10 December 2003 - 2:49 PM
The Viking unveiled his plans for my Yule present -- a combat archery crossbow suitable for some of my Grand Plans (tm) for new canine activities. I have this theory that if greyhounds can play chase games in the SCA, then certainly retrievers and spaniels can play fetch games. If only it didn't require bureaucracy to do it ...
Anyway, the Viking's plans are far advanced and a prototype crossbow was submitted for my approval. His plan is to make me a prettier one, but the one he knocked together out of scrap is certainly functional. The hardest part was getting the prod, he said. I've ordered up copies of the AKC's hunt test regulations for retrievers and spaniels so I can pillage them for ideas. (The regs can be read online, too -- just go to the main regs page and click on the set you want).
I'm trying to improve Orion's stays, too. It would be easier if the Viking didn't get flustered and get 'Sit,' 'Down,' and 'Off' all confused, but I have trained dogs to graduate novice level before and I can certainly do it again. His retrieves need some sharpening up as well, but the dog will take lines and retrieve, so it's just a question of doing the sharpening.
On the subject of dogs, here is a group close to my heart: Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary. I've known Carol for close to 20 years now, and no one works harder for lost Goldens. People who feel inspired to give donations to animal rescues might want to consider Almost Heaven -- and no, I don't get a kickback from them -- most of the income to support the rescue and sanctuary comes from donations from adoptive parents and fund-raising auctions on eBay, under the seller name carefreesv.