Cheltenham, 6:30am, 55 degrees, sunny, wind calm.
Retrieve A. 80y cold water blind, no points in the picture. Though intended as a confidence builder, this was the only retrieve today that triggered yelping. I have no definitive explanation. Perhaps the relatively big water compared to most of the work we've been doing lately bothered him. Or maybe he found it confusing that there was no point in the picture.
Retrieves B-C. On/off drill in same location as A-D yesterday, but with no LP. Laddie ran the no-point retrieve exactly as I would want him to run a cold blind with a point in the picture: He swam toward the point, then calmly accepted a WSC bypassing the point when he was a couple of yards from the point. He also ran a good line over the point, but needed a cast off the point because he started munching grass.
Retrieves D-E. Poorman land skimming marks through large patches of thick, high cover with swampy footing, with an easy, obvious cheat available, one on the left, one on the right. Laddie needed to be handled on both.
Retrieve F. A big, mostly land single, but with three water crossings. I put Laddie in a sit, walked out to throw the mark, then called his name from my throwing position as a remote send. Because of a crest, we could not see each other, but my high throw, preceded by a gunshot, must have been visible. A few seconds after my remote send, Laddie appeared over the crest, then completed the retrieve on an excellent line, stepping on the bumper.
Retrieves G-H. On/off drill at a location we used a few days ago, but this time with an LP and white plastic bag. No-point line was 110y, point was at 70y. I had Laddie run the point line first. He tried to square the point's shoreline too much, so I needed to handle him more to the end of the point. Then I stopped him as soon as he started onto the point, and cast him horizontally. He took both casts well, and did not need to be stopped again to put him back on line after the second cast. He just made the turn himself once he was clear of the point. He required no handling at all on the no-point retrieve, and this time the big water did not seem to bother him.
Retrieves I-K. Short poorman skimming water singles. No problem on any of these.
Retrieves L-N. A fairly difficult poorman land triple, all guns "retired", featuring a 140y mark on the right as the first throw, a 220y mark on left as the second throw, and a 40y mark in line with the first throw as the third throw. The line to the first throw included a diagonal slope ascent and a keyhole between a mound and a barn. I had Laddie pick up the marks in reverse order of the throws, trying to make the 140y memory bird, which had been thrown first and had possibly been erased in Laddie's memory by the short throw on the same line, as difficult as possible by waiting the longest to retrieve it. It was also unusual for the second-longest mark to be thrown first and picked up last. However, Laddie nailed that mark and of course the short one, and required only a small hunt on the long mark after taking a good line to the immediate area of the fall.
Hopefully this was a fun way for Laddie to wrap up the session.