Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sometimes training stings...

5 Month old Luna on point

Last night 6 fighters from Jim's mixed martial arts organization had fights locally, which is always a late night so we opted to stay home and train on our own today rather than join Bob Gelder like normal in South Jersey. Our plan was to get the girls out on some chukars and then head over to a nearby lake with our new snazzy kayak and do some water work. Everything went well until we got attacked by angry jerk bees or wasps or whatever the hell they were but they stung the crap out of us while doing fieldwork so we high tailed it out of there a little premature.

Seriously Luna?? A face only a mother could love....

Before our fieldwork got cut short we ran Luna on 4 planted chukar. She stayed steady through the flush but then broke on the shot on 3 of the 4 birds. But at 5 months old we were beyond pleased with her.  She has so much natural ability its sick. Now if I could only get her to stop stealing the welcome mats and eating things like i-phone chargers and hoses.

Little Lu has got some intensity

We got Cleo out on 3 chukars before we were attacked. She was steady on every bird, no creeping and retrieved to hand great. We had hoped to get her out on some more birds but after getting stung we both said the hell with it.

Cleo rocking the single flap ear and looking a little less fugly than her baby sister Lu.

After our fieldwork we got the girls out on some ducks. Cleo had a great duck search, probably the best to date. I drug a duck out behind the kayak all the way across the pond and let it loose in the reeds and lilly pads and then kayaked off and hid. Jim sent her out and at first she went out about 40 yards and then turned to the side into the lilly pads and after searching for a few minutes headed straight across the pond to the reeds and got herself a duck! Boom! It was awesome.

Cleo retrieving a dispatched chukar from early in the day. I wouldn't take my camera into the kayak so this is what you get instead of swimming or duck action shots. :)

We also sent Luna out on a mini duck search. Similar to Cleo I kayaked it out but threw it out much closer at about 30 yards. Our luck the duck turned and B-lined for the furthest shore across the pond. I had to guide Lu in the kayak a bit but she swam clear across the pond which is quite a distance, searched on shore for her duck, picked it up and swam the whole distance back to Jim and delivered it to hand. Holy batman super pup! Now if we could only get our hands on a pheasant we could start focusing on her track for her Natural Ability test. It's coming up quick! Jim and I are practically counting the days till hunting season. Can. Not. Wait.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

GSP Puppy Kisses Luna Style

5 Month old Luna nested on the couch

If your over the age of 25 you've more than likely seen the old school slightly crappy Tootsie Pop commercial from circa 1970 where a kid asks an owl how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop? In case you haven't seen the commerical or don't remember the one in question the owl licks the tootsie pop three times and then inadvertently says the hell with it and bites it? Yea well thats kind of how Luna gives kisses. Well not really....its EXACTLY how she gives them.

Am I cute?? Or am I Cujo? Lean in and let's find out. 

Lulu is cute. I know I'm partial and all, but she is quite the charmer. She woes you in with her cute eyes and you barley notice that they roll back in her head like a great white shark going in for the kill, but she totally sells it like she's just so in love with you that you ignore all the warnings from that little voice that lives inside your chest and you pucker up in lean in. She lovingly licks your left cheek, sticks the tip of her tongue in your nose, but you still hang in there (stupid), then she licks your right cheek, part of your neck and then bites the crap out of your nose. Yea....lame right? And sometimes its a loving nibble and sometimes she honks it like she would a goose. Never a lot of teeth more like a dementors kiss from the Harry Potter book series. Like she's trying to steal your soul from you in a very slobbery way via your nose but not really maim you.

Luna on point....I have no idea what that white slobber stuff is on her lip

But here's the thing. It's gross and I could get mad, I could get angry or I could totally learn from my mistakes. But in reality I do none of the above. Why you may ask? Because she's cute and at 5 months she still kinda has puppy breath which might as well be the pied piper of doom for us dog people. It's my kryptonite and renders me helpless against its forces. And everytime her eyes roll back like jaws I blissfully shut my eyes and blindfully walk into the harmless puppy nibble. And afterwards I always think myself the fool, realize I've been had and pray she grows out of it soon.

**No people were harmed in the making of this blog post**


***Luna is not Cujo although for fun I allude to it....don't get all worried that she's some crazy biter cause she's not. The post is just for amusement. Don't be a fun wrecker. No one likes a fun wrecker.***

I'll leave you with a picture I took the other weekend of Cleo and Luna's sister Maggie on point. Maggie is from the C litter so she is Cleo's little sister but Lulu's big sister. She's quite a lovely dog and has a nice point!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

The GSP Puppy Chronicles: 5 Months Old and as Naughty as Ever!

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good", J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. That quote must be the secret mantra of all GSP's. It surely is for my girls. They seem to constantly try to out do each other. I often wonder if Cleo has been subjecting 5 month old Luna to some crazy sorority initiation hazing like if she doesn't destroy enough crap Cleo will never let her join her club.  Well I, along with the rest of the members of this household wish she'd let her in already!!

In the last week or so Luna has done the following:

1. As pictured above she chewed the cord to the blower for our wood insert. It's been rumored she tried to pay Bailey the Siamese a large amount of catnip to hang around and look guilty. LUCKY for me I'm not buying that crap.

2. She ate Jim's daughter Sam's I-phone charger cord.

3. She chewed the break light cords on Jim's trailer. (Which I laughed like hell at....I don't know why it's so much funnier when his stuff gets destroyed. I guess it's because Cleo only destroyed my things for the first two years. I secretly LOVE that Luna spreads it around. Well....I guess that's not really a secret anymore huh? Oops....)

4. Killed a mole

5. Quickly upgraded and with some assistance from Cleo killed a groundhog. Yea...a groundhog. Which was surprising and sad since I kinda like groundhogs. But most alarming she tried to bring it in the house.  Which I have that part on video but won't post since I sound so unbelievably annoying in it.

And interactions like these have become the norm in our household.

Me via text message to Sam: I have no idea what this is. I hope its not yours as I plucked it from hell puppies mouth.
Sam: Haha. Handle from my laundry basket....
Me: Ohhh....sorry about that.

Me via text to Sam: Look what I just extracted from hell puppies mouth now.
Sam: Hate that dog. How'd she get that? It was inside my makeup bag this morning!!
Me: Lol. I have no idea. I saw the shiny metal end sticking out of her mouth. Imagine my surprise when  I pulled out a brush!

Hunting for birdies

Bringing in the ducks

But for as naughty as she can be in the house she's been amazing in the field and water. Jim had her out on birds this past weekend and she is having strong points and is tracking great.  She's been more than impressive in the water and is quite the stealthy swimmer.

She is also quirky and cute as a button. If we stay up past 10 she gets up and goes and climbs into our bed and puts herself to sleep on my pillow. She thinks that if she sits in front of the refrigerator it will open and give her food. She is also fluent in Klingon. Which I will leave you with tonight. They are also doing a Klingon interpretive dance. It's quite rare. Please enjoy below and turn up your volume. :)

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Duck Search Seminar Weekend!

Chase a Large Munsterlander owned by Don Kissling

This past weekend Jim and I drove 2 hours out past Harrisburg, PA to attend a special two day duck search seminar put on by Greg Fry (The owner of Deadwood Kennels) and hosted by the Keystone NAVHDA Chapter. Jim and I had first heard about this seminar last year but were unable to attend so we made a special point of signing up and putting it on our calendars earlier this year. Needless to say our expectations were not only met but greatly exceeded.

8 month old Wic, a GSP from Friedelsheim Kennels, owned by Kathy Krommes 

Greg has a great teaching style. He refuses to just give you an answer rather he makes you think about it, quizzing you along the way. He also gets you to participate not only in your own dogs journey but engage with all the other dogs who are there that day. Through that he arms you with a set of troubleshooting tools to help you not only in the present situation but he equips you to deal with what you might run into down the road. His advice and perspective was eye opening.

Greg out in the kayak

Poggi the worlds fastest moving Spinone owned by Deirdre Lehman

Our current situation happens to be getting our 2 1/2 year old GSP Cleo to go out and search without a visual. Once she's out there she's good to go. Cleo is full of drive, has little fear of thick cover and she almost never comes back without her bird. But getting her past the shore has been tough and frustrating for us. She gets to the water and waits for you to throw her something. Greg wanted to remove the human connection and build her drive to want to move out and search. He started off by throwing a duck (without Cleo seeing it) out into the lake and bringing her up on shore to see it and retrieve it. Once she brought it back he built upon that and each time made it more difficult as her confidence grew. With the aid of some additional drills and a few of Greg's techniques, by the end of day one Cleo was moving out and searching without a visual. Success!

Cleo returning with a duck

By day two Cleo was not only still searching without a visual but was successfully being resent. During the seminar she got to do 6 or 7 duck searches in multiple ponds with various kinds of open water and thick cover. It was a great learning experinece for all of us and the exposure Cleo got was outstanding. We will be heading down to NJ tomorrow to work in the water with Bob Gelder and I'm so excited to see us continue to build on this momentum.

Our 18 week old Luna at the waters edge

We also got to expose our 18 week old GSP Luna to duck searches as well. We had brought Luna along to the seminar because we could not leave her home crated for so long. Almost immeaditly Greg got her involved eventhough she was not originally signed up to participate. After the first day 18 week old Luna was swimming 100 feet after taped ducks and delivering them to hand. It was amazing to watch! On day two after Greg really built up her confidence he removed the tape from a rather worn out duck and sent Luna out after it. The look on her face was priceless the first time the duck dived under water but instead of quitting and returning to the shore the wheels started turning and she began a search. After a few minutes she found the duck. The exposure Luna recieved this weekend was more than we could have ever hoped for.

Yay!! Way to go Lulu!!

Luna totally eating lilly pad stems while doing her search. Why is this puppy always eating something?

We also got to meet an amazing group of people and watch all levels and breeds of dogs work. Below are some more pics of the dogs in action.

Deadwood's Junie owned by Bob Dewar

Brown spinone owned by Dan Devlin

Deadwood's Scout owned by Chuck Hershner

8 month old Wic owned by Kathy Krommes

Maggie owned by John Lehman

I would highely recommend attending one of Greg's duck search seminars. Even more so if you are struggling with some aspect of the search, not sure how to introduce your dog or pup to it, or if you are looking to learn some new techniques. Greg has lots of experience and is a wealth of knowledge. He has owned shorthairs since 1984, has been with NAVHDA for 19 years and has 4 Versatile Champions. He spent several years as a NAVHDA judge and was actually the first person to have mother/daughter VC shorthairs. He will and has taken his seminar on the road as he just recently did this past May for the Grand Canyon NAVHDA Chapter in Arizona. Greg can easily be contacted through facebook at Deadwood Kennels to set up a seminar for your local NAVHDA chapter. I would also recommend anyone in the Harrisburg/Gettysburg PA area to reach out to him for upland or versatile dog training. I also want to take a second and thank the Keystone NAVHDA chapter for sponsoring such  a cool seminar!

So overall it was a great weekend. When you go to a NAVHDA event like this your always guaranteed 3 things: 1. Your gonna meet an amazing group of people  2. Your gonna learn a lot of great info and 3. Your gonna get legit bad tan lines. Pretty sure theres no chance of me wearing a tank top for the rest of the summer. Be sure to check back and follow our progress!

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