Quiet Creek Bloodhounds: A Lifetime of Crowning Achievements
About an hour and half from Hollywood, tucked in the San Joaquin Hills of Laguna Canyon in California, is a kennel called Quiet Creek Bloodhounds. Many blue-ribbon hounds track their beginning to Quiet Creek and breeder Susan LaCroix Hamil. A famous movie star Bloodhound, “Rocky” (CH Quiet Creek’s Stand By Me), who was “Hubert” in the 2000 comedy “Best in Show,” came from Quiet Creek.
In a hilarious scene, Christopher Guest as owner Harlan Pepper takes Hubert on a walk in the woods before a dog show. “Bloodhounds have a great nose, and they can also talk,” says Pepper, scrunching the loose skin on Hubert’s forehead as the hound smooches his cheek. “His mind is like telepathy telling the judge, ‘Hey, judge, I know what you’re thinking. I am the best dog in the whole ring.’”
“I heard about auditions for Best in Show and took Rocky and several Bloodhounds for Christopher Guest to see, and when we took Rocky out, Mr. Guest went right to him,” says Susan, the 2006 American Kennel Club (AKC) Hound Group Breeder of the Year. “Rocky was a dog who could walk in a room and capture everyone's attention. He acted like a star.”
Rocky was sired by a real Best in Show winner, CH Badger Creek Druid. Serendipitously, Susan brought the young male to her kennel in 1991 after a visit to Switzerland to go to dog shows with her friend, Badger Creek breeder Dr. Marlene Zähner. “‘Druid’ was a life-changing dog whose temperament and conformation took us to a whole new level,” Susan says, of the pup who sat beside her the entire visit and prompted a call home to husband Dr. John Hamil to alert him she was bringing back a puppy.
A 1967 movie, “Cool Hand Luke,” starring Paul Newman as Luke Jackson, a prison escapee who is trailed by Bloodhounds, inspired Susan, then a teenager growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to want a Bloodhound. “I was first attracted to their long ears and expressions, and then it was their personality that kept me involved with this breed,” she says.
Susan has finished more than 100 show Champion Bloodhounds and is 10 titles away from being an American Kennel Club Platinum Breeder of Merit, a status reserved for those who produce 100 dogs earning titles, 60 of which are prefix titles. Quiet Creek has had eight Best in Show winners and multiple Top 100 dogs and No. 1 Bloodhounds. In 2018, Quiet Creek won the Hound Group at the Santa Barbara Kennel Club Breeder’s Showcase with “Bob” (GCH Quiet Creek’s Limited Edition) and “Piper” (GCH Quiet Creek’s Dance With Me) representing the breeding program.
Quiet Creek has produced seven American Bloodhound Club National Specialty Best of Breed winners, and many others that have won Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, Top Twenty, Best Stud Dog, Best Brood Bitch, and Puppy Sweepstakes.
Susan’s deep love for Bloodhounds, which began 50 years ago, is inspirational. Much like her beloved breed, Susan is independent, determined and relentless when she believes in a cause. The Bloodhound breed without a doubt is better today, thanks to Susan Hamil and her Quiet Creek hounds.