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Archive for September, 2016

“Where is Trice?”

“I don’t know. But almost dinner time. She’s always home for dinner time.”

Ah, my good and faithful companions. I won’t be home to Portland, but you both and Russ will be joining me in our new home very soon.

But never fear. Russ will be there for dinner time, and bed time, and walk time, and ball time. And pretty soon, you’ll be here in Boise with me, and we’ll all be together again. 

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We’re moving to Idaho soon. Boise, to be specific.

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There are (gasp!) ticks in Idaho. I hate ticks. I’ve had ticks on me, and they are just gross. Makes me shudder just to think of it. So, even though we’ll use a tick preventive of some sort on our dogs, I’ll still need to check them regularly for ticks. Checking for ticks in a long IWS show coat is just not my idea of fun. I know many IWS folks live in tick country, so this may not be a particular problem for them, but like I said, I really hate ticks, and I want to make looking for them as quick and easy as possible.

Plus, you really need a long coat on an IWS only for conformation shows. There aren’t that many IWS in Idaho. There are a few, but I haven’t heard that they participate in conformation. The next shows in Idaho are in the middle of next month, but I don’t think we’re going to be settled enough for me to be able show Carlin, even if there were going to be other IWS to compete with.

And then there’s the fact that I’ll be moving to start my new job a couple of weeks to a month before Russ is able to move. That will leave him responsible for the weekly combing, not one of his favorite activities. Keeping the dogs fed, the poop picked up, and the nails trimmed will give him enough dog chores to do. Plus, he’ll be busy and distracted with sorting and packing up the house here in Oregon.

So I decided to cut both my dogs’ coats short. Short coats will just make life a lot easier.

pretrim

Tooey’s coat was already pretty short (that’s her pre-trim length in the photo above), but Carlin had the long leg, long topknot, and long ear coat. Plus, he was looking a bit woolly after his week away at the boarding kennel while Russ and I were off on our boating trip.

So, off it came, down to about 5/8″ all over, with extra on the topknot and ears.

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Both dogs were pretty patient with the whole procedure, Tooey more than Carlin. As long as let them off the table occasionally so that they could properly tell off the squirrels, the dogs were happy to cooperate with me.

Good dogs! On to the next adventure.

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master-pass-4

Carlin’s 4th MHU pass ribbon

Carlin pulled off two more Master Hunter Upland passes over the four-day Labor Day tests at Scatter Creek: Mount Rainier Sporting Spaniel Association on September 2 and Puget Sound English Springer Spaniel Club on September 3. The next two days he didn’t pass; he overheated on the third day and had to be pulled, and then on the fourth day, he was steady to the flush after a long trail on a running pheasant, but then broke on the shot.

He did okay work on Friday. Even though he had just gotten stung multiple times by a swarm of yellow jacket wasps (and then given 37 mg of Benedryl) a half hour before his run, he did nice land work, finding his birds, being steady to wing and shot, and delivering nicely to hand. But then he took about 4 minutes (out of the 5 allowed) to do his hunt dead, and, on the water, ran the bank back and forth on the water blind before finally plunging into the creek to swim across and find the bird on the other side. Fortunately, he did his water marked retrieve with some style, so that combined with his stellar land work got him enough points to pass. One judge gave Carlin all 10s on his land work, remarking that Carlin was the best IWS he’s ever seen work.

Saturday’s test was a thing of beauty. Carlin’s scores averaged 9.1 from one judge and 9.2 from the second judge (out of 10). Most of the other Master dogs had difficulty locating birds on the long curving land course, and several were NQ’d for not finding any. But Carlin found his two birds in just under 4 minutes, trapping one pheasant and flushing and retrieving the second. The cover was knee high grass interspersed with hillocks covered with brambles, small trees, and dying ferns. Master dogs ran first, so it was still cool-ish for Carlin’s run.

His hunt dead was equally stunning. He went straight out the 65 yards and straight back with the bird. It took about 30 seconds, earning applause from the gallery.

His water blind was not elegant, but well above the standard needed to pass, and then, after being rock-steady at the line, he did an IWS-style leap into the water out to his marked retrieve bird and delivered it to hand.

All in all, we were thrilled. Four master passes in a row (2 at Monmouth and 2 at Scatter Creek), on top of 4 for 4 junior passes and then 4 for 4 senior passes, is just amazing and wonderful for a 2-1/2 year old male IWS. It took just 54 weeks from his first junior upland pass to his fourth master pass. Of course we were disappointed that he didn’t get that 5th master pass needed for the MHU title, but that will come.

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