Humans: Jim and Nina Beeghly Decorah, Iowa
Jojo was born October 14, 2004 in Bismark, ND. She is our second Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. Griffons are versatile hunting dogs, known for their friendly nature. They point upland birds, like pheasants, quail and ruffed grouse; hunt waterfowl and fur-bearing animals; and track and retrieve all game. She has hunted ring necked pheasants, ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, bob-white quail and ducks.
As members of NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) we tested Jojo in the Natural Ability Test which evaluates the natural hunting skills of pups under 16 months of age. At the age of 10 months Jojo performed well in the test, receiving a score of 107 out of a possible 112.
The only hunting skill that did not come naturally to Jojo was swimming. She had an aversion to water until about six months old. I took our older Griffon, Colonel, and Jojo to the Volga River near our home. Colonel and I waded across and disappeared into the woods on the other side. We could hear Jojo raising a fuss for a minute or two and then – silence . Shortly she appeared, wet and happy that she had discovered a new favorite activity, swimming.
Jojo is a friendly greeter of anyone who comes to our door. She is especially happy to greet children. When our grandchildren visit she welcomes them like a puppy, bouncing from one to the other showing affection. During their stay she is usually on the floor with the kids, often with her head in their lap.
Jojo has a few quirks in behavior: At meal time, after she eats, she returns, urging us to check the bowl, expecting praise for cleaning up her meal. When she was about four months old I was working in my wood shop on a bitterly cold day. The wood burning stove was not enough to comfortably heat the drafty building. While standing at the bench I noticed a warm spot by my knee where Jojo had pressed and held her neck against my leg, a practice she continues to this day. Such a show of affection makes me feel good. She knows the affection is mutual.
Jojo has been retired from hunting for two years. The last hunt showed that her hips are too weak for the task. Her hearing is 95% gone and her vision is beginning to fade. She has difficulty with stairs and is losing confidence after a couple of tumbles. She can handle a half-mile walk even though her hip joints are really loose. She is a tough old dog. She has good and bad days, but mostly good. She has a great attitude.
At times she pants and is uncomfortable. So, she gets pain medication twice a day, which helps. I’m expecting her to be around a few more months, but when the time comes, a sudden departure would be welcome. For nearly fifteen years she has been a devoted friend. We will miss her when she is gone.