Stella had a great day at her Natural Ability test with the Southern California NAVHDA chapter.
Test day started with tracking – not what I wanted since she was wired to go, go go! And, I have to confess, I never had a chance to train for tracking! She had no chance to see her pheasant, but she tracked that phez like a pro! Phew!
In the field, we had some trouble. Again, the less than prepared me was her worst enemy here, as I had not ever shown her a chukar either! And when she realized they were laying there to be picked up, well, that is what she did! She had a couple of flashy flash points, and a sight point on the way back from a retrieve. (Oh the dilemma of two birds! The judges and I had a great laugh!)
In the water, she flew in like a lab, retrieved the bumper to my hand — and then decided to take off to go hunt. One of the judges said to me, “Get her back — however you have to.” I knew our cooperation score was on the line already since she had been almost out of control in the field. Barely glancing back at me, she was about to really give me the finger, and I showed her the bumper and flung it to the far reaches of the pond. She turned and dove into the pond and retrieved the bumper to hand.
Scores: Nose – 4, Search – 4, Water – 4, Pointing – 2, Tracking – 4, Desire to Work – 4, Cooperation – 3, Total 102, Prize III.
Thank you to judges Ruth Weiss, Jim Carpenter and Cliff Fleming, and the So Cal NAVHDA chapter for a well-run and fun test! Stella had a BALL! And now back to our regularly scheduled programming (field trial prep)!