At the Palmetto Retriever Club Trial. Just three months after our total meltdown at a picnic HRC type of event, my boy was a whole new dog. Now if we could just fix the operator!!!! Husband, myself and dog all piled into the 4Runner at 5:00 AM yesterday to drive 3 hours upstate to participate in this event. I had every good intention, ,of running Indy myself. When we got there and saw the set up, I totally freaked. I took one look and said to husband, I cant do this, I know this set up is too tight for us. He took pity on me and agreed to be the sacrificial goat. The first thing I noticed was that the dog was a little overwhelmed by all the "targets" out there. Due to limited training group, (just 3 of us) the dog never gets to see more than 2 gunners. There were blinds all over this field with bird boys at each. Nonetheless, he picked up the go bird with ease and speed. On the second, after being sent he stopped about 10 yards out, sat down and looked back, and clearly said, "Hey boss, I'm lost, how 'bout I come back and lets try this again?" So they line up, call for the bird, dog is marking great, when we get a "no bird". Dont know what happened, radio failure, inattention, whatever. Finally got a throw, but Indy was clearly not as locked in as before. But this time he ran all the way out, almost to the bird, when a gust of wind wafted the scent of a planted blind bird lying just a few yards from the line to the fall. Oops! Indy picked up the blind and flew back with it proud as punch. No way was he coming back without a bird. They then set up for the single, a veerrryyyy long, (350 yds+) thrown back into the tree line. Because of the trouble Indy had on the double the judges were anticipating a problem with this one. I overheard them radio the bird boy to be ready to throw a second bird. Not 2 seconds after Indy was sent, they radioed back out, never mind, hes not gonna need it. Wow!!!! Did Indy run that single. Even though he was out of the game due to previous errors, the judge was kind enough to comment on his enthusiasm and style. Just 3 months ago this dog dragged me all over the grounds, ran off with the birds, and even stopped to have a duck dinner on the way back from the water. I can honestly say, Indy did everything right, and clearly showed us the holes in our training we need to work on.
The folks at PRC were wonderful, patient, helpful and set up a great test. Lunch was delicious. If there was any doubt before, I am well and truly hooked. Now its up to Kristie to see if she teach me not to collapse at the line
Heres a couple of pics of the two you guys have helped train