Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Interrupted Land Series
West of Zion Park
Today I planned to use our working Bumper Boy again, but I realized while setting up the course that I had left the receiver on all night, and the battery had drained.
Fortunately, a guy named Greg, whose son was playing baseball at the nearby field, had stopped to watch Lumi and Laddie work. It turns out Greg is an experienced trainer who has taken several dogs thru Senior level. When I realized I needed a thrower to replace my launcher, he was kind enough to step in.
We only ran one series, but Laddie had an extra retrieve, so I'll describe it as two series.
SERIES A. Interrupted single with blind (Lumi)
For Lumi's version of the series, Greg threw a WD right to left, angling back, with the fall at 90 yards. When the dummy was down, I ran Lumi on a 110-yard blind (OD), on an angle 30° to the left of the line to the mark. Then I sent Lumi for the the mark. I'm not sure whether this is called an interrupted single, or a poison-bird single.
The line to the mark was thru calf-high grass across uneven ground, and the fall was in front of diagonal row of trees with virtually no distinguishing features. The line to the blind was thru the same field, then thru a keyhole formed by a break in the line of trees, with two large trees on either side of the keyhole, and across two terrain changes, first into tangled underbrush, then onto mowed lawn. The blind was planted at the foot of a third large tree 20 yards back from the keyhole.
Lumi ran a nice, tight blind, showing suction toward the mark (poison bird) but readily accepting WSCs. She seemed confused by the first terrain change, but once she recognized that it was not a barrier, she was fine. She then took an unusually long time to bring the dummy back, typically cautious around the uneven footing and high cover.
After running the blind, Lumi ran a remarkable mark, arriving at the treeline within just a few feet of the dummy buried in the grass. Considering the time she took on the blind, and the featureless field and wooded backdrop for the mark, it's difficult to understand how she was able to remember both distance and line so accurately, but she did.
SERIES B. Interrupted single with double blind (Laddie)
For Laddie's version of the series, first he ran the same two retrieves that Lumi had. Then he ran a 340-yard blind (OD) 45° to the right of the line to the mark, that is, on a line just to the right of Greg as gunner.
The line to the 340-yard blind converged diagonally on the treeline. It ran 220 yards thru the same field, then thru the legs of a huge steel-framed electrical tower, and finally across a wide strip of marshy terrain with standing water and mud. The blind was planted at the foot of one of the guide wires for a telephone pole closer to the woods. Diversions included a flattened cardboard box, and a large piece of white cloth, along the way.
Laddie watched the mark thrown, then ran an excellent blind to the left of that fall, handling to the 110-yard blind with a single WSC as he veered slightly left approaching the keyhole. Next, he took a good line to the mark, but unlike Lumi on that mark, Laddie pulled up and hunted short for a few seconds before getting back on line and racing to the mark.
For the 340-yard mark, Laddie took another good line for nearly 200 yards, then veered left as he approached the tower. But he responded readily and accurately on one or two WSCs. Once he had gotten back on line and was running under the tower, he lined the blind the rest of the way.
After picking up the dummy, Laddie did not come directly back. First he ran over to check out the large piece of white cloth, then he spotted a flock of birds (Canada geese, I think) in the opposite direction and ran after them, ignoring my CIW. Within seconds he had disappeared behind a hill on the right. But a few seconds later, he appeared back in view, still carrying his dummy, and ran the rest of the way back.
Characteristically, Laddie ran all three retrieves at full speed in both directions. He really turned on the afterburners when he spotted the geese.