Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Training

March 20 , 2010
Jersey, GA

Tessa and Shane, a 12-year old Irish Red Setter, met at the dog park about a year ago. Actually, they were in adjacent parks for months until one morning I noticed Shane's owner wearing a hunting vest so I introduced ourselves and now we all walk together, Tessa and Shane hunting for critters or playing fetch, Paul and I talking bird dogs.

Today Shane joined us at a NAVHDA training day for the first time. He is not training towards anything - tests and trials are long behind him. He is 12 years old and has retired from the hunting scene 3 years ago but we were curious to see how he would do.

Tessa found the first bird and pointed it and Shane immediately honored. For those of you who are not familiar: honoring or "backing" means that if if a dog comes across another dog on point, he must stop immediately and remain still, instead of rushing in to point the bird himself, and and possibly messing things up. It's a nice concept that Tessa hasn't grasped yet. We will need to work on it.

Shane still has his good nose, and points much nicer than Tessa - more intense, and very stylish - and one can tell that he knows his stuff. For 12 years old, he also has good endurance, although he is a little slower than he no doubt used to be. No match for Tessa who is 10 years younger and fast as the wind but he was holding his own really well.

After the field work, Tessa and I proceeded to the duck pond. Tod did some dummy work and Tessa got a chance to retrieve the Dokken dummy, and it didn't go too well. She was not too keen to pick it up. I have since ordered her one and she now seems to like it better.

Swimming of course is never a problem for my girl.

When all the training was done and everyone had left, Tessa took a little sitzbad in the duck pond. It is her idea of relaxing.

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