Saturday, November 7, 2009

First Quad

West of Zion Park

SERIES A. Quadruple land marks with blind (Laddie, then Lumi)

This was the first quad either of my dogs has run, or at least the first I can remember.

All marks were "thrown" with an RL and weighted streamers, using a pre-positioned, frozen duck. The blind was an OD.

The first mark was at middle right, thrown right to left at 100 yards. The second mark was at middle left, thrown right to left at 70 yards. The third mark was on the far right, thrown right to left at 60 yards. The fourth and last mark, the go-bird, was on the far left, thrown left to right at 50 yards. The 230-yard blind, run after the dog had picked up all the marks, was between the first and third marks, and also thru a keyhole formed by huge powerline towers. All five retrieves were contained within a 120° angle.

The terrain for this series was calf-high cover with uneven footing and some thorny foliage. The backdrop was woods, which turned out to be a factor for Lumi on the go-bird. She has apparently become accustomed to birds being planted near the treeline when woods are the backdrop, and for the go-bird, the treeline was at 100 yards, while the throw was only at 50 yards. That didn't fool Laddie, but Lumi ran right over the bird and all the way to the treeline, then needed to be handled back so she wouldn't go after the second bird down, which was at the treeline. Unfortunately, the come-in cast is the most difficult for Lumi, and while she remained nice and responsive on every WS, she took a lot of WSCs before she finally came in and got to the bird.

Aside from that, Lumi took good lines and did a reasonable job on her other three marks, and handled reasonably well on the longish blind.

By contrast, Laddie, who had run first, did an outstanding job on this, his first quad. He ran with purpose straight to every mark, picked it up and raced back. He then handled beautifully on the blind. His only flaw was that on his third send-out, when I intended that he pick up the second mark at 70 yards, he decided immediately he was going to pick up the longer first mark at 100 yards, a bit to the right of where I sent him, instead. I was concerned that he might have forgotten the second mark, but no, when he got back with his third bird and I lined him up for the second mark, he locked in on the correct line immediately and nailed it. He made the whole series look easy.

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