The End Of An Era By Pat Nordquist Olalla, Washington
Over his career, it’s hard to know how many pups Bodo placed into the hands of eager clients, but here is a photo of one female pup from the last litter he ever was involved in. It was July 5th, 2014. Both sides of the breeding were Winterhelle pedigrees… end of an era, really. I was researching to decide on what would be my current dog’s replacement and happened upon Bodo’s name history with NAVHDA and the Pudelpointer, so I called him and actually got him on my first try. He was very apologetic about his halting speech, explaining that he was recovering from a stroke and was very happy to talk dogs and such. It wasn’t long before I realized he was actually interviewing me and my hunting style and history. When I told him I currently hunted over a wonderful Tiger Mountain Lab, he exclaimed, “Oh, so you have one of those FAT DOGS!” Well, now, I have never, ever been accused of being thin-skinned, but you are better off insulting me rather than my faithful feather finder. However, knowing that he was quite old, AND recovering from a stroke, AND actually kind of charming in a disarming sort of way, I decided to let it slide. Besides, he was an icon in the dog world and I was, and still am, a nobody! (at least in the dog credibility world). He knew I hunted every type of wild game bird in every type of habitat and season and told me his conclusion was, “I think you might be ready for a Pudelpointer.” I told him I wasn’t shopping dogs yet, just info-gathering. Besides, my FAT DOG was still in her prime. He ended by saying, “You might want think about it.” I said I would. That was how it ended… pleasantries exchanged and we hung up. Several months later I received a call from, who else?Bodo. This time he said, “Hey Pat, I have a dog for you—a newborn Pudelpointer puppy!” I thought, wait a minute, I didn’t order a pup. He then explained that this would very likely be the last litter of his career, and there was a pup in it for me if I wanted one. Well, I never went to college, but I was smart enough to realize this was one of those times in life that had ‘special opportunity’ written all over it. Only a fool with kennel blindness would say no. Long story short, I said YES, I’ll take your biggest, boldest female available. In the weeks that followed, I called and chatted with Bodo about Pudelpointers, training and his life. I even saved the last call I received from him the day I picked her up. We spent the day at his home in Bandon, Oregon listening to stories and training tips. He also did his best to charm my dear wife—as the photo shows. Looking back, I am so happy to have been there experiencing Bodo’s world as the Bodo Winterhelt era was coming to its inevitable end. There would be no more litters, no more pups, no more hunt tests or training days… the end to an era that will never be repeated, by anyone. I am so happy he thought enough of our conversations to bring me into his orbit and the Pudelpointer world. We love our female, Whiskey. She’s everything he advertised and more. In fact, she had a singleton pup this year that resides along with her now in our home with my other dog, a Braque du Bourbonnais. I am now a member of NAVHDA and the Pacific Northwest Chapter. Bodo is a reminder of simpler times when being absorbed in a singular pursuit of excellence was enough. To sustain that level of uncompromising devotion and commitment has gone the way of rotary phones and points, plugs and condensers. Bodo did not have a price and could not be bought. The time will eventually come when the Winterhelle name will drop off the pedigree chart, but his legacy will never be forgotten—at least not by this former owner of a FAT DOG!