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"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"

Satchell Paige

In 1972 after three years of saving for a very special 'toy' the day came to pick it up. Friends drove Lauri and I to the motorcycle dealer to begin a trip that would take us for the first time to The Great Smoky Mountains. This would be my wife's first trip on a bike and what soon would be, to date, my longest trip. When we arrived at the BMW dealer, there standing at the front entrance was a shinny new black touring bike dressed for the road, perhaps as sticking as seeing your new Hoytt Dobe for the first time.

We wrote a check for the balance, hardly paying any attention to the dealer telling us about how the bike works. Then right there we packed the bike, jumped on and were on our way, Chicago rush hour and all. Our friends could not believe we were heading down South and did their best to change our minds. They had all seen "Easy Rider," bless their well meaning hearts. But we knew what we wanted. Actually they (our friends) thought we were nuts to even ride a motorcycle. You may have friends who will think you are a bit  out of your mind taking about your new kid being a Doberman.

The trip was outstanding. We met so many interesting as well as friendly local folks and other travelers who at times also looked at us a bit strange as they stepped into their motor coaches, and we roared off on our bike. How old is too old? Are you too old to bring a great Dobe into your life? Maybe. Probably not since you took the time to check us out this must be more than a passing thought. Your age has little to do with how old the Dobes companion human will be.  Have a great Hoytt Dobe as your soul mate gives you reasons to awake in the morning and plan the day as well as the your future outings. You have after all gained a creature that will quickly learn to be your eyes, ears and if allowed your bed mate. No more strange night sounds that keep you waking every few hours for this companion will seem to always sleep with one ear up. Our educational programs tied to individualized selection take away most of the fears of the new ownership. Have a question, one call and you'll have your answer or we will know who to bring into the circle.

So be like the Judge and retired Marine who at 99 years of age realized though the guidance of the House of Hoytt he might just be able to fulfill his remaining promise to his self almost 80 years before. At a moment in time when his patrol was caught in the middle of a fire fight and from 'nowhere' the point Dobe turned and brought down an enemy aggressor who was about to bayonet him. This Dobe was never forgotten but life passed so fast but one day the gentleman's son sent for information on our Dobes. The son was interested in a Blue female with advanced training. On arrival of a video presentation on a Dobe named Harley, the father saw a young but large 'Marine red' Dobe in a play session with the son's future Dobe named. The red interestingly was named Bo, short for Pro Bono.

The story continues when the father also a retired lawyer simply stated the following. If the son wanted that Blue girl he'd best get dad the red boy. Of course there is much more to this story and the  advanced work done before we agreed on the two Dobe placement but today here's one more of our claims to success. At ninety-nine years of age the father is probably the oldest first time owner of a Doberman in the history of the breed.  Did he wait to long? Not if you remember those who win by a foot rather then the proverbial mile still have won. So how old is too old? Only you have that answer.

 I too had one of those 'must do' before I can't, situations, a call in November from Chicago friends almost thirty years after I acquired my first BMW Cycle asking if I was ready to take a real bike trip. Seven months later at 9:30 p.m. Alaskan time, Barrie Hoytt and friends stepped off their motorcycles in front of a sign that proclaimed Arctic Circle Alaska. Four weeks, 11,164 miles and 40 something years after acquiring my first motorcycle,  I was back home my BMW not quite as shinny as when I left, I guess I too looked a bit ruff.

Now a new venture is in the planning that will have a turnaround in Vancouver with visits along the way to those folks who helped make the trip possible, my clients. Not only can I get my Doberman Kiss Fix along the way I will visit with those who consider me the God Father of their four legged Hoytts. Of course there is a bit more to packing a 900 pound motorcycle with a friend for a six week trip west, than taking a stroll with your Hoytt Dobe, but still it is not age but health that would limit either.  So how old is too old do you feel?    Now meet Max and his owner and their trip. .

                                                                                 Barrie Hoytt


From The Old York Road Dog Training Club September 2009 Newsletter

Maximilian Von Hoytt

October 23, 1995-July 30, 2009

My Doberman Pinscher, aka Max, was born in 1995. He had never stepped into a ring before March of 2009 at just over 13 1/4 years of age. He was a working dog for the first ten years of his life (he went to my store with me every day; we joked that he wore two hats -- vice president of security and vice president of sales. My late husband thought I was crazy when I said I was going to take Max to work with me. "You'll lose customers," he said. Well, actually, the opposite proved true. People would see this gorgeous dog standing in the window wearing his beautiful necklace and would come in to meet him.) Anyway, in those days, we didn't have time for things like dog shows.

Then, late last year, Max was out in the yard with me as I was working my puppy, Isabelle. I noticed that when I would ask her to 'sit' or 'down' or 'stay,' Max would do it from across the yard. I thought it was cute but didn't really react other than to tell him that he was a good boy. Then, he took it one step further. He actually wedged himself between Isabelle and me while we were heeling and did the exercise himself. I decided he was trying to tell me something. So, I started taking him to class. We took classes at the Old York Road Dog Training Club as well as the Rally signs classes at Suburban Dog Training Club. He loved it! I joked that I was going to put him in a trial. On a lark, at his breeder’s urging, we actually did it.

Our first trial was the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) trial at Y2K9s in Wyndmoor in February of this year. Max had never even been to a dog show before and I was very new to it myself, having entered my first trial ever, with Isabelle, barely 2 1/2 months before. I was a basket of nerves but we got through the course. We even qualified, though barely, with score of 176. The next day we came back (it was a two-day trial) and Mr. Adaptable, now knowing what was expected, performed beautifully, improving his score by 20 points (196) and earning a fifth place ribbon.

Max's breeder, Barrie Hoytt of House of Hoytt in Tennessee, not surprisingly, was excited about what we were doing. He made plans to travel to Pennsylvania to film Max in competition. He was disappointed however, to learn that we weren't competing in AKC events Well, it didn't matter to me (everyone told me that AKC was much easier than APDT) and it certainly didn't matter to Max, so we decided to enter AKC Rally, too. Our first AKC trial was in Camden, NJ in March. It ran very much behind schedule …. Instead of going into the ring at 1 p.m., as scheduled, we finally went in after 5 p.m.! Despite the interminably long day, Max performed very well. Unfortunately though, he gave the judge a few little unwanted presents (he relieved himself in the ring) and NQ'ed as a result.

After that our luck improved. Max qualified in each of his next three trials, in April and May, earning scores of 96, 94 and 96, respectively, along with two red and one yellow ribbons as well as his RN (Rally Novice) title! Not bad for an old guy! Max's breeder tells me that Max is the oldest canine ever to embark on a performance career. There are others his age or even older who compete, but they all started when they were much youngsters. I don't know whether this is so but the most important aspect: He just loved it. He figured out by what I packed and what I wore, whether he or Isabelle was going to the trial. When it was his turn, he got so excited; it was hard for me to get in and out of the door because he was right under my feet. When he knew it was Isabelle's turn, he was most unhappy and stayed in his bed.

The week after he earned his RN, we entered his third APDT trial at judge Ali Brown's beautiful Great Companions facility in Neffs, PA. There he earned his third leg and his APDT Rally Level 1 title. The judge came up to me after his run and told me that in her opinion Max embodied what Rally was all about. Clearly he was quite elderly, she said, and he had to work really hard to get through the course but he obviously loved me and loved what he was doing and was enjoying himself thoroughly.

Sadly, that was to be his last trial. I lost him last month. He was happy and active up until a couple of days before his passing.”

Helene Huffer

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