Doc was almost back to normal by Sunday, so I decided to move him up to a Senior hunter. To keep from causing scheduling problems, I moved him up to Senior in only one of his tests and I believe that he would have passed it had it not been for my handling error.
Doc actually ran in three tests, the first as a bye dog in a Junior hunt test – more on that in the next post. Unlike Saturday, it rained most of the morning and the cool temperature invigorated him. As a reslult, he ran an almost perfect test as the bye dog. Doc had one beautiful point and then did a very nice job of honoring his bracemate, a German Shorthair who earned her Junior title with that test. However I noticed that he flinched when the blanks were fired, leading me to believe that his ear infection had returned.
Doc’s Senior test came up while we were still running his Junior test, so he was given the opportunity to take a short break before his Senior test. He had already ran in two tests but didn’t show any sign of being tired, so I gave him about five minutes to catch his breath and wet him down. Then we hit the field and his first Senior test was underway.
Doc was quartering when he flushed a bird that was downwind from him. He whirled around and stopped, and at that point I could and should have “whoa’d” him. Instead, I said nothing and he took off in pursuit, an immediate disqualification. The problem was that I’d gotten some of the Master and Senior test rules mixed up and forgot that I could “whoa” him once he established his point.
Regardless, he did very well in spite of an apparently painful ear infection. Now it’s looking forward to next year, and Senior titles for both Doc and Mia.