When It Happens To You
Every hunter knows the value of a good bird dog. They appreciate one that is reliable, consistent, level-headed, and eager to learn. But what about when they’re off the job? A good dog, perhaps, is not just defined by its work in the field but could be judged by the level of its loyal companionship. And for that kind of dog, we owe the ultimate protection.
GUNNER Kennels are just that: the ultimate protection for the ultimate bird dog and the security that the traveling wingshooter must have. When you purchase a GUNNER, you are not simply purchasing a product. You are making a lifelong investment.
I called Gary Linnenkohl, a bird-dog owner, one morning this summer to talk to him about a motor-vehicle accident that he experienced last fall. Little did I anticipate what I would soon learn. Shortly into our conversation, he politely interjected and told me that he had to step away from the phone for a minute to collect a litter of English Cocker Spaniel puppies from the vet—one of the countless litters he has bred over the last seven or eight years. After a few seconds of silence, I was greeted with squeals and yips from the other end of the phone. It was a familiar and comforting sound, one that reminded me of the excitement and energetic nature only possessed by a dog born to hunt.
We chatted for a while, making connections about our shared North Florida and South Georgia roots: He, raising a family and working in the timber and hunting industry in Hartsfield, Georgia, and I, walking the fields with my dad at our farm in North Florida after the first burn of the year.
Gary is all about family. We have that in common. After our pleasantries, he shared with me how important he felt it was to raise a family in the country, without the hustle and bustle of city life and, more importantly, with the access to the outdoors right outside your door. We continued to talk about his decade-long experience with English cockers. I asked if he wouldn’t mind telling me about what happened on October 2, 2020, a day that he would surely never forget.
On that evening, Gary, his oldest son, and four of his cockers, Parker, Sug, Shurly, and Jackie, were headed home with only a few daylight hours remaining. Suddenly and unavoidably, a car going 60 miles-per-hour pulled out in front of Gary, causing an accident, and totaling his truck in seconds. Gary and his son sustained minor injuries but thankfully remained largely unharmed. Luckily, the bird dogs were traveling in a GUNNER Kennel G1™ Large dog crate.
“Parker is one of my foundational dogs that started it all for me,” Gary remarked with fondness in his voice. “He’s the kind of dog that knows what you want before you even know what you want. He’s traveled about half a million miles with me.” He proceeded to describe in detail each dog that was in that kennel—their coloring, personality traits, and what kind of hunter they were in the field. If there is one thing that I learned from Gary over the course of our short conversation, it was his deep love for his dogs, and because of this, just how crucial it was for him to invest in their safety.
Once we rerouted back to the evening’s events, my curiosity mounted as I wondered what happened to his beloved dogs in the wreck. Gary pointedly told me that, although no strap was securing it to the truck, the kennel remained unmoved upon impact. Each of his dogs were unharmed and hardly rattled. He recalled checking on them after the wreck and said, “With the state troopers and policemen, my dogs were as calm and quiet as ever in that kennel.”
I asked Gary if he thought the outcome for his dogs would have been different were it not for the GUNNER in which they were secured. His response was unwavering as he asserted, “Absolutely. If they were in a lighter kennel, the kennel and the dogs would have gone airborne, and they may not have survived.”
Gary began purchasing GUNNER Kennels a few years ago and hasn’t looked back since. For him, they are a lifetime investment. As products, Gary believes their durability is unmatched, and as a brand, he appreciates that the company wants their clients to fully enjoy the products. Their customer service, he affirms, proves just that.
Before our conversation, I had preconceived expectations of how it might go: a streamlined question and answer with little discussed beyond the accident. However, during the call, I quickly realized that our conversation revealed his passion for the upland lifestyle and his heart for the dogs that allow him to do so. Gary gives all of himself to his dogs, and they never fail to return the favor.
A life-threatening accident served as the ultimate test of protection for his most valued and beloved companions. “My dogs were just as protected in that kennel as my son and I were in the cab of the truck with airbags all around us,” Gary admitted. That is a true testament to the lifelong investment that is GUNNER Kennels.
EXPLORE THE GUNNER G1™ KENNEL
The GUNNER G1™ dog crate provides maximum protection for you canine companion. This kennel offers its 5 star crash rating from the Center for Pet Safety, double-wall rotomolded construction for all types of weather, and its nearly indestructible build withstanding 4,000 lbs of force and a 12-gauge shotgun, plus even more. The G1™ kennel can be complete with its custom accessories such as performance pads, tie-down straps, security lock, chew kit, and battery-powered fan, among other enhancements. In creating the G1™ kennel and its state-of-the-art features, GUNNER is committed to ensuring the comfort and safety of your dog.
GUNNER Kennels also brings awareness to the unrivaled canine protection that their kennels provide by promoting the hashtag #Gunnerdogs in which Gunner customers are encouraged to share stories on social media of their GUNNER kennels saving their dogs’ lives. This campaign encourages dog owners to invest in their dogs’ protection through purchasing a GUNNER.
For information about GUNNER and this product, you can learn more on the company’s website.
THE GUNNER DIFFERENCE: KENNEL FEATURES
- Double-wall Rotomolded
- Reversible Door
- Powerful Frame System
- Backup and Safety Latches
- Element-repelling Windows
- Drainage System
- Superstrong Carry Handles
- Built-in Tie-down Pins
- Wider Base
- Non-slip Feet
- Stainless Steel Hardware
- Made in America
This article is sponsored by GUNNER Kennels.