We are making progress. Manny and Buddy – a team again – are getting steadier by the day. Our past three days:
1. Flanking the whoa table, with Rick Smith’s waist-rope “point of contact,” the guys were attentive and still when the pigeon was fluttered, flapped and waved in front of them. Not too close, but closer than usual. Ditto when brought downwind of a launcher. They stood side-by-side (actually, Buddy gets first position, Manny learns manners).
2. Retrieves are also more than simple fetching drills now. Each honors their bracemate, learning patience and more manners.
3. Next day, the rope was simply draped over their flanks, a tap reinforced the point of contact but no waist wrap. Birds – flap – steady again. And earnest, purposeful “duck search” on dry land for the little guy afterward with a soft-mouthed retrieve after a momentary point upon discovery of the pigeon.
4. Today, no rope, no table. Dogs loose in the yard, I showed the pigeon and they froze. Big waves, major flaps, up-close- and-personal distance. Like statues.
Now, I’ve probably jinxed it.