Well I must say I am on top of the world right now. My boy earned his HR title this weekend and I earned a bucket of ice water. I think it worked out a little better for him than me but we had a blast. Met some more really great people, made some good friends, and received some good advice. The ride they call HRC has been a fun and nerve racking at times but I have found it to be really enjoyable.
Saturday we ran water first and he picked up the marks clean and had a good crisp sit on the walk up. The blind was an angle entry across the pond and you had to handle your dog by a point that ran off the opposite bank. It was not beautiful but four whistles later we picked it up to move on to the afternoon. When we went to the line for the land series we ran the blind first and half way to the blind I gave him a left back and he snatched it up. The diversion bird came up on the return which he marked and picked it up with no problems. I loaded up and shot the marks next. The memory came out long and fell just behind the crest of a hill from his view. The go bird came out 50 yards to the left. When I released him he stepped on the go bird and returned. When he delivered he spun and came online with the memory and I released him and he snatched it up clean. I thanked the judges and he stuck his hand out and smiled and said a congratulation that was a great run buddy. Talk about a great feeling, it was awesome to have someone else acknowledge our hard work.
Well, Sunday was fun day and the land test went pretty good, no bobbles just a good run so I felt pretty good going into the water series. That is until I saw the setup and, well it was a booger of a test. Well nothing to do but run it or whine and it is just easier to run the test and let the dog do what he was trained to do. The blind was an angle entry across a small pond and the bird was set on land about 25 yards the other side of the pond and we had to negotiate between a stump pile and a small hedge row to get to the bird. I felt like he did pretty well with it and handled well for the most part. The go bird was straight out about 60 yards with a good splash so no problems there. The memory required the dog enter the water and cross a tight corner and come out on land then re enter the water about 40 yards away for the retrieve. So yes it was a tuff test but looking back I can see the value in it and learned a lot about myself and my boy in the end.
Now we are going to enjoy duck season and train and make a run on a finish title in the spring. Thanks to all on this forum who have offered up sincere advice over the past 16 months. Some of it has been given directly to me and some I just plain stole from others questions. Any way happy hunting to you all and thanks again.