We went on a 300-mile road trip today, over to Edgefield and Saluda, SC, and on the way back we came through Augusta and stopped for a walk on the riverfront. It was quite nice - beautiful weather, boats swaying on the water, and music flooding out of speakers. Tessa of course had her eyes on the ducks the entire time.
On our way back from the plantation, we made a detour to Newton County where, near Covington, the movie "Flight" with Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle was being filmed. Here is Tessa posing on the set. The crashed plane is in the far right.
Impromptu training day, just a couple of birds and some check cord work. On our way out of the field she spotted a pheasant running into the sorghum and she tracked him for a minute or two, that was very cool to watch as we have not done any tracking work yet.
If I remember correctly, you put a blanket or sheet over the dog and time how long it takes the dog to free himself...herself. The faster the dog is free, the more intelligent/problem solving he/she is.
I planted this bird for Tessa and it turned out he gave her a great workout today. He flew well, he ran well, he hid very well - in the roots underneath a tree surrounded by briars - Tessa right there with him until we forced him out. Repeat. And repeat again. Since we had no gunners, he eventually escaped. Not very rewarding for the dog, although I suspect she enjoys the hunt more than anything.
Unfortunately, she still flags a lot. Click here for a good example of bad flagging (tail wagging while on point).
After about 30 minutes of hard hunting, she settles in, and then we finally got points with no flagging.
Two weeks after the Lake Lanier PetFest Dock Diving event, Tessa was back on the dock during our NAVHDA training day at the plantation. I had not planned on taking her dock diving today but swimming at the lake we ended up on the other side and on the dock, so without any pressure, I just let her do whatever she wished. No go. Actually, she did jump three times, but that was it. This is her favorite dock, and she used to be totally crazy about jumping from it. Today, she watched the other dogs fly by.
Tessa competed in the dock diving event at PetFest this weekend - she was entered 3 times, and at 2 jumps per wave, she got a total of 6 jumps. At first she jumped 14'9" (click for video), 14' and 14'5" but then we had a Tessa malfunction: She started to run down the dock at her usual full speed, only to stop dead at the edge of the dock where she hesitated, then jumped - 8'. But it would get worse - eventually, she refused to jump at all, despite encouragement from me, the crowd and the announcer. Timing out is not like her at all - and I don't know what happened.
But: the 14'9" jump from Saturday secured her a place in the Junior finals (this was our third competition and each time she made the Junior finals). Some people who saw her jump (or rather, not jump) on Sunday only wondered how we ended up in the finals. Sadly, she didn't come out of her funk for the finals, but at least she jumped, albeit only 9 feet or so. She placed last in the Junior finals - 6th place, and still got this wonderful ribbon and it's orange, which is a color she wears well and proudly. Maybe that was the master plan - to take home some orange?
In retrospect, it's actually cool that even though she had a sub-par weekend, she still managed to make it to the finals. Suspecting burn-out as the cause of her not jumping, we will take a break until the next season starts up, and then skip practice and only jump at events, and see how that goes.
After the event, she was rewarded with a quick visit to the beach and a swim in the lake.