Saturday I went shooting in the morning with Olli, and it was a quiet day. Although every bird that did fall his way he picked up beautifully, the weather was too nice, and the guns were not on form so he didn't have a lot to do. I left at lunchtime as we had a reporter and photographer coming to interview me for a feature about Olympia! I was so excited, and even more so when she asked if they could do a brief story on Olli and take a photo of him with a pheasant to use as a front page shot!! My boy is a "Cover boy" :-) They then took loads of photos of Lily & me in action, and I am looking forward to seeing us in print in a few weeks time.
Sunday we had a training workshop at a new indoor venue, and it was also a chance to catch up with some friends that we have been missing recently. People have changed clubs, the main season is over, so we haven't had our usual weekly get togethers and Fern & I were looking forward to it. Was amazed to be shut out of the arena when we arrived, and told that me & Sarah were not allowed in to look at the course! Seems Toni had decided that as we were both off to Olympia next month, she would give us a taste of the real thing. So we sat and looked at the course plan for 10 mins, then were allowed 2 mins to walk the course. The whole thing spooked me completely! God knows what I will be like at Earls Court, but the nerves where there and I completely buggered up the turn from fence 3 to 4, then didnt really work the whole dogwalk/tunnel trap, obstacle 9 the weaves and totally didnt give Lily a clue so she missed her entry (unheard of!!) and then the rest of the course was lovely. Lily is so keen and so genuine, she tried her best, and if i can sort my nerves and my head out, who knows, maybe we will get a clear on 19th December! I was thrilled with her nailed contacts, all afternoon and I just love her to bits for her natural ability, and determination to do her best.
Pleased to say, all the rest of my mates messed up too and they had 10 mins to walk the course!!! It was great fun and a lovely atmosphere.
Then it was Fern & Coves turn, and his first time in a new venue. He worked really well and although he made a few mistakes, they were a combination of in experience and a strong eyed collie who kept lunging at him, nothing that wont be a distant memory to him soon. Fern was also a bit shaky to start with, as she is normally the trainer not the trainee!, but a thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all. I didn't work Twiggy, but took her in to watch for a few minutes, and she was fine. Keen to watch Cove but also managed to do a bit with me on the sidelines, so another new environment conquered. Had puppy cuddles with the gorgeous Phaze, met an amazing young working cocker, who will give medium dogs a run for their money next season, and had a lot of giggles.
This Saturday we are off to Dartmoor for our first indoor winter comp, and Daves first ever attempt! I have 100% faith in Ferns ability to work him, and 90% faith in Dave :-) There wont be a dry eye in our house if he manages to stay focused!