I managed to find a nice picture of Sally, the fabulous all-black German Shorthaired Pointer that Momo ran with on Saturday, who looked so great. The picture is from the Mayflower GSP Club Training Day on January 13th, 2008. If Dennis was anywhere as nervous as me, he sure as heck didn't show it -- and Sally was as cool as a cucumber.
The second picture is of Tessa, the poor dog that was braced with Jozsi on his first JH run. I say 'poor dog' only because she was being handled by a new handler who, himself, had had relatively little experience in a birdfield -- and throw in a 200mph rocket-dog and it must have been hard for her to figure out the point of her exercise. She could also clearly find birds, but busted the first two and was immediately in the hole with regard to the 50% rule. And Jozsi was vacuuming up the rest. Nevertheless, the best part was that her owner, Helyne, had volunteered Tessa to a young man, Jake, so he could get a sense of what handling a pointing dog was like. Getting young folks like Jake interested, excited, and involved in hunt testing dogs is always a challenge. I was really excited to hear that Jake handled Tessa to her first JH leg on Sunday.
One of the interesting things I noticed apprenticing and entering in my first set of spring tests was that they were relatively lightly attended. I asked a couple of different hunt secretaries whether this was normal and, if not, whether they thought that a long winter had delayed folks' dog-training. Their answer was that everything is more expensive -- and the challenge for clubs holding tests is that, while things like bird costs are going up, if they jack up their entry fees, then that will also reduce the numbers of dogs entered. The other challenge for holding a test at Crane is one of the reasons we first went there... it's on Cape Cod. And so even a cheap hotel is rarely actually cheap. And at $3.50 for a gallon of gas, entering two dogs becomes a significant financial commitment.
Pat the Terrierman has a short rant about why the cost of living might just possibly be going up. I also just noticed that Pat was kind enough to list The Regal Vizsla on his blogroll. Thanks, Pat.