Cadence is looking really good - nice weight, shiny coat, and completely shed out of her baby fuzz. Time for some better photos! I am worried about Corky's feet as I have not been able to get a farrier out to do them in the past few weeks. This is something I miss about Lima - I had plenty of horse connections to get things done. She is now a week overdue, and this is NOT good for her.
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This weekend, we headed to Harrisville, Pennsylvania for a double-double hunt test. Noodle is trying to get her Junior Hunter title, and Pretzel is working towards his Junior Hunter Advanced title.
First of all, let me describe the weather. It rained. Rained. Rained. Poured. It started raining Friday night, and it never stopped the entire weekend. Not for a single moment. I stayed soaked to the skin pretty much all weekend. The birds did not fly. It was crazy!
This weekend, Pretzel was the rock star. He was incredible. He found lots of birds, was rock solid on all of his points, held them for me to flush (or reach down and grab the bird and toss since they weren't flying). I was completely thrilled with how he did. He had all 4 runs qualified, and 3 of them qualified high enough for an advanced rating. Our most awesome moment was on Sunday when he slammed to a point on 4 birds one after the other, and held perfectly to earn perfect 10's across the board!. That was an epic moment. It is amazing how far he's come in less than a year.
Noodle, on the other hand, was a different story. She was a crazed lunatic once she figured out there were birds out there. She decided that since the birds weren't flying, pointing them was unnecessary. She also figured out that the backfield was a waste of time, and before I ever got to the bird field she had run all the way over there, grabbed a bird, and brought it back to me...twice. Needless to say our scores weren't very good. we did have one passing score of all 7's. the rest...well, let's just say they let a LOT of room for improvement.
One cannot deny her enthusiasm. She was literally going out of her mind at the start line. I love her enthusiasm, but hate her total lack of control. Back to training...we will get it together eventually!
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Today was a banner day. Marshall took winners dog for a point, and it was the first time father and son showed together in best of breed. It was amazing to see the two together. Pretzel earned another select dog today. We are creeping slowly towards our ultimate goal of earning 3,000 owner-handled points.
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Ok, something weird is going on. My dogs are behaving! Tonight we went to water retrieve training. This is our last chance to practice retrieving in the water before our ratings test this weekend. Tonight we used chukkar, and not only did both my dogs retrieve, but they brought it to me! Noodle did it with just a little asking, Pretzel finally brought it within arms reach after a lot of begging and sacrifices to the retrieving god. So, Saturday's retrieving rating test sits at about 50/50 - it might happen, or it might not. But tonight, it did happen!
After that, I went to my usual Tuesday late-night agility training session with my friend Deb and her dog. Amazingly, Noodle stayed completely focused on me the entire time (and we trained for over an hour). She never once left me or did anything other than follow my direction or wait patiently to be told what to do. CRAZY!!! This can't be my dog! Either our focus class on Monday nights is really helping, or she is just too tired from retrieve training to misbehave. Who knows? But it made my agility training so much fun tonight!
I entered Noodle in just 2 runs at the end of the day of a CPE trial on Oct. 7th. I would like to see where we are at in our focus training. However, she is really due to come in to season at any time now, so we may have to end up bailing on that trial. I wish she would just come in season and get that darn miserable 3 weeks over with!
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