Bundled Up~Monday Mischief

When it’s cold outside be sure to bundle up! Bundled up is what I did on Saturday morning at the American Chesapeake Clubs Chesapeake Fun Day.

Yup it’s cold out here, I’m dressed for the weather.

The Michelin girl!

Gambler is nekkid.

He doesn’t care one bit that it is cloudy, windy and cold! As long as he is retrieving he is warm.

The mischief here is that these are the only 4 photo’s I got of Gambler and I training this day. I gave my camera to John and he isn’t a photo freak like me and only takes a few pictures. Have to give him lessons that more is better!

monday mischief

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Channel Blinds With Some Shucking And Jiving~FitDog Friday

This weeks training was on channel blinds. We have a upcoming hunt test in the beginning of May at a place where there are a couple channel blinds. Channel blinds are done on basically a rectangular piece of water that is long and narrow. They either have your dog swim right down the middle of the channel to the end of the channel or they have you enter on a angle from one side and swim across the channel to the other side. We haven’t done this yet this year so I thought we should practice this.

Glory was up first, we did a angle entry channel blind.

Starting at the top going left to right, Glory entered the water, she was getting a little of kilter so I whistle stopped her, she turned around and I gave her a hand cast to turn right and head to the blind. She picked up the bumper and got back in the water and headed back on the same line she took out there.

Here Glory is shucking the water off.

Here she is jiving to a fun bumper. How come when training they might move a little slower but you throw a fun bumper and then she moves like a banchie jiving along the way.

Next was a fun bumper into the water so she could make a big splash.

Now it is Gamber’s turn.

Gambler did the channel blind by swimming down the middle of the channel to the end, turning around and coming straight back. He lined the blind which means he swam down without being stopped and given a hand signal.

Gambler trying his paw at shucking.

The only jiving he did was launching into the water.

This weekend we will be traveling to Minnesota to visit with Nellie’s daughter Pearl and to attend a Chessie Fun day. Stop back tomorrow to see pictures of Norman at the last fun day we went to many moons ago.

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The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Emma from Mygbgvlife to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

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Distractions~FitDog Friday

This past week the SS gang worked on distractions during blind work. Distractions can be holding blinds used to hide the person planting the blind, holding blinds used to hide the people throwing the marks, they can be decoys near the line of the blind and it can be a duck thrown in the area of the blind so the dog has to go through that old scent. All which can cause a problem for young or advanced dogs. Gambler had worked on this last year as he was running master level tests where you mostly see these distractions. Glory was running seniors so she hasn’t seen too much of this so it was time to start training her in it.

Gambler starts today:

Heading out past the snow geese decoys to the blind.

Picking up the duck at the blind.

Heading back with the duck from the blind.

Getting closer.

HIYA!

Taking off.

I gotta get there fast.

 

Next blind retrieve Gambler had to pick up a bumper.

Bringing it back.

Good boy.

MK supervising the training session.

After Gambler was done John said “go get mom” and this is his face charging me on the ground.

Glory’s turn:

Getting ready.

Taking off.

Motoring out.

Glory got sucked into the snow geese decoys, she wanted to go check them out, she got told to sit.

Right hand turn.

Coming back.

Next the holding blind distracted Glory.

Getting Glory to get away from the holding blind.

Bringing the bumper back.

Good girl.

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The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Emma from Mygbgvlife to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

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Car Packed For Training~FitDog Friday

Finally the day has come for the SS gang. Today we are off training with our weekly training group. My friend’s Sandy and Dick go to Georgia for the winter so training is on our own when the weather permits. They are back to WI and ready to keep training with us. I am super excited to be back training as we didn’t get to do to much this winter because of the bitter cold  freezing temps. I spend Wednesday getting my car ready to go, it is packed with all my training gear (at least I hope so). Get ready for many training photos to come and see how the SS gang is staying fit this spring/summer.

Glory ready for training.

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The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Emma from Mygbgvlife to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

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Hunt Test Training Has Begun~FitDog Friday

Gambler and Glory have started their hunt test training. The snow is finally gone and the weather has been warmer so they have been out and about training. It was a long winter with some brutal cold temps so I hate to admit it they didn’t get the exercise they should of this winter. Glory gained some extra pounds so she needs to get her running muscle back on, Gambler gained a few pounds also but I wanted him to gain some as he has always been a really lean dog so now I think he looks great at 75#. Gambler is a high energy dog and is always on the move, he has a different build than Glory so he kept his muscle over the winter and kept his stamina also. A few weeks of continuous training and Glory will get her stamina back also.

Here are the photos from this past weeks training.

Gambler

Glory

Here are two of my favorite photos from the training session.

Gambler

Glory

You can see the sheer joy in Glory’s eyes being out training again. We hope to run our first Hunt Test in early May. Glory needs one more AKC Senior pass that I would like to get on her for her title before I breed her in May/June.

And now the winners of my Rejenease giveaway from last Friday. Click the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A big thank you to Steve at Rejenease for letting me do the giveaway. He will be in contact via email to all the winners.

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The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Emma from Mygbgvlife to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

 

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Bad Mom No Biscuit~Gambler Blows A Moccasin

Bad Mom No Biscuit~Gambler Blows A Moccasin

A couple weeks ago Gamblers brother Easy from across the pond tore his toenail off you can read about it here. Gambler not wanting to have his brother feeling like he was the only one to blow a moccasin decided to blow one of his own the first day of spring training at the Sandspring ranch. On my day off I set up some blinds for G & G, we ran our blinds, set up camp for the evening and John asked why Gambler was holding his leg up…..ahhhh that would be because he broke his toenail. This would be the third toenail that Gambler has broken off. Second time while out training, the other time while attacking the vacuum.

Rut roo not good to go for a ride with mom on a work day.

This was totally my fault, I noticed over the weekend that his nails were getting long and that they needed to be trimmed but of course I ran out of time and didn’t get to it now poor Gambler had to suffer. 😦

Broken back toenail.

He just took off the top part of the nail.

Other toenails very long. Bad Mom!

The toenail on the right is the one he broke off over a year ago, it still hasn’t decided to grow back like a regular nail. The toenail with the arrow by it is showing the quik (blood vein in the toenail- pink area) and the white tip of the toenail that is over grown and should be cut off so it doesn’t break off.

How I trim toenails.

Trimming equipment.

There are different types of nail trimmers, I like those big orange ones. You should also have on hand kwik stop to stop bleeding if you cut one too short, styptic pencils can be used too but will sting.

Gambler laying on his side.

Since I had help I had Gambler lay on his side. The holder put her elbow across his neck and used her left hand to hold his lower front leg and then put her right arm across his stomach right in front of his back legs and held his lower back leg. With those legs held if he struggles he can’t get up. I then trim the tips off the nails, I trim the skinny area right before it gets to the thick part of the nail shown above by the arrow. If they are light nails you can see the quik in the nail which is pink so you want to cut right before the quik.

Starting in the middle.

I start taking the middle of the nail off then I rotate the clippers to take some off of each side and then go back to the middle and take more off the top.

Rotating to the sides.

Opps I cut one to short.

If you happen to cut one to short, you can use kwik stop powder or corn starch to stop the bleeding. Styptic pencils can be used too but do sting so we use those on asleep animals.

Bleeding stopped.

A dremel can be used to smooth out the rough edges.

Trimmed up.

Don’t be like me and wait for your dog to break a toenail before you trim them. Granted they can still break a toenail that is trimmed up but most likely it happens when they are long. This was a minor break once it was trimmed up and cleaned up Gambler was good as new and back training. Can’t keep this hard running dog down at all.

monday mischief 

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Blind Retrieves In Snow~FitDog Friday

Last weekend the temperature warmed up to the mid 30’s, finally warm enough to do some training. We decided to run 3 blind’s with the dogs. Blind’s are retrieves done without the dog knowing where the bumpers are and have to be guided with a whistle and hand signals, unless the dog “lines the blind” then it doesn’t need any help at all. We like them to need help as it is good training for a hunt test.

Glory was up first.

Sitting getting ready for her release command.

And she’s off.

John gave her a left hand back.

She went a little to far to the left. Need to do a right hand over now.

Right hand over.

Got it!

The return.

Gambler’s time.

Gambler lining up.

And he’s off.

The return.

Glory needing a break in the snow.

Gambler doesn’t seem to tire but Glory on the other hand need a little more exercising to get in shape. She came back from her last blind and had to lay down and take a moment in the snow. Mind you the closest blind was 150 yards out and then the other two were over 200 yards.

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The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Emma from Mygbgvlife to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pheasant Hunt~FitDog Friday

The dogs finally got to do a little pheasant hunting a couple weeks ago. We have been feeding our penned up pheasants for over 8 months and the gang thought it was time to do a little hunting since they haven’t gotten to hunt a month. We put the pheasants out in the marsh and took Nellie first to get her three pheasants. She caught one by herself and one she flushed up. More old girl couldn’t hear us or just wouldn’t listen to us and was having too much fun running amuck she got put up and didn’t get to get her third pheasant. It was a cold day so we decided to take Gambler and Glory out together so we could get it done faster without having to switch out dogs. Gambler caught a couple by himself too and Glory caught one. They both got some flushes and retrieves. It was a good day for the SS gang.

After this hunt the door to the pheasant pen was left open and about 25 pheasants got out. It would of been fine if they would of just flew off and found a new home but of course they didn’t because they knew the dogs needed to stay in shape so why not stick around and have the dogs run and chase to catch them. Wednesday morning for a hour and half the dogs were running non stop catching and bringing me birds. They bought me 15 that day. There are still more that each day they bring me.

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The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Emma from Mygbgvlife to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

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{This Moment} See Beautiful~SS 2014 Reflections

{This Moment} See Beautiful~SS 2014 Reflections

Sand Spring Chesapeakes Year In Review 2014

With 2015 already upon us I’m taking a moment to reflect on 2014 with the Sand Spring Chesapeakes.

My first reflection is on my old gal Nellie.

Nellie turned 10 in 2014. She is still going strong, she has a few more grey hairs and some extra pounds that she is carrying around but it doesn’t slow her down out in the field. She got to a little training with Gambler and Glory as well as some pheasant hunting . We had one scare while out pheasant hunting on public property, we were in heavy tall cover and we lost Nellie in it for over a hour. It was the longest hour of my life wondering if we were going to find her. The moment I saw her running back to me was the happiest moment of my life. I learned when you take a senior dog hunting you can’t let them out of your site and the conditions and environment need to be acceptable for them so nothing happens to them. Nellie doesn’t hear as well as she used to so I figure she got on a track and didn’t hear us calling and got messed up in the tall cover. A happy ending to what could of been a sad ending. Nellie’s puppies are all growing up, their ages are 7, 5 and 3. I’m happy to say everyone is doing great and that their families are all enjoying and loving them.

My second reflection is on Gambler and Glory and the year we’ve had together. We had a year of many highs and many lows. Gambler and Glory received their Therapy Dog Inc. certifications in December of 2013. We kicked off our therapy sessions right away in January 2014 and what a amazing adventure it has been. Each dog visited 10 times during the year, according to AKC at 10 visits  you are awarded the novice therapy title (THDN) that will proudly be displayed in my home and forever on their registered name. Therapy work is work like no other work. The joy and heartwarming feeling you get from the kids interacting with your dogs is like no other joy in the world. I leave there in such a high it rubs off on my gang and they are proud that they made a difference in the life of a child and to me. We will continue our therapy work in the days, months and years ahead.

Besides receiving their AKC Novice Therapy title Gambler and Glory also received their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and American Temperament Society Test (TT) title. These titles are great as it shows my Chesapeake’s have good manners and temperament which back in the day temperament was a big issue with Chesapeake’s. It’s nice to be able to breed the undesirable out of them and focus on the desirable.

My third reflection is on conformation shows. I took a year off from showing Glory in AKC & UKC venues. Gambler was only being shown in UKC conformation shows, back in 2013 he received his Grand Champion show title (U-GRCH). At the end of 2013 he was again for the second year in a row the #1 Chesapeake Bay Retriever for the UKC Top Ten Breed And Dog Standings with 16 points. We were then invited to the 2014 UKC Premier in Kalamazoo, MI to compete in the Top Ten Invitational. Sadly we didn’t  make it to the invitational but it doesn’t make his prior year any less of a accomplishment. I am still in awe that “my dog” did so well and held the Top Ten position for two years in a row. Gambler is now retired from UKC showing.

My fourth reflection is the reflection if you have been following along with our hunt test training and testing that brought me highs and the most lows during the year. I’ve shed more tears during hunt tests then I have done before. I’ve also learned a lot during this time. We train weather permitting March – August. During this time we compete in UKC and AKC hunt tests. Each venue is slightly different so you need to train differently. I’ve learned that there is only so many hours in a day and it’s hard to train for and compete in multiple venues. I understand now why some people only do one venue a year. Does that stop me no, I have high hopes and goals so I push to do both because that is who I am.

John and I both train and run Glory, we both shared in the joy that came from Glory receiving her UKC Hunting Retriever Seasoned (HR) title during the summer of 2014. She also competed in AKC Senior level tests passing 3 out of the 4 she needed for her title. I so wanted her get her Senior Hunter title before I bred her in the fall but it wasn’t in stars. The breeding wasn’t in the stars either as I did breed her but the pregnancy didn’t take. They say everything happens for a reason, I don’t have any idea what the reason was but I have to believe it was for the best and march on.

I have done all of Gamblers training. John has run him in competition when I was at my low and couldn’t run him. We had a tough year, a tough year because again I have high expectations and thought my dog was ready for testing when he probably wasn’t. My theory on hunt test’s are you get a pass/fail. So it’s a 50/50 chance that you will pass/fail. We are running dogs and you just never know what they are going to do on a given day so I always say go for it and see what happens. Gambler is the first dog I trained by myself, the first dog I ran in UKC Finished and AKC Master level tests. We are talking big stakes here. If anyone says these stakes are easy I will have to say they are wrong. It really puts you to the test and can humble you like you have never been humbled before. This summer we ran Gambler in five UKC Finished tests passing only one, we also ran him in 7 AKC Master level tests not passing any. What I learned from this hunt test season is that even know I feel I have a good dog I need to take a step back and make sure we both are ready for the big guns. We need to work better as a team and Gambler needs to realize there is no “I” in team. He has to mature enough to realize and trust me to guide him where he needs to be and to become a team player. I think one of the biggest challenges in running hunt test competition with a fabulous hunting dog is that the hunting dog comes out in them and they want to work for themselves because they think they know where it is and that they can find it faster. After each fail I would be depressed, wondered what was wrong with me and my dog. I’ve learned that there is nothing wrong with me or my dog and that it isn’t the destination it is the journey we travel together whether we pass or fail it’s all about the time, love, joy and companionship we have for each other. We may not get that title anytime soon but we will get it and we will get it just me and him and in the end I will look back on all the shed tears and I will shed one tear as I hug him and tell him we did this together. As I am typing this Gambler has his head rested on my keyboard so hopefully he is taking this all in and 2015 will be a better year.

My fifth reflection is on our hunting adventures. We are truly blessed to be able to take our dogs on a big hunting trip. Our big hunting trip is in the fall when we travel with friends to Saskatchewan to hunt snow geese. Gambler and Glory got to travel with us this year again and what a year we had. We hunted one week and the hunting group got 307 ducks, geese and a couple cranes. It’s a week spend hanging out with friends, their dogs and hunting what could be better than that? Along the way we meet up with our other Canadian friends from Facebook and that is just another highlight of the adventure. When we get home from Saskatchewan the waterfowl season is underway and upland hunting starts. The gang didn’t get to hunt ducks too often, they got to hunt some geese and many days pheasant hunting. We are fortunate to live near so many acres of DNR public hunting that there is always some where’s to take the gang to do some hunting. Gambler had a fabulous hunting season as he was used by my friend who has a guide service in WI. Justin Kohn from All Seasons Adventures In Wisconsin kept Gambler and took him hunting the month of October. This is a dogs dream to be out hunting everyday and getting birds every day. They say Chesapeake’s are a  one person dogs but after Justin and Gambler figured out the routine they hit it off and when I would go pheasant hunting with them Gambler didn’t care about me and he stuck by Justin like glue and hunted great for him. Once Gambler was back home with me he then thought I was his best bud and hunted for me. It shows the versatility with him as he can  train for different competitions, run different competitions and hunt for different people and still do a good job doing it.

All in all I do have to say now the highs of our year really do outweigh the lows. I will leave you with this quote my friend shared with me:

I close with this poem that says it all! My motto for 2015 and the years ahead.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
― Neil Gaiman

Here’s to 2015!

this moment

{This Moment} See Beautiful is a once a month Blog Hop, every 2nd Friday of the month. simply create a blog post that made your day, week, and/or month … inspiring you in Seeing Beauty. Blog Hop inspired by See Beautiful. We thank Sugar and Miss Lydia from See Beautiful.

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FitDog Friday~1st Training Day Of 2015

It’s been about 5 weeks since the SS gang has been out hunting. It’s been about three months since we have done any type of hunt test training. Last week before the deep freeze came we decided it was time to use up the ducks we had in our pen and did a little training with the crew. We set up a test in the marsh, Nellie was test dog and she got one life flyer. My camera battery was dead so I didn’t get any pictures of her. She retrieved her bird with no problems and was happy as ever to finally get out and do something. I walked back to the house to put Nellie away and got my phone to take some shots of G & G running their marks. They each got a double live flyer and 2 blinds. They both were over the moon excited to be out training again and they didn’t do to bad for taking some time off.

Now we are in a deep freeze so the training will have to be put on hold for a few days until the temps get back up into the twenty’s or thirty’s, -3 below isn’t good for training, can’t stay out very long in that kind of conditions. Need to be safe when out training.

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The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Emma from Mygbgvlife to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.