By Roy Greffin
- Chapter 6-
Agasvari Royal Diamond bred by K Eory, owned by T Elliot.
As a 10 month old puppy he is already a placegetter
(3rd out of 12) at the retrieving trial.
When the Grizzled One heard the words "There is a problem with Penny" from his
wife, his heart sank. In spite of his age he sprinted to the deck where his
wife was waiting with the phone. "Hi Ron, what is the problem with Penny?"
The vet replied "Along with the pancreatic problem, she has a infection in
her system. I started her on antibiotics this morning and we should start to
see some improvement by tonight. I sent a blood sample to the lab this morning
and should have a report back tomorrow but I think it will basically confirm
what we already know about her. But, we want to touch all the bases in this
situation. The nausea and retching episodes ended shortly after you brought
her in this morning and she is getting nourishment and medication by IV. She
seems fairly comfortable but not as bouncy as she usually is. We will watch her
close and stay in touch with you." "Thanks Ron, you know what Penny means to us."
"I know Roy, she is special here too."
The Grizzled One handed the phone back to his beloved and relayed to her what
the vet had told him. She touched his arm and said to him "Honey, she will be
back home with us before you know it and she will be able to go back to what
she loves best, hunting". With the sense of ominousness at least partially
lifted, the Grizzled One returned to making preparations for the Shorthair
pup's training session.
Image: Tosca (Tosca of Szep-Allat)
and Ziggy (Tailor Made of Szep-Allat)
show that they jnwo what a fire is for.
Shortly before 4:00 Ed's car pulled into the Grizzled One's driveway. The
older man went to greet him and told him to let Benji out and romp a bit .
The pup was all over the Grizzled One who picked him up and cradled him
and allowed the pup to yank his beard and give him puppy kisses. (The Grizzled
One believes that like infants, puppies need affectionate, physical contacts)
"Well you ready to go to work with your dog Ed?" Asked the Grizzled One. "What
are we going to do today?" asked Ed. "We are going to repeat yesterday's session
with some additional twists." replied the Grizzled One. He instructed the younger
man to put the wide training collar on the puppy and then attach the check to it
and take Benji for a short walk while he set up the training situation. Because
the puppy had indicated high degree of birdiness and desire in the prior session,
the Grizzled decided to use bird launchers today with Ed taking more of a handler
role than he did yesterday when he simply held the checkcord while the puppy did
gyrations with the flight of each pigeon. Because of the wind direction (Remember
that wind direction. Always bring your dog downwind from the training bird) the
Grizzled One was able to place the three launchers in a fairly straight line in
a high weed strip. It was really a ideal puppy training situation. The pup could
be moved from one bird to the next, in a line, and always be downwind. He called
for Ed to bring Benji back. Explained to Ed how today's session would operate.
"Today we are going to use radio controlled bird launchers instead of placing
the birds on the ground under cover. The reason why we are doing that is your
pup showed he had a good nose yesterday and reacted to bird scent so now we want
to get those birds up into the air the instant he catches scent. That will not
only teach him to trust his nose when he picks up bird scent it will also
cause him to stop (a point is a delayed stalk on the part of the pointing dog)
which becomes a point. We are giving his genetic program a little help.
Yesterday we introduced him to birds ( in a highly controlled situation) and he
showed us that he was birdy. Today we are going to reward his picking up scent
with an immediate reward of a bird in the air."
Instructing Ed to keep the pup about 15 feet away from the weed strip containing
the bird launchers the two men began walking, with the pup tugging at the end
of the checkcord, parallel to the weed strip. As they approached the area where
the first launcher was located the Grizzled One told Ed that the launcher was
coming up and to keep a good hold on the check cord . As they approached the
spot both men's gazes were riveted on the puppy who tugging along went right by
the hidden bird launcher. Ed turned to the Grizzled One and with a crestfallen
look asked "What happened? Is something wrong? He did not pick up that bird's
scent!" "Just keep going Ed to where the next launcher is. We'll come back and
work that bird going in the opposite direction. You have to realize that your
pup is a pup and is just starting to built up the memory banks of experiences
which will enable him to be a mature adult later on. Also scenting may not be
what it seems it should be. The breeze coming at us face high may be altogether
different down at ground level where your puppy is. Over the years I have seen
many well trained and highly experienced bird dogs go right by game birds that
were visible to the eye but whose scent was undetectable to the dog for a whole
host of reasons". The Grizzled One informed Ed that they were coming up on the
spot where the 2nd launcher was and almost in the same breath the happy tugging
by the puppy halted and the puppy whirled to face the weed strip whereupon the
Grizzled One thumbed the transmitter button on the launcher transmitter and a
big homing pigeon shot up into the air 15 feet in front of the wide eyed puppy.
"Tell him he is a good boy and move him on down the strip to the next launcher
Ed" said the old hunter.
Image: Canadian Ch Comynara Napkeltei Itzhak Fdj CGC (Isaac)
The puppy now instead of tugging his checkcord in a straight line was moving
in a zigzag pattern looking for??? "Coming up to the next launcher Ed" said
the Grizzled One. The instant they were abreast of the hidden launcher the
puppy's nostrils flared and instantly the Grizzled One catapulted the bird into
the air. This time the pup stood and watched the bird for a tiny bit before it
went into gyrations in its desire to get that bird. "Ed, we are going to swing
out a bit and come back at an angle towards that 3rd launcher. I don't want
the pup to go back past the launchers that we have discharged. He will be
picking up bird scent with no bird to go with it. That kind of experience will
come later. What we are interested in is giving him as many positive experiences
with birds as possible." As they angled towards the final launcher with the
puppy doing a frantic zigzag in front of them the Grizzled One watched the pup
intently. As they reached the area of the launcher, Ed diligently kept the pup
a good 15 feet out from the strip. The Grizzled One not seeing the puppy display
any signs of awareness of the bird's presence told Ed to let the pup move in
5 feet or so towards the weed strip. The pup immediately moved closer to the
weed strip and at the instant its nose flared its face froze in a mask of
intensity and its forward motion became frozen in time and space. It was pointing.
This all took place within the wink of an eye before the Grizzled One could react
to the pup's action with the release of the bird. The pup's intense gaze at the
bird as it rose in flight did not abate. "Praise him and move him on" said the
Grizzled One to Ed . "Your puppy is becoming a bird dog."
owned by William Thompson in Canada