After a long walk back to the van, everything was loaded and we were off to run six "stand
alone/send back" singles at the Gallagher DTA. The two longest were 178 & 181 yards.
Afterwards, Pounce was "zipping around" looking for more action. The cool weather (upper 60's) with heavy dew in the tall grass,  cloud cover and  pleasant north-east breeze were unusual for August.  (action photos eventually)

Aug 17 eye Dr. at 8 am (final check-up on eye injury)...77 years old today.......trained later in
morning at Thorson Pond. The duckweed was pushed far enough to the east (by the wind) so
that Pounce could run six "down the shore/send back" singles. After returning to the other side (where the singles' line was located), she ran one angle entry cold blind
                        note: Daisy was given several short retrieves on land for exercise
                        note: afternoon upper 70's, stiff breeze...began work on duck boat blind

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Aug 19 day off no training, worked on boat blind and it was great grandchildren day
Aug 20 short trip to Roscoe Riverside DTA (flood waters finally dropped) and Pounce ran five "longish" (200+ yards), "stand alone/send back" singles (fast and accurate) followed by some fun water retrieves from the Rock River with Daisy.

                              note: river swim was more "interesting" than normal 

                              note: home early and worked on the duck boat blind

YouTube Video

Aug 18 trained at the Harrison Property and Pounce ran nine "walking stand alone/send back" singles with three white "stickmen" in field  (distractions to  run past)......the focus was on marking  (used a 3"  black and white flagged bumper and primer pistol)
                 note: Daisy was exercised afterwards when picking up the three "stickmen"

Aug 7 It was mostly another day off. However, Pounce spent some time in the front yard "amping and capping" during an energetic session involving a 2" bumper and an exciting Chuck-It ball.                              note: The focus was on precise, consistent "reps" (heeling position, "sends",
                                       delivery both sides) and responsiveness.

Aug 8 late morning....Pounce trained at the Harrison DTA. Ran eight "stand alone/send back" singles in the north section. The cover was almost "knee-high" and the 3" black/white, flagged bumper disappeared. After the first two retrieves, Pounce had to mark/run past the "stickmen"
for the last six marks (fast/accurate on all) even though the trees made the last six more difficult.  As one judge commented in her last test, "She knows where they are.........doesn't she!"
                           note:The two "stickmen" (up front) simulated the "picture" of running tight past
                                     a gun in the "hip pocket" marking concept....which she has been working
                                     on (look long....ignore the short guns).

Aug 1 (Tuesday) Trained early in the yard and did the "Guntlet Drill"  Then drove to Thorson Pond for a session of "weed whacking". The pond is going through the worst ever algae bloom. A lot of rain, water run-off from farms upstream plus warm weather has been a bad combination.
                       note: a couple of weeks ago there was a hint of the impending algae issue

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"Pounce is Photogenic"

Aug 9 Today was more "down time" for Pounce
Aug 10 trained mid-morning at the Stoughton DTA - re-visited the new "point blind" running it twice....she remembered it. Moved west and longer to two different lines and ran to the same destination. Learned that it would have been more effective (with less suction to the previous lines) if I had gone wider. However, "going long" on blinds will never be an issue with Pounce.  While we were near the "swim-by" pond when picking up the extra bumpers, Pounce got wet and cooled off a bit. The last "setup" was to run two blinds (170+  yards) down the full length of the technical pond - one "past the point" followed by one "over the point".  It was a challenging morning and she was up to it.
                     note: came home and had a long nap....then the Thursday afternoon training 
                               session - three mallard singles and a blind (lined) plus an honor

YouTube "Slide Show"

Aug 2 trained  (Four Rivers DTA) - ran a 'Hip-Pocket" marking concept first (had two wingers at each station....did the setup in reverse with the "hip-pocket" mark as the go bird. Lastly, two cold blinds were run. The first was tight behind the gun and the second through the old fall. Pounce was then turned around for a short walk to the pond to cool off some. This sequence seemed to
be an ideal teaching approach to provide three different "go's" on a "tight behind a gun" mark - once as a memory, secondly as the go bird and lastly (along the same "tight to the gun" line, concept blind. Both blinds are about 30-50 yards beyond the AOF's.

                    note: Afterwards, Daisy was given some exercise while picking up "stuff".

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Aug 4-5 two days off My amazingly tolerant wife is 75 years old today....need to put this in the
journal (a reference for next year) because I generally don't remember things all that well. 
                    
note: Saturday is great-grandchildren day - different kind of "training".....next
                               week I may introduce the "place" and "quiet" commands

Aug 6 There was not a lot of time this weekend plus Pounce needed some "down time". Therefore, the "yard work" format continues to provide "windows of opportunity" to have fun and keep skills sharp while taking only small amounts of time out of those days. This morning was a "yard work" day. We usually manage to spend 10-15 minutes and the sessions vary quite a bit in appearance, but cover the same skills. Mostly, every session is about responsively practicing skill sets via precise repetitions in a fun, exciting atmosphere.

                      note: The premise is described in a Bill Hillmann YouTube Video. What the
                                drill ends up looking like depends on needs and ingenuity.  They don't all
                                need to look exactly the same and the possibilities are extensive. In some
                                ways it may be referred to as exciting "yard-work".

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Aug 27 day off from training - rain.....did manage to put the boat blind frame together
Aug 28 easy day of training in that it was another "yard-work" session focused on "line responsiveness" - work with me, pay attention....two remote launchers with duck and beeper sounds, plus a "real" duck call, one white bumper and two Dokkens plus a holding blind with everything revolving off extended, stable sits via the Hillmann influence.
                     note: Not knowing what is next and paying attention (because it is exciting)

                               with repeats practices paying attention enhancing responsiveness.
                               Pounce's "on/off" switch is a function of capping her energy via the
                               "sit" command. Let's just say (for now) that she was often too "full of
                               it" and maintenance remains a "necessity". 
Aug 29 trained at the Harrison DTA - cool with a breeze in August! Pounce did a session of eight singles through and past a fan shaped set of five stick-men. The concepts were look long past the short "guns" and run tight/straight to the AOFs. The setup was "solo" using  "stand alone/send backs", primer pistol and a big, old foam Dokken.
                     note: It was calf-high cover with dew and she "fogged" every mark  with
                               zero indication of any "flaring". This will mesh well (re-enforce) the                                tight line expectations like those in "hip-pocket" marking setups.
                     note: Daisy had a good workout while "helping" in the "stick-men" pick up.

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Aug 21 day off  continued work on the boat blind & planning ahead for coating the driveway
Aug 22
began working on the driveway and soon realized doing it in one day is not going to work any more. I could, but the next three days would remind me that it was foolish. Breaking it up would actually be faster and physically more convenient. It was already power washed with the grass around the edges "whacked". Today was all clean/fill the cracks.

It was still cloudy and cool in the afternoon so there was time for Pounce to do an extended "Gauntlet" session in the yard - two noisy, remote launchers, two Dokkens and two holding blinds for Pounce to "navigate". Worked on expectations, responsiveness and focus with control  while "laced ' with plenty of action and fun. It was another solid practice session.
Aug 23 day off the main frame design of the boat blind is now in place....dugout style
Aug 24 trained early at the Stoughton DTA established a 4th leg of the point blind rather quickly. For a warmup, the 1st leg was lined at 227 yards (moved back some to make it longer). Then we walked to where the first "go" on the 4th leg was planned and one handle was all she needed. This is the first leg with water.  he next four "runs (equal  increments} were all lined with the fifth and final "go" at 304 yards. This is the first leg with water. 
                note: five runs, one handle (of the first)....."aaahh" that was way too easy
                note: The rationale for doing "point blinds" is to work on handling. Therefore, we
                          will be running each NEW leg after the first at the full distance. "Break out"

                         the "golf range finder.   

"pinning" the 181 yard single

Aug 16 trained in the yard - did exercise/skill session and it was fairly warm....therefore, short & sweet...using six bumpers, did a three pile lining drill to work on focus at the line and lining expectations (push, pull, lock) - a very good, accurate and animated practice

more action shots - right click on icons for larger photos

Copyright © kwickLabsii. All rights reserved

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                           note: "weed whacking" has become much more productive after moving up to a
                                 high grade cord

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                                                                       a day later
Aug 3
early morning - Pounce did a solid session of "The Gauntlet" (yard-work). Then drove to the Four Rivers DTA to continue "teaching" the hip pocket marking concept. After doing two doubles,
there was time to check on the  duckweed issue in Thorson Pond (needing more information).
                          note: I checked the pond and duckweed was gone from the "upper section " of the
                                    pond (see above photo). The wind is out of the south-east. I checked to see if
                                   there is any water flow  in the three culverts in the dam and am positive they
                                   have never been cleaned out. Therefore, debris may acting as a natural 
                                   filter.  A rake worked from both ends may produce a better "flushing" flow.
                                   Sweat may not be easy, but it could be very cost effective.

Aug 14,15 two days off no training...eye doctor at 8 am the 14th follow-up (much improved), final  check-up Thursday - two divots in the cornea are almost healed over....could have easily been worse       note: worked on a to-date analysis of Pounce's point blind progress

On the way home, I stopped at Thorson Pond to obtain more information about  the "surface weed" issue. A "Kwick drive-by shooting" provided photos that definitely identify the primary "criminal" as "duckweed".

Aug 11 much to do...not involving training....But at about 6 pm Pounce did some work in

the yard. Two remote launchers, a couple of Dokkens plus a holding blind were used to work on steadiness and heeling in a responsive mode.  A Hillmann excitement mood
was maintained. Verbal "sit" meant sit. "Bird in the air" (Dokken) meant sit. With eight "reps" (in sets of two singles at a time) using a walk-up presentation, the standard was repeated. Noisy winger electronics were very active. Dokkens were landing 10-15 yards away and bouncing (a lot). Verbal "sit" meant sit. "Bird (Dokken)" in the air meant sit.


 In addition, there were regular intervals of walking at heel with pauses to sit, plus using the holding blind while reloading and there were well spaced segments where we "visited" our Hillmann "game". After the eight singles, two doubles were run. Before any release, there was a count of ten and a step back as the responsiveness cue (by me) for Pounce to make a one step backward heel....before being released. There were no "busy" feet today
and she did receive a verbal "good" for that behavior. Releases only came after a slow count to ten and the intense stare at the fall was in place.


The most interesting "event" of this session was near the end when reaching the count of eight, she scooted back one step to indicate she was paying attention and waiting for the release. I had not yet made the step back to cue this behavior. She did it on her own. To repeat, up until this moment her backward heel was taken only after my step back cue was given. The entire time her eyes were intensely glued to a Dokken ten yards away. This was a very cool moment. 
                     note: refer to June 7th & 8th  journal entries for additional, related input
Aug 12
early morning - Very stupid situation led to a severe laceration of the cornea in my left eye (the good eye). With stabbing pains every time I blinked, what to do on a Saturday morning with no one at home was quit a predicament. A specialist drove two hours to meet me at the clinic (wife finally got home to drive me there) and knew exactly what to do. More treatment tomorrow, but the worst is over......maybe. When I was younger it seemed like I was "bullet proof".....not anymore.
Aug 13 up early with eye medications every two hours, pain is now just a steady, low level irritation......and don't even feel the contact lens (there to keep the eye lid blinks from scrapping across the lacerated cornea...hurts just thinking about it). Then my dog training
compulsiveness kicked in. It was cloudy and cool. The idea of a quick "yard-work" training session seemed sensible. Put on sunglasses and went at it. Forgot all about the eye and it was no worse afterwards. I do have to use a magnifying glass to type this entry.
                note: did a YouTube for an after-the-fact visual perspective, we are getting there

Arrived back home before 11 am and Pounce took a nap until 3 pm. Went to the 4 pm,  afternoon training group and she ran three mallard singles (first a walk-up) and a blind.
Aug 25 day off  (for Pounce).....worked on boat blind, ordered 30 lbs of raffia from Sterns
and coated a section of the driveway 
Aug 26 Pounce -  short, fun session, kind of like  Aug 16th "workout"...(cloudy, cool, 72°F) This time the three "piles of two" were at a more exaggerated distance and different (3" camo foam, 2" orange Avery) not easy to see *until right on top of  it ) and two big  Dokkens (nearest and much more tempting). Ran three sets varying the order. Then went to two piles (orange long, visible Dokkens short) to review the "easy" cue (louder vs. softer sends).

                note: very responsive practice with a high drive dog looking for an "action fix"
                note: "camo" sprayed the metal framework (parts) for the "Dugout" boat blind

Aug 30 day off

Aug 31busy day First up was to clear the garage of the boat blind frame "left overs".  Bundles of raffia arrived and the colors were way different than the catalog pictures. RIT dye will correct to the color I paid extra for and didn't receive. According to the brief
"conversation", a pumpkin is brown. Never hunted out of a boat that looked like a pumpkin patch. Then again maybe birds can't see orange like most dogs. However, this was a very small blip compared to what others are dealing with right now. Pounce did a challenging "yard-work" exercise and did not attend the Thursday group training day

Several weeks ago (on the way to a training session), an old tree beside the road "caught my eye". The initial emotion was one of dismay (probably because I am old, too). What a valiant tree! and I made a mental note to get a photo. Several times I passed by and had excuses - no camera, not enough time or the light was all wrong. One day, an early training trip with a cloudless sky plus a sunrise in the east "came together". A title for the photo was already decided.