Whoa

Today was the first day I weeks that I have been able to do some training with the dogs on live birds. September is coming fast and we are registered in hunt tests 3 weekends in a row. We’ve been working hard, refreshing the steady.

As I was training alone, I used an old trick…a whoa post. In our case, I used a stakeout post and drove it in a few inches about 20 feet from the planted bird. I brought the dog into the bird in such a way so that when he pointed I could take the check cord he was dragging and run it around the post, with me on the ‘tag’ end of it. That way I could move in to him, praise him on his steady, tip up the bird cage, make sure he stayed staunch, fire the blank pistol, and go back to him to release him…all while maintaining tension on the check cord if necessary.

I haven’t used this method before, but for those of us who train alone, it works great!

Now, back to the yard work and table work for a couple more weeks.

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Pepe le pew, deux

Got home at 11 last night after another late meeting. Let the dogs out. This time, younger dog gets sprayed. By the way, the hydrogen peroxide/ baking soda/ soap works well when applied nearly instantly after afore mentioned soiling.

Next event, skunk hunt. Wifey says, “don’t you get sprayed!” I replied, “moi?”

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Truck drawer and Dog Perch

I always wanted one of those fancy drawer units to go in the back of my Ranger. The cost always stopped me. So last weekend, to avoid other jobs that my silly wife thought were more important, I made one.

It began with a bunch of 3/4″ plywood I salvaged during a remodel a couple of years ago. I had a box of screws, a bottle of glue, and a tape rule.

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I made a box to fit between the wheel wells. Then a drawer to fit in that. The top is fairly closely ‘scribed’ to the various curves along the sidewalks of the truck bed liner.

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A drawer front was added, and I used a scrap of UHMW plastic (from the bowels of my shop) to make runners for the drawer to slide on.

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Of course, it needed to be carpeted! The $20 I spent on the carpet is the only cash out on the project. Now, both dog crates can fit side by side! And, all that training/ hunting stuff can go in the drawer out of sight.

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Exercise

A week ago my left knee began to hurt. It continued untill I could barely walk on it. So the orthopedic surgeon drained it and gave me a cortisone shot. Work has been incredibly busy. It’s been hot. Too hot most of the day for handler or beast.

I am not making excuses. Ok, maybe I am. The consequence of all this is that I have two athletes who have not been getting their workout. To multiply the effect, these athletes have a dual life, the other half of which consists of being house dogs/companions. Normally this is a delightful combination. The “big bitch” (as my wife refers to herself) says “a tired Brittany is a good Brittany.”

As of late, however, they have not exercised. So, what we have here is wild animals in the house.

Tomorrow, it appears I will have an entire day off. For days I have been thinking about taking a hike along the Appalachian trail, in the company of two bird dogs, with my GPS in hand to waypoint likely grouse cover.

Hopefully we will all return home, tired and content…for a few hours at least.

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