Fetters English Setters ~ Classic Style English Setters ~ Home Page

Ryman's Flashback Dixie

Ryman's Flashback Dixie
Owner: John Fetters / Photo by: Prof. Richard Kevorkian

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Rare Look: Breeding the Lines, Part Four


In his latest article, John shares a rare up-close look at some of the long history and heritage of the Fetters Family line of English Setter gun dogs. Along with never-before published photos, John takes the reader on a tour of the hard work and thought process behind the consistant breeding of a healthy, performance-ready English Setter gun dog. You can access John's latest article by clicking here: Fetters Setters ~ History and Heritage: Breeding the Lines, a Successful Long-Term Strategy ~ Part Four.

Monday, April 8, 2013

More About George H. Ryman and His Time at Sloe Depot

Along with a never-before-published heritage photo, John takes our readers a little further into George H. Ryman's life and his times at his Quebec, Canada, wilderness hunting and fishing camp, Sloe Depot.

In an earlier piece, John briefly introduced our readers to George H. Ryman's right-hand man and guide at Sloe Depot, Willie Commando, Chief Big Game Guide Par Excellence.


This piece takes our readers back to a different time and gives a more-indepth look at the relationship between Ryman, Willie Commando and the Commando family, and can be easily accessed by clicking here: "Gifts for the Commando Family ~ A "BIG" Surprise."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Newest Addition to "The Ryman English Setter Story" ~ "The Sad Fate of Sloe Depot"

It has been a busy and sometimes hectic time at the Fetters' household, kennels and camps over this past year (see most recent post below) ~ which unfortunately has not allowed for much time and effort for the Fetters English Setters blogspot/web site.

Hopefully, we will be able to spare more time for our blogspot/web site now. And on that note, John has just finished the latest installment of "The Ryman English Setter Story," (easily accessed by clicking here): "The Sad Fate of Slow Depot."


As many already know, Sloe Depot was George Ryman's famous and well-regarded hunting camp in Quebec, Canada. There have been a number of misrepresentations made about this camp and about George Ryman himself ~ and we hope to clarify a number of those suppositions and falsehoods (as well as on other topics) with our contributions here, based on factual and historical documents and materials. We do hope you enjoy John's latest addition.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Especially to Those Who Have Contacted Us in Recent Months ...

For those who have contacted us in the past six months about our English Setter shooting dogs and puppies and other matters, we apologize for the delay in getting in touch with you,

We have had very limited access to the internet, not to mention being very busy with shooting trips, guided hunts, training a group of young setters, as well being involved in the design and construction process of a new kennel facility.

Even though we now have access to the internet on a more regular basis, catching up with the correspondence we've received will be undertaken in the order in which we received your inquiry. This may take some time due to the number of inquiries and other correspondence received and also due to the recent whelping of two January litters and the required time involved in the proper training and evaluation process of a very special group of up-and-coming young gun dogs.

To save further time regarding any new contacts who may be interested in our English Setter shooting dog puppies, we would like to advise that we have a three year waiting list at the present time. This time frame is based on current reservations as well as what our clients desire in a new puppy as well as on the bloodlines of our breedings, repeat clients, sex requested, color and markings, etc.

For those who are interested in seeing our excellent shooting dogs, we are always pleased to have anyone join us for a guided hunt and witness first hand what a setter shooting dog is supposed to do while hunting "wild" game birds.

At this time, we have limited openings available for booking guided hunts for the 2012-2013 hunting season. If interested, contact us through our Contact Us page (easily accessed by clicking here) for further information and pricing of available guided hunts and available dates.
In the meantime, we sincerely hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season as well as the chance to enjoy some great hunting. A belated and heart-felt safe, healthy and Happy New Year from our house to yours.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What Some People Will Say and Do ...

From a notorious internet troll with less than stellar credibility who launched personal attacks on John and the Fetters Setters web site/blogspot on a public sporting forum this past winter ~ to strange claims made about the Estate of George Bird Evans of Old Hemlock fame, life is hardly ever a dull affair in the Fetters household. Not that we would have it any other way ...

We had begun one of our newest pages, "Fetters Setters ~ What Some People Will Say and Do to Sell a Dog" (easily accessed by clicking here) some time ago, however began publishing on it in early December with the first article, "Like a Hungry Tick Looking for a Dog ..."

It has been a busy time for us over this past hunting season and into the month of February, with little time for any additions to our pages here. However, as far as "strange and stranger" circumstances go, this page is definitely worth a look, with our most recent addition to it, "The Strange Case of the Missing Codicil" (having to do with the Estate of George Bird Evans, Old Hemlock English Setters and a Last Will and Testament that purportedly never was) being published there in the last couple of days.

Some articles for the Fetters Setters web site/blogspot have been in the works for months however time constraints and family responsibilities had prevented their final drafts and publication. More additions to our pages will be forthcoming in the coming weeks, as even with our breedings and continued training, we are finally finding a little more room to breath. Stay tuned ...
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~~~The Fetters Challenge~~~ UPDATE

It has been nearly a year (March 13th, 2010) since John first announced The Fetters Challenge ~ an open invitation to anyone out there who claims to own and/or breed "Ryman Type" or "Ryman Style" setters.

"... to bring their best setter and join me in The Fetters Challenge: a six-day hunt running in brace with any setter from my kennel, which will begin each day at sun-up and end at sundown. Point for point, wild bird for wild bird, retrieve to hand. At the end of this six day period, we will see whose setter is eager and rarin' to go hunting for the seventh day ..."
>>
Needless to say, he has been "thoroughly disappointed" that no one to-date has taken him up on this invitation.
>>
In early December 2010, John enhanced the challenge to include a $2,500 stake, with the loser of the challenge donating that amount to the winner's choice of charities. Still, no one has taken John up on his invitation. For more on The Fetters Challenge and The Fetters Challenge Update, see the "Fetters Setters ~ Testimonials" page, easily accessed by clicking here.
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Ladybug, Ladybug ...

Ladybug
house guest
having a
drink of water
>
One or two Ladybugs does not an "infestation" make. Rather with a degree of understanding and knowledge, they can be delightful little winter house guests, with a little nurturing and care.
..
And living into the Spring, they then can resume their beneficial role in the pest control department ~ especially in the garden.

Sometimes taking shelter in one's home when the weather cools in the fall and winter, they will invariably leave in the Spring as the days grow longer and warmer.

Do they really bring "good luck" as so many folk tales predict?

>>
That remains to be seen. But in the meantime, they can be fascinating creatures to learn about as shown in the article authored by The Lady of the House, "Ladybug, Ladyburg ..." featured on the "Fetters Setters ~ Home, Hearth, Hunting, Family, Fashion and Fun" page, easily accessed by clicking here.
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Breeding the Lines, a Successful Long-term Strategy ~ Part Three

In "Breeding the Lines, a Successful Long-term Strategy ~ Part Three," easily accessed by clicking here, the newest article on the "Fetters Setters ~ History and Heritage" page, John delves further into the process of successfully breeding consistently excellent setter shooting dogs.
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Unfortunately, many breeders attempt to place a cover-all sort of blanket on their breedings with the use of Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) ratings, however hips and elbows are not the only concerns ~ in fact, far from the only concerns ~ when consistently breeding excellent setter shooting dogs.
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Such genetic traits as conformation, tail length and coupling as well as eye and lip pigmentation, tumors, thyroid problems, etc., also affect an English Setter, and unless a breeder possesses the correct knowledge and experience to begin with, most people who purchase a "new and improved" model using his or her "latest male/female breeding recipe" are just being used a a type of "guinea pig" to see if the breeder's breeding was successful.
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By the time problems crop up later in an English Setter's life, it is too late. And unlike such other inanimate objects, breeders do not issue "re-calls" on the products of the breedings such as a car manufacturer may issue on a car.
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Keeping in mind that purchasing a new puppy is a life-long commitment for the life of the dog, this article is a "must read" for anyone contemplating purchasing an English Setter shooting dog in the future.
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Letter from Paul Long ...

With his singular wit showing through in his letters as well as in person, the receipt of yet another letter from the irascible Paul Long was always a great treat for John.
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From Long's habit of giving the day of the week he was writing the letter as well as the present weather condition ~ instead of the date, month and year in more common use ~ down to addressing John as "Johny" with one "n" ~ Long's unique character and sense of humor, as well as his sense of life, shone through in his many letters to John.
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Over the years, John received dozens of these letters from Paul Long, faithfully and timely answering each one, and eagerly awaiting the next in reply.
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The letters were almost like Cracker Jack boxes ~ John never knew what the treasures would be but knew that Paul Long's letters always contained at least one.
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On our "Fetters Setters ~ Tributes and Memories" page, easily accessed by clicking here, we are sharing one of these extraordinary letters with our readers. More of these will be presented in one format or another in the future ... the present one we are sharing, postmarked May 29th, 1990.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Testimonials Published ...

Through the years ~ through past decades, in actuality ~ John has received many types of different letters crediting his knowledge and expertise in all things English Setter.

We have just added two more of these letters to our "Fetters Setters ~ Testimonials ~ Living the Dream, the Upland Shooting Life ...", easily accessed by clicking here.
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While we have literally boxes upon boxes of letters such as these ~ and we plan to publish many more of them in one format or another at some point in the future ~ we chose to publish these two at this time as we believe they will be quite the eye-openers for our loyal readers.

One letter, in fact, is a cautionary tale that OFA hip ratings do not necessarily guarantee an overall sound genetic dog, as many other factors play into the mystifying cauldron of canine genetics as well ~ and it is only the breeder with the extensive skill and knowledge, as well as experience, who are aware of the ways these genetic problems can be dealt with and ultimately circumvented for the good of the dog and owners, the latter whom "pays the piper" financially as well as emotionally in the end.

For easy access. we have also included "Fetters Setters ~ Testimonials ~ Index" at the top of the page. East links to the two newest letters entitled: "Client Credits John For His Work With Ryman-Type English Setters, Reveals Genetic Problems with Other Breeders" and "Client Reveals Warren Sheckells of Pine Coble Tells Him John is Out of Business" can be found at the bottom of the current index.
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Breeding the Lines, a Successful Long-term Strategy ~ Part Two

George H. Ryman
shooting over
Ryman's
Birdy Anne,
a 47-pound
short-coupled
Setter
..
....
Despite many breeders' current claims to be breeding "Ryman Type." "Ryman Style, "Ryman Line," etc. English Setters ~ and even one stupendous claim from a breeder who claims George H. Ryman did not possess the talent to personally pen the "Ryman Standard" ~ George H. Ryman did indeed have his standards and ideals for his shooting dogs which relied on the dogs more than the "paper" in the pedigrees which so many breeders utilize today.

Through the years, we have been made aware of increasing genetic problems as a result of inexperienced and unknowing breeders ~ issues with conformation, pigmentation and unfortunate physical/medical problems as well. And every one of these breeders marketing their dogs and puppies with the "Ryman" label in one incarnation or another.

John discusses some of these issues and more in his latest piece, "Breeding the Lines, a Successful Long-term Strategy ~ Part Two," on the "Fetters Setters ~ History amd Heritage" page,
easily accessed by clicking here.
....
It is heart-breaking to hear such stories from people who truly love their dogs, and who perhaps must even deal with their dog's suffering because a breeder was only interested in the bottom line ~ no matter what type of marketing nonsense the breeder fed the prospective buyer in person, on their web page or by other means. We have always felt, whether in breeding or purchasing, that prevention is the best medicine.
.....
So additionally, in order to offer an in-depth look at what is happening in todays world of setter breeding, we will be posting well-documented letters we have recieved over the past five to ten years from people who have purchased setters from individuals who claim to know what good quality breeding is all about.
.....
Then you can be the ultimate judge in such matters.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tribute to Paul Long, Friend and Mentor

Photo at left,
Paul Long with
training pigeons

Professional Dog Trainer, author and all-around character, Paul Long over-came physical handicaps in his life to go on and become one of the most distinguished men in his field.

Indeed, it is nothing short of a moral scandal that he has never yet been inducted into the Field Trial Hall of Fame. His 1974 book, "Training Pointing Dogs ~ All the Answers to All Your Questions" is still in print today and considered in many circles as The Bible of dog training.

A great friend to John's grandfather and great-grandfather, he became one of John's greatest friends and a mentor to John as well. Along with his book, he was a prolific correspondent and letters from him reveal a crafty old-timer with a singular sense of humor.

John has written a tribute to him, recently published on the "Fetters Setters ~ Tributes and Memories" page,
easily accessed by cicking here.
...
We have also included several photos of Paul, along with his wife Virginia, taken at his home in Lincolnton, North Carolina in 1990. It is a small but worthwhile glimpse of this legend of a man, indeed who had the luxury of becoming a legend on the Field Trial circuit and dog training world in his own time.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Ryman Fallacy

Pictured at right,
The Legend
Afield, with an
Authentic
Ryman Setter
....
Along with our latest co-authored piece on the "Fetters Setters ~ The Ryman English Setters Story" page, "G. H. Ryman, Proprietor ... and Poet par Excellence," John has just authored another interesting piece entitled "The Ryman Fallacy," easily accessed by clicking here.

Now, a glimpse into previously little-known (but well-documented) facts are brought to light, not only concerning the Ryman Setter (and Calkins Setter) breeding programs, but insights into the self-proclaimed "Ryman experts" of today who use the Ryman name in a shameless manner to market their dogs ~ and never-before revealed facts concerning the Calkins and George H. Ryman's only son, Maurice H. Ryman.
......
Gleaned from the Fetters Family English Setter Histories along with correspondence from Maurice H. Ryman to John, along with personal letters from two renowned trainers who personally oversaw the training of some of George H. Ryman's young dogs, it is sure to be another interesting read for those who are weary of all the hype and misleading information out there today about George H. Ryman and the famed Ryman Setters ~ and who are ready for another dose of the hard truth of the matter rather than more smoke and mirrors marketing gibberish.
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Including the fact that George H. Ryman found cause to personally run Carl Calkins off of the Ryman property on at least one occasion ...
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Rare Opportunity ~ Ryman Film Footage

We are currently entertaining offers on this particular Ryman film footage.

400-feet.

16mm.

.....

More information can be found on the "Fetters Setters ~ Antiques and Collectibles Shop," easily accessed by clicking here.

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Newest Addition to The Ryman English Setters Story: G.H. Ryman, Proprietor and Poet par Excellence

With the frequency and consistency with which it has occurred, the denigration of George Ryman for any number of reasons, i.e., that he killed many of his dogs because he didn't like them, because they had "body patches," etc. ~ never ceases to amaze.
...
Still, it was a little surprising and disturbing that someone would take a cheap shot at Ryman for his literary skills, or lack thereof, as they would have you believe.
....
Basing this publicized opinion on some pedigrees and sales brochures they claim to have had the opportunity to "study" or give a "perfunctory look" (whatever the case may be) ~ and while using the Ryman name to shamelessly market the dogs from their kennels, October Setters published the following on their web site:
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"It is obvious with a perfunctory comparison to anything Ryman wrote that he was not capable of writing something as eloquent or grammatically correct as the "Standard" ..."
...
A real shame, because a "perfunctory look" at their own writing makes immediately evident a lack of style, eloquence, grammatically-correct sentences and even basic truth.
...
While we had planned a piece of this nature at a later time, we felt we could not let this gross misconception stand alone. The 1948 Ryman sales brochure draft we feature as a part of this piece is only one among many documents about and by George H. Ryman contained in the Fetters Family English Setter Histories ~ which also includes many, many letters personally written in George Ryman's own hand as well as personally typed by him.
....
And none of them showing any "literary lack" of eleoquence, grammar, etc., as October Setters would have their readers believe. Of course, October Setters is only one in a growing number of self-proclaimed "Ryman experts" and this fact in itself is never surprising.
....
George Ryman had many talents which extended beyond the breeding, raising and training of his famed shooting dogs. And you can get a glimpse into this particular side of this multi-faceted individual by reading our latest piece on the "Fetters Setters ~ The Ryman English Setters Story",
"G.H. Ryman, Proprietor ... and Poet par Excellence," easily accessed by clicking here.
......

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

~~~~~~~~ The Fetters Challenge ~~~~~~~

New to the "Fetters Setters ~ Testimonials" page is "The Fetters Challenge," easily accessed by clicking here.

The Fetters Challenge is a serious offer to anyone out there who claims to own ~ or especially anyone who is claiming to breed ~ "Ryman Type" or "Ryman Style" setter shooting dogs.

Point for point, wild bird for wild bird, retrieve to hand ... All comers are more than welcome.

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New Testimonials and More Vicious Rumors of "John's Death" Attributed to Breeder Jan Turner of Setter Hills in Willmar, MN

More testimonials received by John over the years have been published on our "Fetters Setters ~ Testimonials" page, easily accessed by clicking here.
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Along with the newly published testimonials is an actual accounting of one particular breeder, Jan Turner of Setter Hills in Willmar, Minnesota, who was helping to spread the rumor (along with other breeders) that John had died!
....
As we recounted sometime ago on our "Fetters Setters ~ History and Heritage" page (accessed by clicking here) in John's piece entitled "Breeding the Lines, a Successful Long-Term Strategy," a number of breeders ~ including Jan Turner of Setter Hills in Willmar, Minnesota ~ had attempted to purchase English Setters from John to introduce the Fetters English Setter bloodlines into their own breeding programs ~ and all whom John repeatedly refused to sell to ~ as he did not care (and does not care) for the directions their breeding programs have taken.
....
We also recounted earlier here on our home page in the piece entitled "The Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated ..." (accessed by clicking here) that a number of breeders who knew better had been spreading the "John is dead" rumor as well. They know who they are ~ and we know who they are, too (grin).
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Once more, in case it has not sunk in yet:
....
John is VERY ALIVE and VERY WELL!!!
....
And we are currently VERY BUSY with two new litters of Fetters Setters ~ all of which are spoken for.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Visit to Shohola

Freeman Lloyd was a prolific writer in his day on all matters "canine." He also became a close friend of George H. Ryman and visited Ryman's "splendid sporting estate" frequently.

In the most recent piece just-published on the "Fetters Setters ~ The Ryman English Setter Story," easily accessed by clicking here, "A Visit to Shohola" ~ link added to "The Ryman English Setter Story ~ Index" at the top of the page ~ colorfully recounts one of Lloyd's visits to George Ryman's Shohola Falls, Pennsylvania, home.

Of certain interest to George Ryman enthusiasts in this particular piece is a thoroughly descriptive narrative about the "great hall" in Ryman's home. While it has been described elsewhere by other writers, Lloyd's inclusive description leaves other narratives sadly wanting.

In our seemingly never-ending venture of sorting through, organizing and filing the massive amount of documents, photos and other materials from the previous four generations of Fetters Family English Setter histories, we recently came across this special piece and wanted to share it with our readers here. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did when we re-discovered it ...
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Valuable Tips on Training Younger Dogs in the Field

Ryman's Allegheny
Snow at a tender
six-months of age


Watching the progress of younger dogs in the field should be an enjoyable and memorable endeavor and as stress-free (for both the owner/trainer and the young dog) as possible.

Frustrations on the part of the inexperienced owner/trainer may begin to surface when one feels a younger dog is not progressing as fast as they have been told, according to something they read somewhere, etc. Circumstances such as this will not only diminish the enjoyment of the owner/trainer, but can serve to confuse and confound the younger dog as well.


When our children were still infants, my pediatrician gave me some invaluable advice on potty-training that could also be applied in a sense to younger dogs ~ that every child progresses at their own rate, and will potty-train when they are ready ~ and that when they are sixteen and eighteen years old it will not matter if they potty-trained at 10-months, 12-months, 18-months of age or even 24-months of age, whatever the case may be.

No one would think of demanding a baby of two-to-three months old become proficiently potty-trained, yet there are some who expect the world of a younger dog in the field when all the pup may be interested in at that particular point of their life is play. In addition, dogs have their own unique "ways of thinking about things" that may differ greatly from a human's points of view at critical times.

With the invaluable knowledge of four devoted generations of English Setter Gun Dog breeding and training behind him, John has written a wonderful piece in this regard,
"Time, Patience and Understanding Equals Early Perfection" on the "Fetters Setters ~ Training Tips" page, easily accessed by clicking here.

And the common sense approach he offers is sure to bring the pleasure and enjoyment back into any young dog training experience in the field ~ not only for the owner/trainer, but for the very impressionable young dog as well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Modern Technology ~ Bah! Humbug!

And they tell us "modern technology" makes life easier ...

As some of our readers may have noticed, some of our photos (and most of our backgrounds) have "vanished" from the Fetters Setters site recently.

This is due to an unreliable provider where we had a number of our images loaded for display.

The provider undertook a major upgrade without any prior notification and in the process, these images were lost and instead began displaying the provider's logo rather than the images we originally stored there.

We have been traveling, training and hunting and will deal with this unfortunate dilemma in due time ~ and transfer the "lost" images to a more reliable service provider.

We do have all the "missing" images in a safe place, so if there are any you want or need before we get them back on-line again just let us know and we will do what we can to accommodate you. In the meantime, we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

And sincerely hope you are finding the upland game as plentiful as we are this season ...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Newest Addition ~ "Fetters Setters ~ Not Just English Setters" ~ Rescues Are a Lifestyle, Too

Count Mortimer,
SPCA Raid Rescue,
July 1989 ~ still
alive and well and

as bossy as ever
.

Through the years, John and I have always had other types of dogs as well as our English Setters and Springer Spaniels.
. .
More often than not, these have been rescues of one type or another, directly from shelters and other places, strays and even one or two which were dropped off along the road near our home.
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On our newest page,
"Fetters Setters ~ Not Just English Setters" (easily accessed by clicking here), we will be featuring a number of our other pups, both past and present. Another future addition we also are planning ~ either on that same page or on a separate page ~ is a series of stories about English Setters who have been rescued by knowing and caring individuals, some of these setters which have gone on to win important championships ~ which perhaps helps to prove the theory that there are no "bad" dogs, just incompetent owners.
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We feel it is important to call attention to the plight of abandoned, lost and homeless dogs everywhere, no matter what their breed ~ as well as to the many fine animal welfare organizations out there who do what they can to rescue and help these poor animals in the interim ~ and do so while always being strapped for funds and supplies themselves.
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The first piece there, written by John, is the story of Count Mortimer (pictured above) who was brought home 20 years ago this month after being recovered in an SPCA raid at the tender age of four-weeks-old. Presently weighing just seven pounds, he has developed a stylish Osthaus-style point ~ and although he is not much of a bird dog, he is deadly on bugs.
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"Mort" is still alive and well and is one of the great joys of our life ~ as well as a great joy and nearly constant source of amusement (and even awe at times) to all of our English Setters and other dogs as well.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

"The Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated ..."

Since the mid-1990s, John and I have been highly amused by the resultant "rumor mill" ~ such "stories" in circulation (for whatever reason and with most originating with those who certainly knew differently!) that John was "bought out," "no longer breeding," ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
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Yes, some even going so far as to suggest that John was dead! (Don't worry though, we know who you are ~ and have received even more reports of these rumors as recently as last week!
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As Mark Twain once famously remarked, "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
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With a family heritage of five generations of breeding exceptional English Setter gundogs to maintain ~ and even though such matters as family affairs and other business interests frequently intruded ~ John still worked diligently in protecting, perfecting and improving upon the George Ryman-based lines the Fetters Family had become known for.
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As John has stated before on our pages here, there are no "short cuts" to breeding quality shooting dogs in a consistent manner ~ and once achieved, the lines must be protected and improved upon with the introduction of the occasional "right type" of blood.
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One of the results of John's endeavors are shown in the photo above in the bottom photo, Fetters-bred "Grouse Greta," at 16-months old in 2009 ~ along with a comparison photo of Ryman's Racket Boy, a setter bred by George H. Ryman himself.
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Though female and male, they are near mirror images in conformation ~ and the other standards George H. Ryman set and which the Fetters Family has maintained ~ are present as well.
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To learn more, see John's most recent piece, "Breeding the Lines, a Successful Long-term Strategy" on our "Fetters Setters ~ History and Heritage" page, easily accessed by clicking here.
.. .

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"... moving through the coverts like phantoms ..."

Over the years, John has received hundreds of letters from all over the world ~ testimonials to not only his exceptional skills in breeding exceptional English Setters, but also to his hunting and guide skills as well. The first letter we've selected to publish and share from this vast series of tributes to John and the Fetters Family English Setters opens by talking about actually "living the upland shooting life" ~ as has been practiced by John for decades ~ and the Fetters Family for generations before him.
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It is the very first publication on our "Fetters Setters ~ Testimonials" page, which can easily be accessed by clicking here.
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Latest Addition to the George H. Ryman Story

George H. Ryman during a moose hunt in Canada with his famed guide,
Chief Big Game Guide Par Excellence Willie Commando, in background
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While George H. Ryman was certainly known far and wide for his famous Ryman Setters, he was a multi-faceted individual with many other interests and past-times.

One keen interest and past-time of his which many may not be aware of was his penchant for Big Game Hunting at his Canadian camp.

John has written an introductory piece to this side of George H. Ryman: "An Introduction to George H. Ryman as 'Big Game Hunter'" which we have just published on the "Fetters Setters ~ The Ryman English Setters Story" page, which can be easily accessed by clicking here.
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Other stories about George H. Ryman are in the works including not only about the subject of his famed setters, but also about other aspects of his intriguing life, including more about his Canadian camp, big game hunting and last but not least, his famed guide, Chief Big Game Guide Par Excellence Willie Commando, shown in the photo with George Ryman above.
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bon Bow-Wow Appetit ~ Rainy Day Homemade Dog Treats

Rainy Day
Dog Treats,
the "hardest"
part is the
baking ...

Rainy Day Homemade Dog Treats, one of the easiest and most versatile recipes out there ~ developed in our own kitchen by The Lady of the House and the best part is, the "hardest" part is the baking.

Not only are they easy, but the recipe can be adapted in any number of ways to accommodate your pup's favorite flavors and foods ~ and also to accommodate whatever you happen to have on hand.

The main ingredients ~ besides the "flavorings" ~ are flour and rice, the latter ingredient being an especially healthful and nutritious canine treat.

See this highly adaptable and easy-to-make recipe on the "Fetters Setters ~ Home, Hearth, Hunting, Family, Fashion and Fun" page, easily accessible by clicking here. Happy canine dining!
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Friday, July 17, 2009

The "Classic" English Setter ~ What Exactly Does That Term Mean?

The "Classic" English Setter ~ a term used far and wide ~ as an accurate description or not?
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The Fetters Family also used the term "classic" when describing setters, however the attributes they were referring to ~ particularly when it came to John's Great-Grandfather ~ may surprise some and be a breath of fresh air for others.
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John has just completed the first piece for our "Fetters Setters ~ The Classic English Setter" page, easily accessed by clicking here. In this first piece ~ entitled: "The 'Classic' English Setter ~ What Does That Term Mean?" ~ he shares just a few of the intriguing words of wisdom passed onto him by his Great-Grandfather when it came to setters (or "Shooting Dogs," which was his Great-Grandfather's favorite tried and true term for them ~ and a term widely in use by most hunters of that particular period in time).
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It is a piece any lover of English Setters ~ particularly those who love to hunt over them ~ should be sure not to miss.
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Tribute to Mr. Stu Ward, Great Friend and Indefatigable Hunting Companion

It is never easy to weather the loss of a great friend and shooting companion, especially when that person has become a father figure to one in later years.

It also can be just as difficult to place some of those memories on paper in tribute to such a person ~ and such a person indeed was Mr. Stu Ward to John over many memorable years.

We have just published a tribute to Mr. Stu Ward on the "Fetters Setters ~ Tributes and Memories" page (easily accessed by clicking here), and it should be said that it is only the beginning of a number of pieces we will be sharing about Mr. Stu Ward over time.

As anyone familar with the "Fetters Setters ~ Tributes and Memories" page knows, the pieces there are just as much devoted to those still with us ~ as well as to those who have passed on ~ and we deeply regret the passing of Mr. Stu Ward on a daily basis here.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Additions to the Fetters Setters ~ History and Heritage Page

We have finally been able to make available here a small portion of the Fetters English Setters History and Heritage, which can easily be accessed by clicking here.

In the on-going unpacking, sorting and re-organizing of the massive Fetters Family English Setters histories mentioned here earlier, we found several photos of early English Setters bred and owned by the Fetters Family which we are sharing with you now.

Included in this initial collection is a photo of John's Great-Grandmother, Mary B. Fetters, posing with a female Orange Belton. We will be sharing more of the Fetters Family English Setter histories with you on the Fetters Setters ~ History and Heritage page in the near future.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

New Blog Page ~ Our Dogs ~ Hunting Scenes and Other Photos

Long overdue, however better late than never, is the addition of the newest Fetters Setters page, Fetters Setters ~ Our Dogs ~ Hunting Scenes and Other Photos, which can be found by clicking here.

As stated elsewhere on our pages here in the past, many of our records and other items were placed in storage sometime ago due to extensive travels necessitated by both business and family affairs. One of the wonderful aspects of having a number of these items under-foot again is that it has been almost like re-connecting with family and old friends in a sense.

We have been in the process of retrieving these treasures and unpacking, re-sorting and re-organizing them for sometime. The initial photos on our newest page are only the beginning of a vast amount of material which we plan to share here.

We have foregone any captions on the initial batch of these as most are relatively self-explanatory. We may or may not add written information in short doses at some point in the future, depending on when we feel the need and as time allows.

While styles and fashions come in and go out with time, the beauty of a well-conformed English Setter in the field and at home near the hearth are indeed timeless.
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Beauty as well as stunning ability are attributes the Fetters Family English Setters have been known for through five generations: a setter must possess brain and stamina to hunt everyday under adverse weather conditions and in any type of cover encountered. These outstanding qualities are continued in the bloodlines we breed and maintain to this day.

We hope you enjoy these photos as much as we have enjoyed going through them and sharing them with you here.


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Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Strange and Sad Tale Regarding Ryman's Nutmeg Sprint ("Meg")

In the mid-1990s, Rick and Chris Taylor of Setters West wrote at least two separate letters to John in which they demanded a refund from John for a dog.

For a dog John was NOT the breeder of and in fact, for a dog John NEVER EVEN OWNED! But which Rick and Chris Taylor of Setters West kept insisting they were going to return to him despite these more than obvious facts of the matter!

Just when you thought you had heard it all ...


The strange and sad tale of Ryman's Nutmeg Sprint ("Meg") ~ an English Setter whose name relatively recently came back onto the scene when Rick and Chris Taylor of Setters West managed to dream up and publish even more false and inconsistent stories (along with a number of their now-notorious forged and fraudulent documents as "proof" of their over-the-top accusations).

After recently having an opportunity to review a number of Fetters Setters archived documents, we felt it was time to set the record straight regarding this poor dog whom Rick and Chris Taylor of Setters West first attempted to make into a center of controversy (and the apparent subject of an attempted scam) as early as the mid-1990s.

Truth can indeed be stranger than fiction ~
and the full sad, sad story surrounding Ryman's Nutmeg Sprint ("Meg") can be found by clicking here.

Unfortunately, this is not the only English Setter which Rick and Chris Taylor of Setters West have endeavored to manufacture numerous falsehoods about.

Although we feel the falsehoods surrounding this particular dog are without a doubt one of the strangest tall tales Rick and Chris Taylor of Setters West have managed to manufacture to-date ~ we feel this story also provides an arguably disturbing insight into the true character and on-going patterns of malicious and fraudulent behavior of Rick and Chris Taylor of Setters West.

We would also like to take this opportunity to express our genuine appreciation for the many letters and expressions of support and encouragement. Once again, this "saga" is far from over and a final and official resolution to these matters grows closer with each passing day.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Response to the Recent Accusations and Further Falsehoods Created by Rick and Chris Taylor of Setters West on the Setters West Web Page

Photo of Timbers Sagaceous Blue from
Setters West old web page
present on the web as of March 24th, 2009
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For those of you who have accessed our "Fetters Setters ~ The Falsification of Fetters English Setters F.D.S.B. Registrations and Pedigrees" (accessed by clicking here), you are already aware that we have been addressing some very serious issues regarding F.D.S.B. (Field Dog Stud Book) records which have been falsified with fraudulent bloodlines.
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As stated previously on that page, most breeders are honest, hard-working people who are as meticulous in their record-keeping as they are in caring for the dogs they love ~ and breed and raise their dogs more for the enjoyment and love of the breed than for "monetary gain."
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Unfortunately, it takes only an occasional unethical breeder who decides to place his or her entire kennel operation on the line with the quick and easy "fix" of a falsified F.D.S.B. registration ~ and thus end up not only placing their kennel operation on the line but victimizing every other owner and/or breeder they have dealt with ~ directly or indirectly ~ who suddenly one day finds their F.D.S.B. registrations suspended ~ not to mention that they have also upset the genetic balance of countless breeding programs
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Such is the case of Rick and Chris Taylor of Setters West, 1511 Timberline Road, Lewistown, MT 59457, with their falsified breeding records for Timbers Sagaceous Blue ~ whom they claim was born in Montana at Setters West (and whom was actually whelped at my kennel) and whom they claim has an out-crossed bloodline rather than the line breeding she actually possesses ~ which genetic testing has proven and with both the out-crossed bloodlines and line-bred bloodlines still being bred and maintained by me.
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Rather than address their customers' very serious concerns however, Rick and Chris Taylor have chosen instead to manufacture further falsehoods regarding me (including an "alleged" court case against me which never took place, among other outrageous claims and bizarre accusations) on the Setters West web page ~ where I was directed earlier today ~ Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 ~ by concerned people with whom I have done repeat business (and who know I do not make such claims lightly without having the hard facts to back them up).
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Strangely enough, Rick and Chris Taylor of Setters West have chosen to completely ignore the ISSUE which is CONCLUSIVE GENETIC TESTING ~ and for which they (and unfortunately also a number of their innocent and trusting customers) will soon suffer very serious consequences.
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If you have had no past dealings with the Rick and Chris Taylor and Setters West ~ or have none of the fraudulent bloodlines in your dog's pedigree ~ you may still want to look over the page and the information provided there as the lessons to be learned there could save you (and your dog) any future heartache.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Latest Additions to Fetters Setters ~ Antiques and Collectibles Page

Safely packed away and stored for sometime due to our extensive travels, many of the pieces in our personal collection of English Setter and Gun Dog pieces require the same time and care in the unpacking as they required when initially packed.

We recently had an opportunity to unpack even more of these pieces ~ again with a number of them being Fetters Family heirlooms, handed down to John by his father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

We have shared more of these pieces with our interested readers on the
Fetters Setters ~ Antiques and Collectibles page, which can be easily accessed by clicking here.

Recent pieces which were just posted there today span a time period from the Early 1900s to the 1950s and include relatively rare pieces which were lovingly cared for and preserved by John's family. We hope you enjoy the latest additions.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

George Ryman's "Other Dogs" and His "Creative" Breeding Program

The latest fascinating addition to "Fetters Setters ~ The Ryman English Setter Story" is entitled: "George Ryman's Little Known Behind-the-Scenes 'Creative" Breeding Program" (found by clicking here) and serves to divulge even more generally unknown facts about this remarkable man and the "creative process" he employed in his gun dog breeding program.
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This is the fifth chapter we have so far published in this compelling story. The other four chapters ~ referred to in the posting immediately below this one ~ can also be found on the "Fetters Setters ~ The Ryman English Setter Story" page. And many more chapters ~ all personally written by John ~ will certainly follow, as time and our busy schedules allow.

When recalling all the widely "known" stories about George H. Ryman and his Ryman Setters, most people think only of English Setters ~ and do not think of Gordon Setters or Irish Setters (or even Pointers) ~ which in fact George H. Ryman also owned and greatly appreciated.

Ryman in fact won many blue ribbons in the Novice Category on the bench with at least two of his own personal Gordon Setters, Yesdihc Challenge's Boy and Jack Mac Nab ~ amongst many other laurels which will be written about further in future chapters.

Compiled from the meticulously preserved Fetters Family English Setter History, this latest chapter authored by John is sure to prove intriguing and informative to anyone with even a passing interest in George H. Ryman and and the gun dogs he bred, raised, trained and hunted.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Ryman English Setter Story

“All good things come to he who waits.” ~~~ Old Proverb
Illustration from an early 1900s European postcard print

Compiled from memory and records based on actual documentation from the Fetters Family English Setter histories, John has begun his series of articles on the facts and fictions surrounding the renowned breeder, George H. Ryman.

This rare and original story of George H. Ryman and the Ryman dogs can be found on the
"Fetters Setters ~ The Ryman English Setter Story" page which can be easily accessed by clicking here.
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There are four intial articles or chapters in the George Ryman saga: George H. Ryman: Separating Some of the Facts from the Myths; Add a Dash of "Salemanship"; An Inside Look at the Real Story of Sir Roger DeCoverly; George Ryman's Personal Dogs.
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Anyone who has read most other existing accounts of George H. Ryman and the Ryman Setters is sure to have at least one or two (if not many) fallacies finally laid to rest.
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There are many other chapters to be added to this saga which will be appearing here on the Fetters Setters web site in due time. Particularly intriguing are the myths about George Ryman and his setters which have come to be believed as fact over the years.
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The Fetters Family English Setter histories include both the legacy and personal knowledge of this great man and we hope, through John's accounting, to clear up many of the fictions which continue to surround George Ryman and the Ryman Setters to the present day.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

A Lively New Addition to the Fetters Setters Web Site/Blog: Fetters Setters ~ Training Tips

Typical eight-month old Female English Setter
by Roscoe Gladstone and Irene Cooper (circa. Early 1900s)
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One of the newest additions to the Fetters Setters website/blog is a brand new page, "Fetters Setters ~ Training Tips" which can be easily accessed by clicking here.
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As some of you are already aware, the Fetters Setters English Setters bloodlines and upland game hunting traditions have been on-going for no less than five generations.
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The first article, personally written by John Fetters as all of them will be, is only the first of many tips and topics which will be appearing there.
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You will have a rare opportunity to share in some of the vast reserve of knowledge and insights John has acquired through the years ~ much of which has been passed down religously through the Fetters Family.
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If you have any specific topic you would like to see there, just use the "Fetters Setters ~ Contact Us" page, accessed by clicking here, and we will see what we can do to accommodate you.
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John has been encouraged for years and years to put some of this vast knowledge ~ much of which has been passed along by his family through four generations of upland game hunters and English Setter owners and breeders ~ down on paper.
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However now, with The Lady of the House (who is writing this particular piece) having a background in professional publishing, he no longer has a reason not to finally do so.
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As with most of our English Setter and Gun Dog related topics, John does the initial writing ~ which is then edited and formatted by The Lady of the House and published here.
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Anyone who knows John personally is already aware that he has the capability of doing at least a dozen things at one time ~ so The Lady of the House will have her work cut out for her as John already has four more different articles in progress, besides seven or eight (or fifteen or sixteen) other projects going on.


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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Newest Addition: Fetters Setters ~ Antique and English Setter Collectible Shop

We have received numerous requests concerning the possible sale of a number of Antiques and Collectibles from our Private Collection which we have shared with you ~ and will continue to share with you ~ on the "Fetters Setters ~ Antiques and Collectibles" page.

The pieces which appear on the "Fetters Setters ~ Antique and Collectibles" page are from our Private Collection ~ many of which are Fetters Family Heirlooms ~ and are not for sale. However due to the number of inquiries we have received, we have made available Antiques and Collectibles for purchase by any of the interested general public on the newest addition to our web site, "Fetters Setters ~ Antique and English Setters Collectible Shop" which you can access easily by using this link.

We will be offering different items there from time to time. Some members of the family and friends have acquired duplicates of pieces and/or do not have the room for a certain piece any longer ~ and occasionally, we have also picked up duplicate pieces on one of our many adventures. If there is something specific you have been searching for, contact us using the Contact Us by Email page and we will see what we can do to assist you in your search.


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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Beginning Stages of "Our Favorite Books" and the "Literature Warehouse"

We've begun to add items of interest to two of our Fetters Setters web pages. While we already had several pieces in the "Fetters Setters ~ Literature Warehouse" (which can be found by clicking here, the pieces there had been compiled of the text from Corey Ford's "The Road to Tinkhamtown" from "The Best of Corey Ford" and a dog-and-his-boy story from Louisa May Alcott's classic, "Under the Lilacs."

The "Fetters Setters ~ Literature Warehouse" had been designed primarily to include selected and actual excerpts from some of our favorite books and other readings in our personal library. Earlier, we added the first selection to the "Fetters Setters ~ Our Favorite Books and Other Selected Reading" web page, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Our first selection for this section is a book authored by A. F. Hochwalt, "Bird Dogs ~ Their History and Achievements" published by Sportsman's Digest in 1922. We have given a short description of the book's contents on the "Fetters Setters ~ Our Favorite Books and Other Selected Reading" web page and have direct links to excerpts from two separate chapters of the book, stored in the "Fetters Setters ~ Literature Warehouse."

We plan on including other pieces as time allows, however many of the excerpts have never been published on the Internet before in the depth and accuracy we have tried to attain there and the excerpts must therefore be manually entered (typed in) to the web page content. We hope you enjoy what our beginning efforts have produced and hope you will check back periodically for newer contributions.


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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Now You Can Send a Vintage English Setter Postcard from the Fetters Setters Site ...

We've found a wonderful Internet program and function we've added to the Fetters Setters site which now will give you the opportunity to send Vintage English Setter Postcards to family and friends. You can access the "Fetters Setters ~ Send Vintage English Setter Postcards to Family Members and Friends" web page from the Fetters Setters Links list included on every Fetters Setters web page ~ or you can access it now by clicking here.

The program is very easy to use and self-explanatory. The selection of Vintage English Setter Postcards there is fairly basic and limited at this time ~ as it is still in the early stages of development ~ and the backgrounds you will find there are fairly basic as well. We hope to add more variety to the site as time allows (more Vintage English Setter Postcards and a wider variety of custom backgrounds), however the important aspect now is that we tested it several times and it does work. Perfectly.

We have a collection of Vintage and Antique English Setter Postcards and prints which we will be sharing there ~ and you may occasionally find another breed of dog (particularly other breeds of Gun Dogs) there as well as gamebirds, nature and Upland Game Hunting themes and sometimes just a generic or seasonal antique or vintage theme (such as vintage and antique Valentines).

You're invited to stop back and see what we have there periodically as we will add to it and change the offerings there from time to time. We have the basic "bones" of our web site/Blog completed now and ~ as you may have already noticed ~ we are now working on rounding out and filling in the content and themes of each individual page a little at a time. In the meantime, feel free to use the Fetters Setters ~ Send Vintage English Setter Postcards to Family Members and Friends anytime and as much as you like.


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