Tuesday, we left Springfield after lunch and meandered out to the dog trials. Zack was glad to see us, and we him. We gave him a bath (picture below is pre-bath), and let him run. That boy loves to run. We stayed around for a bit, visited the other competitors, played with some pups, and came back to Springfield. We ended up finally finding downtown Springfield, which was hopping. We visited a great Italian restaurant named Nonna’s, then chanced into a musical. I’ll write more about that later.
Wednesday was Zack’s first pheasant run. Andy thought it would be too much pressure for me to shoot, after only 2 field trials, so he ran Zack for us. The boy is a machine. It’s definitely hard to hold on the leash. Our perfectly mannered German Shorthair Pointer turns into a horse. Yank your arm right ought of the socket, he will. And – focused? He is so focused he won’t even blink his eyes
Zack got his first 2 pheasant within 7 minutes – and the third one went out of bounds. Thursday was his chukkar run, and he did really well there. Today was his quail run. It was raining, and the bird setter had some problems. Zack only got points for one quail out of three, so today wasn’t his best run. All the dogs are having some problems. I think traveling this far has to put some strain on them. Two of our West Texas hunters’ dogs are at Springfield vets, and one of Andy’s sounded like he was having asthma problems.
So that's it, Zack's out of the finals, and we'll probably start meandering home soon.
MLH and I have come to some decisions this week – one being that I will be shooting over Zack on a more consistent basis, so he can get used to responding to me in the field. And I hope to work him in the field at least twice a month. Our relationships with the other field trial guys are growing, and plenty of people are willing to help us. This is a great bunch of people, and they’ve given us some great tips over the span of these last few days. Shooting over Zack will be a great thing, I believe. And it’s a good time to dive fully into this sport. And Zack loves it!