Friday, April 26, 2013

Bailey - "Cover Boy" for OutFox

"Hi Rod!  I hope you are well. I would like your permission to use this image of Bailey on a new hangtag we are making for the fieldguard. We would of course credit you for the photo, or redbirddog.
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you."
- Margaret

"Sure you can use BAILEY's picture. 
Credit to would be great.
110,000 visits and counting.
I think you might be noticing a lot of Vizsla owners buying your mask. We have been talking about it on the internet for a while.
Best of luck and glad to help." - Rod

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Las Trampas Spring Hike with Vizslas

The video was shot around 9:30 a.m. overlooking the Diablo Valley from the hills west of the little town of Alamo, California.
The crunching sound you hear at the end of the video, as I discovered a minute later, is the remains of a fawn taken maybe two days ago by coyotes or a mountain lion.   Not a fresh kill, but close.
Bailey seeing if there is anything eatable left of the carcass.
The two dogs had just hunted down a ground squirrel about 10 minutes before I shot this video.  It was their first of the season.  They have learned to work together as a hunting team.  There are thousands of ground squirrels in our hills.  They are lucky to get one a season.  But Chloe finds her "huntress" everytime they stalk and chase these quick little rodents.  They do not get to eat these RAW treats.
This 11 mile hike added to our 6 month total.
1,124 miles since October 6, 2012 when I got a "smart phone" with an app to count my steps. 2,109,459 as of the end of this walk.
The dogs are the best "gym" I have ever joined. I can safely say that I feel in better shape now at 59 then I did at 49.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bailey's pups 1 week old today

The Bailey / Sophie pups are one week old today

Five girls and one boy.

Sophie is doing wonderfully as are the pups.

Pictures were taken at 2 days old

"These guys had their tails and dews done and are gaining weight like there's no tomorrow.  I am happy never a problem." - Julie

Sunday, April 14, 2013

OutFox Headgear 2013 Foxtail Season

 I waited until this weekend to bring out the OutFox headgear for Bailey and Chloe.  I brought them out for the first part of our walk in the Redwoods Regional Park in the Oakland Hills.
 On both sides of the trail leaving the parking lot were green but very plentiful foxtails enjoying the heat of the sun.  We had picked Redwood Regional Park because many of the trails dip deep into heavy redwood forests where foxtails can not live.   For the next four months Bailey and Chloe will wear this headgear.
The folks we came across on the hike were intrigued by this "beekeeper helmet" on the dogs.  Once we told them their purpose, the universal response was: "BRILLIANT IDEA!"

Earlier posts on Outfox and Foxtails:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cesar Millan trains Cartman

 knew I made it big when South Park aired their “Tsst” episode in May, 2006, and Cartman’s mom brought in an expert to help her control her son – me. The crowds at my live shows always enjoy this clip, and I hope you will, too. - Cesar Millan

The full South Park episode:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

First Rattlesnake of the Season

Today was unseasonably warm here in Walnut Creek.  As I walked Chloe in the foothills of Mount Diablo around 6 p.m. this evening, the temperatures were in the mid 80's. 
 Two days ago it had been in the low 50's.
An hour into our hike, we came across this adolescent rattlesnake half on and half off the path we were walking.
  It was stretched out sunning itself as we walked by.  About 30 inches long and four rattles at the tip of it's tail.
Chloe had run by missing the outstretched snake by about a foot. She hadn't noticed the rattler and neither had the rattler noticed us.

 It was not until I had passed the snake and turned to take these pictures with my phone that it coiled into the classic rattlesnake posture and rattled its tail in warning.  By now Chloe was a few dozen yards up the trail, and I kept her away.
Good-looking snake that had done all it could to not be noticed until I bothered it.  Once I took this last shot, we carried on with our afternoon five-mile hike.  Not our first rattlesnake, and I am sure this one wasn't our last.  Rattlesnake avoidance classes are worth the price.

Wirehair Vizslas

Heather in front, Fen and Spider behind her
A picture of three Wirehair Hungarian Pointers posted by a friend on Vizsla Forum today.  Outstanding looking dogs.

From harrigab, who lives in the Lake District in England, the following:

"aye there's worse places to live than

 Lake District.

 Wasdale is stunning, not in a Wordsworth 

kinda way,

 but just rugged and breathtaking."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

National Gun Dog Championship Run

Thank you Ken for running Bailey at the Vizsla National Gun Dog Championships in Colorado.  I too love that dog and will be glad to have him back with me.  He gave you his all and that is what I truly wanted. - Rod


Highlander's Bailey's Wildest Dream's Run

What can I say about Bailey... I love that dog.
Bailey is a celebrity of sorts, with many people knowing him through Rod's blog.  He definitely had a fan club here at the NGDC.  I had several people approach us and ask "Is that Bailey?  I've read so much about him and just love Rod's blog.

Bailey ran in the afternoon of the second day of running.  He maintained what most hunters would consider a true foot handled gundog range.  The grounds here at Calhan have seen drought in the last season, and with snow recently off not a lot of new growth had taken place.  This meant cover that might typically be 1-2 feet tall was only a few inches.  As a result, dogs that had reach to distant objectives generally fared better than the moderate working dogs.  Those of us that hunt know that it's those moderate range dogs we really like when it comes to putting birds in the bag - exciting as the others may be to watch.

However, Bailey is a strong and experienced dog.  He knows terrain, wind and appropriate cover and even in this atmosphere he worked the draws that would hold birds.  On the first bird he was on point, as was his bracemate 40 yards down on a separate bird.  The bracemate's bird flushed easily and Bailey held through the bracemate shot while I was working to flush.  Bailey's bird however, did not want to flush and the dismantling and removal of a Christmas tree pile was achieved with Bailey holding through it all to finally produce and blank the bird. Bailey moved on with no delay chase and eventually caught up to his bracemate.

The second find came in a low area just before a spot that became known as the Terraces, an ascending step up a hill.  He was working scent on a line of deadfall winter cover when a bird popped wild from the opposite side and end.  I "whoa'd" him for the wild flush and then saw the bird run back to cover.  The judge advised that this would be a kill bird for a retrieve - the retrieve being a component of the National Gun Dog Championship.  Every dog has it's strong point and it's weak point.  Bailey's strong and weak points are interconnected.  The best term to describe this is "over-retriever".  Over-retriever is when a dog is so excited to make the retrieve that it breaks on the shot.
After a few attempts at a flush and a throw of a hat the bird finally flew and was cleanly killed.  Thankfully, Bailey's training held and he stayed until sent for the retrieve, which he could not see from his vantage point - the deadfall cover being well above his head.  He nevertheless ran around the line of deadfall, hunted the bird out quickly and retrieved with all in order.

At about the 30 minute mark after going up, then down the terraces Bailey slowed.  I called him in for water and as he approached I thought I saw the slightest change in his gait.  On examination, this stoic boy had several cactus quills in one foot.  I pulled forceps and removed them.  After a few moments of testing he resumed his steady hunting pattern.

Bailey's third bird was on a treeline and upon my approach the quail ran down the treeline with great haste.  The judge witnessed their departure and advised me to blank them off and move on, which we did with great appreciation.  Bailey maintained a steady pace up the final long hill, watered at the bottom and was definitely "hunting" on our way to what became known as "Pheasant Gauntlet".  The final 4-6 minutes of the course winds through cattails, heavy brush and rounds a pond.  It was the undoing of several outstanding prospects.  As most were working hard to keep their dogs out of the Pheasant, Bailey was doing what Bailey does best, and that's hunt pheasant.  He worked the cattails, tried to track through the stand of heavier willow searching for the wily bird.  I thought it would be a well stamped finish if he pointed and stood a wild rooster, which I have seen him do many times before.  Sadly - we came up empty in the gauntlet but we made the hour clean with three finds.

Bailey is a great dog, and I'll be happy to carry a gun behind him any day of the week. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Redwood Regional Park: Pinehurst gate

The much less used entrance to Redwood Park
Chloe had the trail to her self back in  the south east section of the park

Overlooking Upper San Leandro Reservoir

Wilderness just 5 miles east of Metropolitan Oakland

Redwood Regional Park: Skyline Gate

Parking area for this popular Oakland regional park
Penny on left: Chloe on right
French Trail: Deep redwood forest
Tess and Penny caught in the flash of the camera

A stick Chloe picked up became the game to fetch first
The sun broke through for a minute turning the trees BRIGHT green

Chloe retrieving her stick from the fern grove

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happiness outside

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.

Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be, and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.”

Anne Frank