February 15, 2012

Rain Day

Had to take a rain day today.

Was out working a yard dog when the weather started rolling in.  We went running for cover.

It poured and poured, and is still raining, though not as hard.

We were really worried about the water situation in Texas after their extreme drought.  We're not worried anymore.

A picture of one of the ponds at Vinwood on my first winter trip here a few years ago.  It's at the perfect level.  It's been quite low since we got here.

A picture of the same pond taken just an hour ago.  You can see the river flowing down the hill from an upper "technical" pond.

I think we're all good now.  It can stop raining.  No really.  Please stop.

Harper in Arizona

Harper made the trip south from Alaska to compete in a Hunt Test in Arizona with her owner.

She got two Master passes!!


She is Elmingo's Violence On Request (Prime x Darbi 2008).

And she looks like she has her mother's affinity for having her picture taken.

February 14, 2012



Horsetooth Retrievers had 92 Derby points in 2011.  We're aiming high again for 2012.

Off to a good start.

February 12, 2012

Coastal Bend

I ran the Coastal Bend Trial in Texas this week-end with my "truck load" of 4 dogs.  I took my two girls Darbi and Libby, plus two client dogs, Boomer and Abbey.

Abbey and I WON the Derby.  It was so much fun.  The last series was a triple, which I'd never seen before in a derby, but happens from time to time.  She really was a doll and a joy to run.  Abbey is owned by a fellow Canadian.

Libby and I went out on the land blind in the Qual after doing a fabulous first series.  It happens and it was both our faults.  It's quite a jump for most dogs from Derby to Qual.  The blind in the Qual was behind the flyer and between the flyer and the long retired and we ran it immediately after the marks.  She was freaked out thinking I was sending her back to a mark.  She is VERY heady, just like her mama.  She just needs more exposure to this concept at trials and she'll be all good.  We do it in training and she does just fine, but she's still of the mind set that trials are places where "nice men" in white coats just throw her stuff.  I think she thinks trials are solely for her benefit.  As one vet put it, she is definitely "affected" with the Happy Gene.
I was MOST proud of Libby for running test dog in the first series of the Open the second morning the test was run and she did the two long retired birds of the Quad as good as anyone!

My buddy Boomer and I ran in the Open.  Him and I made it to the water blind and were dropped.  It was a tough blind that didn't suit a powerhouse like Boom, but we gave it our best shot.
And Boomer ran the best land blind I've ever had the privilege of running at a field trial.  It was hard and super long and he did it in 3 whistles.  I was shaking afterwards, it was such a high!  Only 21 of the 95 starters made it to the water blind and I was pretty thrilled to be there in such a huge Open.  Boomer is owned by yet another Canadian.

And sweet Darbi.  She was fun.  I was a little surprised when she was dropped after the first series and Boomer back, as I thought they had similar work.  I thought they'd both be back, or both out, depending on what the judges were looking for.  She had 2 extra loops on the flyer and a little wider line on the long retired, and that was all it took to make a difference.  She ran hard and looked good.  I couldn't be happier with her effort.

All in all a great week-end.  Lots of fun and lots of laughs.  The dogs tried and I couldn't ask for more.

February 3, 2012

Libby Third!

Libby ran her "first" Qualifying Stake today.  Well, it's actually not her first.  I ran her in one last year after Kenny told me specifically not to.  I listen so well that I entered her anyways.  She wasn't ready and Kenny was right...but don't tell him I said so.

So now she's ready.  She finished her "first" Qualifying with a third place!  I was so proud of her.  She had a giant hunt on the retired gun in the first series and I thought all was lost, but the judges kindly called me back and she nailed the last three series.  Waydago Wibb!

Momma Peanut came along for the day and she found her very own turtle on the trial grounds!  She was obsessed with it.

And Willie came along too!  We found two other puppies her age (one a littermate!) to play with.  Willie promptly beat them both up and we were quickly uninvited from the play group.  I gave Willie a little "time out" to think about what she'd done, but that didn't work either.  She's a renegade and that's that I guess.

February 1, 2012

A Day In The Life Of Willie

Willie has pretty big days.

Any puppy I raise does.

She decided that the holding blind was the place to hang out this morning.  Essentially kicking us out of there for awhile.  She runs the show and knows it.

She helps us train.  A big part of her day.  It's looking like these days are numbered as she gets braver.  The older dogs could care less.  The younger ones, we put her away.  She gets mad when we "fire" her as she takes this job very seriously.

And what happens when I leave the door open to my truck.  I looked and looked for her...and here she was.  

And this was Willie's day today.  Now, as I type this, she's lying in the chair with me...fast asleep.