Thursday, 27 September 2012

Early days with lil' sis

Well our peace has been well and truly shattered.......... Uisce arrived on Sunday, we went out in the garden to meet her but it was pouring with rain and really cold so that introduction was cut short.
Can't say I'm that impressed with her at the moment, she cries in the night and disturbs my beauty sleep, she plays with all my toys, she has her own 'special' teddy in her crate and has daddy wrapped round her little paw already.
Winston quite likes her and she's worked out he's a soft touch, she jumped into his tuffie bed yesterday with him, Mum took her out though as Winston wasn't very happy about it although he is such a softie he just kept still while she jumped all over him.  Me on the other hand well I grumble at her if she tries to get into MY tuffie!
The sun came out yesterday so we all had a little training session in the garden, Mum was doing sits and recalls with Uisce and there were treats involved so me and Winston joined in, I did play a little bit with her but am still trying to show her I'm the boss dog, Mum said to make the most of this while I can as she reckons that Uisce will take over being a girlie and all that.........

We were all sitting together just before Mum took this picture but she wasnt quick enough, here's the little princess with her big boy body guards........

And then we have the picture of her trying to be all cute showing off her lovely pink belly to us, we don't look overly impressed though do we?

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Our new little sister Uisce

Mum and Dad have told me and Winston we have a new little sister arriving in 4 weeks time. They went to visit her this morning, when they came back they smelled of lovely puppy smell and I spent ages sniffing their hands and clothes, well going by the smell our lil sis is really lovely.

Her name is Orga Uisce Beatha, but we are calling her Uisce for short, its pronounced Ishky.

Here are a couple of pictures, no doubt this blog will be full of a lot more when she arrives...........

Monday, 13 August 2012

Bristol & West Working Test , Hamptworth

I was pretty sleepy Sunday morning after the Slovakian test so couldnt understand why Mum was getting all the working test stuff together again, surely we weren't doing another test, I was still recovering from yesterday's.  But Mum being Mum had other ideas and sure enough off we headed, the drive wasnt too far this time, 45 minutes, we arrived at The Hamptworth Estate, Wiltshire.

We met Auntie Katie with both Willow and Ollie there.  The ground was lovely but there were pheasant pens everywhere so we weren't allowed off the lead.

Our training buddies were also there, Claire with Ellie (gsp), Amy with Barney (Viz), Mark with Meeka (Viz), Emma with Islay (viz). All of us, apart from Meeka who is in Open, were in Novice.  So the Mum's had plenty of time for chatting whilst waiting for tests and boy do they ever chat away!

First up was the hunting, it was a field of thistles, long grass, nettles and was at times way over Mum's head height.  We fought our way through and I did a reasonable hunting run.  Mum spent ages picking thorns out of her legs and mine afterwards.

Then we had to do a split retrieve, Mum hates these with a passion as she knows I always run for the wrong dummy.  I had to walk to heel up a track, sit whilst Mum put a dummy off the path, walk back to heel to the starting point, well I did all that fine until we started walking back, I just kept sitting every few paces, beautiful sits but not what was required, I wanted to go back and get it but instead of running I was sitting so Mum could send me.  She said I was being very good BUT would I walk to heel instead!  We then had to walk up another track and Mum sat me to send me for a blind retrieve.  The judge said under no circumstances was I allowed to head back for the memory retrieve we had just placed, that scared Mum a bit.  She sent me for the blind but of course I started to run back for the memory.  Blimey she was yelling NO at the top of her voice, blasting the stop whistle but I was having none of it, she then was screaming NO even louder (didnt know she could shout that loud, mind you neither did she and spent the rest of the day with a sore throat).  I retrieved the memory and Mum took it from me, she then set me up for the blind and I went and got it.  I have a feeling we will be doing lots of homework on splits.

We then had lunch, lots of snoozies again.  As demonstrated by Ollie

After lunch we went off to the water, I was being a little so and so not sitting again, the judge was lovely and suggested Mum stand in front of me and block my view of the water and then ask me to sit, I did this and looked up at Mum like a good boy, she slowly moved to the side of me, blocking me with a hand in front of me.  The dummy was thrown and I didnt move (result), the judge then said mum could release me, she waited a bit longer and then sent me. I retrieved and came back but dropped the dummy short of Mum again.  She was so pleased I'd shown control at the water.
Last up was the seen retrieve, my outrun was good, my retrieve was good but then I stopped short of Mum and spat the dummy.

Auntie Katie put Willow in the scurrie run, me and Ollie were way too tired after our hectic weekend, here is Willow cooling down with her wet Bob The Builder towel:
Time for the results to be announced, they started to read out the Novice results and they said Certificate of Merit to Pitwit Stalking Game, well that is my mate Ollies posh name, Auntie Katie's face was so shocked then it turned into delight!! Wow that was amazing, he is such a clever boy.  All the Mum's were clapping and screeching they were so happy for her and Ollie.  Barney had been really good all day and the Mums were telling Amy that she must have been placed but she didnt believe them.  Well then they read out that she was first, well you have never heard such a loud clapping, squealing and whooops of joy, there were tears, hugs and all sorts as all the Mum's train together and know how much hard work goes into being placed. Usually when you win Novice it means you have to go into Open but because the first place scores were tied it goes on the hunting result and the other dog was higher in his hunting which is the tie break decider and he has to move up to Open. That's good for Barney really as it means he can still compete in Novice although going by his performance he wont be there for very long and will be moving up to Open.
A HUGE well done to both Ollie and Barney and their Mums.

As for me, well I came 8th, which was pretty good considering my rubbish performance on the split.  More homework for me then.

Here is me in the standard vizsla sleeping pose Sunday evening!

Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer Working test 12th Aug

Off we headed to Rivers Wood, Haywards Heath for the Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer Working Test with Auntie Katie and my mate Ollie.

Well we were in for a bit of a surprise as not only had our Mums entered us in the Novice Class but they also thought it would be a good idea to put us into Graduate Class too!!! This meant that we would be doing 8 tests each instead of the usual 4.

First up was the Novice hunting, it was in woodland, not many good smells so I didnt range out that far and Mum was concentrating too hard on not tripping over and landing flat on her face.
Then I did the Graduate hunting and was a bit more in my stride, the woodland was a bit more open than the Novice so I did range out a bit more.

Then it was the Novice seen retrieve, well wowsas they had a dummy launcher set up for the seen, Mum went pale as she knows I'm a little devil for not sitting to the dummy launcher as I love it.  Crikey she didnt half tell me to sit and wait, the launcher was fired and I started to run in but Mum bellowed for me to wait and I thought I had better sit back down double quick.  She then released me but there was a fence right at the start of the run for me to jump and I took some time working out the best way to go round it, realised there wasnt a way so jumped it.  Zoomed off for the dummy, zoomed back, spat the dummy in front of the fence and looked at Mum, she yelled FETCH IT so I had little choice but to pick it up and jump over the fence, spat the dummy again just short of Mum.

Then we went off to do the Graduate seen retrieve, no fences or launchers so I sat ok and waited for Mum to send me, it was about 150yards out so I did a good outrun, retrieved it and back to Mum, not to hand again though.

We were pretty hot by this time so we headed off to do our two water tests.  Novice was up first and I took forever to sit down, finally planted my bum, the judge started to say release your dog but only got the first syllabel out and I was off before Mum had a chance to speak.  Swam out, retrieved, came back to land, dropped the dummy, stood and shook and then ambled back to Mum.

After a little rest it was time for the Graduate water, never done anything like this before so Mum was a little nervous.  I was set up again, and this time I did wait.  The dummy thrower was right over the other side of the lake on the opposite bank, she waved the dummy around but she didnt throw it into the water it was still on land on the opposite bank.  Mum sent me and I swam out, about midway I started spinning around looking for the dummy, Mum blasted the stop whistle and gave me the 'back' command so I just carried on swimming to the other side of the lake, found the dummy, swam all the way back with it and then dropped the dummy just short of Mum.  That was a mega swim!

6 tests complete and I was pooped.  We went back to the car for snoozies, here's me and Ollie

After lunch we just had the two blind retrieves to do.  We went to do the Graduate one first.  It was under shot and about 150 yards out.

Mum set me up, the shot was fired, I didnt move, she sent me out, used the 'back' command once and then did the screechy 'lost' command, I found the dummy, belted back and much to Mum's shock retrieved to hand.  A perfect 25/25 score, see I can do it!!

Then we went off and did the Novice blind, this was a little more tricky as the handlers had to send the dog off over a brow of a hill so they couldnt see where we were and had to trust that we would wind the dummy. I headed off out on mum's directional line and then went out of her sight, she was jumping up to try and see me but couldnt so she had to stand there waiting for me to return, hopefully with the dummy.  Well I came running back into her sight with the dummy in my mouth and was greeted by the sight of Mum grinning from ear to ear.  I spat the dummy short of her again but she was so pleased about the retrieve she didnt really mind.

It was a really hectic day and great fun, Mum said she was really pleased to have tried me out in Graduate too.

I came 9th in Novice and 9th in Graduate, so Mum was pretty pleased.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Time to catch up

Well I have been a really busy boy since my last post at the end of May. Flushed with the success from my performance at the H4H working test Mum was all full of hope for our next working test which was held at the Italian Spinone Club, Elstead on the 23rd June and she was feeling pretty confident. Well I decided to be a bit of a wally and keep her on her toes. We were first up for the hunting and Mum thought that it would be good as we would be the first to cover the ground. Nope - I hunted a bit but mainly spent my time staring up at the trees looking for squirrels, I only ran out to the left, wouldnt cover the right hand side of the woods at all and then decided it was far too wet and muddy for a vizsla and stopped. Never mind Mum thought let's carry on, next test was a split retrieve, well I really didnt get it and got all frustrated with Mum and stood in the middle of it barking at her, I never normally bark so she knew I was pretty cross with her, mind you I think she was pretty cross with me too! Next up was the memory retrieve, easy peasy we do these all the time, but no I was a horror, I did eventually go and get the three dummies that we'd put out but only after Mum went into complete meltdown mode and shouted some very rude words at me (it was ok though as she did give me big cuddles when I eventually retrieved the dummy) The specators were laughing a lot at Mum as she was well cross. It was at this point that Mum decided some 'time out' was needed and I was put back in the car while she went off to get a cup of tea and some cake to calm down: We then went off to do the water, I refused point blank to sit as it was terribly muddy there and I didnt want to get my 'boy bits' all covered in mud. Mum sent me off to do the retrieve as by this time she had lost the will to live, I dived in and boy was the current strong I really had to swim hard to get to the other bank, I did it though and swam back and plonked the dummy in a big pile of mud - there you go Mum! We came 34th out of 37th dogs - enough said really As you can imagine after that miserable performance my training went into overdrive and Mum and me have been working really really really hard. Mum's been taking me to all sorts of new grounds, she even borrowed a 100 acre farmers field for me to practice my hunting for goodness sakes!!! Here I am after quartering like a pro across the field We also got together with Auntie Katie with Willow and Ollie and Mark with Meeka (super duper vizsla who is in Open competitions, she is amazing) and went for a lovely training day on Twyford Down, we had a dummy launcher and all sorts, it was brilliant. Here's Mum, Katie and Mark, us dogs were too tired to pose for a picture! When the training finished we had a little play around in Mark's garden, here is left to right Meeka, Me and Yaz - Meeka's new little sister. After all this training Mum decided it to brave it and go to another working test, this time the Large Munsterland Club in Beaconsfield on the 1st July. We did the hunting first again, the field had lovely long grass and there were loads of great game smells, I was on fire, even more so when I flushed a pheasant, I did my best score ever in hunting a whopping 33/40. That really put me in the right frame of mind for the rest of the tests, I have started being a pain though in refusing to sit at the set ups, I am so focused on retrieving that Mum is having difficulty getting me to plant my bum. This means I am losing a lot of points as I am not under control, on the positive side though I do fly out like a loonie to find the dummies and dash straight back to Mum, have forgotten how to do it to hand and am reverting back to 'spitting' the dummy at Mum's feet. All round a much better performance than the last test (well let's face it, it couldnt be much worse) and we came a respectable 12th out of 42 dogs. Mum wasnt leaving it there though, oh no loads more training sessions lined up for me. We went to GSP club in Romsey, here is me and Ollie being good boys in the back of the car Then Mark organised another training session, this time at West Meon, there was Ellie (GSP), Isla (Viz), Meeka and Yaz plus me Willow and Ollie, here are our Mum's and us. We did loads of retrieves, some hunting and also had the dummy launcher again. Here is Mum sending me out on a retrieve, that's Meeka sat behind her not me, I'm up front somewhere being a little so and so as you can tell by her negative body language!!! We went to the GSP Sussex club working test in Barcombe (Woof woof get it?) last weekend. The ground was lovely. Katie, Mum and us three dogs (willow, ollie and me) were stood next to the lake admiring the view when both mum's jumped as an adder slithered past and plonked into the lake OMG OMG and I was expected to swim in there, you are joking! First up was the hunting again, lovely woodland ground, Mum remembered everything Mark had told her to do in training and she set me up fine, only trouble was I was so excited I barked - that's a big NO NO, oops! - I soon calmed down and got into my stride, I was quatering right out and working the wind. Mum was really pleased with me. Next up was the water, once again I didnt want to sit, we were nearly disqualified as I was taking so long to settle, in the end Mum had to growl at me in her really fierce voice and I listened - well for a nano second anyway. Dived straight out for the retrieve and back, not to hand again (sorry Mum). We then did the furthest blind retrieve ever, I reckon it was at least 2 miles but Mum said it was about 150yards, with a lot of persistance from Mum on the whistle I eventually got right out to where it was and found it, Mum was so very pleased with me and gave me big fusses. Last up was the seen retrieve, bish bash bosh job done straight out straight back, not to hand though. Not the best performance in the world but Mum was very pleased with me and knows what she needs to work on, her body language is a bit off so that is making me go out on the wrong direction, I need to calm down and sit and not anticipate the release command oh and of course there is the little matter of retrieving to hand to conquer again - we did it before so we can do it again. Here I am at the end of the day, one very tired content vizsla. We came 22nd out of 47 dogs Next weekend we have two working tests to do, one on Saturday in Haywards Heath and one on Sunday in Wiltshire - so watch this space!

Monday, 28 May 2012

H4H working test - Oxford 27th May

5am the alarm went off on a Sunday, really mum are you sure??? Then I spotted all the Working Test kit by the front door (virtually everything bar the kitchen sink) Auntie Katie picked us up in her car, Willow and Ollie were coming too, we were all entered in the Novice class. Absolutely scorching weather, us dogs were well hot! Thankfully the hunting was up first, I was a bit of a velcro vizzie on the field and mum started running at one point to get me going, I did eventually but the test was only short because of the heat. I scored 22/40, not great but hey it WAS HOT. Although try telling that to wonderdog Willow who scored 33/40 in her hunting, she was off like a thing possessed. We then all went off to do our blind retrieves, good side wind and it was straight down a track so pretty straightforward, I did find it fine and came belting back to Mum, spat the dummy at her feet though, oops, so we got 18.5/20, my highest retrieve score to date. Then joy of joys off we trotted to do the water, now if you remember I love swimming, the only trouble is I get so excited that Mum has trouble getting me to plant my bum next to the water and I never wait for the release command. Dived in, swam in a straight line out and returned on the same line, once again spat the dummy. Lost marks for my lack of control, 13.5/20. We then broke for lunch, it was mega hot by this time and very little shade around the cars so we didnt really get to rest, Mum had brought wet towels along and wrapped us up in those. Auntie Katie showed me in a Conformation Test, Mum was going to do it but bottled it when she saw how professionally Auntie Katie handled Willow and Ollie so asked if she could show me. Well I got an 'excellent' grade!! Final retrieve was a seen, into a sheep pen, uhoh I dont do jumping!!! Got sent off, Mum didnt say a word, then I reached the pen, mmmm what to do, thought about it, jumped in, retrieved, jumped out and belted back to mum. Well honestly you should have seen the look on her face, she was beaming from ear to ear and when the test was over she was screeching and cuddling me so much, think she may have been a little pleased, must remember to do that again!!! Score was 18/20 Overall I came 14th out of 27 dogs so very happy with that. Here's some pictures of the day. Auntie Katie with me Willow and Ollie, Mum with me and me trying to cool off at lunchtime

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Thorney Island - a spot of training

Wow had a lovely day yesterday, Amy with Barney, Katie with Willow and Ollie, Me and Mum went to the Army Base at Thorney Island. Amy had special permission to let us on there and we had free reign to go where we wanted. So much space!
There was lovely hunting ground, here's Auntie Katie heading off with Willow .
And here's us boys waiting our turn
There was loads and loads of glorious smells to explore and being HPRs we were in our element, check us out
It was 29 degrees so pretty hot, even for us, so our Mum's decided it was time for a splash around and set up loads and loads of water retrieves. Willow was a complete superstar, being a girl she usually only paddles up to her tummy and Auntie Katie has trouble getting her to go in any further, well yesterday she went ALL THE WAY in and was swimming, all the Mums were jumping around screaming and whooping with joy, Auntie Katie didnt stop smiling for the rest of the day :-)
A big thank you to Auntie Amy and Barney for arranging for us to go on the Army Base, it was a wonderful afternoon x