Straight Forward celebrated her 9th birthday this month by winning 1st at the Pennsylvania Grouse Trial Club Open All-Age competition. “Cracker” has been an exceptional bird finder all of her life. It’s in her genes, it’s in her brain, it’s in her heart. In this event birds were very scarce. Some were flushed wild, but “Cracker” was the only dog who got grouse pointed and she did it twice. 25 dogs competed. “Cracker’s” brace featured her consistent application and her consistent determination. She went to the places grouse live based on her 9 years of hunting for them in training and in competition. She has been in training with Dave Hughes all spring. Dave was scheduled to handle her, but with multiple derbies to run on other courses, it was decided that co-owner Dick Brenneman would handle her. When Dick had a last minute conflict with running our derby, Thor Kain was deputized to handle “Cracker”. “Cracker” had spent the winter with Thor while Dick went to Texas with younger dogs. Thor did a great job in pointing out “Cracker” standing off to the side at 20 and then she was standing again at 35 ahead. On the first find, a single grouse got up ahead as Thor approached her stand. On the second, one grouse left and then another erupted from underneath Thor’s feet, “Cracker” steady as a rock throughout. She went on to finish swinging through the cover and searching ahead.