This morning turned out way better than yesterday morning.
Yesterday morning, we loaded up early to get out training before it hit 99 degrees F. Winger, birds, training bag, dogs all ready to head out to the St. Louis Ponds training grounds. We got there nice and early, only to discover that the place was crawling with dogs and their people for a retriever hunt test.
Oops. Can’t train there.
So we turned around and headed out to the training grounds on Sauvie Island. We had our dog training permit and parking pass along with us, so that seemed all good. It’s just that after an hour driving down to St. Louis Ponds, and an hour and a half back up to Sauvie Island, the temperature had zoomed up into the humid mid-80s.
We trained anyway. Tooey did a fine job doing her “hunt dead”, looking for a pheasant hidden about 45 yards out away from Russ. But poor Carlin, who really doesn’t handle heat very well, had a hard time keeping his mind on the job. On his second marked retrieve, he ran out just fine to pick up the bird, but rather than coming right back to me, he headed off across the field toward the bowl of water and the shade of the car. I coaxed him back to me, but it wasn’t pretty. That’s about all we got done before the temps hit the upper 80s and we decided to call it a day.
So, today, we left even earlier and headed straight to Sauvie Island. By the time we set up, it was in the mid-70s and humid again, so this time, I started Carlin in the shade, so that he’d want to come back to me with his bird. Russ threw two single retrieves. Carlin was nice and steady at the line, ran straight out, hunted around a bit, got each of his two birds, and brought them back to within about 5 feet of me before he sat, holding his bird. I called him to my side, and thankfully, he held onto his bird even while moving into heel position.
Tooey didn’t particularly want to do her hunt dead this morning. Way too many delectable cow pies to distract her from on her out to the bird. But with some help, she finally did it. And Carlin did a nice short sight blind, too.
So with that good work, we decided to reward ourselves with a trip to the river. We’d brought the kayak just in case, and sure enough, the spot we found a couple of weeks ago was open, just waiting for two panting dogs and their people. The tide was going out, and that made the current decidedly swift, so we stayed in the eddy that curled along the bank. Even so, the dogs got in lots of leaping, splashing, and swimming.
The sound on the video is odd. Because the video is in slow motion, the sound of my voice is distorted. It sounds to me like there is a monster advancing onto the innocent party of dogs. But even so, what a delight! Look at how beautifully Carlin drives off the edge of the bank and reaches way out on his way to the water’s surface. And Tooey, throwing herself with abandon into her favorite element, the water. At the beginning of the video, Carlin looks to Tooey, “wanna jump?” and at the end they look at each other, “wanna do it again?”
Yes. Yes we do.