Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Tale of Two Sage's and a Dog Named Sprig

Sunset Saturday Night

This past Saturday, Sage and I packed up my truck and headed out to Wisdom, MT to run her in her NAVHDA Natural Ability Test. The testing grounds in Wisdom are located about a three hour drive from where we live in Bozeman. It also happens to be located in a Bermuda Triangle type area as there is absolutely no cell service there for miles and miles and miles. Sage Monkey and I opted to embrace the off grid theme and slept in the bed of my truck for the night on the testing grounds. Life is an adventure after all.

We rolled in around 7pm cracked a bottle of wine and started to mingle and hang out with the other Sharptail Chapter testees. There was some incredibly cool cats there and they made us feel extremely welcomed. I ate the most amazing elk burger for dinner. The chef happened to be the owner of The Gourmet Cellar in Livingston, MT. Lets just say as the night progressed and the booze flowed she kept bringing out the most delicious tidbits of things to try. Consider this a public service announcement....If you go to Livingston and don't go here your just dumb. Seriously. Her stuff is AMAZING. And I wouldn't suggest it if I didn't feel that everyone needs to go there. So like go. Now. Your inner fat kid will thank you.

A members 66' Airstream. I had a legit RV crush on it.

So after I caught a snootful and Sage and I retired to bed two things happened. Number one.....I woke up in the middle of the night when it was about 42 degrees and realized I made legit poor choices not wearing socks to bed. And number two....around one AM a young lady named Lynsie from Idaho Falls pulled in and parked next to me and also camped out in her car for the remainder of the night. Upon waking and meeting Lynsie we quickly realized we owned Twinsies.

Sage number 1....owned by this gal.

Sage number 2....owned by that gal. 

What are the chances right? Anyway Lynsie (who also has a Y in her name...which clearly means she's rad) was a blast to hang with for the day. And her Sage Monkey was a real gem.

And then there was Sprig. Sprig is owned by an extremely nice woman who due to health issues is not optimally capable of running her own dog in the test. Her owner called me on Friday and asked me would I be wiling to run her dog in it's NA test on Sunday when Sage ran. I agreed to run her dog but explained that since I had no relationship with her dog, had never trained her dog that I could not guarantee that it would respond to me but that I would do my best to help her. And for the record it can be very stressful running one dog at a test let alone two. But I digress.

This is Sprig

12 month old Sprig is incredibly sweet and very loving. She almost melts into your touch when you get your hands on her. Her eyes are so sweet they almost talk to you. I felt after some quick leash work that we just might be OK together as a team. I ran her through her birdwork and although there was a learning curve dealing with a dog I didn't know Sprig and I managed to get through rather well. It was a good confidence booster. We just might pull this off me and Sprig!

A few hours later we had our opportunity to tackle the track. As Sprig and I tromped across the field together in unison I spoke excitedly to her and I felt incredibly hopeful. I didn't release her until I felt she was on track and off she went. After a couple of quick seconds Sprig left the scent trail and began hunting. I knew it wasn't good and the judges after giving her every opportunity to regain her position instructed me to collect my dog. As I walked toward Sprig she kept her distance perfectly. She stopped responding to me entirely and then began to range out drawing me into deeper waters. She was messing with me on an epic level and like a good baited fishy I was long for the ride.

I kept after her calling her, then hacking her in, then desperation set in. My sweet buddy Sprig decided to break-up with me, gave me the paw and before I knew it the entire test was brought to screeching halt as I couldn't get control of her. I ventured out into this extremely high grass that was littered with gigantic holes and every time my foot fell into one and I fell on my face I scrambled to get back up. Eventually Sprig was captured and the test resumed on schedule. I started to think sweet Sprig was possessed by the devil.

After the track we all headed over to the pond in which we would throw some bumpers for our pups. The pond was located about a mile from the parking lot. Yea...a mile. It was a like I rode through the desert on a horse with no name to get there. Sage was a raving mad woman trying to scoop up mouthfuls of fresh cow patties along the way. The entire walk out to the pond I worked in curse words like artists work in watercolor to deter her from the poop fest.

Long story short when I brought Sprig up to the water I got her very excited about the bumper, chucked it in and BOOM! Success.....she went right in after it. Awesome right? Yeah....for about 10 seconds. Then the judge told me to call her in. She came back towards shore and got about 2 feet from my reach. Then she looked right threw my eyes into my soul and then it was almost like her mouth actually moved and she said, "Go fuck yourself" and then she ran away. In what felt like about a thousand yards in a happy get fucked kind of gait. I turned and looked at the judges and they said, "Go collect your dog". I sincerely wish that I had a Polaroid of my face. You know like the awful pictures they take of you on a roller coaster ride and then try to peddle to you to buy it for outrageous amounts of cash. For the record I would have totally bought that photo. So incredibly funny. Anyway after what felt like an eternity to me two other ladies came out and helped me capture good ole Spriggy.

See that tree line behind the tent.....the parking lot was behind that. #mile #Horsewithnoname

So my Sage Monkey had interesting day. She didn't get that prize one we were gunning for but she did do a lot of really good things. She hunts for me, she is incredibly steady and she oozes cooperation. The plan is to retest her Labor Day weekend with the Big Sky Chapter then hunt her all season and get at UT work come spring. I wasn't upset she didn't get the prize one today....we'll get it and I'll learn and become a better more seasoned handler in the process. And considering the day we did just fine.

Follow our shenanigan as Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer.


  1. you did a great job baby!! running one dog is dress enough, two just adds to it!!( cleo,luna last year). the conditions sound like they were tough! walking a mile to do water is just crazy!! nothing like back home! sage is a great pup as we both know and she will knock it off the chart for you next one!! your doing great with her, very proud of you and how you work her!! keep it up!

  2. Loved reading about your adventures, nothing like a dog who does his or her own thing. Keep up the blogs, such a treat to hear from you and Sage.

  3. Great post! You are a trooper for handling the devil dog, oops, I mean Sprig, in addition to your own dog. Was this the Natural Ability test?

    We ran Abby in it down in Corvallis, OR when she was just 6 months old and she missed her Prize 1 by one point!! The next opportunity was in the spring and that is when she was going through her first, very difficult heat, so we didn't run her again. We do plan on running her in the Utility tests soon. Have you ever run in one of those?

  4. Great job ladies!! Sage Monkey is still quite young lots of learning to do....very smart looking girl, no doubts she will have that Prize 1 in no time. Sweet of you to share your stories.