehle’s incomparable Elhew Kennels. That pup, Elhew Gamemaster, would go on to win four championships and two runner-up championships on grouse and woodcock. Much more important than his success in field trial competition, however, was the appreciation he came to instill in me of the many magnificent characteristics embodied in these wonderful dogs, an appreciation which continues to grow to this day.

The years following Gamemaster were filled with a host of championship and futurity wins, most notably the twin triumphs of Elhew Autumn Whisper in the 1996 and 1998 Grand National Grouse Championship. Her 1998 victory was made all the more remarkable when a son from her first litter, Autumn Memory Bearhart, won the companion Grand National Grouse Futurity. It was with this breeding of Elhew Snakefoot and Elhew Autumn Whisper that we took our first steps into the world of breeding bird dogs. That undertaking, as with all of our training and field trialing endeavors at that time would not have been possible if not for the advice and guidance of Bob Wehle, a true icon of the dog world. Since that original breeding of Snakefoot and Autumn Whisper we have been carefully working to preserve a superior gene pool representing a group of outstanding, proven individuals. The blood of such notables as Elhew Strike, Elhew Snakefoot, Elhew Discovery, Elhew Flint, Elhew Autumn Whisper and Elhew Mr McGoo, to name only a few, runs through our kennel. Through the discriminating breeding of a very few select individuals complimented by a considerable reserve of frozen semen from proven sires we find ourselves well positioned to ensure the availability of a superior shooting dog for discriminating sportsmen for generations to come.

Our current plans call for a small number of very high quality breedings each year. While our primary thrust will always be an intelligent, classy gentleman's shooting dog we expect that our pups will continue to acquit themselves well in field trial competition. If you are interested in such a dog we would be delighted to hear from you.

David and Elizabeth Calcagni

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