Puddleduck Retrievers

Puddleducks Waterfowl Hunter, Call name: Isla

Islay is a black lab, she is smart, energetic, and loves to work, in the house she settles down. Islay also has a great personality and guaranteed to make you laugh! Islay lives with Mark and his wife, and could not be happier.

This is what Mark has to say about Islay.

Here is a short story about Puddleduck’s Waterfowl Hunter, AKA (ISLAY).

While preparing for my imminent retirement from a 24 hour, three hundred and sixty-five day a year career, I prepared to relax and enjoy some quiet time. My wife and I decided it would be appropriate if we shared our free time with a dog, now that our children were grown and away building their own lives, we needed to have a black lab to take care of us in our old age and to accompany us on our outdoor adventures.

I knew just where we should begin our search. Several of my friends had acquired their labs from a kennel in Morrill, ME, by the name of Puddleduck Retrievers. They advised me to contact Frances, the owner of Puddleduck Retrievers and discuss what our interests were in a lab and they assured me I would go away with full confidence that she would provide me with the puppy that met our expectations.

Upon meeting Frances for the first time, I was excited by the passion she has for her labs. She seem to know the name of every dog she was ever responsible for rearing, the parents of each of them and the field accomplishments as well. Francis was proud to have her labs working as search and rescue dogs, article search and detection dogs, as well as exceptional hunting companions. She told me her labs were exceptional pets, but encouraged me to look beyond the companionship and to enjoy the surprises they held inside. After what seemed to be an hour long interview, probably to determine if I was suitable to have a Puddleduck lab of my own, and a tour of the Puddleduck Retrievers immaculate facilities, groomed acreage and training grounds, I knew I had come to the right place.

I told Frances I wanted a dog that would be kind to my grandchildren, hunt ducks, and keep my wife and I company on ur frequent hikes. I explained I enjoy having a dog that lies at my feet at the end of the day and is a friend that will meet new challenges head on. She assured me she would be able to meet my demands, and that I would not be disappointed with my new puppy. I left Morrill that day in March, completely convinced I had made the right choice when I purchased our new puppy.

July 5, 2012 was the start of a new life for our black lab. Frances let me know the puppies were healthy and all was well. She told me to feel free to stop by and visit the litter at anytime, and she would be evaluating each them as they grew. She remembered what I was looking for and was confident she could isolate specific behaviors and attitudes by the way the puppies responded to the rigorous activities and training she would put them through in the next eight weeks. We took advantage of the invitation to stop by the kennel several times in the following eight weeks and finally went home with Puddleduck’s Waterfowl Hunter, “Islay”.

Islay’s first adventure was to move to an Squirrel Island. My wife and I had accepted a 9 month commitment as caretakers on the island, where we would be the only full time personnel on the island until May 2013. The island is approximately one mile long and one-half mile wide. Work crews visited frequently to close up cottages and do repairs in the off-season. Islay was happy to greet them all and entertain us with her comedic activities.

Islay was one of the easiest dogs to house train, with very few mishaps. We took her for daily walks where she loved to eat crabs the seagulls had dropped on the ledges, and apples that were plentiful.

My first fright was when Islay did not seem to like the water. She would walk in knee deep and give me a look as if I was crazy for expecting her to be happy. In December I decided to shoot a duck and see what her reaction would be when asked to retrieve it from the bay. The black duck was shot and fell in shallow water. I had left the dog at the farmhouse and when I returned with her she only needed to walk in belly deep, where she immediately located the bird and brought it directly to me. The following week I brought her to the ledges where a wounded duck had fallen. She once again located the duck and chased it around the rocks and into the water. Her duck hunting adventures have been nothing but impressive ever since.

Islay is the gentlest dog I have ever seen. She plays with our grandchildren, will not take their food, although she enjoys a lick now and again. She does a fabulous job at training my wife and I when we think we are training her, and she makes us laugh everyday with the things she does. She is our protector, friend and accomplice in all of our misadventures.

I have trained Islay to assist me with detection work in my current position as a professional investigator and she is doing an amazing job.

Islay is an amazingly well adjusted, loving companion, with an attitude of independence and spirit that one looks for in a hunting companion and family dog.

Mark T Warren

OFA Hips and Elbows
Eyes certified
AKC Pedigree

Islay Photo Gallery (Click to Enlarge)


Frances Plessner
134 Higgins Hill Road
Morrill, ME 04952
(207) 342-5888