February 24, 2013


Had a fun week-end running the Shreveport trial here in Texas.

Miss Libby ran, what I thought was, a so-so set of opening marks.  For each bird, her lines were to the right of the actual lines to the birds.  Not sure why she "moved the test over" in her little head, but it was what it was.  While the wind was blowing left to right, causing her to crosswind and quickly pick up each bird, I knew from a judge's stand point that it wasn't desirable.
They called her back to the land blind... a very difficult poison bird blind with some water.  I was happy with her effort and she ran a decent blind.  It was only decent though and we were dropped.  I knew those opening marks would come back to haunt me.
However, Libbs seems to have gotten over her poison bird fetish and that makes life less stressful for us now.  10 or so dogs picked up the PB in this test and she cast off of it very nicely with the bird on her nose.  I'm sure happy about that.

And Momma D!!!  She finished with a JAM.  She was fabulous!  Someone came up to me and said "my word, she runs like a 5 year old!".  I was very flattered.  She was great in all 4 series, especially the land blind and the water marks.  I think a cross wind on the long retired in the first series kept us out of the ribbons.  3 trials since December and she's been to the water blind twice and finished once.  Not bad for the old lady.

I can't say it enough...every day with her is a gift.

And Darbi's son Turq finished alongside his mother with a JAM as well!!  Atta boy Turq!

As an aside...I have learned in recent years that downwind marks are the only way to go when judging dogs if at all possible.  "Downwind marks and crosswind blinds" is what everyone who I think is wise says.  These poor judges had set up a nice set of marks that started the day off as downwind...but after a couple of dogs...the wind changed.  The marks became way too easy and all because of a little wind shift.  I felt sorry for the judges, but that is how it goes sometimes.  That's okay...they got us back on the land blind.  :-)

February 14, 2013

The hardest job of them all...

These Field Trial dogs work hard.  Very hard.

400 yard marks as the fourth bird to retrieve.  Long, long water blinds in stiff cross winds.  Etc.

But I'd have to argue that Miikka has worked as hard of any of them in her retirement.

She has raised a village of puppies in the past 3 years.

Now, only two of these puppies are her own and the others are all puppies I bought and re-sold to clients or others.

Miikka is the supreme baby sitter and puppy raiser.  She has taught each puppy to have good house manners, how to play nice and be brave and bold in every situation.  She has set the example to these guys to relax in the house and be bird crazy in the field.

No doubt in my mind that every one of the pups in this picture will be a Field Champion one day.  They are all bright young stars.

And we owe a little bit of thanks to Miikka for all her hard work.

From left to right:
Gordy, Libby, Otto, Willie, MIIKKA, Rip (in front) and Stanley

Missed from the picture but loved by Miikka:
Ahti & Loki

February 11, 2013


You could have had Darbi for just $1 last week.

Just $1.

February 10, 2013

Coastal Bend

Very happy.

Luckiest Man Alive (LMA) went to a trial in Texas this week-end, while I stayed home to work some young dogs.

I was worried for Darbi because of her foot and all she's been through.  Plus, LMA has not run her, even in training, for a very long time.

I was worried for Libby because she's a young one and these big Opens can be overwhelming for any dog, let alone a newbie at the Big Time.

Well, I can put my worries to bed.

First/second series was a double, then pull off to run the blind, the pick up the double...that were both retired.  Both Darbi and Libby did great!!  Field was cut from 80-ish to 20-ish.

Third series was a water blind.  Cold honour for single, then come back out to see dry pop, run water blind, then pick up long retired bird that was shot as a single after the water blind.  Kenny said that Darbi did very well, was trying very hard and he was surprised she was dropped.  And NO limping!!  Amazing.

Miss Libby did GREAT apparently.  There was a lot going on in that test and it's amazing she handled it all (excuse the pun) so well!

Libby made it to the last series, but alas, it was a bit over her head.  Long flyer last bird down with two very hard short retireds in front of it.  She had to handle on one bird and had a "good sized' hunt on the other.  She did not receive a green ribbon.

Doesn't matter.  I'm very pleased with my two girls.  They both tried so hard and one can't ask for more then that.

February 6, 2013

Some things never change

Whether we're at home or on the road...

Peanut has perfected her sleeping into a fine art.

...and Rip is taking to his sleeping training naturally.