Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cleo goes to Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland!

This past weekend Cleo and I drove 5 hours each way to hangout at Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland. My Aunt Gail and Uncle Sherman own a vacation property on the lake and they kindly invited about ten of us to come hangout, drink too much and act inappropriately. We all had a fantastic time but I'm pretty sure no enjoyed themselves as much as Cleo did.

Deep Creek Lake is the largest fresh water lake in Maryland. The lake is man made and construction began sometime in 1923 and by 1925 the lake began to fill with water. Today the lake is huge and covers 3,900 acres and has roughly 69 miles of shoreline. This was my first time out to the lake and I have to say that I was impressed by the beauty of the area as well as the shear size of the lake.

Deep Creek Lake is an optimum vacation spot. At any given time there are people swimming, water skiing, fishing, or cruising around on jet skies. It's a pretty neat place to spend a few days. It also has allot to offer four legged spotted high energy dogs. Cleo would wake me up at 6am every morning and we would spend a few hours doing the following until everyone else woke up:

#1: Chasing Ducks and or Geese clear across the lake resulting in a near heart attack for me

#2. Fetching sticks off the dock

#3. Chasing deer through the woods. I don't have pictures of this because it would throw me into panic mode. Mainly because it was so early in the morning and I was hungover and my brain was functioning on such a low level. She'd take off after a deer and all I could think about was getting her back otherwise Jim may never let me come home. Thank god for Tri-tronics when you need it.

Cleo pretty much spent 4 to 5 hours a day swimming in the lake and diving off the dock. The insulated vest with handles I had bought her from Ugly Dog Hunting really came in handy pulling her out of the water back onto the dock. My only complaint is after several hours the vest rubbed her armpits raw. I'm sure it had more to do with how much she was swimming and being lifted out of the water than it did the actual design of the vest. We kinda went form zero to a hundred with it.

Just when I thought she couldn't get any happier with jumping off the dock we took her out on her very first pontoon boat ride. I was nervous at first how she would handle the ride but she did great! My only complaint is she must have thought the pontoon boat buoys were gigantic throwing bumpers. She kept trying to attack them. But we drove across the lake, threw anchor and swam. Cleo was in all her glory.

Dog ears flapping in the wind

Cleo saying, "Mom...stop taking my picture already."

Cleo LOVING the boat ride

Cleo hanging along the side watching the ducks and geese go by

Cleo having jumped off the boat to retrieve a bumper

Me and Cleo racing to get to a bumper first...she always won. 

Cleo chilling with my Dad - Bobby K.

We cruised past a regatta

Cleo also got to go on her first golf cart ride with Uncle Sherman.

So it was a great weekend! It left Cleo and I completely exhausted. By the time the two of us got home on Sunday we were beat and just wanted to sleep. She was very excited to see Jim to say the least. That dog sure loves her daddy. But I was so excited that I got to take her with me. I'm also very grateful to my Aunt Gail and Uncle Sherman for not only inviting me but letting me bring Cleo. It's such a joy for me to see her experiencing new things and she sucks them up like a sponge! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Preparing for the NAVHDA Utility Test: Giving it another go around working Remaining by the Blind, Steady by the blind, Walk at Heel

This morning Jim and I made the trip up to New Jersey to train with Bob Corsaro. We were joined by our usual training buddy Steve Fiasco and his pup Cleo's brother and litter mate Bruin. Rafael Cabrera was also there along with his new 12 week old Llewellyn Setter puppy Biscuit!! Yay!! Puppies!! I'm pretty sure it was the highlight of my day. This is my time to warn you that if you get too excited, have high blood pressure, can't go on roller coasters, can't handle insanely cute baby animal pictures please do not continue reading this blog. Turn back now. This is your last chance. But if you are like me then please feast your eyes on some puppy love pics.

Biscuit is cute. He also has quite a prey drive. He comes from Lynnhill Llewellyn Setters in Saegertown, PA. Bob took this little guy into the field and put out a pigeon or two for him. At 12 weeks old you could see him searching and starting to use his nose. There's no doubt this pup has a bright future! Congrats on the new puppy Rafael! P.S. Keep bringing him around so I can get my puppy fix, thanks.

As far as the big dogs we walked them at heel, worked steadiness by the blind, and put them on a duck drag. We did everything we worked on last week but threw in few additional variations. Practice makes perfect.

Random cute pic of Cleo and her brother Bruin

The pups getting some love from Steve

Below is a pic of Jim walking Cleo at heel through the stakes. Bob had Steve and Raf stand out along the stakes as if they were NAVHDA judges. Up until this point Cleo has only had to walk through the stakes without any kind of diversion. Bob wanted to get her used to lots of people and possible aversions. When she walked through they took turns throwing a bumper or walking across her path in front of her. You want practice to be twice as hard as the test. 

Cleo did well with the stakes and walking at heel. This past week Jim took her down to a local pond set up the stakes and had her do it by the waters edge. He said her energy level was through the roof but that she was still able to walk through just like we need her to.

Steve walking Bruin through

Bob with Sadie who by the way must be the happiest tail wagging dog to ever walk the stakes

We also spent sometime having the dogs sit in the blind and fire off some shots. For the NAVHDA UT test they need to remain steady by the blind. Cleo sits and does a really good job until she hears the second shot. Then she always stands like she is on red alert. The NAVHDA handbook has this to say in regards to movement, "A dog under complete control will remain quietly at the blind awaiting the return of the handler. A dog who stays quietly in the blind with only minor changes in position, should not be penalized. A dog that takes only a few steps away from the original position, but remains in the immediate vicinity of the blind may receive a Prize I score, but not the maximum score. One that completely abandons the blind for any reason is deemed unsatisfactory. Whining or barking are to be penalized."So even though her standing is less than desirable we are still in the game. See pics below.

Bruin and Sadie sitting patiently and not moving a muscle.

We also worked the Steadiness by the Blind portion of the test by putting the dogs back in the blind and firing off the required 4 shots between two gunners. We then through out a bumper for the dogs to mark and retrieve. At the test it will be a duck they retrieve in the water but for the sake of teaching the dogs we make sure they understand it on land before moving to the water.

Cleo in the blind looking back at Raf who is the second gunner

Cleo after retrieving her bumper. You can see Rafael in the background.

Sadie in the blind while the shots are being fired.

Sadie being sent out to retrieve the bumper. 

Sadie on return.

Sadie delivering the bumper to hand. 

Bruin in the blind.

Bruin retrieving his bumper. 

Bru did the best with this portion of the training today. He marked well and brought the bumper right back to Steve. It was great to see him doing so well. He is such a handsome pup.

We finished the day with duck drags with so so results. Cleo has been knocking these out of the park lately but she floundered a bit today. She found the duck, scooped it up but halfway back to Jim she dropped it in the middle of field and stood there. She eventually picked it up and brought it to hand but she would have failed the test. In no attempt to make excuses it was flippin hot today. It was in the low 90's an as Bob pointed out she could have dropped it for a number of reasons. Dogs use their mouths and panting to cool themselves. Cleo was really hot and she may have dropped it because she was so hot and didn't want it in her mouth anymore. Also the duck we used has been used and refrozen several times and that may contributed to her spitting it out.

Rafael kindly dragging the duck out for us and hiding in the brush

Cleo on her way back

We were bummed she had issues with the duck drag today but considering it was so awful and hot in the field we are not getting down about it. I'm sure had it been cooler or the duck less funky she would have done just fine. Jim will work with her this week but we are not training next weekend. I am dog napping Cleo and taking her to my Aunt Gail and Uncle Sherman's lake house at Deep Creek Lake in Western MD. So check back to see Cleo's lake adventure stories and feel free to check us out and follow us on facebook! Cleo's page is titled, "Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer" and I often times post additional stuff on there that doesn't get captured on the blog.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cleo gets some new bling - Tri-Tronics Pro 100 G3 Collar and Avery Water Dog Vest

Did you check out that slick black collar on that cute spotted model? Cleo graduated from the little kids e-collor to the big's girls collar. Two weeks ago Jimbo ponied up and bought Cleo the Tri-Tronics Pro 100 G3.  Until this point we were using the Tri-Tronics Sport Junior G3 which had suited our needs just fine. I will say that it was a great first collar and we have no regrets purchasing it. But considering that we will be getting Otis (the male Nobelle's GSP puppy we have a deposit on) this coming spring we felt an upgrade was in order. The transmitter for the Pro 100 can control up to three dog collars and it has way more bells and whistles.

Another angle of Cleo with her new swank collar
The transmitter for the Pro 100 G3. 

Jim in the field rocking the new transmitter. He's one sexy be-otch. 

Cleopatra also got another sweet hook-up this week too. I bought her an insulated water vest. I purchased it from Ugly Dog Hunting. We will use it when we take Cleo duck hunting later this year. I decided to buy it now because in a few weeks I will be taking Cleo with me to my Aunt Gail and Uncle Sherman's lake house in Western Maryland and I wanted her to have it. Mainly because the vest comes with handles so if we are out on the lake and she wants to go overboard for a quick swim I can use the handles on the vest to lift her out of the water.

The vest is made by Avery Sporting dog. It's a really nice vest. It's nicely manufactured, it zippers and Velcros, has extra straps for sizing and the handles are reinforced. I also love that printed on the inside of the vest there is an entire dissertation on Dog Hypothermia. See that below. Beside it came with it's own little hanger which I felt was hilarious.

So stylin. Doggie couture. 

That look on her face is saying, "For the love of god stop taking my picture...the neighbors three legged cat is in our bushes, I've gotta go."