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!!!