Poor Chief, He has been trying to get his poor old demented handler through one last Senior test for quite a while now. We definitely have the stink eye on us for this last one! This time the main culprit was Lilly Pads!!!! Not too many of those ponds out in NM, so this was our very first venture into those demon weeds. Saturday, he went long on the short go bird, (almost an inline) and I panicked and handled him on the simple one and then lost him on the big mark through the lillies. One of the judges said he almost fell out of his chair when I blew the whistle! Sunday was unique, (for me). We ran from a mound, with a fairly tough memory bird in tall grass, a big flyer very close by, with duck calls squawked over the dog!! (again, not having run much HRC stuff, was new to me). And then . . . A double blind! Wow! You had your choice of the water (another lilly pad pond) or land blind first. I chose the land, which may have been my only good decision. Chief did fine on that. The set up for the water blind had been pulling dogs off to the left, threatening cheats. I did another stupid, and aimed him right of the line and ended up all over the dang pond, going through the treacherous lillies over and over again. Why did I do this???? It goes totally against all my training, my dogs training, and common sense to false line. I just caved to nerves I guess. Then when I sent him, I had plenty of time to stop and correct that initial line because it was a very long entry for Senior. I did not. I stood there with my whistle in my mouth and my thumb up my . . . never mind, I guess you have all misplaced that thumb at some time or another. In the end, I still love the dog, his manners were superb, his land marks dead perfect, and his land blinds were decent. It is very fortunate that I am going to Hillman's Water Fundamentals next weekend. The timing could not be better. Otherwise, I just might shoot myself and leave this good dog to a competent trainer! My point in all this, stuff happens. Believe in the phrase, "Train don't Complain"!