Judith O’Keefe loves the great outdoors whether she's out in the field or on the river she enjoys share it with her dogs, Cooper, Skeeter, and Bug. These loyal companions are as at home in the outdoors as they are by the fireplace. In August she added another addition to her furry family, Blitzen.  This past summer I had no intention, none what so ever, of taking on a puppy.  I have three dogs.  My beloved Pudelpointer, Cooper, a small and easygoing Havanese named Skeeter, and a mixed-breed rescue we call Bug.  Already too many dirty paws and wagging tails, not to mention the noise and commotion that takes place when the UPS delivery person knocks on the door. However I believe, one of the saddest truths in life is that dogs do not live long enough.  Somewhere along the line, we learn some things in life are just not fair.  Well, this sorry fact is at the top of my list.  All three of my dogs are in good health, but have reached senior status. Cooper, who some have referred to as, “a hunting machine”, was also blessed with a big heart and wonderful disposition.  So when Bob Farris, owner of Cedarwood Gun Dogs, emailed this June to say that one of his bitches had just had a litter of pups, I was interested, but my practical side quickly took hold.  Then Bob mentioned that the stud that sired the litter was the same that sired the litter Cooper came from . . . and this would be his last.  All reason went out the window; my last chance to have a dog that would be so directly related to Cooper.  When do I pick her up? August was sweltering with temperatures reaching into the triple digits as I found myself driving across eastern Oregon’s High Desert to Boise, Idaho.   Bob knew I wanted, not only a great companion, but also a dog that would hunt like a champ; a dog with beauty, natural ability, and a heart of gold.   A tall order, but Cedarwood had come through before. Blitzen, named after my favorite river in the southeast corner of Oregon, is now five months old, and I have to admit, I’ve mouthed the words, “What was I thinking” many times.  She’s a puppy, and in her zeal to explore and learn, she can make a real mess.  She’s tortured the older dogs incessantly, treating them like chew toys, and if I’d let her, she would consume enough dog food to make a Great Dane fat. There are those who have suggested that my decision to get her was somewhat impulsive, but I have never doubted that decision.  I know that with a firm and loving hand, she is going to grow into one extraordinary dog.  And did I mention . . . she can point?