Friday, December 31, 2010

High Voltage

December 29, 2010
Lake Hartwell, GA

Almost named her Tesla, because she's a live one!

Kung Fu Fighting

December 29, 2010
Lake Hartwell, GA

Winter Morning

December 28. 2010
Sandy Creek Park, GA

Another morning you know where with you know who.

Cat Stalker

December 27, 2010
[at home]

Snow, Pt. 2

December 27, 2010
Athens, GA

A day later, the snow has diminished but there are still plenty of traces, thanks to daytime temperatures around the freezing mark.

White Christmas

December 26, 2010
Sandy Creek Park, GA

Well, they said it might happen and it did! It started snowing late on the 25th and kept on snowing enough to give us 3 inches of accumulation. Not THAT much but we take it! Tessa and I booked two hours at the park and we both had a blast.

This was the first white Christmas in the metro Atlanta area since 1882!

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2010
Athens, GA

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bizarro Tessa

December 24, 2010
Athens, GA

As always, we had to work today, and as always, they let us out a little earlier - 1 p.m.! Grabbed the dog and ran some errands, and stopped by Wuxtry for a little visit. Here is Tessa with Devlin who runs Bizarro Wuxtry. It took a while to get to this zen moment.

Christmas Hunt

December 23, 2010
Jersey, GA

My friend and his son invited me to a quail hunt today. Tessa was going to bring a good nose and the stamina of a young dog, to complement old Shane who is a finished hunting dog with great style but due to his age (14) he is lacking the endurance for a three-hour hunt. Or so we thought - he actually did very well!

This was Tessa's first real hunt - all the training put to the test. She is now having pretty steady points - steady enough to give me the time to walk up and grab her by the collar if needed, once the bird has been flushed. It becomes clear very quickly why bird dogs have to be trained to such an extent. You just can't have a dog run after a bird at the same time a gunner takes his shot - not a good idea!

About an hour into it she kind of fell apart and started chasing birds again - argh! I think it had to do with dead bird contact that got her all bird crazy in a wrong way. To snap her out of that frame of mind, I walked her back to the car, and then back again to the field, in a heel. It worked - no more bird chasing after the short time-out.

Tessa really seems to get the big picture now. It is nice to see things fall into place.

Training Day

December 5, 2010
Jersey, GA

Well I knew it wouldn't amount to much today but I had ordered the birds so we went. Tessa had been on the wild side all week and didn't have a chance to run off some steam prior to this field search which made for a wild run. Ultimately it always comes back to failure on my part to provide her with enough of the right kind of training so I can't be too surprised if we are not progressing very much. An hour into the run she started settling in and held the last point nicely so at least we quit on a good note.

Then she went for a swim. Brrrrrrr!

Giving Thanks

November 25, 2010
Athens, GA

She had big shoes to fill but she filled them. I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day, or any day for that matter!

Thanksgiving Eve

November 24, 2010
Sandy Creek Park, GA

Sitting On A Pebble ...

November 20, 2010
Watson Mill Bridge State Park

Friday, November 26, 2010

See Tessa Go

November 13, 2010
Sandy Creek Park, GA

That was fun.


November 13, 2010
Sandy Creek Park, GA

Alone Again ...

November 7, 2010
Athens, GA

Up on the North Campus Parking Deck - just Tessa and me, in the late afternoon. We had taken Don, Dorinda and Koda up here at sunrise, so it felt pretty lonely when revisiting at sundown.

Koda & Tessa

November 7, 2010
Sandy Creek Park, GA

On day two of our ShipAway, we took Koda and Tessa to the dog park for a much needed run. It was a cold morning but it gave us beautiful frost.

Of Ghosts And Monsters

November 6, 2010
Macon, GA

Pretty In Pink

November 6, 2010
Macon, GA
Cherry Street Lane

Ocmulgee Revisited

November 6, 2010
Ocmulgee Indian Mounds, GA

ShipAway time! Don, Dorinda and Kim came to Athens and we drove to Macon. Our first stop was the Ocmulgee National Monument, which Tessa had already visited as a pup in 2008 - it's a great place to walk a dog, through uplands and wetlands, and on trails leading through the woods.

Atop the Great Temple Mound.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Power To Contain

October 31, 2010
Sandy Creek Park, GA

the power to contain
is always as the contents
but give a Giant room
and you will lodge a Giant
and not a smaller man

[Emily Dickinson]

Watch Out For Flying Objects ...

October 30, 2010
Sandy Creek Park, GA

... and pointers!

Working on our frisbee skills which have been grossly neglected. Tessa is getting better catching them mid-air but we are a far cry from being well coordinated. Of course, me throwing the frisbee left-handed while trying to balance and shoot the heavy Nikon D200 in my right hand does not exactly help.

Instructional Plaza

October 22, 2010
Athens, GA

Evening walk across campus.

My Little Thin Mint

October 21, 2010
Athens, GA

Tessa makes herself very thin. Actually, she has regained all the weight she lost in the kennel and is back to her normal 52 lbs.

The Rising

October 17, 2010
Sandy Creek Park


October 16, 2010
Bostwick, GA

On our way back from a successful training day in Jersey, we stopped at the Bostwick gin and came across the abandoned movie set for the remake of the 1984 classic "Footloose" which was filmed here in Bostwick a few days prior. The crews had moved on to Social Circle and beyond but left part of the set behind, and I really liked the ghostly yet festive and somewhat surreal feel it gave to the gin ("Beamis Mill" in the movie), with no one around.

Tessa was a little less excited and was in no mood to dance, and probably just wanted to go back to the bird fields. But no matter, girl's gotta pose on the movie set, for posterity.

End of Training Season

October 16, 2010
Jersey, GA

Today was our last official NAVHDA training day of the year.

I was dreading it a little bit, as we missed last month's, and the one in August consisted of a short and chaotic run in the rain on birds that did not fly. Also, Tessa just spent 3 weeks in an indoor kennel with plenty of playtime but no training at all. Overall, we have not been on top of our game this year, and I did not expect a lot, only to find - much to my surprise - that her steadiness has much improved. She was steady to shot, not quite yet to wing but very easy to handle and re-whoa, and her recalls were snappy, even from a bird pursuit - not only did she come right back but she also positioned herself where she had whoa'd next to me, so I think she is starting to understand what is expected of her. She also had her first "voluntary" honor. I had made her honor a few times during our run, and towards the end of the 2-hour session Paul and I were talking at the edge of the field and when we turned around, Shane was on point in the middle of the field and Tessa was behind him honoring. Both held their positions until we released them. Where this all came from I don't know...maybe after 3 weeks in the kennel she learned that there is worse than not being allowed to chase birds?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Autumn Evenings

October 15, 2010
Sandy Creek Park, GA

Taking advantage of the last two weeks of evening outings to the park.

Throw. The. Ball.

October 13, 2010
Sandy Creek Park, GA

The Fabric Of Our Life

October 10, 2010
Morgan County (GA)