American Field

June 17, 2011 – October 3, 2021

Ch. Backcountry Tornado

By Chris Catanzarite | Oct 06, 2021
Backcountry Tornado

Scenery Hill, Pa. — Torri’s life began June 17, 2011. She was one of five puppies out of Backcountry Dolly by Mac’s Silver Dollar.

She was not a puppy that I was going to pick. I had picked two puppies that I was going to keep, but as a young puppy she kept coming to me wanting up on my lap, then down again to play with her littermates, then back to me again to get some personal attention. Basically she picked me, so I decided to keep three.

From that time on she would not disappoint me. Through her development she did everything as fast as she could go and fast and classy she was. At a young age she also showed a great desire to please, which made her a joy to work with. That litter had five puppies, all five having field trial wins, three having one-hour placements and two were champions.

Torri’s career started early. Her first big placement was at the National Shooting Dog Futurity in 2012 at Baldwinsville, N. Y., with a second place under an amateur handler. She had eight finds on quail and pheasants without a bobble. She was just fifteen months old and she flew around the course with the enthusiasm of a great dog to be.

I raised and developed this dog and even I was surprised that she handled eight finds clean. She ran the first day and every time Mike Tracy came by my trailer he let me know which box was open in his trailer, "just in case I needed a place to put her."

I ran her through her first year as a shooting dog, then decided to put her with Mike Tracy She deserved a bigger stage than I could compete on. And there she did not disappoint.

Torri went on to win six Open Shooting Dog Championships — the Michigan, the Eastern Open, the North Carolina, the South Carolina and the Atlantic Coast twice. She won the first three Championships that she ran in on the famed Hoffman grounds. At that time, Cole Henry (her scout) nicknamed her the "Queen of Hoffman".

Torri also won two runners-up, the Mid-Atlantic and the Keystone. She also had two one-hour Classic placements. She was in the top ten shooting dogs in the country three years in a row and ran in the United States Shooting Dog Invitational in Conway, Ark., three time, and the National Open Shooting Dog Championship five times in Union Springs, Ala.

After her retirement from the open stakes circuit, I ran her in some amateur shooting dog trials, and placed her four times. She ended up 13th in the country in the Amateur Shooting Dog Award competition. She was invited to the Amateur Invitational but some front leg lameness prevented me from making the long drive to Georgia.

The following year she tore a ligament in a hind leg in a field trial at Sawtooth Plantation. Six months later, during the rehab, she tore the other side and that time her career was over.

Now in full retirement, she became a house dog and my traveling companion.

I always wondered what was wrong with people who had to have their dog with them everywhere they went. Now this dog turned me into one of those people. She even traveled with me last fall to Wyoming for a deer hunt. She lay quietly on the passenger seat while occasionally putting her head on the console to let me know that she was available to be petted, and I always did. In her life she excelled at everything, as a bird dog, as a field trial competitor, as a mother, as a house dog and as my regular companion.

On Tuesday, September 28, while having breakfast in my trailer at the National Shooting Dog Futurity I noticed some swelling in her right side mammary chain; she showed that she had some tenderness there. That afternoon I had her at an emergency veterinarian clinic. They thought that the best course of action was to remove the right side mammary chain, and they scheduled her for surgery for October 7. But by Sunday, October 3, the swelling was increasing rapidly and had spread from under her front shoulder all of the way back the mammary chain, and that morning she struggled to get on her feet and the pain seemed to be increasing, I was back at the clinic. This time the x-rays showed that the tumor was spreading to her lungs and possibly her heart. The very painful decision was made to end her suffering.

We took one last ride in the truck together back home where she is buried on our farm near the top of the hill under a red maple tree near some of her ancestors.

She was a small dog from Scenery Hill, Pa., with tremendous ground speed and class, with a heart that was bigger than the dog herself. She made a big impact on the sport of field trailing. Countless times when someone who judged her, or someone who just happened to ride her brace when she put in one of her dominating performances, and they found out that I was at the field trial, they wanted to meet the person who was fortunate enough to own this little dog with the big heart. I have had the privilege to meet many fine people who shared my admiration of this exceptional animal.

Her legacy lives on here at Backcountry Kennel in Ch. Backcountry Bruiser and Runner-up Champion  Backcountry Missy and also in a puppy, Backcountry Pure Gold.

RIP, old girl, you are very sadly missed but you will never be forgotten.

Remembrances (1)
Posted by: Mary Tracy | Oct 09, 2021 08:58

Chris, this is a wonderful tribute to a great dog. Sorry for your loss. Tori was everything you described and more. RIP Tori, Mike, George and Mary Tracy

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