The big day finally arrived and yesterday we drove down to our home chapter (Del Val) and tested 6 month old Luna in her NAVHDA Natural Ability test as well as running Cleo in her Utility Test. We had a pretty darn good day. Luna received a prize one and Cleo earned a pretty respectable prize two. Jim did a great job handling the girls and I thought he showed a tremendous amount of poise for being not only a first time UT handler but running both girls in the same day.
Cleo on point with Jim in the middle and Jake Bean and Robert G gunning
I once caught a fish this big!
Cleo did a great job in the field. She ran big and it took over 2 minutes for Jim, the gunners and the judges to reach her on her first point. I was so nervous I had to turn and look the other way. It was the longest 30 minutes of the day for me but she stayed nice and steady and had a great run. Luna kept the sentiment going and also did a great job making us super proud of our puppy.
Luna on point
The two things everyone worries about on test day are the track for the NA test and the duck search for the UT test. Those always seem to be where dogs get themselves into trouble. Luckily Luna had no issues with the track. Cleo had a super interesting duck search but in the end it all worked out. Our biggest fear was that she wouldn't immediately go out and search that she would mill around the shore for a few minutes before expanding. Much to our relief after 35 seconds she headed out to the furthest part of the pond. After 9 minutes the judges instructed Jim to call her back and he did. Not 20 seconds later she found a wild duck and it took off across the pond with Ms. Sassyspots in hot pursuit. To make a long story short she eventually got her duck and delivered it to hand and we breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Luna Lu AKA Shark Girl
Geneva convention of dogs
This was my favorite picture from the entire day. I wonder if he saw any remnants of my flip flops or jade plants in there. I mean there had to be residual cat poop or SOMETHING......
The wheels kind of came off the cart for Cleo when we got to steady at the blind. For some bizarre reason when Jim walked away she stood up and barked at him four times. She has NEVER done anything like that and I couldn't even begin to fathom why. But just to keep the self destruction going (I mean why stop there) she went and retrieved the duck and then dropped it twice before handing it over to Jim. Our hearts pretty much sank and we knew she blew it. She also dropped the duck during the drag which was always one of her most solid parts of the test. It was frustrating to know she had done so well earlier and then stumble somewhat at the end. But regardless we really were happy with the prize 2.
So here is your official WARNING.....I'm about to have a bleeding heart moment. In fact it's incredibly rare. Five bucks says hell is freezing over at this exact moment at the melting of my black little heart. So either run to your TV to watch the news reports of icebergs in hades or sack up and get some kleenex cause were about to get real people.
I'm thankful. Like really flippin thankful. Jim and I were blessed to get hooked in with such a great NAVHDA chapter who's members really rallied around us to help us achieve the goals we set. We have been nothing short of fortunate to have spent the spring and summer training with this group of people.
Flash back moment to Luna working with Bob G when she was only 13 weeks old.
As for us and the pointer sisters were going to enjoy hunting this fall. Most likely we will go for a couple of Cleo's master hunter braces and then go for that UT prize 1 in the spring or fall. I wish part of earning a prize 1 in NA means you have to behave but Lu's already dashed those prayers by trying to eat a frog tonight and then foaming at the mouth profusely. What a jerk. Anyhow like us and follow us on facebook at Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer and I'm gonna stop being all sappy. Back to my hardened facade. I got a fight to train for. :)