Dozens of stories will come out of our six-day trip into Oregon. We just got back to Walnut Creek yesterday afternoon.
I figured I'd just cut to the highlight of a field trial handlers weekend: To achieve a placement in an event that you entered. Especially if you drive 65o miles to attend it.
So we left Sauvie Island, just northwest of Portland Oregon, on Sunday with a fourth place ribbon for Open Derby in the Trail's End Vizsla Club of Oregon first ever field trials. Open derby is the group of dogs aged six-months to two-years-old that can find and point birds.
Bailey is now 13-months-old.
Bailey was very out-classed by a fine group of local dogs and a fellow Northern California dog (Hank) out in the field. The professional handlers are great to watch and learn from and I felt like the rookie I am. Richard (soaking down his dog Scooter) is one of the best I have ever seen.
Bailey is a suburban dog and not a country dog. Country dogs know how to run large and wide open. Bailey was also not in the "field-trial shape" the professional handlers had their dogs tuned up to.
We can and will do better. I am very pleased with fourth out of thirteen very good dogs.
Bailey and I started this evening, now that we are home, with a 40-minute bike ride to build up Bailey's endurance.
Athletic dogs in this sport must have good genes. I am quickly learning though that you can't take raw ability very far against very well trained and conditioned athletic dogs.
So much to learn. I am having a great time learning this sport. One day I can see blue in our future.
Many posts to follow but again I will try to keep each one short and easy to read.