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!