Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Solar Eclipse

February 22, 2009
Sandy Creek Park, GA


February 22, 2009
Sandy Creek Park, GA

Best Friend

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Take Me To The River

February 22, 2009
Oconee River, GA [Clarke County]

It's been a long winter and we've been in a rut. Limited outings to the same old hunting grounds (Sandy Creek Park) due to short days and long nights. But things are changing - the days are getting longer, and as of March 1 Sandy Creek Park will stay open until 7 p.m. so we can go there during the week and to more exciting places on the weekends.

Today I took her to the banks of the Oconee River, for a little change of scenery. The big change will come in a few weeks when we will go camping on Georgia's coast.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


February 15, 2009
[at home]

The beast has crashed!

We had a full day today. Our morning consisted of a trip to the park: a lap around the fields, a walk along the dam, flushing out some birds, an obedience session/play session in the fenced baseball field, followed by some scent work: I attached two quail wings to her dummy, dragged it through a field and hid it in the woods. In the process, one of the wings fell off and was lost. Tessa did a great track, staying very focused on the scent I laid (usually she goes by air scent), locating the lost wing, and in the end, the dummy. Whereupon we lost the other wing, which she found as well.

In the p.m. we went back to the park with a friend, and mostly walked through the woods and played fetch on the field. When we returned to the car, she threw a hissy fit, very much resenting the fact that the outing was coming to an end. Once in the car though, she fell into a content slumber and at home, she recharged herself under the covers.

"Where's my coffee?"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Funny Valentine

February 14, 2009
[at home]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Go Gramps!

February 10, 2009
[at home]

Tessa is watching the judging of the Sporting Group at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show of all dog shows. Her grandsire, Fieldfines Back In Action JH, CGC, ROM aka "Ace" was competing for Best of Breed earlier that day; he got Best of Opposite Sex (go Ace!), the honor to represent the GSP in the Sporting Group went to VJK-Myst Bring It On who competed in that group against the 10-year old Sussex Spaniel who would ultimately win Best in Show.

Except for a brief, grunty growl at the Gordon Setter, Tessa was pretty indifferent to the whole thing.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sister Golden Hair

February 7, 2009
Sandy Creek Park, GA

Our weekend routine at the park includes a walk across the dam; the winter grass is sparse right now, but Tessa loves to run through it - the higher the better. A lot of birds hide along the shore, and I let Tessa look for them. She started pointing a lot, and the points are much more intense then they were a few months ago. When she's not looking, I throw the quail-scented ball into the field and let her hunt it up, her favorite pastime. I need to put her on live birds soon and am currently trying to find her a training session.


February 3, 2009
Sandy Creek Park, GA

I locked myself out of my apartment last night and had to break a window to get in, which resulted in me having to take today off to fix the same. Waiting for the glass to be cut, I took the opportunity to take the Tess to the park. Here she is scanning the lake for geese.

Fetch Me If You Can

February 1, 2009
Sandy Creek Park, GA

Fetch gone wrong! While play-practicing "fetch", Tessa decides to exchange her Orbee ball for my hat which was tucked into my pocket. She grabbed it faster than I could have imagined and ran off with it, and kept running, wide circles, for a long while...

... until she spotted some birds on the other side of the fence and stopped dead in her tracks.

Forgotten was the hat...

Forgotten was the Orbee...

The hat fetch, the walk and the dog park wore her out.

Porterdale, GA

January 31, 2009
Porterdale, GA

Still on our way back from the dog show, we stopped in Porterdale to take a closer look at the old mill and take some photos for Tessa's half-brother Porter who maintains the town was named after him when in fact it got its name from the Porterdale Mills that were established at Cedar Shoals on the Yellow River, just south of Covington, in the late 19th century. Porterdale Mills namesake, Oliver Porter, sold his interest in the mills in 1899 and became a benefactor of the surrounding town. Today, the old mill buildings are listed on the National Register for Historic Places and have been converted into lofts. The town itself seemed a little sleepy but has been nicely fixed up. On the left, Tessa poses in front of a bench with a design much to a bird dog's liking.

Tess D'Urbanville

January 31, 2009
McDonough, GA (Henry County)

On our way back from a dog show we stopped at one of the many, many fields on the outskirts of Atlanta, empty plots of land that are in transition. They are the only thing I like about sprawl, as they provide a great place to run a GSP. They are accessible (not posted or fenced), unkempt with tall weedy grass and lots of birds hiding in it. On the right is Tessa hunting up some of them.

This land is going to be "new homes from the $170's". Across the street is Lakemont Chattels, a new strip mall offering restaurant and retail space which is in the process of being leased out. Henry County is one of the fastest growing counties in the NATION. Within a 5-mile radius of this location, the population has grown 155% from 1990-2000 and in 2000 ranked No.4 among the nation's counties for its growth rate.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cherokee Rose Cluster

January 31, 2009
Atlanta, GA

We got up early - really early - this morning and drove 90 minutes to Atlanta to watch the GSPs being judged at the Atlanta Expo, and support Tessa's sister Tink and half-brother Porter who were shown again. Tessa walked around on two legs mostly greeting every human and canine and loving the commotion, a behavior that amuses everyone watching her but does not exactly make her eligible to enter the show ring just yet. Tink on the other hand is rather quiet, and the judge questioned whether she has any fun at all. So both Tess and Tink need work, just the opposite kind.

Above is Caroline showing Tink, who is holding still so nicely while the judge goes over her. With Tessa, this would be absolutely impossible. She is getting better, but this is just the type of attention that would make her dance her dance that would certainly not gain her any points in this venue.