I won't repeat all the great things that have been posted already, because I agree with all of it and don't want to take up the space, but here are some other things that come to mind from my experience.
The goodies: OH MY GOSH. First thing when we met at Mack's, we were all given Mack T-shirts, and an Avery Pro Trainer Bag filled with ATBs, Hexabumpers, collars, food bags, and Avery hats. It was like Christmas morning :lol: Then, on the last day, my dog picked up an orange blind bumper that had something taped to it................a beautiful Echo duck call.
The dedication: David Carrington, Christian Curtis and the Avery/Waterdog Teams were 100% there to ensure that every participant had a great time and could not have been more hospitable. Case in point, being the only woman handler at this workshop, I was given every consideration to make sure I was comfortable with the accomodations, etc. David even made sure my roommate, Missy Heard who was there with her husband, and I were first to eat supper each evening. Who says chivalry is dead?
The individual attention: There were only three of us in the Advanced group and we had Dan Heard all to ourselves all weekend. While he is not a professional trainer by trade, he is so knowledgeable and most of what he instilled upon us was to make your training sessions proactive and not complicated. He knows what it is like to only have limited time to work dogs when you have a full time job, so he wants to make each session count. Dan has such good dog sense, and he knows how to get the most out of each scenario that he sets up. He was very patient with me especially, having the only hairy dog in the bunch (FCR) and pushed us to the fullest extent of what he felt we were capable of doing. He was so proud of us the session that we did some big boy blinds that he announced to the group that evening how awesome Jamie was on his all age type blind. I had a smile from ear to ear.
The cameraderie: From the daily sessions to the nightly recaps and discussions, everyone was extremely friendly and willing to share their experiences and expertise. I never felt out of place being the only woman there and enjoyed the after hours down time in the lodge. I had never seen Dusty up front and personal and while I knew of his accomplishments, never realized he was such a super dog outside of the fieldwork. When Dan and Missy brought him in the lodge at night, he entertained all of us with his antics and super personality. The fact that he can be the class clown as well as a super athelete in the field, shows credence on how he is raised and trained.
All in all, I am so glad that I went and would highly recommend that if they offer these workshops again in the future, that you all apply. The one piece of advice that I would give you all if you do attend concerns an item on the list of what to bring. EAR PLUGS
. This crowd was by far the noisiest at night (snoring) that I have ever encountered. From what I understand, this has been a common occurence in most of the workshops. Glad I brought my MP3 player so that I could listen to it instead of the racket encased in those walls. Yikes!
Thanks to my fellow attendees for their support and encouragement, and most of all, their friendship.
Sherie Catledge and Jamie