Sunday, August 3, 2008

busy weekend

We just got back from Sharpe's Farm up in Hopkinton, NH, after taking part in the VCCNE's Annual Meeting (at which I was elected to the Board) and running Momo through his first legs of his Versatility Certificate (VC).

I don't actually know if the VC is unique to vizslas -- or if other breeds have their equivalent. In any case, the dog is evaluated for conformation, obedience, and fieldwork -- and has to pass each section three times, each time under a different judge. And while you could tell that he was a little nervous for both the obedience and conformation sections (because we've never done things like this formally before), Momo passed all three parts successfully. Bravo.

Nevertheless, his brother produced a good omen for the weekend by finding his first grouse on the Friday night before everything happened. I had headed out to the field to run the boys after almost five hours in the Prius -- and after about 10mins, Jozsi pulls up in a very dramatic, atypical point for him... ears back and horizontal from head to tail. I called Momo into honor him (which he did with almost no command... progress indeed) and then kicked around in the brush to no effect, so I relocated him, and he froze again after only 2'. His eyes were bugging out and he was drooling... he was possessed. So, trusting the dog, I went in again sifting through all the tall grass. Nothing. So I turned them both loose... Jozsi cruised off, obviously thinking he must have been mistaken, while Momo started rooting around with his mouth. I called him to 'Take'... and he came out with this baby grouse. Zoiks.

After I had congratulated Jozsi on finding such a great bird, I sent them off and hid the little guy in a different spot. The short version of the story as it continues is that Jozsi promptly found the poor thing again the next morning... recognizing the spot this time, I knew exactly what I was looking for and managed to grab it to avoid it getting either stepped on or chomped on.

While the first pic above is from this morning after the boys had burned their jets off (and after Jozsi had found a chukar in one of the back fields... again, nicely honored by Momo). They are stud-muffins. We love them. They rock. The final pic is what you get when you combine two tired vizslas, a bunch of camping gear, and a Prius.

Anyways, speaking of camping, this was our first weekend of camping with the boys. With the number of events we go to, the number of hunt test venues that permit camping, and the cost of hotels, we decided to invest in a family tent. We were lucky that our first attempt was on Manny + Stephanie's camper site... in no small part because it threw down rain last night and so we were able to eat dinner in their camper with them and Wendy + Chris... and because they were such great hosts in allowing us to pitch our tent there and pretty much feeding us dinner and a great breakfast this morning. Thanks to M+S -- and to Baron + Roxie + Benny for putting up with our two numpties.

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As ever it was nice to see Mike, Kim, Jaida + Cedar. Kyler wasn't at the weekend's events because she was due to give birth tomorrow. But as I found out when we drove past their exit this morning, she was a day early. Kim has already posted pictures of mom and her 5 puppies (3F + 2M) on her blog. We got to meet a 5mos old pup from Wendy + Chris's Seeker and Duke on Saturday -- and she looked like dynamite. I don't think the couple who had her had any idea just how much dog they have -- judging from that pup, Kyler's litter should be great-looking, hard hunting field dogs.

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In other news, although I signed papers on Friday before I headed up to NH, we have selected a new Team Vizslamobile. Assuming there are no weird unexpected hitches, I'll pick up our new-to-us 2006 Tacoma. We were able to find a double-cab with a long-bed -- and it certainly seems as though we got a good deal, in no small part because we were long-standing customers of the dealer's service department. Which is arguably the way it should be. So, fingers crossed, we should be back in business next weekend.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's always a pleasure being with you Andrew and "The Boys". You're always welcome to camp/hunt/train with us!

Stephanie, Manny, Baron, Roxy and Benny the bird dog (really, Cairn Terrier)

mdmnm said...

Great photo!
A mere two thousand miles away we came across baby grouse this weekend, too. No point, though, and the birds were a bit farther along- able to flush into an aspen. Good omens in either case.

Eric said...

It is great when training starts to come together in a dog and they just do it right (or almost right) all the time.

Rocket said...

Camping + Prius ..... glad to hear a Tacoma was found! However, are the boys now spoiled being "in" the vehicle with you. I'm sure they loved to ride in the a/c.

Chet said...

Congrats!
When we passed the HZP I was still shocked that all the training stuck in Otto's thick skull!
Nice job.
I am considering bringing in a wire haired vizsla import. Any feelings on the breed, mister board member!

Andrew Campbell said...

Chet: as you know, wirehaired vizslas are a lot less common -- and I haven't met any in person. The one consistent 'concern' I have heard from folks who have is that the wirehairs are a lot less 'velcro' and a lot more 'pointer' -- meaning that that if you were thinking about a wirehaired vizsla because of the smooth-coated variety's reputation as family animals, I'd do some serious research and try to meet the pup's parents.

Why get a wirehaired vizsla when you have Otto? Nice to meet someone keeping up the VDD standards -- and keeping their Drahthaar real. 8-)

A.

Kim said...

As a comment on the Wire-hair...The only consitent thing I have heard is to be extremely careful about temperment. Talking with many people, that was a huge issue with the breed...

Kim

Chet said...

Thanks for the advice. I think I'll stick with Drahthaars. I'm bringing in a female, could be as soon as spring. We'll see. That’s what I love about bird dogs / owners, we all want each other to succeed.

Without breed standards it's just a dog with a beard. Not that there is anything wrong with that... :)

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Wirehaired - I too, have heard the "Wires" are very edgy and hardheaded

My smooth V female has direct Hungarian lines (grammy was an import) and she's edgy, but sweet at the same time. I think Daddy's line (Jack Daniels) gave her enough personality to curb the edgy hungarian in her.

Stephanie

Walter Bruning said...

Andrew:

I appreciate your comments and support on our new bird dog venture. Let's stay in touch. Dr. Bird Dog, good old Shawn, thinks we have some common interests. I will go back and read some of your blog as I have time in the next week.

I leave for Colorado on Aug. 18 to go visit Pride and have a chance to handle her in the field. I am very excited about this, of course.

Walter Bruning

CHAZZ said...

This is a great thing you have going on here. lots of info and great pics. good looking dogs. keep up on the good work.I'll be visiting often. In fact i'm adding it to my blog list so others can check it out.

BlacknTan said...

Congrats on your successes... and the new V-Mobile.
I'll be lookin' forward to seeing it.