Saturday, November 28, 2009

Birds aren't the only things dogs hunt

ob⋅sess v.: to think about something unceasingly or persistently; dwell obsessively upon something.
Squirrels have discovered our bird feeders. And Gromit has discovered the squirrels.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fishing with Winnie...

Winnie and I went for a little overnight trip to my friend's farm to do a little fly fishing for trout.

Wednesday evening the weather was beautiful and crisp, and we just walked along the Rose River, spotting trout that I'd try to catch the next morning.

This was a new experience, bringing her along while I waded and fished. In the morning, I put her cowbell on so I could know at all times that she was nearby. But that wasn't an issue - as it turns out, she found fly fishing to be fascinating and watched intently from shore, following the fly's movement with each cast.

In fact, it was so interesting, at the first spot I fished, in about three feet of cold water (the air temperature was probably about 40 degrees first thing in the morning), I was surprised to feel a nose bump into my leg. Winnie was swimming in place alongside me in the current. I led her back to shore and made her stay, and luckily the sun came out and she warmed up quickly.

The fishing was slow, however, and eventually I started getting accusatory looks from Winnie. "Really? A Caddis? In November??"

But she patiently watched and waited and went for a couple more swims. It was good to see her so willing to get in that cold water!

Finally I got into a couple fish, and Winnie found the splashing and jumping of the trout very amusing!

"Making me hang out with a plastic heron for an hour? Is this part of your bird dog training??"

It was a really fun time with Winnie, as always. She's turned into a great little roadtrip partner.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bad Hair Day

A rainy week here really has Winnie looking her best, don't you think??

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Working Dog!

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Emmett and his sister, Evie, and bringing Emmett to my office, where Jena's husband Dan was picking him up. He was not initially pleased to be separated from Evie, but after 15 minutes or so in the car he settled down just fine.

Well I figured the little guy has left the litter now, time to dive into the real world! Since he was at my office, I thought I'd put him to work...

Folding laundry.

Answering phones.

Working on the computer.

Delivering packages.

And the very important aspect of the workplace: taking a break.

YAY! My ride's here!! (Emmett and Dan meeting for the very first time!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Cowbell!

Slow news day, so just some random thoughts...

Deer rifle season currently, so I haven't taken my deer-colored dog for any romps through the woods lately. I did, however, take her on a nice ATV run the other day that went very well. It's weird, I've not done this more than a couple times, but if she's outside in the driveway and I start the ATV, she starts jogging. I follow her up to the end of the drive, blow the whistle and she turns around and jogs back while I follow her. About 15 m.p.h. for roughly a mile. That's a nice chunk of exercise that can be fit in during the tiny block of daylight between when I get home from work and it gets dark. I should do it more often. It's like she knows that's what she has to do. Hell, I might just have to start the thing, maybe she'll jog out to the end of the road and come back on her own. Maybe I should get her an ipod.

I'm really looking forward to meeting Jena's new pup Emmett! Looks like that might happen Thursday morning. If the current plan holds, he'll even spend an hour or so with me at my office, where Jena's husband will come up from Charlottesville to get him. Everyone there is excited to see him too!

Not sure when I'll get out again to do bird work. This coming weekend we have guests, so maybe over Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I have indoor work we can be doing. We got distracted and haven't finished up our beer retrieval exercise, and with the holidays coming up, that will be increasingly valuable!

Stay tuned for pictures of Emmett!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Virginia Welcomes Emmett!

This handsome devil is Emmett. He will soon be making the trip from Vidor Vizslas in Michigan to the great state of Virginia!

I met Emmett's new owner, Jena, when she came to one of Winnie's shows. She has waited a long time for her puppy and I just couldn't be more happy for her and her family! It will be neat to have another HWV near enough to visit and train with. Additionally, there is another wire from the same litter going to Andy in nearby Maryland. I met Andy in Winnie's conformation class. I know these will be great homes for these special pups, and rest assured, I will be pestering these new owners for plenty of photos to post here!

So, safe travels for these new pups. Congratulations to the families who will be enriched by them, and to Carolyn of Vidor Vizslas for producing this beautiful litter!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chainsaw Sculpture

I've never tried to carve with a chainsaw before, but we had this stump in our front field that's about 3 feet high and it just kept calling to me. What the hell, if it doesn't work, I just cut it down, so I figured it was worth a shot!

It's not done, I've worked on it in two different sessions so far. The sessions come after I've been chainsawing stuff that actually needs to be cut, so although I did more today than the last time, I still can't do very much before I just get tired.

Another disclaimer, because I'm sawing, Winnie is not present when I'm working on it. And trying to recall the shape of a dog from memory is not as easy as you might think! But when I went down today to snap a picture and brought her with me, I started to think I might just be able to pull this off.

Anyway, I will post progress as it happens, or maybe I'll screw it up and cut it down and you'll never hear another word about it. I think that's why I wanted to get a picture now. It might be as good as it's going to get.

Great dog video from Hungary (featuring a really cute HWV!)