This was Olive's first field trial on jack rabbits [hare], and Asti's first in many years. We went to give Bossa a chance to work jacks. Sadly, the Golden Gate Dachshund Club moved from the ampitheater setting of Lagoon Valley park to the flat lands of Centennial Park just east on the 80. Bossa didn't get a chance to see a jack before running her brace, and seemed more interested in the tilled earth than the hare that had just been flushed. I took her out again later, and held her in my arms as the gallery beat. Eventually she saw a jack rabbit crossing the field, and then another and another - she had learned to look in the direction of the "tally ho." The judges were profligate with the rabbits - only taking ones they saw. So when a rabbit broke in front of us and Bossa saw it run toward the road, I waited a while and then let her work the line. On that front, the weekend was a success.
Lunch was back at Lagoon Valley. We decided to stay at Centennial, having been assured that we'd go from there. Well when lunch ended, Pat and Gerry Price drove by to say we had to move over to another parking lot to continue. That meant packing up the van and moving, and by the time we arrived the gallery was long gone. Asti and I headed out to find them. Asti was in the third brace, Olive was in the eighth. Asti was acting like every step on the grass was stepping on broken glass. I thought I would find the gallery, put her down on the line and release her and that would be all for us. But as we got closer, Asti could hear the gallery beating and started to pull.
Her first rabbit was a long 100 yard run with a few gentle right bends. Asti left her bracemate in the dust and followed the line as far as the judges could have seen it. She then worked the far end of the field searching for the rabbit. There was a fire lane plowed in the field, and Asti was working back and forth along that when I picked her up 150+ yards from the gallery.
Olive's first check was less that 15 feet from the start. When Olive indicated that she had the line, I released her. She made the check nicely and carried the line with her bracemate following her.
Asti was called back second, Olive was called back third. The dog sitting fourth had been defeated in first series by the dog called back high. (Olive's first series bracemate was NBQ.)
I had Asti in my arms when tally was in second series. Unfortunately, she saw the rabbit. We released both dogs on the line and they both curled left well short of where the dogs expected the trail. Asti was 100 yards away again in the direction of the sight line as the dog sitting high pottered and eventually sat waiting for her handler to pick her up. Asti kept working... and the judges took a long time to call "pick them up." By the time they did, I hadn't seen Asti for at least a minute. It took quite a while to find her. She kept bumping jacks and the gallery kept hearing her on chases. I figured Olive was on the clock, but they were actually waiting for me to get back and get her.
Olive and her bracemate were put down on a long left arc starting from a form. Unfortunately, on the way there, Olive picked up some other scent and when I released her she doubled back. The other dog was convinced Olive was right and her handler never released. I got Olive and we went further down the line for a second release. Olive again doubled back, but this time the other dog found the line and got a clear win.
That was a trial.
Absolute was my first time running in a trio. Three long hairs - one tiny mini B&T, one bigger B&T, and Asti. The judges had just a general idea of the start and wanted us to let the dogs show the way. Asti took the lead and drove down the line, but she seemed surprised to have two fast little dogs barrel past her. All three in the trio worked like a great team, harking in on each other as they tried to find the line. Asti was the first to carry across the plowed lane, which is probably why she didn't win. The other two kept working the near side. The Open Dog ended up with Absolute, but honestly it was a fantastic hunt and I was very proud of Asti. She worked great with the two strange dogs and they covered a TON of field.
Thanks for the awesome bloodlines! Sorry the picture isn't so great. It was cold at the end of a long day. - John Willmore & Diane Webb, CA
Thank you so much for the write-up and I like the picture a lot! Congratulations! I look forward to hearing about DCA next month.