• Sire: FC & Can. Ch. Fausto de la Grande Futaie, CG, JE
  • Dam: FC & Can. Ch. Rivendells Ruby

December 20, 1991 - March 6, 2003

Color: Wild boar

Breeder: Jolanta Jeanneney

 

Farewell to Gita by John Jeanneney

Gita was a French-American hybrid, just like me. We shared the French traits of idiosyncrasy, but there were other areas in which she far surpassed me. Her hallmark was drive and desire. As a Frenchman, it is not easy for me to admit that most of that came from the American side of her pedigree, from her dam, Rivendells Ruby Tuesday. Gita had a better line control than her dam, but she still ran like a hare hound. This may have been due to the fact that she started on northern hare near Edmonton, Alberta, which is far north of the cottontail limit.

It is hard to separate Gita's persona from the things that she did in the field, but she always made her presence felt in the house where she lived as the alpha bitch over nine or more other dachshunds.She did not get into fights or even have to growl, but other dogs knew. She was the boss.

We will always remember her athleticism. She was not a very high stationed ddachshund, but in her prime she could clear a four-foot fence with ease. And she could fly. At beagle clubs, more than one cottontail failed to take her seriously until it was too late. She was a good gun dog, circling her rabbit with regularity, and ignoring healthy deer.

At field trials she was not the bracemate that other handlers looked forward to for their own hound. At the drawing, when her name was braced with another dachshund, there would be some sympathetic chuckles for the unlucky one. Gita won a lot and she did this with decent line control and exceptional speed for a dachshund. In a brace beagle-inspired sport, she was usually not what judges were looking for. But when she was racing far ahead, with the rabbit, and her bracemate had given up, what could the judges do? In 1997 she was awarded the DCA Plaque for top Field Trial Dachshund. She won the FC stake 11 times and was the Absolute Winner 7 times. She collected 745 lifetime FC defeated points and at the time of her passing was ranked as #3 all-time field dachshund.

We worked with her as a blood tracker and she found a number of wounded deer. I will never forget one evening down along the Taconic Parkway in New York State. Jolanta was handling Gita, and I was working behind Max, a slower, but very sure-nosed dachshund. The mortally wounded deer was moving fast, and Gita and Jolanta were striding as one down through the long, moon-lit field, far ahead of me, the hunter and Max.

Gita was a very good mother, gentle and caring to her puppies of which there were 16, in her 3 litters. In this number there were many blood trackers who were never taken to field trials. These dogs help to dissipate the image of the dachshund as couch potato in hunting circles. Her legacy shows in dogs such as Turbo, Tasha, Vamaba, Vrena, Victor and Wynona von Moosbach-Zuzelek.

Youth, drive and athleticism can dazzle and conceal character, which lies beneath. Gita in decline revealed the true depth of her character. She did not retire, she did not quit, she did not cede her position as leader of our pack. And Gita in decline still had to hunt. She was diagnosed with T cell lymphoma, the worst kind, and yet she had to go out into the drifts, trail the rabbits down under the drifts into their snowy labyrinths beneath the surface. We had to locate her by her barks and dig her out.

When she went for chemo she strolled into the vet's offcie, head up and tail wagging. She quickly learned that a visit to the scales was part of the protocol. Of her own accord, she would step up on the scales and wait, tail wagging. Five days after her last chemo visit, the triumphant, extra lease on life ended.

All three of us knew it was over. In the vet's office, we held her gently in our arms as the needle found the vein and she relaxed.