Who Owns the Line?
I have long thought, typed here and told to the fresh faces. “You Own The Line.” As they are so rushed and sometimes overwhelmed by the people in the field and the judges and the marshal and the people taking and drying ducks and the rest waiting a turn. So much like a 5 year old at the county fair. They feel rushed. They do not take the time the dog needs. And so I counsel them to slow down. That for those next few minutes all those people are in the spot that they are in and doing the task given, for you. Paid for by your entry fee up front and by the unwritten trust that you will be standing in the mud tossing a very dead bird for them ether later that same day or at your clubs next event if you are visiting. The line is yours. “You Own The Line”.
In conversations with Judges about handler infractions or perceived infractions you will often hear “I don’t allow that at my test”. Or when setting up the mechanics of a test the coming and going of the working dog and how the judges will position themselves you also will hear “I never set up my running line that way”
It is clear the judges set up the test. It is as so many Monday Morning RTF Bus rides have shown us, It is the Judges Test, they own in. “The Judges Own The Line and you come and go at the pleasure of the Judges.”
Everything goes a fowl on the honor.
The Honor dog and handler paid the same as you. They are under judgment same as you.
The were, up to just a moment ago when you stepped out of the last holding blind owning the line. And now here you come. Like walking a dog into a stranger’s house. Actually if we treated it like walking into a strangers house with a dog a lot of line issues and angst would be avoided. It miffs me when Molly Minivan strolls up chasing rainbows allowing Ol’ Fluffy to floss with drying rack birds and sniff honor dog butts on the way to the mat and is then oblivious to any infraction. But lets not digress. Stay on point Ken!
So is the test with an honor the most clucked up timeshare possible? “The Honor Dog Own the Line?”
And still more.
The event committee owns the line. When handlers complain about a judge’s set up. When Judges complain about given grounds. When farmers complain about a kid trying to rake hay next to a live bird station (I kid you not, jackweasle tried to do some haying up against our test!) Who Ya Gonna Call? The Event committee. When all is said and done and the Monday morning bus is serviced and parked for the next trip. “It is the Event Committee that owns the line.”