In 2010, as a return to our roots, we brought home a black Labrador puppy, in honor of Eddie and his first retriever, Blackie. Born at Sunnyview Labradors in Salem, Oregon, on March 24, 2010, Eddie the dog currently field trains at McKenna Kennels, the same Northwest kennels that trained several of Eddie's dogs in the 1960s and 1970s.
A skilled hunter and field competitor, Eddie is our brand ambassador and frequently appears in photo and video shoots. When he's not hunting or training, you can find Eddie at our corporate headquarters, serving as the official inspiration of the Sport Shop.
In 1930 Eddie drove to Canada, paid $65, and brought home the first black Labrador retriever in Washington State. Eddie took a lot of ribbing from his hunting buddies. "What are you doing with that mutt?" they laughed.
The Lab didn't disappoint. Hunting alongside Eddie and Stine, Blackie impressed everyone. One time he even leapt from a 10-foot cliff into pounding surf, then retrieved straight to his master's hand. Blackie inspired Eddie to begin breeding Labs, leading to the creation of Wanapum Kennels in 1960. In 1974, Eddie was named Retriever Breeder of the Year.