Well, lets do a catch up before we look into what will hopefully be a cracking 2012 for us all with our families and dogs.
We went to our regular shoot on boxing day and as normal for this season Jay-Jay came with us but this time so did Mia. We felt Mia deserved to come with us as she is the one who has less walks at the moment with my knee as it is, yet not once has she been a nuisance through boredom. She has not been on shoot as we did not deem her fit enough especially as what exercise she has had has been freedom walks, no training, we need not have worried. David Lisett once said of our Mia, 'She was a dog that he could shoot over all day' and as always he was sooo right.
Gary started off working her but she is so use to me working her that I started to work the pair of them when beating through the wood. It was made easier by the fact that when in woodland Jay Jay can be trusted to keep a nice and tight pattern whilst Mia can be trusted to range, bless her, though range maybe a slight understatement this time :)
Thankfully Mia does not range forward, she just covers more of the beat line, which to be honest I like as we have quite a few dogs on shoot that hunt forward and back rather than side to side, which means they will miss game which our girls will find. Jay-Jay found and flushed a hen bird from under a log that other dogs had just run over, though the little toe rag moved 2-3 paces on it. This forward running does mean however that a lot of the birds that Mia and Jay-Jay would come across are flushed before they even get there by other dogs.
That is something we will have to review as whilst with Mia being an experienced girl on shoot and therefore can take what must be disappointing for them, working when they know dogs are forward of them and therefore flushing birds that Jay Jay and Mia would want to,
Jay Jay is not as experienced as her mum and therefore could be tempted into running forward. She has not been tempted so far but it is very much a possibility with young dogs.
Our Little jay jay did make one mistake, an easy one for a young one, she pegged a hen bird that was so far in a dense bush that it could not move any further. Jay Jay went in to flush but upon finding it could not move brought it out to me, it was totally unharmed, though Jay Jay had more thorns and scrapes from that one bush than the whole day :)
Mia,as always excelled in the thick cover, she will go into the most nastiest of bushes without any hesitation. We are hoping it will rub off on Jay Jay as Jay is totally willing to go into thick cover if she can smell something in there but doesn't want to enter if there is no smell, which could be because of the barb wire injury she acquired last season.
Mia worked particularly hard in a very nasty strip, 200ft-50ft, looking for a hen bird that a young gun had shoot and a cock bird that an older man had shot. The cock bird had the gun and picker up in disagreement as the gun said he had definitely shoot it and the picking up chap said that the gun had missed it, going onto say that he had even seen it land and happily run on. Well shoot etiquette is to never leave a bird that may be damaged, quite rightly so, therefore we felt we had to make sure the cock bird was not there meaning instead of just working 1/6 of the strip for the hen bird, Mia had to work the whole strip.
She worked it wonderfully, knowingly covering all of the patch and of course out she popped with the hen bird but not the cock bird.
We are lucky on our shoot as guns and beaters all mix together and the Guns are a particularly nice bunch of men and women as our the beaters and pickers up. Sadly this one gun was not feeling the joy of the day, I wonder could it be because the younger boy had more than likely out shoot him and the picker up had been prove right he he he
I was so pleased that Gary was there though as boy can our Mia pull on the lead when on shoot, daft thing walks nicely by my side off shoot though, he he he
Well, we have a lot to look forward to with the dogs, starting with the training of the pups when this darn knee allows it.
We so need to get cracking on that otherwise we will just have two pet dogs in the house, which is totally fine but with so much potential I would rather i did train them especially as I know it would add to their enjoyment.
Then we will have Mia's litter to look forward too (fingers crossed), her last one ever so we may leave that until winter time, we shall see.
We will hopefully have the time this year to give our Jay Jay the experience she needs to move on in her trialling, injury to her and I getting in the way for this season. We have sadly not been lucky in the draws either for the trials, with up to 50 people entering a trial and only 16 needed, the chances of being pulled out of the hat are getting slimmer so we may not get another run this season. Fingers are crossed that we at least get to run in the London cocker trial at the end of the month as it will have many friends there of ours therefore a day we will not want to miss even if we do not get a run, though fingers crossed we will..
Finally may we take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful and enjoyable 2012 for you and your dogs