Yesterday Poppy left for a new home in northern Texas. Derek Harris is a wildlife biologist, and Poppy will have a lot of opportunities for blood tracking.
We are going to miss her -- she stayed here longer than other pups, and we got to like her a lot. She was not as precocious as some of her siblings but in the last few weeks she showed a great potential for tracking. Maybe it was just a coincidence but when Poppy found herself as a hunter, she started to stand up to Paika. A week ago two of them had a pretty bad fight. We don't know how it started but it did not end pretty. Neither of them was willing to submit, and we had to separate them. From that moment they became enemies. Even last night when Derek was leaving with Poppy and we let them loose in a room, there was a lot of tension, their tails were up and I had to pick up Paika as they were ready for another confrontation.
We wish Derek and Poppy well, and we are really happy to see young people becoming involved in blood tracking!
Today I got a phone call from Stanley Thrasher, who actually was planning to get Poppy but ended up taking Pushkin (Doc). Stan is an experienced dog man and he knows hunting hounds. It was great to hear how pleased he is with Doc, who became an important part of Stanley's family. In spite of hot summer weather in Alabama, Stanley manages to train Doc 2-3 times a week; he does it early in the morning and late in the evening. He called to report that the other day Doc did well on a ten-hour-old line laid in the morning and aged through the day, and today he tracked a quarter-mile-long line, which was pretty fresh. Initially Stanley had some problems with Doc's possessiveness of the deer tail that Stanley puts at the end of line. But now he got some really tasty treats from a vet, and Doc is ready to give up the tail in exchange for treats.
Stanley also came up with a good solution how to deal with fire ants getting on deer parts used as reward at the end of line:
"Just about everyone has a broken fishing rod around there house somewhere. Sharpen the end of the fishing rod so you can stick it in the ground. Take a piece of fishing line and tie it to the 2nd from the tip eyelet , then take the other end of fishing line and tie it to the 4th or 5th eyelet and tighten the line to make the fishing rod bow. Then take a piece of fishing line and tie it to the tip of the fishing rod and drop it down to make it face level with the puppy and tie a treat at the end of it. Then if your still having trouble with fire ants get just a little bit of insect spray and put some of it at ground level around the fishing pole. This should be enough to keep the fire ants off the pole and preserve the treat for the puppy. "
Recently we also heard from Lincoln Anderson who owns Sam (Petrus). He wrote: "Sam is doing very well. I laid a few more blood trails and he still has his concentration a 100% on the line. According to my knowledge on tracking and what I have read Sam is doing his job and more. This weekend I will meet Alain Ridel at Granby. He will bring down some moose blood and hide. Alain will set up a moose blood trail on Saturday and we will see how Sam makes out. I’m sure he will do ok, and this will also be a test for me to see if I’m reading my dog right and how I’m handling my end of the rope." (Alain Ridel owns Theo, a sire of P-litter.)
Well, so far we could not be happier with this litter. When we bred to Theo we took some chances as it was his first litter. Sometimes excellent individuals don't nick well, but the Theo/Keena combination looks really good!