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!