Hoss did it!
On Sunday at least.
We had our first Seasoned tests this weekend at Kankakee HRC. I was sooo nervous! It was not until two days before that it dawned on me that at Seasoned level there would not necessarily be an attention getting noise from the throwers. Oooppsie! Had not trained for that! Tried the day before the test to work on doubles with no noise from the thrower, and we did miserably!
Saturday's test was a really nice scenario, starting off with water and a walk-up. Hoss sat like a pro and fetched the duck up nicely (after all it landed about 10 feet from us). Next was the double mark, almost in line marks (about 20* separation), with the first mark about 40 yards and the go bird about 60 yards. Nailed them. (Fortunately, the noise from the wingers was sufficient for an attention noise, and they were so close to inline that there was not much swinging to be done. Next came the water blind, and well, once Hoss got into the scent cone of the duck, he flipped me the doggie finger and would not listen to a single whistle. Ah well. But he did come back with it
Land series came next, and there was a 58 and 65 yard double in moderate cover. I thought Hoss had seen the memory bird go down, but based on Sunday's experience, I may have had him swing to the go bird on Saturday before the memory bird landed. Anyway, he nailed the go-bird, but had to search and scent the memory bird. There was supposed to be a diversion bird thrown as he came back from the memory bird, but it hung up on the winger...which threw me off as I was ready to shoot and only heard a muffled winger go off. Judges told me to shoot the blind (not saying ANYTHING about when the diversion was going to be done). Well, Hoss flipped me the paw even worse on the land blind and I ended up yelling at him (yes in an intimidating voice...but is it intimidating if he does not listen to me???). Anyway, the judge threw the diversion as he came back from the blind (I had to quickly pick up land load the gun last second..as prompted (loudly) by the judge).
So, we failed on Saturday. I was there for 13 hours and was so very tired, hungry and hot by the end of the day, I just did not have the gumption to ask the judges about why we failed. (I knew why).
On Sunday, I almost went home without going to the test. (Happily I did not!) I did ask the judges if I could throw-up as I approached the line. (They assured me I would do fine!) I was shaking so bad, I could barely put the bullet in the gun! Land was first, in a patchy recently brush hogged field. The walk up was first, landing about 15 feet in front of us. Hoss sat like a pro again. The marks were second, with an 85 yard mark as the memory bird and a 65 yard go-bird. The diversion came as he came back from the memory bird. Flawless so far! Then, bless his heart, Hoss lined the blind (58 yards) and I knew we had a good run going!
On water, the marks were pretty easy, and although we could pick up in any order, it was best to pick up the go bird first, as the wind was so strong that the bird would drift out of sight behind an island if it was not picked up first. Kinda scary was that at a point of land that many of the dogs hit on their way to the go-bird, there was fishing line hanging down from a tree into the water, Several dogs hit it and made the tree branch bend, but apparently, the fish hook was not hanging down too!
The blind was along the bank (judges placed a blind and hay bales to prevent bank running...and the bank was very steep). It was placed such that there was an island point kinda in the way and proved to suck more than one dog. Hoss gave me a heart attack on this, and although I thought he was lined up well and looking in the right direction, started off going back to the go-bird area of fall. (about a 45* angle). After several whistles to get him back on line, he went right for it!
Things I was afraid of muffing we did well on, especially handling the gun (safely) and swinging on the doubles. The safe gun handling came naturally fortunately, as in UKC you will fail (with one warning if you are lucky) if you are at all unsafe with the gun....has to be "Open and Safe" after each part of the test and before you put the gun back in the stand. Inadvertently point the gun at the judges?...you are out.
WE PASSED! WHEEEE!!!! I had great fun, and learned a lot about where the holes are in our training! We are on our way to an HR title!
Karen and<br />UAG1 SHR UCDX GRCH Tracker Belle of Bedford RAE JH CDX TT WCX WC CGC (Belle)<br /><br />UCD SHR GRCH BIMBS BBI Belle's Kodiak Dreamweaver JH UD RAE TT WC CGC (Kodi)<br /><br />SHR UCH BBI Ponderosa's Big Blond Guy JH RE TT WC CGC (Hoss)