Sunday, 14 August 2011

SRHP Working Test, Balcombe Estate

Another early start yesterday morning, knew straight away what was going on as Mum was loading up the car with all our 'working test' day out gear which basically is everything you can imagine including the kitchen sink!!!

We headed off to Rivers Wood, Balcombe Estate near Haywards Heath for the Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer Club Working Test. Mum was armed with the route map and we made great time until we arrived in Haywards Heath, it all went terribly wrong, Mum was driving around and around for 30 minutes trying to find the way, she was getting really stressed as by now we were running a bit late. Eventually she found the turning and we made it with 10 minutes to spare. I wasnt stressed at all, quite comfortable in the back thank you very much stretched out chilled!

The ground was lovely and we met up with some familiar faces from previous tests we've been too. We'd entered into Special Beginners which was being judged by John Parnham, we really like him as he is a cracking trainer.

First up was the 'seen retrieve', I was number 3 in the running order so watched the first two dogs go. Then it was our turn. I went straight out to the dummy, picked it up and legged it back to Mum full speed, she was grinning from ear to ear so knew I'd done what I was supposed to do. I scored 23/25.

Next up was the hunting, John spent a long time explaining about running your dog into the wind, Mum is still trying to work this one out, I know what he's talking about which is just as well! I was sent off and did my quartering and went into gorse bushes and all sorts. Stopped on the whistle when Mum blasted it. Again she had that silly grinning thing going on. I scored 22/25.

We broke for lunch, the walk back to the car was pretty long. Mum shared her pastie with me and I had a few bonios before having a little snooze, it's hard work all this test lark you know!

After lunch it was time for the blind retrieve with gun shot. I was still a bit sleepy and chilled when it came to our turn (think Mum was too!) with some encouragement I eventually realised I was supposed to be running into the woods to find the dummy after the gun was fired. Problem is you see when I hear gunshot I automatically assume 'pheasant', am slowly starting to realise it can mean dummy too. I did return and present to hand so made up for the slow start. I scored 19/25

We the did some obedience work, not under test conditions, I walked to heel out and then sat, Mum threw the dummy, I had to then walk to heel back, sit again and then was sent to get the dummy. Happily did this as had blown off the cobwebs from my lunchtime siesta.

Last up was the water. The queue to do the test was massive as the Novice and Graduate dogs were still running. We settled down for a long wait and I had snoozes again on Mum's lap.

Mum woke me up to tell me it was time for us to do the water test. Mum sat me and told me to wait at the water's edge, which I did, then the dummy was thrown, Mum sent me in, you should have seen the dive reckon I could take it up professionally. I picked the dummy up but silly me I managed to swallow a load of water and started choking, Mum thought I was going to drop the dummy, oh no I wasnt!! I swam back to shore with it firmly in my mouth but spluttering all the way and then plonked it in Mums hand and then shook water all over her!!! I scored 25/25.

After a little while the presentations were done. You'll never guess what.......... I came third, we went up and we were given a certificate, rosette and more importantly loads of lovely dog food, I started drooling when I saw the packets!!!

Mum has said that this is our last Special Beginners as we need to start Novice next, only problem is the Novice standard is so much higher and we've loads to learn but I guess everyone was new to Novice once.

Thankfully the journey home was not stressful at all and we made good time.

Winston and Dad had a lovely day, Winston had gone with him to the butchers. Dad had sat him outside the shop and went in to ask if he had any bones for dogs, he said he didnt, then he looked at Winston sat outside giving that Labrador eyes look and said hang on I'll find you something. So lucky Winston had a lamb bone.

I shared some of my goodies that I'd won with Winston too, I think he likes me going out for the day!!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Langstone Harbour

Mum and Auntie Katie were off of work today so they decided to take us all, that's Me, Winston, Tasha, Ollie and Willow, to Langstone Harbour for a splash around at lunchtime.
We had a lovely time retrieving balls and generally splashing around and cooling off!

Here's some pictures (yes mum actually remembered her camera)

I went after Ollie's ball, well it was much better than mine as it had a squeaky, poor Ollie as between me and Winston we kept racing him to his ball as ours were just boring tennis balls.

He did get to get his ball in the end though

Tasha decided that she would start pointing at the seagulls

Here are all us youngsters watching the master Tasha at work, she is really something to behold, us lot have a lot to learn to be as good as she is!!!

Monday, 1 August 2011

HV Working Test, Launton, Nr Bicester

Was woken up way too early yesterday morning, 5.30am, thought Mum had finally lost the plot! Had a quick walk around the woods with Winston, then breakfast, then loaded into the car and off we headed to the Hungarian Vizsla working test at Launton nr Bicester.

The car journey was two hours, I thought we'd never get there it was sooooo long :-(

Mum parked up and I jumped out of the car, NOT IMPRESSED, the field was full of thistles, I did the 'precious' Vizsla routine of refusing point blank to walk on the nasty thistles. Mum rolled her eyes and then carried me out of the field, much to the amusement of everyone watching, she wasnt half muttering under her breath at me about being a 'right girls blouse'!!!

Hunting was up first, we were number 30 so had to wait for a couple of hours before our turn. The judge was lovely and Mum explained we were Novice Class novices so she was really kind and helpful. I had to quarter across a field, I did kind of run out of puff though as it was mega hot and I'd been waiting around for so long but I still did a reasonable run so Mum was pleased. The judge gave us a few pointers for future training.

As I was so hot Mum decided the best plan was to do the water test next, oh yes I thought that was a good idea too some cool water to splash around in. Couldnt understand why Mum was making me sit and wait at the water's edge though I was desperate to dive in and cool off. I had a right wiggly bottom but did eventually sit still and mum took the lead off, she told me to wait which I did for a while but then the call of the water took over and I dived in just as the steward threw the dummy. I retrieved the dummy no problem and swam back to shore but was still mega hot so stood up to my armpits in the water cooling off and refused to come out until I was good and ready. Finally came out and gave the dummy to Mum.

We broke for lunch and Mum had set up a sheet over the car to keep it cool so I had a nice little tent thing going on.

Ok Mum I'm fully rested and ready to go again now.............

We then went on to do the split retrieves. I'm afraid we were a bit out of our depth on this, the first dummy was thrown the other side of a hedge and I was supposed to run through a gap with wire across it and retrieve it, Mum was pretty useless with her directions and I simply did not have a clue what she was on about, she walked up to me and that was better but I still wouldnt go through the gap without her.
Then the other dummy was thrown into a pen, never done anything like this before, I could see the dummy but didnt understand I was supposed to jump into the pen to get it, so Mum jumped in and showed me how to do it, I then followed her in, I must say my jump in was MUCH more elegant than Mum's jumping into the pen LOL!

Final test was a retrieve with gun shot, I sat perfectly still, even after the gunshot and the dummy throwing, great progress for me, then Mum sent me on to get it, I thought I was flushing pheasants so worked the hedgerow all the way down to the dummy, then realised it was only a boring dummy and not a pheasant I had to retrieve. Mum walked down and encouraged me to pick it up, I did so as I realised there wasnt any birdies. I did retrieve to hand and Mum gave me loads of praise and fusses so that was good.

All in all a great fun day and we learnt loads from the judges and just generally chatting to people.

Next working test in a couple of weeks so Mum and me are going to work on the things we learnt yesterday.