March 25, 2013

Riley The Diving Wonder Pup!

We took a trip to Sunol yesterday morning intending to meet up with Louie for his 1st birthday celebration and ended up being 20 minutes late. The pups still had a blast, romping around through the grass, chasing birds, and swimming. We also have discovered that Riley loves to launch herself into the water for sticks! This is not something we trained her to do, she decided completely on her own that the fastest way to get the stick was by jumping into the water. She can jump so far, in fact, that sometimes she catches the stick as she lands in the water. I'm thinking maybe we can try dock diving for her? :) Her leg was really bothering her yesterday after the hike, so we'll be cutting the length of her hikes in half (sadly). Cooper was absolutely full of energy and could easily have gone for another hike. Maybe I can fashion some kind of sling that Reuben can carry Riley in once she's had enough... lol.

Anyway, here is a video of our amazing little dock diver!

March 19, 2013

Sunol Hike - 3/15

The pups pointing at some cows - leash time!

Reuben took the pups on their first Sunol hike in a loooooong time and they all had a blast. Riley's leg was really bothering her that evening, so it looks like we will need to limit her hikes and do more water activities. Riley LAUNCHED herself into the water after a stick (for the first time ever!) and Reuben even got it on video. :)

Tug-o-war under water

Sticks are awesome

The pups love "their" car - the turf works well to keep dirt off

Sharing a nice, cool drink of water after the hike <3

March 13, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Cooper!

Our big goofy goober turned 1 year old on Sunday (3/10)! We didn't have much of a chance to celebrate as I wasn't feeling well that day, but I cooked up a bunch of chicken sausages for him this morning that he seemed to enjoy. I can hardly believe we've had him for 6 months already! He's such an integral part of our family. :)

1st day home! Riley isn't too sure about this pup...

1st picture - sent to me by prior owner

Cuddle bug <3

Riley quickly learned that he made a good chair

Hiking adventure at Sunol

All legs!

Riley also uses him as a pillow

1st ride in "their" new car!

Hike at wildlife area

1st point!

Training with Reuben

Happy 1st birthday Cooper!

Saying Goodbye To A Dream

The past few months have been rough for me. I've realized that Riley will never be a competitive hunter due to her knee injury. It wouldn't be fair to put her through that kind of agony. She *thinks* she can still go at 100% speed, but her knee just can't handle it.

I've definitely gone through the 5 stages of grief:

1. Denial - Her knee can't be *that* bad! I'm sure it will heal up eventually and be just fine. I told myself this for the first 6 months.

2. Anger - For a long time, I was extremely angry about the situation. How could someone be so careless as to let this happen? I TRUSTED them with my 6 month old baby girl and they let me down. I was also mad at myself. Mad that I took the risk of sending her for training at such a young age. I figured it was just as much my fault.

3. Bargaining - There MUST be something, anything I can to make her knee better. Epsom salt baths, massage, long walks in harnesses, etc. I tried it all. Our last resort would be surgery, which we can't afford.

4. Depression - Well, my girl's passion for birds is now completely out of reach for her. Everything I hoped and dreamed of is over. No ribbons, no titles, nothing. What was even the point to pursuing hunt training if she had a bad knee? All that time, effort, and money... down the drain.

5. Acceptance - Thank goodness I can finally say I've reached this point! Will my Riley ever hunt competitively? No. This still makes me sad, but I've finally accepted it. We will continue to train her on a limited basis to be my own personal buddy and hunting companion. At the end of the day, I'm not trying to gain notoriety or money off this. Riley doesn't care if she has medals and she honestly would rather hunt in a natural setting with me. All I care about in the end is her happiness. :)

We are currently with an excellent trainer - Bryce Mann down in Tollhouse, CA. He loves the pups and both are excelling under his guidance.

I also went to a beginner lesson for falconry this past weekend and it was absolutely awe-inspiring. My plan for retirement is to train a Vizsla and a falcon together for hunting upland birds. My friend and I want to continue taking lessons and become licensed falconers some day.