I have an OB trial in a couple of weeks, so am doing run-throughs in different locations. This morning, I went into town to use the high school tennis courts. I arrived by 5:30 am to beat the heat and anyone who wanted to use the tennis courts to play tennis. Aired the dogs, did their OB run-throughs, and was schlepping jumps and equipments back down the hill to the van by about 6:45. I had brought a couple of birds planning to run a couple of cold blinds on the HS fields after OB training.
As I was reloading the first couple loads of OB equipment, I saw that the lower baseball field was empty. I'm thinking, it's early, I could plant my birds and run my blinds. I was carrying the last load of OB equipment and planning where I would put the birds with respect to the wind, when a couple of people show up to set up for their Sunday morning baseball game. Within minutes, the whole team and assorted coaches, etc. have arrived. Whew, close call. If I'd finished OB training a few minutes earlier, I probably would have been explaining to perplexed baseball players why I was putting dead birds with orange stakes in the outfield.
So, I went up to the upper combination baseball/soccer fields. The sprinklers were on in one section of the field, but no sprinklers were running where I staked my pheasant and pigeon. I made a long walk around the perimeter to plant my blinds so there was no scent trail to the birds. I got Maple, ran the pheasant, about 40 or so yards. She went straight to it, but probably could see the pheasant on the ground in the short grass. Ran the pigeon, about 70 or 80 yards. Maple angled a little off line, one whistle and a second whistle as a reminder to sit and not just stop and look at me, and then she saw the bird and took the cast. I put her in a stay when she returned and went out to pull the stakes and toss the pigeon for a short fun stand alone mark. Maple was a few feet from me with the pigeon when THE SPRINKLERS CAME ON. As luck would have it, they came on aimed so that Maple and I and the corridor between us were dry. We made a mad dash and got out of range before the spray rotated around.
I was feeling ridiculously lucky having dodged both baseball team and sprinklers, so I stopped on the way home for a celebratory donut and fancy coffee. Then I remembered Ken Bora's (or Wayne Nutt's?) comment about a disproportionate number of generously padded female handlers with goldens seemed to slip in the mud at hunt tests. But it didn't stop me from eating the donut.
No point to this post. Happy summer training to all.