October 24, 2011

Hard Lesson Learned

I'm still learning this game.  I suspect I always will be.

It's hard.  Very hard.

When my dogs let me down, I get a little frustrated but move on.  When I let them down I can't shake it and dwell and dwell.

First series of the Open in Missouri this week-end was a very hard quad.  The two middle birds were giving everyone fits.  The short bird was retired and thrown angle back against a tree line straight towards a stand out gun.  The birds couldn't have been more then 30 yards apart (I was out there to pick up the blind station later and was stunned at how tight they were).  Dogs were just NOT getting the short retired.

When I ran Darbs I tried to get that bird second, and expected to run past it as most everyone else was doing.  She PINNED that bird.  Absolutely knew where it was and face planted it.  Then the wheels fell off...

Judges said only one other dog had done that...blah blah blah...I started talking to them...made a joke or two...

I still had two more birds to pick up but I thought I had it in the bag.  There was a fairly straight forward retired gun off to the right and then the stand up gun just deep of the retired.

She came back to heel and I thought I was all that and a bag of chips.  Loosey goosey, look at me.  I took the bird and sent her for the right retired.  Sent her WAY fast, didn't bear down and she left weird and nervous and we ended up handling.  Out.

Kenny left me alone for about an hour and then we had the "talk".  EVERY bird matters.  EVERY send is important.  QUIT yakking, bear down and run your dog.

He's right.  I let my dog down and it really hurt.  Hard lesson to learn and I believe I wouldn't have learned it any other way.  I needed to pin the impossible bird to get that one through my thick skull.

Libby ran an amazing Derby.  First three tests were a little light for such a big field.  The third series water marks were kind of puppy markish, but we all had to run them just the same.  They had a 30 yard go bird across a tiny corner of water and Libby hunted that dumb little bird...a lot.  Then they set up a giant 4th series as they had too many dogs clean and knew it.  Not many dogs did it, but Miss Libby did it better then anyone else.  She made the big swim with the gun out of sight the whole way past the short bird.

Pin, pin.

7 flat out pins and a stupid hunt.  That is green and no other color these days.

She makes her debut in the Qualifying this upcoming week-end.  Qual debut and last Derby as we won't run any more after this.  She ages out two months from today.

She's really coming on and I highly doubt I'll be doing any training on 30 yard birds in the future to clean that up...but one never knows.

The Three Amigos came to Missouri with us and they're having a blast!  They stay in the trailer with us at night in their box, but come with us all day and spend lots of time outside in the x-pen meeting new people, and some time in a hole on the truck having naps.

Puppies have already been touched by greatness.

L to R: Dave Rorem, Bill Eckett and the Greatness that is my hubby.

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