October 13...Thursday...high...50°F with rain...began organizing the duck/goose hunting gear. The UTV winger rack was removed, battery charged and gas tank topped off.  Many oaks trees are shedding leaves and the bathroom shower head fell off. Just what I needed.....more than one "something else" to do.

October 14...Friday...high of 54°F...with rain did not train...nine days until the northern Illinois goose/duck opener. After searching on the Internet, a complete guide to repair and replace the pipe for the shower provided the information for my son to repair it. Calling the plumber was going to be expensive. Then my Canon MX922 printer was spouting information I did not want to see. A new printer with all the bells and whistles I presently have was going to be pricey. After another long Internet search, the issues (more than one) were corrected (zero cost). The plumber estimate was $3-500+ and a new printer (as good as the one I have) was $500+. It was a good a day of dodging "stuff".
October 15...Saturday...high of 53°F - This entry was begun around 9 am (this morning). Today is the Wisconsin goose opener and many will move into northern Illinois...immediately. It is a short flight. On the 22nd, they will have had a week to settle in (grain, water, loafing areas and roosts).
Many will be familiar with the area (quite a few will not). Thorson Pond had the largest number of goslings hatched in the last fifteen years. The one week time interval in Illinois (with of no shooting/hunting) should prove useful.

I did a quick, drive-by scout of Thorson Pond (where the goose blind is ready) and there were no geese. However, about a mile away a fairly large flock of geese had settled in along the west shoreline of Legend Lake. This is in Illinois. My guess is those geese came from Wisconsin. Around two o'clock, I had to buy gas additives at the hardware store and pick up some prescriptions at the drugstore in town. On the way home, I stopped and picked up Pounce and Gigi  to do some brief exercising.

I checked Legend Lake again and goose numbers had increased....quite a bit. After taking a few photos, we headed for the goose pond. There were no geese there (yet), but a drake and hen mallards flushed off the water and were not happy about my sudden visit. I have not seen any ducks on the pond this spring, all summer or yet this fall. Since there was nothing to spook off the pond, Pounce and Gigi did have time to run our 200 yard point blind (each twice) for the exercise. Much "good stuff" was accomplished today.

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October 4...Tuesday...high of 71°F is forecast...Gigi and Pounce ran another KRD in the Harrison Road DTA. Pounce's session was very good...single with four blinds (wide of the fall, under the arc, tight and wide behind the gun). Gigi was solid on the "stand alone/walk back single" and her four blinds were done quite well. Gigi did the her single (steady walk/back) perfectly and then proceeded to become clueless on the blinds. She has a very good memory and when running the blinds it seemed like she was "remembering"  
old lines and falls from previous setups. We have trained in this area quite often in the last three years. On  a forum, a suggestion was to blow the whistles (on the blinds) sooner. Analyzing that idea for awhile resulted in the following analysis. Actually, that might not be a bad idea. It would be kind of like avoiding "The bridge too far". Along that same thought process, the last segment of Danny Farmer's approach to running blinds requires following the dog and being closer on each whistle sit. Closer (on the sits) will provide more control and time to re-focus.

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October 24 Monday...high of 75°F (chance of rain late)...scouted for geese, trained with Pounce and Gigi doing what they did Saturday...picked out which goose decoys to use (when and if geese begin to move)

October 25 Tuesday...high of 67°F  (rain - all day...no training & worked on cleaning up the garage clutter
October 26 Wednesday...sunny with a wind chill in the 40's....no geese on the pond, Pounce and Gigi trained in the yard...semi-wagon wheel casting exercise
October 27 Thursday...cool/breezy...low 50's...Pounce had a day off and Gigi trained in the yard. There were no geese on Thorson Pond. Evidently there was an attempt to drive geese away from an area that is good for bass fishing in the nearby Legend Lake. Someone is using a faux blond, stuffed fox. About half of the oak tree leaves having dropped on the lawn in about an hour they were mostly "gone". A riding power mulching mower accomplishes three efforts - grass is cut, oak leaves are mulched (gone) and the lawn is fertilized. 

October 7...Friday...high of 53°F.....Pounce and Gigi trained again at the Harrison Road DTA and ran a set of five blinds. Each blind required precise lines resulting in frequent whistle sits and handling (precise practice was the focus). Pounce runs blinds well because 1) she takes good initial lines, 2) carries her initial lines a long way and 3) is very responsive/accurate in taking any correcting casts. Pounce makes
quite a contrast with Pounce's skill set. Gigi is very fast and we have been working on her loopy sits. Also, when given a cast she often is attracted to anything obvious in that general direction instead of depending on the specific direction of a cast. Therefore, she is getting many "no not that" whistle sits and is not very engaged (moved closer...followed her) and not thinking in terms of a direction. I may need to go back and review her wagon-wheel casting. The definition of scatter brained rings a bell. That would be a dog that is forgetful, disorganized or unable to concentrate and think clearly. There should be a way to setup training sessions which focus on "fixing" those issues.
                          forgetful - requires many correct repetitions (rewarding, precise practice)
                                  disorganized - trainer's issue (better, simpler sequential pictures)
                        concentration - focusing issues are usually desire/rewards/distance related

October 28 Friday...high of 67°F, sunny & breezy...Pounce had the day off and Gigi worked in the yard
October 29 Saturday...high of 67°F..sunny with a good breeze...It has been almost two weeks since my old man, awkward fall on the garage concrete. I keep reminding myself that over a period of 82 years, things will happen once in awhile. I need to review what happened a few days. I was picking out the goose decoys that would be placed in my UTV and failed to step cleanly over a boat hitch coupler. The list of injuries was plentiful - my shin was skinned (almost to the bone), a painful, right shoulder (the one with a previously repaired rotator cuff), a bloody hematoma on the back of my head and what felt like a broken jaw. I drove to Prompt Care immediately (not especially a wise decision) and had x-rays. They were negative and my jaw seemed much better....So I drove home. The residual effects seemed to have passed except for one issue. I  have done some Internet searches so as to have a better understanding of vertigo. This is something new to me. My worst manifestation is the result of "do not sit on the edge of your bed and suddenly attempt to lie down backwards". in a somewhat flashing, kaleidoscope presentation, it seems as if my bed and mattress are pivoting, rapidly up and into the wall behind me...."sandwiched". Needless to say, that experience is quite alarming. Sitting up quickly is not quite as bad, but the room tends to swirl a bit. I am getting better about avoiding those re-active movements because testing is not exactly pleasant. The positive aspect of reading various, vivid descriptions of vertigo reactions is that mine are relatively minor in comparison.
October 30 Sunday...high in the middle 60's...Scouted for geese (nothing again) and trained only Gigi (in the yard). With only 90 miles on my Kawasacki Mule PRO- MX UTV, it is not surprising that oil on the dip stick is a nice, clear amber. Then again, things would look even better if there were some goose feathers and blood on the cargo deck.
October 31 Monday...high low seventies....scouted for geese (beginning to wonder why) and trained Gigi in the yard. She is practicing up close handling. Her whistle sits and casting pivots are becoming much more crisp and precise. Stopping and pivoting tightly has been challenging. Coordination and speed do not come together immediately. Gigi and Pounce need their nails "Dremeld" again (not my favorite thing),

October 9.....Sunday....The plan was to watch the Bears' game....shoulda' went training.
October 10, 11...Monday/Tuesday...two days off, rain on Tuesday
October 13...Wednesday...rain...Tomorrow, Gigi will begin a review of the wagon wheel presentation using Dennis Voigt's approach. The retriever's skill sets are more specific and time is spent focusing on what is expected from the trainer. It takes two to tango. In addition, Pounce will spend some time doing the same review. Building a better relationship never ends. Pounce will be nine years old in June and I will be eighty-three a few months later. Gigi and Pounce are forcing me to stay in shape. Recently, the following has become a sort of a consistent mantra...."Don't Let the Old Man In!"

About three years ago, a training problem with Pounce was clearly identified. To this date that issue has not been fully corrected. A plan based on the concept that it is not the dog will be activated. An approach will require an alternative focus. Extinguishing an established conditioned response and replacing it with a different set of behaviors will be required. During the next seven months, I will be "teaching an old dog new tricks".  

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right click on icon for larger photo

October 5...Wednesday....high about the same as yesterday....day off for the trainer
October 6...Thursday...high of 68°F...train...trained at the Riverside Park DTA...Gigi and Pounce each ran a set of 125 yard Stand Alone/Send Back singles at the Riverside Park DTA. A brief drive to the  other side had them both running a 125 yard blind. This was the first time for Gigi while Pounce has done several over the years (to this spot). Gigi needed only one handle and Pounce did the same. The stiff cross breeze did not have that much of an impact on their lines. Both slept well the rest of the day. 

October 8...Saturday...high of 59°F.....Pounce and Gigi did an afternoon training session in the grassy area east of Thorson Pond. Gigi ran a split casting drill working on lining, square whistle sits and handling.  Pounce then ran the long pattern blind twice just for the "fun to run" exercise. Afterwards, I checked the recently harvested bean field south of the pond and there are plenty of beans on the ground for geese. The nights are getting colder. Grass will not provide enough winter energy for the local and migrating geese.

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October 2...Sunday...high of 65°F...training did not happen. Instead of working with Pounce and Gigi, the Bear's game was watched. That was not worth the time. It will take more than just practice to fix their issues.

October 3...Monday...high in the middle 60's had us training at the Roscoe Riverside Park DTA. A Basic KRD was set up. Pounce went first and revealed her solid skill set on this drill. A single was thrown and all four blinds (past the fall, under the arc, tight behind the gun and wide of the gun) were run by Pounce before picking up the single. Gigi picked up the single first and then ran the four blinds. It was a good session for both. Gigi's somewhat natural ability for running straight lines more than makes up for her lack of experience with running cold blinds. Additional practice for better whistle sits will make her handling more effective. 

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Thorson Pond

Today, I was able to successfully "send" the entire Kwicklabsii.com Website to the WayBack Machine. 

Most of the links and photos are easily viewed. Occasionally, an apparent  link will not work. By scrolling over that link and attempting to open by clicking on the "scrolled" link it will then open.

October 1...Saturday...The next five days forecast has temperatures in the 60/70's. Then it becomes much cooler. Therefore, the focus will be mostly on water setups involving swim-by concepts with Gigi. Pounce will work on angle entry/exits. Then it gets colder and training will be brief using close land areas. Goose season is in three weeks. Then in January it is simply getting through the northern Illinois winter. Pounce and Gigi ran some simple, short multiple marks out into the recently harvested bean field with a few out into Thorson Pond adjacent to the bean field.   The pond water level is very low...probably early "iced out".

October 22 Saturday....high of 78°F - start of goose/duck season weather "not good", nice warm day
with not much wind and plenty of sunshine...Pounce and Gigi ran the Thorson Pond grassy area point blind twice and "they liked it"..Later on in the afternoon, Gigi worked on repeating yesterday's drill
October 23 Sunday....high of 76°F...decided to take the day off...did scout and work a bit on the blind ready for goose season...no geese

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right click on icon for larger photo

October 16 Sunday...high of 53°F...I scouted for goose activity and all the geese on Legend Lake were flushed off by someone paddling a canoe. Evidently, some lake front, home owners consider the geese as lawn pests. After returning from the scouting trip I began to get the UTV ready for hunting. The first job was taking off the winger rack. After stashing it in a corner of the garage, I turned around and suddenly got my foot tangled up in the boat trailer hitch and power washer hose. Falling backwards, my head hammered the concrete floor. Somewhat dazed, I finally got up and felt a large, bloody lump on the back of my head. There was same pain in my right jaw, too. After having my wife put some antiseptic on the bloody lump, my jaw seemed much worse than the bloody lump. I soon decided to drive to the OSF Immediate Care facility. After a long wait and watching many that were worse off than me, the swelling went down and the jaw x-rays found nothing. If I had stayed at home, it would have made no difference.  However, finding nothing seriously wrong was a relief. There is more. After sitting and entering today's events (mostly unpleasant), it has come to my attention that my left shoulder is sore. This fall season has not gone well.
October 17 Monday...high of 45°F....I was scheduled for my next flu shot at 1:30 pm back at OSF. The next Covid booster shot was scheduled for the 19th, but they had enough for today. Therefore, one trip was a pleasant surprise. I won't need any shots for quite awhile. The injuries acquired from the recent fall healed up quickly. It is five days until the Illinois goose opener and still no geese on Thorson Pond. Pounce and I will be in the blind well before sunrise. That is when a few teal or mallards may drop in for a visit.
October 18 Tuesday...high of 46°F. Tomorrow my Transit Passenger Van will have a transmission flush and drain. This has been a weak spot in this type of van. There are no signs of any issues with mine. However, the Odometer will soon spin to 90,000 miles. Also, this was a good time to clean the inside of my dog van.
Actually, I just move the "stuff" into the garage (sort later). Van had an oil change. 
October 19 Wednesday...high of 47°F...van had transmission flushes (3X's) tomorrow...day off or dogs
October 20 Thursday...high of 62°F...picked up van in the afternoon...another day off for all...no geese on the pond...what to do Saturday for the Illinois duck/goose may just be an in the moment decision
October 21 Friday....high of 73°F...Pounce had the day off and Gigi did a session of lining and casting. (lined back pile, did handling from a "place mat" doing backs and left/right angle back casts. Worked on precise returns with consistent deliveries (practice).  This was definitely yard work.

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