Sunday, October 14, 2012

Point Stories from Hungarian Vizsla Forum Members

The day was full with anticipation. A new life, a new love, a new yet re-told story of a Vizsla Puppy coming to its new home. A home filled with toys and bedding, warmth and comfort and love. A home also filled with an opportunity all too many of Ducati’s brethren in the breed will never have. This home is a hunting home. Bred for generation upon generation to work with his co-habitant humans, the dog’s genetic code bubbles beneath the surface, simply waiting for the opportunity to burst forth. Today is a huge day in the lives of “Duke”and his new partner. Today they bond in the first of a thousand moments they will ultimately share.
Duke is inquisitive and bold for his age, yet very focused on keeping near to this new, interesting and confident person in his life. They walk slowly together through low cover, Duke’s senses coming alive with every inhalation of scent, every footstep on foreign soil. He feels the grass stalks brushing his belly and sides and decides the sensation is pleasant. All the while there is this intoxicating smell. It’s a smell he’s never scented before, but somehow deeply familiar. He presses on through the grasses, lifting his young head to the light breeze that carries this heavenly, delicious scent. Forward, forward he goes as the excitement builds with each intoxicating breath. Strong is the scent now and his body begins to reflexively tense, his pace slows, he inhales deeply, again and again. Rigid now, sucking in the air that pulls across the Quail, meanders through the grass and into his soul; Duke, with his ancestral blood coursing, his proud new Partner smiling and his world becoming magically true, holds Point.

My story of vizlsas on point I had no idea what a vizsla was when this guy I had gone on a date with called and said “it’s a gorgeous day. I’m going to take my puppy for a hike in the woods. Do you want to come?” Anyone who knew me knew I was NOT a dog person. But, I really liked this guy and from our conversations I knew how important his dog was to him so, I said “SURE”. There I was, in the woods with a gorgeous 8 month old male vizsla named Flynn. I was mesmerized. He was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen. Being a runner myself, I admired his lean build, his musculature and most of all, his endless energy supply. That’s when it happened! We came upon two ducks in the pond and out of the blue Flynn pointed. I asked, “What’s he doing? How’d you teach him to do that?”. My date replied, “He’s pointing. I didn’t teach him. It just happened. It’s innate. He’s a pointer. A bird dog.” I watched in amazement as Flynn gracefully pointed with his leg raised up in the air. He barely moved and he didn’t make a sound. His nose twitched a bit and he actually looked possessed. It was incredible. Truth be told, I think I fell for the dog before the man. It’s been 7 years since then and Flynn is as much mine as he is my husband’s. We love vizlsas so much we got another one. A precious little girl named Luna. At the recommendation of a friend, we decided to have her evaluated for hunting when she was 6 months. It was New Year’s Day in New England so we bundled up to go meet the “bird man”. Aside from watching Luna point sparrows and seagulls, we didn’t know what she was capable of. Imagine our surprise when she sniffed out and pointed the hidden birds the trainer planted. It was magical. This tiny little pup locked in on the scent and went into perfect point mode. She was so graceful and determined. The trainer praised her and said she had “what it takes”. We were incredibly proud. She’s come a long way in her fist year and is just one qualifying ribbon away from getting her JH. My husband has even decided to take up hunting because he knows it would be a shame to waste such talent!

  Last pre elk season in the mountains of northeast Utah, Kauzy and I went hunting for antler sheds to start scouting bedding locations. He's become a very good scent tracker and we found 6 different sheds. It was so amazing to see him at work, nose plastered to the ground. All of a sudden he would sprint off, bark twice and point. About 5 feet in front of him would be a shed. Later that season, I took 2 elk and he was detrimental in blood tracking them down. The first elk ran for about 150 yards before he dropped, it only took Kauzy 10 minutes to find him. The second one went almost 350 yards. With that one, Kauzy only spent about 15-20 minutes tracking before we found him. It was the same formula, Kauzy would go nose down, run, nose down, run, bark twice and point. 5 feet in front of my pointing statue would be a fresh kill. Hunting has gotten so much more fun with him around.

Dove season starts long before quail season, my son and I decided to go on a midweek hunt. Cash was young and this was his first hunting season, my son was 14 at the time. We were hunting a pasture with knee high goat weed in it. The dove weren't flying well that day, so we decided to walk the fence line. Some of the dove that were feeding in the field would take flight. If you were quick you could get off a shot before they were out of range. Three dove in the bag using Cash as a retriever. A good 200 yards of walking the fence line and Cash goes on a rock solid point. He is pointing to a area that has cover to my mid thigh. Mine son has dove on the brain and walks in to flush what he believes is dove. Fifteen feet into the cover and 17-20 quail flush up in front of him. They were almost close enough to reach out and touch with your hand. His reaction was to shoulder the gun and start tracking the birds. I don't know if it was my yelling NO, or him realizing during the covey rise that it was quail that kept him from shooting. I have to share my store from this morning. Granted, it's unrelated to pointing but just shows you the love for dogs and how it's so universal.

  I had a business meeting today with two guys who are on the production/manufacturing end of items that my client produces. They came into the meeting really hard and weren't too friendly throughout the entire meeting. Finally at the end of the meeting my client said "hey, so you going deer hunting soon?" to one of the production guys and he begrudgingly said "yeah, I finally found some time to take a trip" as he was clearly trying to make his way to leave really quickly without any small talk. Then I chimed in and said "Do you do any bird hunting? I'll lone you my dog." (Granted, Haeden is solely a companion and neither I nor my boyfriend hunt but I thought it would get him going.) He asked what I had so I told him a vizsla. He immediately lit up and knew what breed I was talking about whereas everyone else was looking at me like "oh, that's what the red dog you have is?" I just loved that by simply mentioning a vizsla he went from cold/hard and difficult to talk with to the nicest guy in the world and completely friendly. Once again- my pup finds a way to brighten my day. This time he wasn't even there!

 Over the summer, we brought Otto with us on a family vacation to Sagamore Beach. We go every year - a big group of us. This year, there were 15 of us, a mix of family and friends. It's a lively group and everyone was shocked, amazed, and entertained by Otto's endless energy, his athleticism, and agility. Otto was in need of some exercise, so we were engaged in a game of fetch with the chuck-it, launching the ball from one end of the beach to the other. Everyone was fixated on Otto when i sent the ball flying and Otto was there chasing right after it. He was in full stride, when his attention was diverted to a large bird at the end of the jetty. The breaks were on immediately and his long, beautiful, powerful stride transformed into a delicate, steady, stealth creep towards the bird. Our company had mixed responses, some aware of his instincts, others were questioning what was going on very clear in front of them. As Otto got closer to the bird, my boyfriend tiptoed behind to grab his long line. Immediately, the group whispered "Noooo, let him go!" - everyone wanted to watch nature at work.

  A thousand words will never paint a picture - a picture is just one moment in time - how does art form and purpose come together?
It's at the moment of a hard POINT and the 1/2 second after that - the sound of your long gun going off safety - the ruffle of feathers as a bird takes flight - the sight of a pup on POINT and in that moment in time - your pup has one purpose in it's life  and the world stands still - we should all be that LUCKY ! 

Point story: My pup Mac who is now 17 months was walking in the woods with my wife off lead when he was around 6 months old. He was doing his normal V thing of going out about 200 yards and then returning to check in every once in awhile. My wife noticed that she no longer had his lead and so called him to turn around so she could look for it. We often hide treats in the house and then give a "find it" command and Mac will search for the treats. On turning to look for the lead my wife gave a "find it" command and Mac sprinted off much further than the norm and out of site. My wife continued to walk do the path as and caught up to Mac who was stood in a stiff point with nose down over...... yep you guessed it the lead!

Here are three stories we have rehashed a few times. Blue is our hunter, but now that Mac is really coming into his own (we thought he was gun shy, be we figured out he just gets overwhelmed hunting with my brother-in-laws dogs for some reason), we hope to get some good ones about him this year...season starts Saturday out here! The point is…”listen” to your dog My husband Mark was out hunting with Blue. As the hunt was coming to an end and they started their long walk out towards the truck, he noticed a pheasant dash across the logging road quite a way up the trail…Blue didn't see it. As they approached the spot where the bird crossed, Blue picked up the scent and followed it into the woods, however she kept trying to circle back out. Mark, knowing where the bird went in, kept trying to get Blue to go deeper into the woods. But Blue kept wanting to go back out toward the road. After several frustrating attempts to get Blue to follow him into the woods further he finally gave up and turned around. Within a few minutes, Blue was found locked up on the bird…right back where they had must have double backed. Ever since then, he learned to trust his dog’s nose over his own eyes.
The point is…they will make you proud!
Mark was helping guide a group hunt at our gun club for a friend of his. As Mark was walking with the one of the older gentlemen of the group, he realized he hadn’t seen/heard Blue for a few minutes. He turned to the gentleman he was with and let him know that when Blue disappears and doesn't check in for a minute or two she is usually on a bird. As they crested a small knoll, sure enough there she was, locked up solid on a pheasant…and waiting patiently for the hunter to catch up and take care of his part of the deal. The group of men had never met a Vizsla before but they sure were amazed by our little red girl! 
The point is…what? 
We were just running the dogs one day…and all of a sudden Blue locks up solid on…something. We are looking all around, as this was a serious point! What we found was a turtle! My husband calls our breeder later that day and jokingly says “what, did you sell me a turtle dog?”…and according to her, turtles have a particular scent that would not have caused any penalty in competition for doing so. Who knew?
 From the fields and woods of Western Massachusetts.

And lastly I add my point story to the great ones above:

It was a cold winter field trial in the northern hills of California. Bailey and I had just started running field trials with the adult pointing breeds.  Bailey was about two and a half years old.  Bailey and I was the only "newbie team" in the twenty-eight dog field.  All the others were veteran dog men.
  This was a thirty-minute brace with quail planted along the course.  All birds were being "blanked" with a blank gun by the handler once they were flushed.  The "call back" for "the retrieve" would be afterwards for the top six dogs.
This was a horseback trial so I borrowed a horse and we set off with a veteran owner and his German Shorthair.  Five minutes into the run the GSP came upon a bird.  Bailey locked up into a beautiful honor and held steady through the shot until I released him.  So far so good.  Bailey was running well but the minutes passes and he had not found a bird.  Twenty-five minutes into the brace I came upon Bailey on point facing a downed one hundred year old plus oak tree.  I dismounted from my borrowed horse and walked over to him and looked the direction he was looking.  Under the log a lone quail.  Now it was my job to flush the bird and use my blank gun.  The judges and gallery sat on their horses twenty yards back watching.  The quail would not fly but continued to run around and under the downed tree as Bailey held firm.  I jumped over the tree, around the tree, kicked under the tree trying to get the bird to fly.  Every thirty seconds or so I'd look up to see Bailey in the exact same spot.  He hadn't moved a muscle.  I really hadn't expected him to hold that long with all the action around him.  Finally the bird flew two minutes later. I fired the blank and, with the help of my scout, we carried on as time expired.
Out of twenty-eight dogs, Bailey was given fifth place, just out of the placements, and we were a runner up to the retrieve portion if one of the other dogs had screwed up, Bailey would have been given a chance to retrieve for one of the four placements.  This was the highlight of my field trialing with Bailey.  We had got many placements before but this "almost" was the best.

No comments: