Oct 162017

I was so looking forward to using my birthday present of a Go Pro Hero 5 head camera on Saturday, the first full day at our local shoot.

I charged the batteries, fitted the head strap, tested it out and then proudly arrived at the shoot with the camera strapped to my hat – much to the merriment of onlookers! But I wasn’t fazed by their veiled jealousy: I was going to create a blockbuster filming Tilly on her first long retrieve over open ground on the 2nd drive of the day, my favourite drive.

The moment arrived, I pushed the button, sent Tilly and kept as still as possible as she raced over the fields, picked a partridge, returned and delivered to hand. Delirium! I now had something to show my Grandchildren in years to come – the perfect first outing for my Go Pro Hero and young Tilly. I pushed the button to turn it off.

I couldn’t resist having a sneak preview of my expert footage when I got back to the truck. I pressed play – and watched 10 minutes of me walking out to my picking up spot before the drive and then switching it off just before sending Tilly! The next footage was of me returning to my truck. I had turned the damn thing on when it was supposed to be off, and off when I wanted it on! The blockbuster was now of me huffing and panting across a ploughed field and back again. Tilly’s success would now be confined to my memory alone 😥.

Lesson relearned? Read the instructions properly before playing with new toys.

Oh well, it gives me an excuse to do it all again next Saturday. Think I’d better give it a test drive today. Let’s try and go back from Zero to Hero!

Oct 092017

Can you guess what is the single most common cause of injury and death amongst gundogs at this time of year (according to my vet)? Barbed wire? Traffic accidents? Dog bites? Sharp sticks? None of these. Answer: dehydration.

Particularly now when the temperatures can be still quite high, it is doubly important for a hard working dog to have regular access to clean water throughout the shooting day. Dogs can collapse and die very quickly if left to dehydrate and it’s so easy to forget to take water with us.

 I have taught my dogs to take water from a plastic bottle (the squeezy cycling sort that fits in my side pocket) and always make them drink a little after every drive. There are plenty of other devices you can buy such as the one below that many trialers use.

Why not ask the keeper to keep a 20 litre can of water in the beaters’ truck? It could save your dog’s life.


Oct 092017

After a summer of shows and doing silly things in demonstration arenas, I wondered how Daisy would be when we got back to doing the real thing. In the past, she’s gone a bit loopy with excitement on the first day of the season.

These next 4 pictures reassured me she hasn’t forgotten:

As for Tilly’s very first day out, well, that’ll be the subject of my next post …………