Friday, October 31, 2008

Gettin' Big!

As Winnie approaches the 15 week mark (I think that's right), she's definitely having a bit of a growth spurt. We're shopping for an upgraded crate this weekend, and as you can tell from the photo below, Gromit is getting to be a bit outmatched when it comes to pure size! Good thing he is 475% faster and 1,120% more agile, so he still has the edge there...

World Wide Winnie...


This blog has been a fun way for me to share photos and stories about Winnie to friends and family, but I really find it interesting that people from all over are finding it! The dog shown here is not Winnie, but a relative of hers named Peggy who lives in Scotland! Peggy's owner, Nina, sent me these pictures of her sweet and happy Wire whose grandfather is Harris, Winnie's father.

In addition to Scotland, recent visitors here include Wire fans from England, France, Germany, Hungary and all across the U.S. from Michigan to Texas, Washington, DC to California!

So keep the photos coming in from all over the world. I know there are some HWVs in Australia, we'll have to get a visitor from there next!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Virginia Overrun with Wirehaired Vizslas!


I was thrilled to find out that Winnie is not the only Wirehaired Vizsla in Virginia! These two beauties are straight from Zoldmali Kennel in Hungary, and live just a few miles from us.

Kifli (Hungarian for croissant) is the one that looks like Winnie, and Krumpli (potato) is the smoother of the two. He will get his beard soon enough! I'm told they are, of course, wonderful pets and they made it through their long journey from Hungary just fine.

Thanks Laura for the pictures, I look forward to meeting Kifli and Krumpli in person real soon!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

First mouthful of feathers...

I visited a nearby trainer today, I wanted to talk to the guy and see his facility. Pretty impressive setup, he raises birds, trains dogs, teaches obedience and also does boarding.

Winnie was with me, so he wanted to just see what she'd do with a bird. He got a quail, pulled the flight feathers and did that thing where he puts it to sleep in the grass. I didn't get to watch that because I was holding Winnie some distance away. Then he walked her near it, sure enough she found it and pointed it. It wasn't particularly stylish or even convincing, for that matter, but when the bird woke up she seemed to have some fun following it around.

Then the guy killed the quail and, after getting her a little excited about it, threw it for her to retrieve. She wasn't sure at first, but then she retrieved it no problem!

I don't know what my next steps are, but if they include getting more birds and letting her just get excited about them, it's good to know I can get birds - as well as advice and guidance - so close to home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Poof Goatee

I was talking to Winnie's breeder, Peg, about Winnie's beard. How it seems just recently that the end of her snout is developing this great tennis ball sized ball of beard. She knew what I was talking about, and called it a 'Poof Goatee.' Irresistable.

And speaking of irresistable, while trying to get a snout picture, I clicked this impossibly cute cartoon sad face. I'm sorry but come on. Nobody's that cute.

Monday, October 20, 2008

HWV/Spinone

I was talking to my friend today who owns Enzo, this very cool Spinone Italiano, and we were talking about the similarities between the two. So I thought I'd show them side by side. They haven't met yet, but they surely will. Maybe some day they will hunt together. I'm told they hunt in a similar style.

In fact, while nobody has ever correctly guessed what breed of dog Winnie is, the only guess I've heard more than once is Spinone. Which is odd to me, because I wouldn't think many more people would be familiar with Spinones than HWVs.

It looks like I might be going quail hunting with Enzo in a few weeks, I'm looking forward to that not only to spend time hunting with my friend and his dog, but it will be the first time for me bird hunting with a dog since I got Winnie. So I know I will be really watching closely what he does and how he does it. I'd bring Winnie along but although I don't think she'll have a problem with gunfire, I can't know that for sure yet. But who knows, maybe I'll figure out a way to bring her back the souvenir of a live quail to stake out in the field we walk in.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Either Winnie's snoring...

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...or there's a warthog in the living room. (I recommend high volume and play it till the end.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pointing in the yard

While the true training value of having your dog point a quail wing tied to a stick in your back yard is, at best, minimal, it was a fun way to spend some time with Winnie and try to take some new pictures. Although I have brought her to fields where I know dove are present (because we scare them off with regularity), she had never been close enough for me to get a feel for whether or not she knows birds exist and whether or not they are interesting.

I have to say, as mellow as this dog is, she was very animated at the sight and scent of the wing...



Saturday, October 11, 2008

Horse Show...

A couple weeks ago, Winnie met a St. Bernard. Today at the horse show she met two Irish Wolfhounds. These things are HUGE!! Winnie didn't know quite what to think, but they - like the St. Bernard from Oktoberfest - were as gentle and friendly as could be.

We ran into a friend with her standard poodle puppy, Stitch. He was born just two days after Winnie, and will end up being about the same size. But Winnie's definitely bigger than him at this point. They will be seeing a lot of each other in the future, so it was nice that they got a chance to meet now.

I don't think I've ever met a dog that likes to lounge as much as I do. Until now.

Winnie also was in close proximity to horses for the first time, and she didn't seem to mind them at all. This is Sandy during the stadium jumping portion of Eventing. I didn't get any pictures of Winnie with Sandy's horse, Elmo, but there will be plenty more opportunities for that.

I'm starting to notice a recurring theme...


Love this time of year...


Here in Virginia we are blessed - not every year, but most - with an all too brief but beautiful autumn. Actually, the brevity of it certainly adds to its specialness, but I still wish it lasted longer.

It's a great time to have a puppy. I know of some winter litters and I can only imagine how much harder it is to housetrain a puppy with frequent day and night trips outside when it's cold and snowy out. But time spent outside is never better than it is in October. Winnie does hate the rain, but we've been very lucky to not have many rainy days since she's been here.

Today we're heading to Sandy's horse show, where walking around with Winnie will probably not get any attention at all...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Long Distance Retrieve

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We got a package from Ugly Dog Hunting Company today! Among other things (including two very high quality leads for the price) we got a couple of these puppy sized retrieving dummies. Here is her first go at it. I need to read that chapter again, but I believe there's part of the transaction she's a little iffy on...

Graceful.

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I had to share this graceful dance down the stairs. I guess, if nobody told you otherwise, why wouldn't you step with all four feet at the same time? Seems efficient enough...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Swimmin'

We took the dogs to a lake today to see about the whole swimming thing. I can tell you for certain that Winnie can swim! However it does not seem to be on her top five favorite things to do list. (Currently: eating sticks, looking for sticks, sleeping in 2.5 hour increments, playing with Gromit and thinking about sticks.) But we didn't push it and we're running out of warm weather here in Virginia, so we'll probably just wait till Spring to try again.

C&O Canal Towpath

We are lucky to live about a mile from the Potomac River, and on the far side of the river is the C&O Canal towpath. This path originates in Washington, DC and extends west until, well, I don't know where it ends up but it's well west of here and we are on about the 55 mile mark from its origin. We have beautiful fall-like weather here today and enjoyed Winnie's first of many long walks along the river path.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Afield!


Today I took Winnie for her first long walk on a leash. She's been off and on with the leash thing, but as it turns out she walks much better on it when she's in unfamiliar territory.

So I walked her up the street where we came across several future home lots. Other than the corners staked out it was basically just a big field with tall grass and brush. It was fun to let her go and watch her bound around in the thick cover! I'd like to tell you that she's hunting in these photos where she looks like she's hunting. And, I suppose she is, if pointing deer poop and cattails counts as hunting. But it was really fun to see her in that environment.

We actually scared up several doves, but they were all too far away to even get her attention. But there are a lot of doves in that field. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing I don't yet know, that's all a part of the whole 'rookie gun dog owner' thing! Anyway, fun after work outing and I think running through that heavy cover will help her sleep well tonight.