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!!