Friday, December 11, 2009


We found out this week that we are expecting puppies!! Kyler was bred to Duke, Rogue's dad in early November and we found out on Wednesday that we will be expecting at least 4 puppies, possibly 1 or 2 more. We will find out a more accurate number when I take a radiograph in a couple weeks.
Hopefully I will be able to post her radiograph pictures after we take them!!

Stay tuned for more info!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

When does God sleep?

The title was a question that Jaida, our 4 year old asked me yesterday...My answer, "um, I don't know honey, good question." I thought it was too cute not to mention.

So, we are back from Virginia and the VCA National field trial! We had a wonderful time and met some very nice people. We finally got to see Rogue and had a great time watching her run! She ran big and bold and I swear she had a smile on her face the whole time! I was not able to get any pictures of her run, as I was on horseback for the first time in several years and needed to concentrate on what I was doing! I had also never ridden a gaited horse before, it was an odd an interesting ride!

Our campsite at Nationals...We had a view of the breakaway and a bunch of the property! Sweet!

Sadly, Rogue had 2 false points, which I have never seen happen with her before. Carrie Syczylo of Durite Vizslas, where Rogue has been for the last several weeks, was handling her. She was confused by the false points as she had never seen Rogue do that either. Well, it might have been explained the next day when Rogue came into heat(females coming into season will often do wacky things outside of character)..So, due to that, no placements. (she also had a bracemate that tagged and bumped her about half the brace, annoying) People who saw the brace though, said it was the most interesting one of the day!

Jaida on her first "real" horse ride. Carrie took her out for an entire brace, so Jaida rode for 45 minutes! She is now trying to convince Daddy to get some horses!

We didn't get to do anything outside of the trial as we had initially hoped, we had truck trouble on the way down and our Suburban spent 2 days at the shop being looked at. The mechanic was unable to find the problem, so now, yet again, our truck sits at the repair shop nearby. On the way home we did have a lovely dinner with my cousin, Amanda, whom I haven't seen in several years and who had never met Jaida. It was quite nice to see her, she only lived 20 minutes from where we were all week!

While in Virginia Kyler decided that it was time to be bred, as opposed to the week before, as originally planned with a more local stud dog. So, we ended up breeding her to Duke, Rogue's dad, who we had originally planned to breed Kyler to this summer for one last litter. Carrie likes Rogue so much she is hoping to reproduce a similar dog from a repeat breeding! If this breeding took she will be due in early January. We have a list of people anxiously awaiting the news of their future puppy!

So, today, Mike took Rogue out for her first "real" hunting trip. We weren't sure if it would go well at all since she is essentially a trial dog and bred and trained to run from horseback, not foot. However, our little red girl surprised us with a great morning! She ran big, but manageable, per Mike. (we had the Garmin Astro GPS collar on her, of course!) She had 2 pheasant finds, one that she was just narrowing down when it flushed and a second one that she pointed solidly and held until Mike flushed it. He was able to shoot it and Rogue ran out to retrieve the bird. This was the first official bird that Rogue has had shot for her. We have done retrieving practice in the yard with a frozen bird, but never the "real" thing. She did just what was expected of her! She ran around for a minute with the rooster, extremely excited about it all, then nicely brought it to Mike's hand and went on her way. Couldn't ask more from a young dog and her first bird! She now sleeps nicely on the couch! Yeah!

Here is Rogue with her rooster in the yard. Mike had put it down on the porch to unload some things and Rogue found it.

Pretty decent size rooster for her!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The new addition!

So, after a long and trying summer, finally on October 17th, our daughter was born! Kalyn Ann Barry decided to come into this world at 12:53am on opening day of bird season here in Massachusetts. After all the threats of her coming early, she waited until just 23 hours before her due date to arrive. She is happy and healthy at a whopping 8# 12oz. Let me tell you that no one was expecting such a large baby! Even the midwives were shocked at how big she was!

Big sister, Jaida is enjoying holding Kalyn and so far really likes being a big sister! Of course, she hasn't had to share anything yet with her, so we'll see how long that continues!

After being out of work for so long with the complications of pregnancy I have to return to work full time after only 6 weeks. My maternity leave is up then and having had to have used all my vacation time before my "disability" payments could kick in, it will be necessary financially. So, as of now I plan to return to work for December 1st. I have missed work a lot, so I am hoping it will be a good thing to go back! Since I started working at age 15, I have never had so much time off in my life...Sadly, because I was on bedrest all summer I didn't even get to enjoy it!

In other news, Rogue has been out in Indiana with Durite Vizslas for the past 2 months. After her first derby run this fall they made an offer we couldn't refuse. Carrie (the mom of Durite) offered to take Rogue for a couple months and train several days a week off horseback and run her in several trials. While it was a hard decision emotionally, there couldn't have been a better situation for Rogue at this point in time. With us very busy preparing for the baby and Rogue at the point in her puppyhood where some more serious training would be beneficial, we decided to send her out. So, Rogue got to experience her first plane ride! (I was a nervous wreck, as I personally don't really care for flying) She arrived fine and began training with Carrie's other dogs several days a week.

After being out there for a week and a half she was entered in the Midwest Shooting Dog Championship. She ended up taking 2nd runner up in the Derby Classic! Not bad for only having been out there for a very short time! Then the weekend of Oct 10/11 they traveled to Ohio for the Miami Valley Vizsla Club trial. Rogue was entered in both Open Puppy and Open Derby. She ended up winning both stakes! The judges made comments that she was the most mature puppy they had ever seen and another judge was quoted as saying "she gave me goosebumps"! What wonderful comments on our girl! We are so proud!! There was even a paragraph in the Vizslak Sentinel about her!

Now she is off to the VCA National Field Trial next week to run in the Derby Classic. We will be making our way down to Virginia to see her run and pick her up from Carrie. We are very excited since it has been a while since we saw her last.

Hopefully the next time I post it will be with the results of the National competition. There are some big name dogs and bloodlines running in all stakes, so Rogue will have some tough competition! We're keeping our fingers crossed for our girl!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend of Glory!

Well, no photos to post, sadly, but...

Kyler took her 2nd Master hunter leg at the VCCNE hunt test on Sunday! She hunted well and had 2 retrieves on course with a nice honor...Mike has been working on her retrieve at home diligantly the past week and it paid off. She returned the quail to hand beautifully!

Rogue also was entered in Junior hunter and she passed the final leg for her Junior title with flying colors! She can now officially be known as Forest King Upland Tsunami JH! (well, once the AKC receives the paperwork)!

Cedar had a good showing as well in his Senior hunter test. Unfortunately, for whatever reason the judges were expecting more of a Master hunter level dog in a senior test, so they didn't pass him. He had a perfect retrieve and one nice honor, which they made turn into 3 honors...Finally 45 minutes into what was supposed to be a 30 minute brace, he decided he had enough and stole the point on the other dog's bird...Oh well... He has still come a long way!

On the home front, I have now made it past 35 weeks of pregnancy! I told the midwives that I was leaving the couch next week, once I hit 36 weeks...We have a "limited" time frame of when this baby would ideally be born, silly as it is! My sister is in Greece for the next 10 days, then about a week and a half after that my parents are out of town for 10 days...So, ideally, somewhere in between this baby can come so my family can be there! (I might have to push a truck up a hill to get it that way, but if that is what it takes then perhaps I will do that!) :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer update!

(Jaida on a boat ride, July 4th)

So, after a long hiatus I think I finally have some time to update things here! It has been a rough summer since my last post. After being pulled out of work at the beginning of June things apparantly took a turn for the worse and I have now been hospitalized three times for pre-term labor issues...I have spent a total of 18 days in the high risk labor and delivery ward at Baystate Hospital's Wesson Women's Center. I have been on strict bed rest since the beginning of July. I am "allowed" one shower per day and can get up to use the bathroom, nothing else.

Mike has been busy taking care of all the animals here at Forest King, from the dogs to the chickens and tortoises. On top of that he is working full time and taking care of all the shopping, housework plus Jaida and I. He has been extremely busy!

Dogs are starting to grasp the concept that mommy doesn't feed them right now and have finally gotten the idea that Mommy doesn't take them for hikes right now. Rogue is finally getting to the age where she is beginning to settle down, luckily!
We are looking forward to the fall field trial and hunting season. With me being essentially out of commission until this baby decides it is officially time to come, I am not able to compete with any of the dogs. So, lucky for us, Andrew has kindly offered to run Rogue, the little nut-ball, in several field trials this fall. Since Mike doesn't ride and the majority of trials that Rogue will be running in will be from horseback, we need her to be handled by someone that is comfortable on a horse. I am hoping to get into the saddle perhaps by late fall. Time will tell!
Hopefully soon I will have more pictures to post soon, with staying at home all the time the camera hasn't gotten much use!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The joy's of a 3 year old!

Well, almost 4 year old. If you ask Jaida yourself how old she is, she will say 3 1/2. Her birthday is next month. Now that school has ended we are faced with the task of keeping her entertained for the whole summer. The first weekend off she had a birthday party for one of her friends. They had a huge slip n' slide that she spent about 2 hours going around and around.

Here is a video of her and her friends going down. (it takes a little bit to see her go down)

This is only a tiny bit of the mud she got on herself by the end of the party! The inside of her bathing suit was black!

The tortoise in our family, Wonka, has had a change of habitat, which is very exciting! She has finally been moved into a more appropriate house for her size. She now resides in what is called a Tortoise Table. Basically it just gives her a lot more room to move around and get some exercise. I am hoping that it will allow her to have the space for a friend or 2...

Then, on Saturday night we had the opportunity to go see the PBR (professional bull riders) in Manchester, NH. My brother-in-law happened to get 4 tickets for their company owned suite for free! This was Jaida's first time going to this type of event and she was very excited! She wore my cowboy hat and loved it!
I have never had the chance to be in a suite at any type of event...Wow, how nice it was! I don't know if I ever want to do it without the suite again! Spoiled!
Here is Jaida dancing prior to the riders coming out. They were playing a lot of good music andshe was obviously enjoying herself...

For anyone who worries that bulls used in bull riding are treated poorly....Think of it this way...The bulls that they use on these circuits are sometimes worth over $100,000. Would you treat something badly if it was worth that much money? Didn't think so! Here is a link to a PBR site on the bull's welfare:
We have been to several PBR events, it was a yearly tradition for a while to make it to the event in Worcester, MA. The bull's always seem quite content and have always been in excellent shape.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Excellence among us!

We just returned from a day down at the Flaherty field trial grounds in East Windsor, CT. The CVVC was holding their annual Hunting Dog Stake, which consisted of 2 different stakes: Huntind Dog Exellent and Hunting Dog. The difference between the 2 being the level of the dogs training. The excellent stake has dogs who have had a lot more experience and actually have to retrieve a shot bird. It is very similar to a senior hunter test, other than an honor, if not presented, is not required. (meaning, if the opportunity arises, the dog must honor) The regular stake is more like a junior hunting test where the dogs go and find birds and blank guns are shot over them. No birds are actually shot for this stake.

I am happy to say that our very own Widdershins Flyin Kyler SH CC FC took first place! Kyler had the first brace of the morning, on what was to be a very humid, dead air type of day. She had a couple nice finds in the back course and shortly before getting to the bird field had a stop to flush. However, when Mike got up to her at that moment, not only had she had a stop to flush, but she was also on point on another bird! Mike blanked that one and on they went into the bird field. Kyler went on point on a Chukar in the bird field, which Mike initially couldn't find. After kicking around for a bit he relocated her and she moved foward only a tiny bit. At this point Kyler was looking almost straight down and to her side. Right next to her foot was the bird! Mike tried to kick around to get the bird to move, but it was apparantly very, very asleep. Mike finally opted to pick it up and try to get it to wake up and fly. Once in his hand he realized that the birds beak was actually stuck in it's wing somehow and was actually unable to fly that way. Mike opted to throw the bird for the gunners, even though that type of scenario can cause some dogs to come unglued and break. Kyler held firm through the throwing of the bird and through the shot until Mike asked her to "fetch". While she didn't bring the bird entirely to hand, it was to 2 steps in front of Mike, which is allowed in this stake. She did a phenomenal job!!

Cedar got to run a few braces later. While he only had one bird find, it counted, as it was in the bird field and he was allowed to retrieve the bird. Considering that 6 months ago we didn't know if he would ever hunt again, he did really, really well! He didn't place but boy did he have fun and showed how tough of a dog he is for coming back from such a bad injury. (What I previously didn't mention is that he had his first hunt test in several years last weekend and took his first SH leg! How's that for a middle age guy after a long break in training!)

Here is Cedar getting ready to go out on his run (he is actually standing behind the judge on the left. On the right is Sparky, Joan Heimbach's 12 year old dog, who she enters just so she can go and have fun! Nice job Joan and Sparky!

Rogue ran the last brace of the day in the Hunting Dog Stake. As she came into season last week she has to go last. In a hunt test they are not allowed to run while in heat, so it was great to get to compete with her in this event! She had a nice break away and ran like a champ for the entire 30 minute brace. She had one find in the woods where the judges weren't able to see her on point, but it was obvious that she had found a bird. Then her bracemate bumped a bird and she chased it, catching it and carrying it for a bit. While she wasn't really steady enough for this stake (they are supposed to be steady until the flush), it was a great training run and the judges were quite impresses, especially considering that she is only 10 months old! They showed their approval by giving her a Judges Award of Merit. Which basically means that they couldn't place her, but really liked what they saw!

Here she is just before she went out on her brace!And during her run! Thanks to Amanda for toting my camera along to capture the Roguester!
Leaping for joy! Check out the ears on her!
So proud of all our guys! On top of all this Jaida had a blast playing with Grampy (my dad) who came to help us out with child care for the event! As some of you may know, I am 5 1/2 months pregnant. Due to some issues my doctors have instructed me to sit as much as I can, so I am not "allowed" to chase the dogs or Jaida around. I was actually instructed to not work anymore, until a safer date at least, due to the risk of pre-term labor. So, sadly, I have been staying home a lot lately and spending a lot of time sitting on the couch!

Here is Jaida wearing Grampy's glasses and baseball hat, she is so silly!
And a cool find where Rogue was going to run, a big slimy frog! She loved it!This is what the dogs got to enjoy once we got back to Northfield! All 3 had a nice vanilla soft serve cone! (kiddie size-of course!) I didn't get a picture of Cedar, as he was the first one, and I didn't think to grab the camera...Rogue had never had ice cream before so I think she was a bit surprised that I was letting her eat something like that! She's hooked now!
Rogue's first cone!

Then, in addition to that...The Regal Vizsla's Momo (you can see his version of the blog at that link) took an Award of Merit in the Hunting Dog Excellent stake! From the sounds of it he had a really nice brace with Geena, another one of the placements in the stake. So, the VCCNE crew really did quite well! The VCCNE crew has a history of doing very well at this event. Andrew's dog, Jozsi took the Hunting Dog Stake last year. The prior year, Stephanie and Manny's dog, Baron, took the first place in the Excellent division. 2 years before that it was won by Ivan and Marlena's dog Fruska, also a VCCNE member! All of these dogs are from similar bloodlines, tracing back to Widdershins Farm's Hollywood lines! Goes to show you what good hunting bloodlines can do! Way to go Widdershins dogs!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Little Stinker!

Well, all is well here. No real big news to report.

We spent the first weekend of May down on the Cape at Crane Wildlife Management Area. The Mayflower GSP club was holding their spring hunt test. I was actually scheduled to judge junior hunter on Sunday, but the entries were such that they decided to cancel half of the judges. It was fine with me, as I had been really sick for the past 2 weeks and actually looked forward to just running the dogs and recovering.

On Saturday Mike ran Rogue and I ran Kyler. Rogue ran well and passed her 2nd JH leg. Kyler was having a great run when she went on point in the back course. Unfortunately, her bracemate, who is obviously not ready for the Master Hunter scene, screwed her up. He came running up to her and basically ran circles around her, not honoring at all. Kyler moved and one of them bumped the bird, they both jumped at it. I called whoa to Kyler, who stopped instantly, but it was too late. We both got picked up. Kyler should have stayed steady, but I can't really blame her for moving...The other dog was just being an idiot.

On Sunday Mike and I changed roles and he ran Kyler and I ran Rogue. Rogue remembered the deal from Saturday and went off like a shot from the break-away. She hit the back tree edge and was barely a spot on my radar. Yikes, that is a field trial dog for you!

She came around nice and went into the bird field with one find on the back course. We were braced with Jen and Dennis' puppy, Raven, who made an excellent bracemate! Neither of them had any interest in playing and were obviously out to work. Rogue ran like a little nut-ball and was basically on the other side of the field from me most of the time. She hunted like a pro. The one thing she didn't do was pay any attention to me! She was out for herself and had not a care in the world that I was there. At one point she had a nice point on a quail, which was completely buried in the grass. When I went to flush it, it could only fly up about a foot due to the grass. Rogue was able to grab it and spend the next 5 minutes running around with it in her mouth. She would not bring it to me no matter what I said. She finally dropped it because she thought she had found another bird.

In the end we did pass with all 9's except for trainability (which we got a 7). I actually thought that the judges might give us a 5, which would just pass us. One of the judges came up to me after with some funny comments. She said that someoneelse would have failed us due to how everything went. She actually said that I should have yelled at Rogue when she wouldn't listen to me. I found that a bit funny because had I yelled at her, she still wouldn't have listened to me, and I think it would have looked worse.

Here she is with a really nice point, even if you can barely see her in the grass! All of these pictures are compliments of Jen, who was out on the brace with us.

Then, when we were done running the dogs, this guy showed up! He is well known in the area for coming to take away some of the game birds for his bird to eat. Jaida was quite facinated by Sarah the red tailed hawk. She was intimidating and kept flapping around, which was a bit scary for Jaida!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

2 phenomenal weekends!!

I haven't had much chance to write lately, we have just been too busy! Some of you may have gotten some updates from Andrew's blog, the Regal Vizsla. He nicely has updated people for us when I am slacking on the blog front!

For starters Rogue spent last weekend competing in East Windsor, CT at the Nutmeg GSP club field trial. She placed 3rd both days, the second day being Open puppy. It was a horseback stake, but I walked the brace instead of riding.

While Rogue was running in the field trial, Kyler was entered up in Springfield for a 3 day show. Happily, on Friday, she took a 3 point major! This means that now she has 10 points towards her show championship. You need a total of 15 points with 2 majors (a win of 3-5 points, basically they have to win out of a certain number of dogs at once). So, she needs a major and a total of 5 points. She is being handled by Alessandra Folz, who is probably one of the top show handlers in the country. She does a great job and makes Kyler look amazing! (which I know she is, but it is nice for other people to see too) When I am able to get the picture scanned into the computer I will post it here!
Then, this weekend we were planning to be in Belchertown at the Swift River Sportsman's Club for the Central New England Brittany Club hunt test. I was judging Sunday but entered both girls in tests. Kyler was to compete in her first Master Hunter test and Rogue in her first Junior Hunter test. I am happy to report that Kyler passed her very first MH with flying colors! We are so proud! Sadly, this is the best picture that I could get as it was cold and rainy, both of which Kyler hates! She hunted like a pro and had a somewhat decent honor, which is the most difficult part for her, I think. When she went on point in the bird field it took them a few minutes to set up for a proper shot just based on how the bird was located. Mike had to move around so that the bird wouldn't fly right over the trucks of the gunners and the gallery. They flushed the bird (or Mike did, as the dog has to stay steady) the bird flew and flew, probably a total of 6 shots were fired. Apparantly the bird finally went down at the far end of the bird field. When I say the far end of the field, I mean the complete opposite end of the bird field just about into the woods. The judges told Mike to send her to retrieve despite the distance. Kyler shot out on command to find the bird. She went most of the way to the bird and searched very hard for it. She started to come back after a minute of not finding it, Mike told her to go out, hoping she would travel a bit further. Kyler went back out and cast a bit further this time. She came across the scent and began to track the bird. She found it within a matter of seconds this time. The obstacle now was that it was injured and running in circles cackling. Kyler, being the phenomenal dog she is, eventually was able to grab the bird and shot back to Mike with lightning speed to put the bird directly into his hand!! She was the talk of the weekend between the spectators and the gunners. It has been called the "most amazing retrieve we have ever seen"! That's our girl!!
Rogue had a decent day as well. She passed her first Junior Hunter test, despite going missing for a full minute on the back course. (I think she was on a bird deep in the woods) She had several finds, probably about 10 from what I can gather. She had nice stylish points and held for an appropriate amount of time for a dog her age. Her lowest score was in trainability, since she completely ignored me for most of the brace! She got very good hunting, pointing and bird finding scores.

She isn't quite as miserable as her mother in this picture, but still not happy because of the rain.

On Easter Sunday I was scheduled to judge my first Junior Hunter tests. Rogue was entered in a field trial with Andrew handling her. It was her first time being handled from horseback. While she didn't place she was apparantly quite good considering her human was on top of a horse for the first time! Kyler did compete in another test on Sunday but due to a very tempting situation she broke on the shot of the other dogs bird. On her behalf, however, she honored on her own from extremely far away, which was a first for her! Mike hadn't made it up to her side yet when the other gun went off and she broke. Oh well! Can't be perfect all the time!

Next weekend we are off to Connecticut again for the Connecticut Valley Vizsla Club's field trial. We plan to spend the weekend camping and having fun with good friends!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring is finally here!

Spring finally appears to be arriving here at Forest King! Some of the snow is melting and we actually have large patches of grass/dirt showing in the yard. This, of course, also means that 4 months of accumulated dog poop needs to be picked up. Yuck...That was a fun project...

We have had several things going on over the past month...

At the beginning of the month Zealand's owners visited. Zea is Kyler's puppy and Rogue's sister. She was the "red" puppy from the last litter. It was great to see her and to meet her new owners, Kelly and Jason, since they picked up Zea from Widdershins in Maine, we hadn't actually met them yet.

Zea is a tiny bit bigger than Rogue, but almost not noticeable. She is slightly taller, but Rogue has a bit more bone than she does.
Here she is looking for her first bird!

And here she is after finding her first bird! Mike is just out of the picture holding the pigeon up. Can you tell she wants to get it!? It was great to see her figure it out and start to work our little field like a pro!

Then, last weekend our wonderful friend, Andrew, offered to take Rogue down to Virginia for the Conestoga Vizsla club field trial. It sadly rained all weekend (when it was sunny and 50 degrees here) and soaked Andrew to the bone. Despite the rain however, Rogue put in a great performance and placed third in Open puppy! This picture was taken shortly after her run, you can't quite tell how hard it had been raining. I was surprised to hear how well she ran, especially knowing how much she hates the rain. I guess her knowing that there might be birds involved made her not care.

We have a few events coming up in the next couple of months. The second weekend of April is both a hunt test as well as a field trial. I am supposed to be juding one day at the hunt test(which is in Belchertown at the Swift River Sportsmans Club), but not only have they not sent me any paperwork, but the premium isn't out yet. Seems a little close, since it is 3 weeks away. The same day of the test is also a field trial down at Flaherty field, put on by the TarTan Gordon Setter Club. I may enter Rogue in the puppy stakes there, as Andrew plans to go and has offered to run her. Then 2 weeks later is the CVVC field trial where Rogue and Kyler are both entered. We have been enjoying the field trial thing so far, it is still new, so we will see how it goes!

Hopefully we will have more news soon with results of some of the events!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Finally time to post!

Thank you for all your patience in between this long off time from blogging! Things in life have been quite busy and I just haven't had time to sit down and type and download pictures!

We spent last weekend down in New Jersey with a great group of friends. We had driven down for the Eastern GSP club's walking field trial. Kyler was slated to run in Amateur Gun Dog, but she had come into season a week before and had to be pulled. Females in heat are not allowed to run in most field trials and hunt tests. They are technically not even supposed to be "on the grounds". Rogue was entered in 2 stakes, amateur and open puppy.

Here she is on the second day breaking away. You can tell by her leap that she was ready to go! Despite not really knowing what she was there for, she ran like a champ. She broke away and went to the end of the straight away right from the begining. She went to the edges of all the fields (which is what a field trial dog is supposed to do) She didn't find find any birds, but she sure looked like she knew what she was doing. All the pictures taken are courtesy of Andrew at Regal Vizsla. Luckily he has a sweet camera that takes amazing pictures! The first day was sunny and bright, day 2 we weren't so lucky. It had rained earlier in the day, then snowed, then rained again. Not long before we ran, which was close to 5pm, the rain stopped. It was cold and breezy, hence my cold weather gear! I looked a bit silly, but at least I was warm!

Here she is streaking through one of the fields towards the end of the course. The puppy stakes are only 15 minutes, so she still had plenty of energy left at the end of her run! She ran like this the entire brace, both days. The first day she had an insane GSP bird finding machine as her brace mate. I was actually glad about that, as he had no interest in her what so ever, and I was hoping that she wouldn't play with him. Being only 6 months old I was prepared for her to try and play. She didn't even think about it! On day 2 she had a young inexperienced pointer as a bracemate who continually tried to play with her. She stopped a few times and thought about it, but I told her to get on her way and she did with no problems. I was extremely proud, it was a difficult situation for a young puppy. The pointer was very sweet, but to a huge fault. He continually jumped on me, while I was on the course, which was extremely annoying to say the least. All I could do was to keep walking and when he jumped on me tell him off and keep walking. For obvious reasons you are not supposed to touch the other dog in the brace.Me catching her at the end of the brace. It has been helpful for me to have some yummy treats on hand to convince her that coming to me is a good thing! If you could zoom in very far you could see that her face is all contorted as she grabs the treats quickly, as she had not stopped moving yet! She had come zooming around the hedgerow behind me and ran 3 circles around me before slowing down. Her eyes were glazed over and she was clearly having the time of her life. I was happy that I got her to come to me at all! This was also her first experience with horses. Even though it was a "walking trial", the judges are still on horseback. After a close call on her first run on Saturday, she stayed away from them. (she ran a bit too close to one's front feet at the beginning of the brace, talk about a mini-heart attack on mommy's part!)

This is how Jaida followed the brace on the second day. She rallied just enough energy to come out and cheer on Rogue. Poor girl had been sick since early (like, 2am) Saturday morning. She spent the day resting in Mike's arms on Sunday.

While I don't have pictures of it, our friends Jen and Dennis came down with their 3 GSP's Sally, Tucker and Raven. Sally placed both days in her stakes as did Tucker in the puppy stakes! Nice work guys!

We had decided that since we were traveling all the way to NJ to stay with Andrew and his clan for Sunday night. We made plans to head up to TMT preserve about an hour and a half from his place in the Bronx. What a beautiful place! It consists of 235 acres of varying types of fields and woods. We put down Kyler and Momo first to do some honoring training, as we are preparing them both for their Master hunter tests this spring. I have to say, the team of these 2 is awesome to watch! They work seamlessly together. In a very short period of time they had cleared the first 3 fields with a total of 8 finds! It was a good opportunity to get them out and working. There were actually 2 occasions where they had separate bird finds at the same time, causing each of them to have to hold point for several minutes each for both safety and training reasons. In this picture Kyler is on point and Momo is honoring her.The highlight of Mondays trip is this picture below. The closest dog is Rogue, who had her first "real" hunting trip and found several Chukar on her own. She had her first bird shot for her and ran around with it like a nut for a while. In the background of this picture is our super dog, Cedar. Cedar has been layed up after a terrible hunting accident earlier in the fall. We were not sure if he would ever want to hunt again, or if he would ever be able to hunt again. He was not to be underestimated! This shot was actually his 3rd or 4th bird that he had found. (yes, he found it, and then Rogue happened to stumble into the situation) He looked ecstatic as he swept the field looking for birds (I swear he was saying why haven't you let me do this in so long?!). He found the remaining Chukar in the field plus one bonus pheasant, left over from someone else's hunt. My eyes actually welled up when I saw him retrieving his first bird. He was a bit sore after all the exercise as we are still dealing with his initialy injury. His bones are healed, but he is nowhere near 100% and may never be. He is still 3 legged a bit at this point, it depends on the minute...Nevertheless, it made for an amazing end to a great weekend! We are lucky to have such good friends to hunt with and train with! Thanks a million!! Really looking forward to doing it again soon!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ready, set, trial!

With field trial season coming up quickly I am mentally trying to prepare myself for having very few weekends available for much else.
Our first trial of the year is next weekend down in Medford, NJ. We have Rogue entered in 2 stakes, both Amateur and Open Puppy. In puppy stakes they often don't even put birds down for them to find. Personally, I am hoping that she can at least think that there are birds there, it will help her run much better! Kyler was entered as well in the Amateur Gun Dog stake, unfortunately, she came into heat this morning, so she will not be allowed to run. I am pretty sad about the whole thing, I was really hoping that she would wait another week and a half! Never the less, we will head down there just for the pure experience for Rogue!
Tonight we spent the last few minutes before dark letting her find a pigeon a few times. She had a blast! She holds her points so beautifully! The line on her not only prevents her from eating the bird (which is on a harness because they were not born here and will fly away without it-we will hopefully have some born here in the spring which we can have fly free) but also keeps her from running out of the field. The combination of the neighbors dogs and the snow have pushed it down in many places.

On the kiddo front:

Here is Jaida "walking through the forest" (her words exactly!) on a walk with the dogs last week. Funny, since we live in the woods...How cute!Here she is having a "girls night" with mommy and friends! We went to the fabulous Goten restaurant in Sunderland, MA. It is a Japanese place where they cook the food right in front of you. I could eat there every day. We had a blast!While writing out Valentines I had Jaida try to write her own name. I hadn't seen her do it before, apparantly she can do just fine!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's so hard to be wittle...

This was a quote from Jaida when we were hiking/sledding/snowshoing last weekend with Kyler and Rogue. Kids really do say the funniest things sometimes...Just makes me want to pick her up an squeeze her!I have actually gotten to use my snowshoes several times this year. I have always loved to go for a walk with the doggers and be able to get some good exercise myself! I haven't used my snowshoes much in the last few years, it has just been too hard with Jaida walking with me. Now that she is in school for a couple hours 4 days a week I actually can get out for me time. I am off on Mondays and Fridays so I usually drop her off at school and go for a hike if it isn't too nasty out. The dogs enjoy it!

Here she is jumping off a rock on our hike. I just couldn't get the timing quite right to get her in the air...She isn't afraid of much!We went out to Fitchburg yesterday to go sledding with Mike's brother, Chris and his family. Their daughter, Rainie, is 5 years old. She is a great kid, she helped take care of Jaida and Jordan (Mike's sisters 2 1/2 year old). The girls had a fabulous time on the track that Chris made. A short walk throught the woods near their house is this perfect sledding hill. They have spent time over the last couple of years perfecting it and cleaning it up. The ice storm this year put a damper on it as it took quite a while to clear the path and the track itself of all the downed trees. It has become the neighborhood hangout spot. Kids and their families come to hang out for the day sledding and enjoying the fire pit and some frosty beverages!

Jaida enjoyed going down the hill by herself, which from a mommy point of view was nerve wracking at first. Seeing her first born go flying down this hill and around the corners all by herself! After seeing how well she did the first time, however, it was clear that she was quite comfortable in her tube and the track is built for safety. After this picture was taken Chris and the other guys there finished adding more safety snow fence on the corners as extra protection from going over the sides.

And, finally, a Friday afternoon nap...Awhhhh!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Great weekend!

We had a really fun weekend here at Forest King! My truck has died twice due to random things, so it has been interesting trying to get around with my small car and the dogs. The first time, on Christmas eve it died at work. As it turns out a bunch of rodents had eaten the wires leading to my fuel pump and cut the power to it. I got that repaired and then Friday I went to park it in my driveway and it wouldn't shift into park...Something in the steering column broke. So now I have to have it towed again tomorrow morning to fix that. I had to put the emergency brake on because the truck is stuck in drive, so it tries to roll away with out it! Yikes...Oh well...

Friday I took the dogs for a short run (only 45 minutes or so). Cedar actually got to go! It was his first "real" outing since his accident, so I was a bit nervous about how things would go. I strapped on his orthotic to help protect his foot. We still have to adjust it a bit, I have to send it back to the manufacterer. There are 3 adjustments included in the first 3 months for free. (not including shipping, of course!) He isn't using it as much as I would like, he tends to walk on the back of the orthotic, as opposed to flat footed on the bottom. Other than that it seems to fit fairly well. For the run I tried to cover his toes, as the snow will pack into the foot portion of the orthotic, which I imagine could be uncomfortable. He looks a bit silly in the pictures as I wrapped his foot with vetwrap, but of course, the section I put on the toe portion fell off! The only benefit I see to allowing snow build up is that since he is running in the snow it could be helpful in preventing swelling, just like an ice pack.

His toes are still undergoing a lot of healing, and one of them is fairly swollen. I think he might be developing a seroma (fluid filled pocket, slight blood tinge to it) due to the foreign material in his foot. He had another small pocket developing in between 2 other toes and it was obviously bothering him. On Saturday I noticed that it was open and a little oozy...I looked at it closely and noticed something sticking out of a hole in the middle of the swelling. I pulled out a small bone fragment from the lump! It was originally part of one of his toes that were shattered. Hopefully at least that one spot will heal up quickly now that the piece of bone isn't irritating it anymore.

The very beginning of the video is a bit shaky, sorry, I was walking in the snow and it wasn't a flat trail!

On Sunday we got together with a group of people to run the dogs. The group consisted of us with Kyler and Rogue, Stephanie and Manny (who own Baron, Roxy and Benny), Sam and Frank (who own Timber and Muki) Dave Nelson (who owns Chya), and 2 groups of other friends that each had 2 dogs. It was quite the group of dogs running and playing. All with 10 people plus Jaida. The dogs really had a great time! We hiked for close to 2 hours and then hung out to have dinner and beers. You don't see Kyler and Rogue much in these pictures because they were both off hunting and were very far from the rest of the pack. They played initially, then decided that hunting was what they wanted to do.

So, a big thanks for Stephanie for inviting us for this great day! Thanks also to Dave for allowing us to warm up in his house and then to Sam and Frank for letting us all hang out in their living room, dogs included! Rogue is actually sleeping on the couch as I am writing this, which is a very difficult thing to accomplish!

Also, thanks to Stephanie for finding an interesting beer that I am looking forward to trying. As a Christmas present she gave me a bottle of beer named "Rogue", how fitting!

Then, I received a couple pictures of Kyler's puppies at the end of the week. Briar, and Zealand. They are so darn cute and it sounds like they and their families are very happy! The first 2 are of Briar and the 3rd is of Zealand, cuddling with her stuffed pheasant, how appropriate! Briar was the male that we had for an extra few weeks, who had a minor fracture of his leg. He is doing well other than being a bumbly male puppy. I am looking forward to meeting Zea's family, as she was the red puppy who Wendy sold for us, so I never met her owners. It seems that we have the same taste in beer, so I am sure it will be a great time when we do finally get to meet!