Thursday, August 6, 2015

Two retired land doubles, two land blinds, a retired water double, and a water blind

Today the pro would be making a long drive with six dogs to a competition, but first he ran them on some land and water marks. I told him it would be fine if he went ahead and got on the road, but he said that since I had helped with the throwing, we would give Laddie some work first. We ended up giving him a good day's work,  before Laddie and I, too, got on the road for a long drive, in our case home.

First the pro set up a land double with one mark slightly longer than the other, both thrown RTL. He had it thrown twice, reversing the order of the throws, and retired the gun for the memory bird each time. Laddie nailed all four marks. That's what I would have expected from Laddie's usual work, though he hasn't been showing it well the last few weeks.

Next the pro had Laddie run two blinds, one under the arc of the longer mark, the other thru the old fall of the shorter mark. Laddie's first sit was too slow so I brought him back in. After that I thought he did a good job on both of them.

By the way, the field was again hot today, and this time I brought out a bowl of water for Laddie to drink from between each pair of long retrieves. He still drank half a bowl of water when I put back in his crate for the drive to the pond.

At the pond, the pro asked me to come up with my own setup. I selected a water double with the long mark past a point and retired, and the shorter mark a bridge. The pro said Laddie could also run a blind, and suggested one he said would be a good challenge.

The pro threw the bridge mark well into the thick cover on the far side of the channel -- he can make huge throws, at least twice as far as me, maybe three times -- and Laddie needed a little hunt. Laddie then took a detour to land on his return,  and I guess he was relieved that I didn't insist that he swim straight back as I have been these last few weeks.

Next Laddie ran the long retired mark, consisting of a 220y swim past a point and short land segments on either end. He took an extremely good line until the last ten yards of the swim, then bailed out to shore on the left but ran immediately to the fall. He then found the bird, needing a short hunt for some reason. When I whistled him in, he ran across to the corner of the pond and took a land route back to me, running enthusiastically the whole way.

The line to the blind was across a narrow inlet, over a point, into water again with a difficult angle entry, diagonally across a wide channel, and up onto a swampy point, where the pro had thrown the bird into a patch of thick, high cover.  Laddie wanted to swim around both points but took good casts, though vocalizing on the first one.

That completed the day's training and now we're on our way home. We'll be driving back up and meeting the pro again Monday morning.

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