Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bobcat treed by Vizslas during EBRP hike

 Early this morning, Bailey and Chloe were enjoying running ahead of me at the Morgan Territory Regional Park.  100 feet ahead of me from behind a clump of trees and rocks sprang a bobcat running easily in front of my two Vizslas toward me and the large blue oak tree  that stood to my right.

The ease that the bobcat was able to sprint, first across the open space, and then its effortless ascent up the tree made me smile, while at the same time frustrating both Bailey and Chloe.

Great looking animal.  First wild one I have ever come across in my five years of hiking the hills in the San Francisco East Bay.
Morgan Territory is a Hidden Treasure IF done at the right time during the summer. 
 This morning the air was cool enough for an easy two-hour and six- mile hike through some dry fields and oak and manzanita
 covered hills and valleys.

To hike Morgan Territory safely and enjoyably, you want to have plenty of water (I use a three-liter Camelback) for your self and your dogs, and make sure you watch the temperature.

 Today it was 72 when we got to the gate as it opened at 8 a.m with a cool breeze out of the west.   At 10:15 a.m. we pulled out of the parking lot.  The Jeep temperature gauge read 75.  Perfect morning. 

I have a deep affinity for the East Bay Regional Park system.  Almost all the trails are dog-friendly and having the dogs off-leash is fine if they are well-behaved. 

The East Bay Regional Park System has more acres available to the public then any other park system in the country. 

The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco. The system comprises 113,000+ acres in 65 parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature study. We acquire, manage, and preserve natural and cultural resources for people to enjoy now and in the future.

 I use them as often as I can.

  3,000 miles+ of off-leash hiking with Bailey and Chloe over the last four years.

The fire trails make hiking enjoyable. 
  They are almost all 10 foot wide and are cleared once or twice a year with motor graders or bulldozers. 
  Clearing and leveling fire roads would be a job I would LOVE to have.
 This is important for the park system to do so fire equipment can get into the hills to battle any fires. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What a Field Championship Might Cost

Saw one of the best field trial men ever to ride a horse behind great upland bird dogs (trained by him) out in the fields the other day.  He was battling back from emergency open heart surgery from this spring.  He was up in Oregon field trialing with his string of amazing field trial dogs when the pains came.  Another friend of mine wouldn't take his brush off that it was nothing and got him to the hospital 40 miles away.  Lucky she did.  He is with us still because of Kathy.

One of my key mentors is on the mend.  He is one of the best "dog men" ever to live, in my opinion.

I wish him all the best on his path to a full recovery.

The song by Slaid Cleaves featured here, "Horses and Divorces," reminded me of a story Randy told me one day when I asked the question,  "So, what does it cost to get a field championship on a dog?"
His response will stay with me forever.  "For some it will cost a lot of money.  I've known some that it has cost them their marriage."  He told me this with that simple smile and glint in his eye.

Passion!  Randy has the ability to take young, talented Hungarian Pointers, German Shorthair Pointers, and German Wirehair Pointers and make them top-notch hunting dogs and, for those rare few, national champion field-trial dogs.

I may never meet a more down-to-earth and better man then Randy.  Tough as nails and as good as the fields that he walks on.

Not only am I a better hunting dog owner because of Randy, but I'm a bit better person because of him.

Randy, I'll see you back in the fields soon.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How Bailey DIDNT finish Senior Hunter

 In the fields of Hastings Island, the sunflowers and corn are  growing green and tall.  Here, next to the bounty of food, we attempted to get that final pass (we have four passes) that would have made Bailey a Senior Hunter.
 Training is the bedrock of field trials and hunt tests.  The trick is it has to be ongoing and current.  Things learned last spring do not seem to carry on for months.  

Today Bailey failed because he avoided the "honor".  He had decided he wanted to keep on hunting.  In field trials, you train to "avoid" the honor, if possible, by being the dog that is way out front. Bailey is almost always in the bird fields before the other dog gets there. 
 Bailey didn't bother the other dog on point, but looked at him for a second, "blinked" (as it is called), and turned to run back into another part of the bird field to find birds.  The judge called out the traditional, "Thank you handler."  When you hear that, you know your dog is out of contention for a pass.  Both yesterday and today there were problems with the honor. 

We will train more.  I'm fine with that.  We will get the Senior Hunter title.  Judges really enjoy watching Bailey hunt.  He found birds, pointed and retrieved perfectly.  We'll be out in the field again this fall with Ken's help to get that last pass.
  Pheasant hunting season starts early October at Hastings.  Looking forward to it.  Bailey is a joy to hunt behind. 

Highlight of the weekend.  Bailey's pup "Gypsy Belle" is stacked by Julie after her final run and is now:
 Placergold's Gypsy Belle JR.

Friday, July 12, 2013

AKC takes on PETA

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The American Kennel Club® (AKC) and the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) have today issued statements to highlight their vehement disapproval of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)’s apparent policy of euthanizing animals frequently at its shelter in Norfolk, VA.

 Furthermore, the AKC has called for the PETA shelter to take steps towards balancing its adoption and euthanasia rates for dogs and cats in its shelter.
“While most shelters strive for a 90% re-homing rate, PETA is apparently proud of their 99% killing rate and callously boasts that the animals it rescues are ‘better off dead’.

That is an alarming ratio that should be fully investigated. PETA’s track record is absolutely unacceptable,” said AKC Chairman Alan Kalter.

 “Legitimate animal shelters in America re-home most of their sheltered animals. If some of Michael Vick’s fighting dogs can be rehabilitated and re-homed then PETA can – and should – do better. If they cannot – or will not – then they should leave sheltering to others.”
“Re-homing a dog is not always the easiest but it is AKC’s preferred route. PETA’s apparent lack of commitment to re-homing is hypocritical. 

Our experience, through AKC clubs’ rescue network, proves that a rescued dog can often thrive if given the much-needed love, medical care, rehabilitation and responsible placement into a new home. AKC is disgusted that euthanasia is seemingly so easily employed by PETA.”

“While it is true that some animals at shelters are too physically injured or psychologically scarred to be adoptable, many of them can be successfully treated, rehabilitated and adopted," said VVMA President, Mark Finkler, D.V.M. “Veterinarians throughout Virginia work with numerous shelters and rescue groups to assist in the care of these dogs and cats. It is disappointing to hear that PETA has a different philosophy regarding the handling of these abandoned and unwanted pets."
  • AKC affiliated clubs and dedicated volunteers comprise the largest dog rescue group network in the country.

  • The AKC Humane Fund also supports rescue group activities through its Rescue Grants. Learn more at:

  • The American Kennel Club believes euthanasia should be employed only as a last resort when all reasonable efforts to place adoptable dogs have failed. At the same time, AKC recognizes that not all dogs are adoptable due to temperament and health issues.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Fifth RBD Fourth of July

This is the fifth 4th of July for Redbirddog. Much has changed since that first post a little over four years ago.  Don't know where to go from here with the blog as my passion has mellowed along with Bailey and Chloe.  They are now six and five years old.  Slowing down is not how I would describe them but more secure in their own personalities.
I find I have nothing to prove to myself or anyone anymore.  Bailey will finish his Senior Hunter in a couple weeks with one more pass.  I am confident he will pass one of the two trials.  Then we are done.
The trip Bailey took to Colorado to run in the Vizsla National Gun Dog Championship was the pentacle of accomplishment for this dog.  He proved his mantle as a high quality hunting dog.
The last of the Bailey - Sophie litters goes home in a couple weeks to her new owners.  Three litters of healthy Hungarian Pointers were created.  17 pups with not one problem or issue.  Quality dogs by a great breeder in Placergold Vizslas.  I was happy to do my little part in these creations.
Now I have to move into another passion:
  Civil activism. 
 As an American, I am bound by my faith in the roots of this country to protect it from a pending tyranny taking place over all our lives.  Along with trying to shine light into darkness there is a strong commitment to the safety of my community.  For about a year now I am an active member of the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).  A team leader of a search and rescue squad in the event of an emergency that overwhelms the first responders.

  My involvement in the Vizsla Community has been wonderful and I will stay in touch with friends I have made over the last few years.

This is a very different July 4th than the world I first blogged about in 2009.  Transitions are tough to grow through, but if we look at the faces of our wonderful Hungarian Pointers, we can see the 1,000 years of happiness and sorrow that makes up the essence of this breed.  A strong breed.  A breed with a purpose.  A breed to be proud of.

I will continue to blog but much less.  I must learn how to fight tyranny.  Not easy nor fun but I sure can't leave it for someone else to do for me.   Sometimes you have to stand and do what is right, no matter how tough.
If you ever want to find me, look in the hills in the East Bay almost any Saturday or Sunday morning.  There you will find Bailey up front with Chloe following her "big brother" and me hiking along enjoying the land and watching the nature that is the Vizsla.