Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Homemade Peanut Butter Frosty Paws!

I know it's hot out when Cleo doesn't really want to go outside. Unless there is a squirrel or a three legged cat sitting on our deck she's not leaving the cool comfort of the hardwood floors. So I'm left being creative to keep her cool. One or two days a week we rock the doggie pool, I take her to local ponds or let her run in the creek by our house. She also LOVES being squirted with the hose but if do you anything with her to much she gets bored. She loves eating ice cubes so just to switch it up I make her homemade peanut butter frosty paws. They are super easy to make and I know they are good for her because I know whats in them.

Peanut Butter Frosty Paws

What you need:
~1 32oz. All natural plain nonfat yogurt
~1 Tbsp of honey
~1 Cup of peanut butter

1. Place the yogurt in a bowl. Whisk in the honey and then whisk in the peanut butter until smooth.

2. Then use a ladle and fill two ice cube trays. Place the filled trays in the freezer until fully frozen.

It's even yummy before it's frozen!

When your ready to give your pup a frozen treat just pop one out of the ice cube tray! They will last for a  few weeks frozen but I'm pretty sure they won't last that long.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Redemption? : AKC Senior Hunt Test

Sadly not today. Cleo failed to qualify again this morning for her Senior AKC Hunt Test. We were pretty bummed out. I know Bob Corsaro is going to bust my chops for sounding depressed about it but I down right felt dejected today after she failed to qualify again. The best way I can describe the feeling is its exactly how I feel after I loose a fight. Like my everything was just not good enough. The thing that made it so much harder to take than yesterday's failure was that she actually did a phenomenal job today and I was so proud that she was our dog.

To say Cleo was a hunting machine today would be a gross understatement. She nailed every bird that was put out for her brace and then some. The judges kept commenting about how much drive she had and how that's something you can't teach a dog. They either have it or they don't. She would barrel through the thickest cover without hesitation. At one point she actually army crawled under a log to get into a hedgerow. The  judges kept saying wow she can really hunt. But on her second to last bird, just like yesterday the bird flushed itself and Cleo broke. She lept into the air, caught the bird and delivered it to hand to Jim. It was such a great feeling that she brought it back but at the same time we knew she failed.

Cleo on the go!

Cleo not only hunted great and found birds today but she listened wonderfully and honored. I think everyone in the field was disappointed for us. When we were finished the one judge shook Jim's hand and said, "I'd love to pass this dog but I can't. But feel free to drop her off at my truck on your way out because she is one driven dog." That's such a nice thing to hear and we know she did well. So it's back to training. We won't be able to run her in another AKC event until the fall. We also plan on running her in the NAVHDA UT Test at the end of September so we have a few more months to keep working on things.

Cleo's brace mate a male Vizsla named Jak

Overall this weekend was a great experience. I can tell you both Jim and I learned so much about handling. There was an AKC official there from Tennessee that walked with me yesterday and he was super generous with information. All the judges were friendly and helpful. I also want to take a second and say thank you to the Del Val German Wirehair Club for sponsoring the event. Their volunteers really work hard to make sure things go smoothly and if it wasn't for people like them, people like me and Jim wouldn't have a place to do this stuff. It would have been nice if things would have been different but just like in fighting you always learn more from your losses than from your wins.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Senior AKC Hunt Test

I'm huge fan of spaghetti westerns. Of all westerns really. But my favorite has to be The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. If its on TV there should be no doubt that's what I'm watching. I don't know why I love it so much. It could be that iconic music they play, the fact that Clint Eastwood was a total piece of ass back in the day or maybe it's because it has a little bit of everything in it....just like the title says.

Today we ran Cleo for her first brace of the AKC Senior Hunt Test. Today's experience had it all just like my old favorite western. I'll start off with The Ugly part which was no one other than myself. You see, I'm deathly allergic to grass and trees. Lucky for me there's not a whole lot of that stuff around. Anyway, I had an awful allergy attack last night, the worst I have had in 8 years and spent the wee hours of the night suffering terribly. With about an hours worth of awful sleep, swollen eyes and face and not to mention me covered in hives Jim and I set off to spend a day in field with my arch nemesis, evil pollinating grass. We pulled in this morning and I instantly looked like I had the chicken pox (hives) and was so cracked out on allergy medicine I'm pretty sure I was incapable of holding any kind of cognisant conversation. I was not fit for human exposure. Great start to the day. But I toughed it out....below are some pics of the dogs we saw today:

A wirehair and some GSP's staked out

A bunch of Brittanys

Jim and I always call this area Viszla Alley

 A nice Setter

 Another Wirehair....they always remind me of shaggy GSP's with goatees

So for The Bad: Cleo did not pass her first brace. We were disappointed to say the least. In the AKC Hunt Tests two dogs test together. Cleo ran with a Weimeraner named Maya who is owned by Lance Fargo out of southern Delaware. Maya had already passed two braces of her Senior her AKC test before today.

Maya the Weim!

The beginning of the test

When Jim cut Cleo loose from the start she and her brace mate Maya took off. Both dogs went to the right and disappeared from sight. Eventually Maya popped back onto the trail and continued down to the next field but Cleo was a no show. She was also not responding to Jim's calls. That was because she was locked on point on a distant hedgerow. Jim and an AKC judge went over to Cleo and Jim said when he came around the corner she was locked on point. Before Jim could make his way over the bird jumped. Cleo did not move and flush the bird but when it jumped he said she caught it in the air and brought it back to him and delivered it to hand. That's how she failed. She was not allowed to move until Jim fired his starters pistol and he never got the chance. He said in hindsight the second he turned the corner and saw her on point he should have whoaed her. In reality it may have not made a difference but its all a learning experience. The judges were kind enough to let us continue on eventhough we knew she had failed.

It was pretty hot out so we stopped a few times to water the dogs before continuing

Cleo's second point which went very well

Cleo on point with Maya backing while Jim flushes the bird 

Maya did a great job today and below are some pics of her in action. She had a very nice retrieve that I know it made her owner Lance very proud.

So for The Good....the little negative devil on my shoulder wants to say nothing about today was good. But I'm pretty sure that's just the allergy drugs that I'm cracked out on making me feel that way. The reality is, today minus the hives and burning eyes it was an all around good experience. Jim as a handler learned alot, we got see some amazing dogs run in both the Master and Senior divisions, Cleo got more time in the field on birds in situations we train her for, and in the end we get to go and try again tomorrow.  It was also great that when Cleo caught the bird she brought it right back to Jim. A few months ago she wouldn't have done that. It's also just more practice for her NAVHDA UT Test this fall.

In the end the bitter taste of failure always sucks but those are the times you learn the most. It would be so easy to just quit or walk away or find an excuse for why she should have gotten it. But we will learn from it and will stick with it and we will get it. It's not a matter of IF but WHEN. Hopefully tomorrow is the big day and if its not we will just keep working for it.

And just for fun below is a video of Cleo waiting for her turn to run in her brace today. She's such a wackjob.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Puppy Pool is Open for Business!

It was hot and humid today. When I left work the temp gauge on my truck read 91 degrees. Blah. But 91 degrees makes for a perfect excuse to have an evening of water related fun with Cleo. As soon as she saw me bust out her little puppy pool she went berserk. She would bark at me non-stop while I was filling up the  pool. All she wanted was to be sprayed by the hose. See below:

I finally just laid the hose in the pool so it could fill up. This is Cleo prime time excitement.

So once it was filled halfway I stopped. All she needs is some tennis balls and its official. The puppy pool is open for business!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Frogs, Geese and Cleo Oh My!

It got into the mid 80's today. It wouldn't have felt so hot had it not been so flippin humid. I have a real hate relationship with Pennsylvania humidity. You'll notice I left out any inclination of love/hate. There is no love. None at all. Anyway the grass is to high at home to bust out Cleo's doggie pool so I drove her to a nearby pond to play a little fetch.

As soon as we got there she chased off a group of geese. I would have loved to have gotten a picture of it but she ran to far ahead and I didn't have my camera out yet. But she was super happy blasting into the pond and watching them honk and then fly off.

Cleo fetching her bumper

There are some reeds on the edge of the pond. She swam near them and some frogs chirped and jumped. She ran back gave me the bumper and swam right over to the reeds to investigate. She practically buried herself in the reeds.

So it was nice evening for a quick swim. On the way out we ran into a black lab named Monty and Cleo had a blast running through the fields with her. Not bad for a hot and humid Tuesday night.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Preparing for the AKC Senior Hunt Test part three

Before I get into the details of today's training I want to take a moment and congratulate Vinny Maldonado and his 15 month old Deutsh Kurzhaar Jasmine for receiving a Prize 1 at the NADKC Derby yesterday. The amazing thing about Jasmine and Vinny's story is he has only had her in his possession for a few short months. Until Vinny purchased Jasmine she had zero training on birds. With allot of hard work by Vinny and guidance by Bob Corsaro they were able to do exactly what the NADKC (North American Deutsh Kurzhaar Club) Derby Test is designed to do - show a dogs inherited abilities.  Jasmine knocked it out of the park and then she showed up today to start working towards her next test which is the NADKC Solms. One of the things Bob Corsaro had her do today in preparation of that was a track.

Jasmine right before the track
Vinny getting Jasmine excited about the bird she just finished tracking
I wish that I could have gotten more pictures of Jasmine. It's no secret I have a thing for the black and roan GSP/DK look. She photographs so well. Not to mention she has such a sweet disposition. But we faced two big issues today: #1). The grass was high. Like really high. So high that at times the dogs would kinda disappear....this does not make for good picture taking. It also hides the big black snakes really well. I'm pretty sure Jim and Bob almost jumped out of their skin last week when they encountered two huge five foot black snakes in this field. Ha haa. So bummed I missed that. And #2). It was wet. Like really wet. So wet that your could wring your socks, pants and shirt out when you were done wet. But it was still a good time!

Cleo also started her day off with a duck drag. This time Bob had Vinny drag the duck clear across the field. As always Vinny hid for us to let us know how she did. He said she picked it right up and there was no nipping or playing. Cleo came right back and brought the duck to hand. She has come along way in the last few weeks. 

Jim bringing Cleo up to track
Jim using a hat to get Cleo excited before telling her to track
After much anticipation a practically blinded Cleo bringing the dead duck back to hand!
Cleo also got a chance to get out and point some birds today as well as backing. Below are some of her pics on point.

Overall she had a nice day training. We brought home some extra quail and Jim will be working with her all week on steady on the shot ect. Next weekend both on Saturday and Sunday she tests for her first and second braces of the AKC Senior Hunt. I'm hoping she does well and think she will. Either way she'll ride home on my lap....spoiled GSP. 

Next up was Digby. He is a 10 month old GSP. I believe he comes from Keystone GSP's who is a GSP breeder in Pennsylvania. Bob's been working with Digby in preparation for his NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) Natural Ability Test. Digby did a pheasant track today and also got out on some birds. Below are some pics of Digby doing his thing.

Bob and Jim dragging the pheasant using two leads to keep their scent off the tracking area. At the NA Test Digby will be required to track a live bird.
Digby on his track

Digby on point with Cleo honoring in the back ground

Digby and his owner Steve

The rest of the usual suspects were there as well. Starting with Mr. Jim Given and his ever handsome Scout. I swear Scout gained 10 pounds in that last 2 weeks since I have seen him. At six months old he is the same size as 55 lb Cleo. This boy is either gonna be a monster or Jim has to stop feeding him small children. He's huge. But his size doesn't seem to slow him down any. This boy loves finding birds.

I was also able to get a little video on Scout the Tank!! See below.

Two of Scout's sisters and litter mates were also there today training for their NAVHDA Natural Ability Test. Up first was Fern. She's a real sweet pup with a great nose. 

There other sister Maggie May had a phenomenal day as well. Maggie is owned by Joseph Maucieri. Today was her first day on Quail as well as both of her siblings. She did a great job and started pointing birds right away. Below are some pics of Maggie and also a quick video of her locking up on point. 

We also experienced the setter invasion today. Rafael Cabrera was there again with his two handsome Llewellyn  Setters Copper and Caleb. Both of these pups are super flashy and there is no doubt that they both have great noses. Although I am a GSP person I love to photograph these dogs and I appreciate how they work a field. Both of Rafael's 9 month dogs did a great job today!

Below are some pics of Caleb:

Caleb on point being backed by Cleo

 Raphael working Caleb

Below are some pics of Copper:

Copper had a great day and even backed for Cleo when she went on point. This was a total bonus since it has not been something Copper has been working on. Copper may have gotten off to a slow start compared to Caleb but he is making progress and he is proving to be a great dog. 

Chaeli deserved some kind of award today. She looked like a totally different dog than weeks back. All the hard work her owner Ron Levine has put in guided by Bob Corsaro has really paid off. She held her points today, instead of running through the fields she really hunted. She is on her way. I hope Ron is proud because he should be. I have a feeling he will have a blast shooting birds over her head this fall. In fact I'm requesting pics from his first hunt!! Way to go Chaeli!!