Paisley Ann Madison Turner… that was the name we decided on for our first Boykin Spaniel. Paisley is the face of Little Brown Outdoors as some of ya’ll may know. Lets back track to May of 2016 though! My wife and I had been dead set on getting a Boykin Spaniel since the day we met our friend’s Boykin named Bogey. My wife fell in love with Bogey’s wiggly butt and adorable features. As well as me, but the drive that came from Bogey was amazing and since then I couldn’t imagine hunting over any other breed.
Kayla and I had been looking for months trying to find a breeder or a litter with available pups. Most were anywhere from 6 months to over a year out before a litter would be ready. Still being in college we decided that having a puppy during the summer would be best. My wife and I wouldn’t be in class all day, and being employees at my families Metal Fabrication shop would allow her to bring the puppy in all day to tend to it. We spent many days consulting with Richard Gardner (owner of Bogey) who had lots of connections in the Boykin community and was bound and determined to find us a good breeder!
One Saturday morning Richard arranged for us to follow him up to one of the local gun dog trainers so we could watch him work Bogey and meet some other boykins. I remember vividly my wife bringing a notepad, eager to ask any and all questions about training and anything she could think of about the breed. Satisfied with our time spent with the trainer and Richard, we left anticipating the day we would get to bring home our own Boykin spaniel. Which would come much…much sooner than we thought.
We spent the rest of our Saturday searching for reputable breeders and getting ready for a friends wedding that we had that afternoon. As my wife and I pulled out of our driveway on the way to the ceremony Richard gave us a call. The first thing out of his mouth when I answered the phone was “Bryson, have you ever been to Mississippi?”Puzzled by the question I responded with “No sir, why?” Richard informed me that a friend of his, Skip Nelson, had two people back out of purchasing puppies from him. I called Skip quickly after the ceremony to get more details on getting one of his puppies. He informed me that he had two females that people had claimed but backed out do to personal matters, and if I wanted first pick between the two then I would need to be there by tomorrow at 6am. By now it was 5pm and Kayla and I still had to attend the reception for the wedding. I called some of my friends looking for someone crazy enough and on such short notice to take an 8hr drive to Jackson, Mississippi with Kayla and I. I was able to recruit a good friend of mine, Jake. We left the reception around 9pm to go home so we could prepare for the long car ride ahead of us. We left our house in Tallahassee, FL around 11pm Saturday night. Most of our time driving to Mississippi was spent debating on names. Until Jake threw out the name Paisley. I had never met a dog named Paisley and I thought it suited a female Boykin pretty well. Beautiful, southern, and smooth off the tongue.
We made incredible time to Jackson, Mississippi. Apparently not a lot of people travel to North Mississippi between 12 and 4am, who woulda thought! We were at Skip Nelson’s doorstep by 5:30am wide awake, anxious to see the puppies and boy was it worth the drive. Skip let out two beautiful puppies who greeted us with wiggly nubs and ankle bites. After playing with the puppies for a while we knew it was time to make probably the hardest decision as a couple Kayla and I had ever made. Who was going to be Paisley? After observing the two for awhile the “red collar” puppy adventured off and was no where to be seen. Skip whistled two times and “red collar” came racing around the corner and stood in front of him. Skip threw some small bumpers for her and she retrieved them without hesitation and listened to him much better than the other puppy. At the point it was easy, “red collar” was now Paisley.
After filling out paperwork and thanking Skip for his time and hospitality we were back on the road to Tallahassee, FL. This time with a little brown dog in tow. Paisley will be 3 yrs old this year, and we are blessed to have had the opportunity to make some incredible memories with her. If you’re reading this and are on the fence about a Boykin Spaniel do your self a favor and meet one if you haven’t. Because most likely if you have met one, there would be no question about if this was the dog for you or not!