Broken Dreams Carried Over To Next Year

Broken Dreams Carried Over To Next Year

As I write this post John and Gambler are headed back from a very hot long weekend of running a AKC Master test. Gambler did a great job on two series and needed to pick up two ducks in the third series to pass the test and receive his title. Something happened in Gamblers mind and he was having troubles picking up the last bird, John handled him but he did his own thing and for that he failed. No ribbon, no title and some broken dreams.

1st Master Pass

1st Master Pass

Big dreams I had, doesn’t everyone have big dreams when it comes to something you are passionate about? My passion is my dogs and this year my big dream was for  Gambler to receive his AKC Master Hunter title. Gambler started running Master Hunter tests last summer, the summer didn’t go as well as I had planned as we were to “newbie’s” to the game and it just wasn’t working for us. Needless to say that summer didn’t end to well for us and we were back to the drawing board on figuring out this whole master level test stuff. We took the winter off of hunt test training concentrated on hunting and was back at the hunt test game this spring.

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Of course I had high hopes and big dreams for this summer of testing. When you own a dog your dog is the best in your eyes, your dog can do no wrong, your dog  is better than anyone else’s dog for that is how it should be viewed in my opinion. And that is how I feel about Gambler and even know I have some broken dreams to deal with Gambler will still be number one in my eyes and that is all that counts!

3rd Master Pass

3rd Master Pass

As I remember this summer I need to reflect on how proud this dog has made me and how far we have come. I’m going to tell you a little bit about Gambler and I. Gambler is the first dog that I have trained by myself, I have trained other dogs through Junior Hunter level but I have never trained for Senior or Master level. This was a whole new experience for us. We had our ups and downs and we figured out what needed to be done and Gambler received his Senior Hunter title. Moving on to Masters this is a whole new game that is big league. I was happy with little league but big league? I’m not a big league person, I can’t think fast, I can’t remember too many things at once I can’t run with the big dogs but did that keep me on the porch? No sir re Bob it didn’t keep me there I got off the porch and ran my dog. We learned a lot during those runs, we learned that there is no I in team and that you have to be a team player to win so I stopped running Gambler as he wasn’t respecting me. I couldn’t even go to a hunt test and watch John run him as he lost his mind and would be looking at me in the gallery so that is when I decided that in order for Gambler to pass I needed to stay home.   I still trained him but John handled him. He responded better to John and this spring when John started running him he had his first Master Hunter pass, then he had number two, then three and four mind you he did have some fails during his run of passes but it wasn’t like it was last summer. Gambler turned 4 and I think it was finally clicking with him we were training really well together. John was continuing to handle him at the hunt tests and I would train, John would do a bit of training after he got home from work but not in a group setting. During this time we were training for two types of hunt test scenarios, besides running AKC hunt tests we also run UKC hunt tests which are run differently so the dog has to adjust to two different ways of competing, it’s hard enough to run one type of competition try switching gears one weekend and doing something different. Some may think if you have a trained dog then what’s the problem the problem is you are challenging their minds and switching things up often so how can you get consistency when you’re always switching things up? Mind you too that we aren’t training every day like pro’s do. I train when I  can, sometimes it’s once a week and sometimes it’s twice a week and when we train we normally set up a hunt test scenario so your dog comes to the line and makes 3 retrieves on land, does a blind or two then goes to water and does either a double or triple and a blind or two on water then it gets put up and that is your training for the day unless you do something on your own at home which most of the time I don’t have time for so I shouldn’t be disappointed when he fails as really he is doing great for the amount of training he has had and I have to remember he is just a dog and $hit happens!

4th Master Pass

4th Master Pass

So should I really say that my dreams are broken….no I shouldn’t. He has come so far this summer and ends the season with needing one more pass for his title and I have no doubt that he will get it when we start the season off next year. I am proud of him for what he has done and I thank my husband for spending every weekend at a hunt test this summer running my dog. Next year I might just be standing by his side handling him myself.

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UKC HRC Finished Pass

This weekend John and Gambler were off again running a hunt test. This time they ran a United Kennel Club sanctioned test by the Hunting Retriever Club. Muddy Waters Was the host club. They ran a test yesterday but didn’t pass. In hunt test training and running you always encounter something you may not have trained for or expected. Last week at a AKC hunt test Gambler broke, which means he went and picked up the bird before the judge released him. That was a fail, so this weeks training was to set him up for a break and then to correct him in doing this we caused another problem we caused him not to leave the line. At Saturday’s test he went and picked up two marks and John sent him for the third mark and he wouldn’t go, John said his name again and he then left to get the mark but it was too late he failed the test. It’s a vicious cycle these are two things Gambler has never done before so John was really worried he was going to have troubles with him today but he didn’t Gambler pulled it off and brought home a ribbon. Two more passes to go for his title. 

   
    
 
  
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4th Master Pass~Monday Mischief

Gambler and John had a terrific weekend. Once again they were off to a AKC hunt test. This one was close to home less than a hour away. Saturday John ran two series and passed each one moving on to running the third series on Sunday. Gambler was dog #2 to run. The set up was a walk up delayed triple on water with a double water blind. This all meant that John and Gambler were walking up to the line when the first bird was thrown for the first mark down, then the second bird was thrown after the second one went down the dog was released to pick up that bird when the dog came back they had to sit again and then watch the third bird thrown which makes it a delayed triple. Gambler went to pick up that bird came back delivered it to hand and then was released to go pick up the first bird down which was called the memory bird. This was all set up to see if the dogs had a good memory and could remember that first bird down after doing multiple retrieves. He was on his way out to retrieve the memory bird when the mischief came into play…..one of the bird stations was reloading the winger for the next dog to run when accidentally the launcher was released and a bird came shooting out and landed on the ground, Gambler heard the winger and looked in that direction as he was running to his mark. He picked up his mark and on the way back John asked the judges what he was suppose to do since this wasn’t the test. The judges said he should just let him pick up the mark since he saw it go down. Gambler came back with his bird and was sent to the  “diversion” bird. He then had two water blinds to run. He completed the series and the wait was on for 30 more dogs to run before they found out if he for sure passed. As you can see he passed and received his 4th Master pass. One more to go before he can get his title. He is signed up for two more tests so hopefully he will get it this summer.

monday mischief

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3rd Master Hunter Pass~Wordless Wednesday

While Glory was having puppies this past weekend Gambler and John were off at a hunt test. My only wish was that Gambler did good so he could stay away during the birth of the puppies. There was a miracle and he listened to me for once and he passed all three series on Saturday and Sunday bringing home his 3rd Master Hunter pass. Thank you buddy you made mom really proud and thank you John for spending the weekend with Gambler while your little girl was tending to her new puppies.

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Problem Blinds~ Monday Mischief

Gambler had another weekend of hunt tests. The past two weekends he was running HRC (Hunting Retriever Club) UKC (United Kennel Club) hunt tests. He has run these in the past and currently has his HRC Seasoned title and one Finished pass. He needs three more Finished passes to earn his Finished title. Unfortunately he failed all four tests, there were one tests each day on the weekend. Three out of the four fails were on water blinds and one was on a land blind. Blinds are when a bird is put out in the field or across a bit of water and the dog doesn’t know where it is. The dog needs to be handled by whistle sits and hand signals to the blind. Gambler has done the types of blinds that were in the tests but for some reason he had a brain fart and couldn’t do them. Needless to say John and I have to go back to the drawing board so we can get Gambler to start passing tests again.

The highlight of my day yesterday was when I posted up the above quote on facebook telling everyone that Gambler’s fear is water blinds and that he needs to over come them. My pal Flea from Jones Natural Chews posted up this picture of Jimmy saying he had a fear of blinds too. It made me laugh out loud and smile during a sad time. Thank you Flea for making me smile and hope you don’t mind I stole your picture.

When John got home from the test and we talked about it we both decided that Gambler started failing when we stopped running permanent blinds at our house. We had permanent blinds set up at the house and would run him twice a day on them. The person who leases out crop land planted his crops and then we stopped running the blinds. During the time we were running the blinds Gambler passed the two Master tests in AKC, it’s been a month that we haven’t been running his permanent blinds with him and he has been failing ever since. When we train we run a mock hunt test set up and that is it. I haven’t been doing yard/drill work with him so I believe that is my fault as to why he has been failing. The poor guy just isn’t getting the proper training he needs to excel. John said it to, once it all clicks with him he will excel and there will be no stopping him as he is one hell of a marking dog. He just needs to polish up on his blind work.

monday mischief

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Back To The Drawing Board Worked~Monday Mischief

After last weekends double AKC Master Hunter fails for Gambler we had to go back to the drawing board. The first pass Gambler got was while I was away with Glory and John was handling him alone. Since that seemed to work for Gambler and John I asked John if he wouldn’t run him again this weekend by himself as I would be staying home. John agreed. So off John, Gambler and Glory went to the hunt test. This was the first time in the whole 14 years of playing this game that John and I didn’t go together when we had the chance to. This was sad for me, sad that I couldn’t watch, sad that I couldn’t take pictures, sad that I couldn’t spend time with the other participants. Sad I must be if this is what it will take to have Gambler pass and receive his title. The sadness didn’t last very long as John called me after each run and told me how they did and that they were moving on to the next series. In master level tests you need to pass three series in two days. Sunday John and Gambler left again for one more series and hopes for a pass and a ribbon to bring home to me.

Gambler received his 2nd AKC Master Hunter test.

The pure joy wiped out any sadness I had. What a wonderful weekend for Gambler and John. MK decided she wanted to photobomb Gamblers picture. Guess she is wondering how she can get a pretty ribbon?

Glory was up to mischief this weekend. She was entered in a AKC Senior Hunter test. This was in hopes of her passing and receiving her Senior Hunter title before she has puppies (we still don’t know if she is pregnant or not). She really wasn’t on her game in training this past week. When she is all hormonal her brain turns to mush. I entered her because she has been doing really well in training and thought she could pull it off. She went out on the water blind and that is just what she had problems with in training. She is now done with testing for the summer unless she isn’t pregnant. If she is pregnant she is done until next year. If she isn’t pregnant back to training and will be able to compete later in the summer.

Two more weeks and we will know if Glory is pregnant or not.

monday mischief

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G$ Down The Drain~Monday Mischief

Yesterday you got to see Gamblers 1st AKC Master Hunter pass ribbon on Black And White Sunday. If you didn’t get to see it you can see it here. John ran him that day and he said he was a completely different dog than before when he ran him. He thought he finally got his stuff together and the tests were clicking with him. Little did we know that would all change this past Friday.

I entered Gambler in a double master hunter test. One test started on Friday if you got called back you got to finish the series on Saturday. The second test started on Saturday and finished on Sunday. I asked John if he would run him again since he did so well for him. I went along to cheer them on.

John and Gambler watching 3 marks go down. Now mind you I stayed back by the truck until Gambler was up at the line and then I came to watch but still stayed about 100 yards away.

Gambler running out to the mark (he already picked up the first mark that I couldn’t get a picture of).

Still working.

Gambler couldn’t find the mark so John tried to handle him to the mark. Here he is sitting and waiting for John’s hand signal but here is where the mischief comes in, he wasn’t watching John, he was smelling me.

Coming back to John without the bird. He couldn’t stop looking for me and kept ignoring John.

Back into the truck with you. Gambler only got to pick up one bird today.

We thought Gambler was over being a momma’s boy and thought he could run a test with John handling him and me in the gallery. I guess not, so I am back to running my boy.

This was a major money down the drain day for us. John took off a day of work, the entry fee and gas money to get to the test. All in all this day probably cost us close to $300 and no .50 cent ribbon to show for it. I guess you win some and you loss some and we don’t play this game to worry about money spent.

Saturday Gambler and I went by ourselves to the hunt test. We ran the first series, got called back to run the second series then got called back again to run the third series. During the third series Gambler decided to act up and not listen to me at the line right in front of the judges. He wouldn’t sit, he wouldn’t give me the birds when he did give me the bird he jumped up at me and the judges trying to get the bird back. He tipped over a bucket trying to look for a bird. When he ran the blind he really wasn’t listening to me and that is what they failed him on but told me he needs to clean up his line manners as that isn’t any way for a master dog to act. So now I’m back at the drawing board as to who will run Gambler. This was the problem last year I had with him and why I quit running him. He has no respect for me on test day.

Only a couple more days to enter Gambler’s 4th Birthday Giveaway. You can enter here.

monday mischief

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