Yesterday, at the open HPR trial at Altyre near Forres, we sponsored the event with a fantastic Nest in Wipe Clean material. We do this every year as it is nice to have one or two “sporting events” to support with prizes such as luxury dog beds. In fact it is not really a prize as we put it in for the raffle in order for the club to raise money. As we have been doing this for about five years, many competitors have benefitted from buying their club supporting raffle tickets. But is it not amazing that the SAME person has now won it three years on the trot. I don’t know a lot about statistics and, granted, there are maybe only 20-30 people buying tickets each time, but when the same person won it yet again yesterday, we were all amazed. However, everyone involved in trialling usually have quite a number of dogs and every one of the dog beds that she won will be given to one dog.
The trial went very well and there were four awards given. To my enormous delight, my friend, Anne Johnson, won the trial with her German Wirehaired Pointer, Heidi. Anne and I spend a lot of time together working our dogs in all kinds of situations starting at the spring count on grouse where we go out on the Scottish grouse moors quartering our dogs till they find birds, at this time always paired up and holding their territories. At the flush command we write down what we see and hence at the end of the day, we know how many potentially breeding pairs there are on the moor. We then take a break and perhaps do a little bit of working tests with the dogs, where Tuffies then again usually sponsors the event with one of our exquisite dog beds.
After the quiet summer Anne and I carry on with the summer grouse count where we go out with the pointers and find out how many young the pairs have managed to raise. This is great fun and it’s a trick to be careful that the dogs don’t get too enthusiastic in the flush in case the young birds are very young and actually don’t fly. The instinct of the dog is really to try and grab, so the tiny chicks can end up in the mouth of a big dog. If we suspect that the chicks are very young, we simply hold on the dog’s collar and look in the heather for young birds. If they are really young, we don’t even count them, we just walk off and leave them.
Later Anne and I then take part in the grouse shooting days where EACH bird is carefully collected and used for the table. Shooting over pointers is hard work and you only collect a very modest bag that is all admired and treasured and used for human consumption.
As the grouse season comes to an end, there is more pointer work to be done on snipe and woodcock right on till the end of January and then the whole season starts over again. So it should be understandable whey our pooches really need their dog beds!!!