It’s the the blog hop that lets you wrap up your week and leads you right into the weekend.
Storm is not at all discriminating about her attempts to sneak a taste of coffee. It could Folgers or Starbucks, black or with cream, Storm cares not. She just knows she wants it!
A new follower to our blog, FleaByte asked:
Ultimately, why the training? Competition? Primarily for hunting?
In addition to hunting, our dogs also participate in AKC and HRC hunt tests. They are pass/fail tests with the dogs earning either a qualifying or not qualifying score. The training that we do for these tests pays off when hunting season rolls around and gives us something fun to do during the off season.
Thunder and Storm are both running at the AKC Master/HRC Finished level. Freighter is still young. He has two Junior Hunter passes from the end of last season. We are hoping he will be able to run some Senior level tests this year.
Whenever I post about handling, I always get questions about it. To help explain, here is a video from April 2011 when Thunder and his handler were just learning handling together. It is a pattern blind with 4 piles set out. Most of it is getting Thunder to change his mind and go to the pile his handler wants him to go to rather than the one he wants to go to. Thunder’s handler is using the whistle, voice commands and hand signals. Both dog and handler have learned a lot in the last two years.
You may notice that the cars appear quite close in this video. They are further away than they look on the video, but do not train your dogs near a busy street unless you are very confident in your recall!
If the video doesn’t play try here.
We have a large variety of birds up at our cabin. There are Song Birds, Woodpeckers, Wood Ducks, Grouse, Turkey, Woodcock, Owls, even Eagles. In the summer we get Hummingbirds and sometimes Baltimore Orioles. We keep the bird feeders and suet cakes mainly to keep the Woodpeckers from making a meal of the house.
There is one very rare species which nests in the jack pine forests around our cabin. At one time the Kirtland’s Warbler was very near extinction. It will only nest in an immature jack pine forest. In the days before Smokey Bear, wildfires would clear the forests and allow the Jack Pines to regenerate. The seeds will only regenerate in wide open areas. Smokey Bear was too good at his job and as the number of forest fires decreased, so did the Kirtland’s Warbler. However, clear cutting and managing the forests have allowed this little bird to make a come back. I know it is unlikely, but I hold out hope that one will stumble into my yard.
We get regular visits from other distinctive birds, including the Pileated Woodpecker. Here is a picture I took with my old camera trough the window. Pileated Woodpeckers are kind of shy. My new camera lets me take better pictures from further away, so I hope to get more bird pictures this Spring and Summer.
Thank you for all of the compliments on my pictures. My new camera lets me zoom and unzoom the lens with ease so I can get much better action shots. It is also faster so I can really catch the dogs moving.
I was very happy to see Thunder running and playing with ease last weekend and I think his leg may finally be healed. For new readers, Thunder had a nagging injury towards the end last summer. We think it was due to him launching himself into ponds that were too shallow and banging his leg. Most of the ponds around here were very shallow due to drought, but that did not stop Thunder.
After x-rays of his toes, wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck which showed nothing, not even arthritis, the orthopedic vet felt it was strained ligaments. We decided to put a cast on Thunder’s leg. He had that cast through most of hunting season and once the cast came off, Thunder was on rest until the beginning of December.
We have been introducing activity very gradually to allow scar tissue to break up and I am happy to report that even after all of the running and jumping through the snow, I saw no limping!
And that wraps the week. Have a nice weekend!