Ok I need to let you all know how this all came about. Please bare with me. I hope I have put this in the right place.
I re-homed Velvetine Upon a Wish ( Wish) in April this year as she had been given a very bad fright in the show ring. A friend of mine approached me to see if she could have her to work, I nervously agreed, now 7 months on she is out working.
The lady in question is a Kay Cook of the Exelby affix.
Here is the story of Wish's 1st day out ( Kay wrote the following as it was she who worked the dog)
"Last week I had a phone call.. the shoot needed pickers.. but.. sadly the only picker up I have is Tia, who is out of action just now with a litter of pups.. and poor Emma, wouldn't have lasted the morning lol... so I sadly decline..
Last night I get another phone calls.. the shoot is short of beaters.. and the Italians are here for the week.. could I do Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.. I agreed to all bar Tuesday (got another pre-arranged appointment)..
So.. 7.45 this morning.. I trundle off the the beaters cabin for my morning tea before we get our instruction...
Today is a 7 drive shoot.. 4 drives before lunch and 3 after.. the guns were looking for a 200/300 bag on an 800 shot allowance..
1st Drive is steep and very wide, I cannot believe how unfit I am now.. and was puffing halfway up.. desperately trying not to stop for a rest.. I get to my position in the line.. when the guns arrived, we set off through thickest pine and fallen trees.. and my stomach turned over.. this was the situation I lost my Xanthe ( Kay had a yellow bitch killed when she slipped on a fallen tree and speared herself), and it all came flooding back.. but... the dog I had with me.. never faltered.. never put a foot wrong.. and I relaxed, and worked the line, coming down through, and bringing it around quite tight..
Next Drive we had to overcome a relatively small dry stane dyke.. which all dogs jumped, climbed, flew over.. except mine.. since hips have not been scored yet, she has not been encouraged to do this.. so we lift her up and over.. and on we go.. again.. take my position in the line.. and come down a horrible deep rutted peat bog... I wont try and explain what this is like, suffice to say, the ruts were nearly as tall as myself.. and I now have painful muscles, where I didn't know I had muscles lol...
3rd Drive was good.. an easy one really.. and pretty close to the last one of the morning.. so, instead of going back to the trailer, most of the beater walked up over the hill to bring the birds round, while the keeper told myself and another beater to go long, down and round to bring the birds over... we headed over to the dyke that separated the two, and came to an 8ft deer fence.. how the heck was I going to do this lol.. normally there are more than just 2 of us.. well.. problem solved.. my companion hauled his dog up and over and then threw my dog over his shoulders and climbed the 8ft fence and I climbed over after them.. did the drive, onto the next and then back to the beaters cabin for lunch...
I wont bore you with the details of the rest of the drives.. but I will tell you a little about one of them
We were doing a very wide drive, cornering quite tight.. and send a few birds up.. the majority of the dogs sent the final birds up, after the beaters flushed them out... but one dog.. had a wonderful day.. was penny perfect, patiently waiting nearly an hour at the top of a hill, on the crummiest wet, mistily, cold, and never uttered a sound.. nor moved.. even lay down, as if saying.. wake me up when the guns arrive lol... On this last drive, we were dogging in on our own, still going wide.. (oh.. this was partidge, not pheasant) and after all the birds were up, we push on to flush the stragglers, who, in this type of weather, just won't budge,.. and my dog, nearly stepped on one .. right in front of her.. she pushed on.. and stopped dead (I thought she was going to point lol) but didn't.. she didn't run in.. but run up a few feet, and put the bird up... it was a shot.. it was HER bird.. I was so proud of her.. and thought that her breeder would have loved to have seen this..
She now has her card marked by the keeper.. and with a bit of luck, NEXT Crufts, she can then be seen in all her glory in the GAMEKEEPERS RING at Crufts
Now.. for me, this is nothing unusual, but for the dog, well.. it was her very 1st shoot.. And she was perfect.. she has only been with me for 7months, and in that time she has come on tremendously.. I am so very very proud of her.. and so is her breeder, who has never had a dog going to a working environment... OK.. she's not picking up.. (yet ) But today, I saw something in her.. and we will work towards that.. and at just 19months old.. she is taking everything on board..
I have to admit.. I was extremely nervous about taking her.. I nearly took Beanie instead.. but all my trepidation was for nothing.. I am so proud of her...
At the end of the day.. we had 279 birds, including 70 odd Partridge.. brilliant day"
if you got all the way to the bottom , Thank you for taking the time to read this
as you no doubt can guess I am beaming from ear to ear that my wee girl is intelligent lol
cant wait till she goes out again on saturday
WOW! Sounds like an amazing day for her! 8) You should be very proud!
Where was the hunt? Sounds just like a description of a day in the field told by John and Saudjie Crook (Balrion-Weathertop, Wales) at the Potomac in 2007!
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
the shoot took place in a place called Dumfries, Scotland on the Lord Annandales estate
have heard many of Sudjie's tales of working her dogs and enjoyed every one