Meet Art and Mary Heitzler!
After 30 years we have decided that it is time for us to retire and have some free time to spend with family, go fishing and pursue our hobbies. Of course the hunting on a personal basis will continue, trips to France will also continue and Bill plans to continue to offer private training seminars to individuals and group seminars to clubs or associations. We have spent three decades building our line of dogs and so thankfully we have the opportunity for Plum Creek Kennels to continue on as the premier French Brittany kennel in the United States through the stewardship of new owners.
As of May 1, 2020 we transferred ownership of Plum Creek Kennels in its entirety to Art and Mary Heitzler. Plum Creek will change locations because it will now be based in Fredricksburg, Texas but our lines will continue on through Art and Mary’s efforts. This was important to us because we have spent all these years building the Plum Creek lineage which is renowned for their ability to be excellent hunting dogs as well as companions for the home. And Art and Mary are dedicated to continuing that tradition on through their ownership. We feel confident that Plum Creek is passing on to confident, passionate and caring new owners. But we will still be involved with the breed because we will be advising and assisting them as needed with the transition.
Bill & Crockett on the prairie.
We have hunted, bred, lived with and loved our French Brittanys for 30 years. These dogs and this breed has been the center of our lives for nearly half of our lives. From raising our children and grandchildren with them, to hunting both personally and professionally with them, to importing the best lines possible from France, to developing the Plum Creek lineage renowned for being premier hunting and companion dogs, to advocating for the breed and founding the French Brittany breed club that is still in existence today. This breed has not been a pastime or part time hobby, it has been everything to us and the axis upon which our lives revolved. So we bring you this news with a heavy heart and mixed emotions, proud that everything we have worked towards for the last three decades is going to have the opportunity to continue on, but sad that it's time to let go of the reins and say goodbye to our best friends and our lifetime companions.
Art & son Matt hunting at our lodge in S. Dakota
We started off in the breed using them for our hunting lodge to hunt wild birds with our clients and progressed into breeding. We were so impressed with the natural ability, personalities and the ability of them to fill both needs – that of a hunting machine and an excellent companion in the home – we embarked upon an effort to enlist others in the goal of keeping the breed the same as the French had maintained the breed’s characteristics in their country for over 100 years. So in 1994 we began the effort to establish a breed club and in 1997 we were able to do so. Bill was president of the club for 7 years and Kathy sat up the registry and certified pedigrees, transferring it to the UKC and she edited and published the club’s magazine along with various other duties.
Euro Coupe in Czechoslovakia
Art and Mary plan to continue on with the same ideals and business practices as before and if you have a reservation made for a puppy they will of course honor that deposit and be fulfilling that reservation.
Art and Mary are good people with a love for the breed; they have owned French Brittanys since 1998, getting his first one, Bandit who was out of Crockett, from us.
We’ve had a long friendship with the Heitzlers and Art got several more Plum Creek dogs from us and has also imported some dogs. Art is an avid hunter of all the upland bird species and the Plum Creek dogs will continue through the upcoming years to do what they love most. Art went to France several years to both spring and fall trials with Bill to learn about the breed and to learn about field trialing in the breed’s country of origin because of his love for the dogs and hunting them.
We are convinced that we have put the future of Plum Creek Kennels into very good hands. Please feel free to give them a call and get to know them.
Bill and Kathy Dillon
After resigning from the club we continued on hunting with our dogs with clients at our wild pheasant hunting lodge, training all breeds of sporting dogs, breeding our French Brittanys and competing our dogs internationally.
Our lives have revolved around our dogs for thirty years and God truly did bless us when He led us into owning and raising French Brittanys. Thankfully with our arrangement we will still be able to be involved with them otherwise we probably would have quite an adjustment period.
Bill and Art plan to continue going to France together with the dogs to compete in field trials and we’ll be in Texas with them off and on. We’re especially looking forward to spending some time in the winter with them; after-all winters in Texas are much nicer than winters in South Dakota!
Bill & Tatoo, field trials in France
Bill & Sugar, hunting grouse in S. Dakota
Reve Tisserand de Plum Creek
Grand Champion win
Art & his first French brittany Bandit, out of Crockett, that he got from us
Art and his french brittanys
Roxi & Tess
French friends & Steve Smith of PDJ