Northern nights


Taken around 22:20 (10:20 pm) on Saturday evening near the wife-family’s house in Sweden. Not a wind in the evenings, still warm enough for shorts and then the light…

This guy also loved it up there!

Hörnan2008-06 012

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Clear sign of spring

…the anemones are out, covering the forest in their blanket of green and white :)

Anemone blanket in green and white

The wee black thing is Corto the Dog – looking intently towards where I have just thrown a dummy for him to fetch. But not until I give the word, of course.

(I did – he’s not still sitting there ;))

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Picture clean-out: Isn't he just cute?

Found this picture of Corto from November:

He just loves carrots - it's usually hard to find time enough to snap the picture before the carrot's gone ;)

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Blimey, we passed!

Took Corto to his first exam - "brugsprøve" or something like "use test" - today.

It goes like this, with a trail shaped like a mirrored P:

1) Walk 25 m with the dog on a lead (from the bottom up to the middle)
2) Take the lead of, hide it well away. Walk 3 x 25 m with the dog "at heel" (end at the top of the vertical line)
3) "Stay" the dog there, walk to the starting point. At the judge's command, call the dog home.
4) Walk 1 m away from the dog, throw a dummy - at the judge's command send the dog to retrieve it and (!) bring it back and deliver to hand.
5) With the dog sitting 1 m from you, the judge fires a shot away from the dog to test for gun shyness.

You start with 40 points - for any errors, points are deducted. You need 35 to pass...

We had 38 :)

("Black Amandas Armed and Dangerous" - that's Corto's official name...)

Only error - on the way back to me from 3), Corto decided to pay a visit to two labradors sitting 10-15 m further back. I (surprise!) managed to call him back from there, though, and get him back in place at my left leg. Everything else worked well.

First attempt, Corto is only 10 months!! (proud me smiley) Castor, our first dog, passed at third attempt at the age of 15 months.

He's an intelligent little critter - the challenge will be to use that intelligence the right way as we go on training towards field trials.



It's begun :)

The spring, that is!

The mobile phone camera isn't my best. But there's a wee tree there - with green leaves on :)
I liked the silvery play of light in the water. And then Corto decided he wanted in, too.

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Dog in snow

Today, Corto had his first serious experience of snow:

I guess you can tell that he likes it! And, as a result, started turning into what my daughter aptly called "an inverse Dalmatian":

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Snow!! (February 2007)

Garden buried in snow - as my son said "it's hard to recognise that thing as a bench". Let me add that I didn't hurry over to sit on it ;)

One of the drifts in the driveway was 50 cm (20") deep...

Which made for a lot of shovelling to be able to get the car out. It took 1½ hours!
(and yes, I promptly got stuck as soon as I got out on the road - but did eventually make it out in the world)

Trick question: What is this big white pile next to Corto?

A big pile of snow, you say? Partly right - but to Corto, is a new primary escape route. It took him 2 (two) minutes to find out that he can now run over the fence to get out and talk to the cocker spaniel from down the road that just had been walking by...

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His first!

A few weeks ago, Corto came home from a walk more proud than usual:

His first pigeon, indeed.

This one was very recently deceased (no, it wasn't merely resting ;). No sign of external damage or anything. So we used it for training for a day or two, kept refridgerated of course when not in use.

It's actually a bit mystery with the pigeons around - they seem to have fallen out of the sky in scores. Corto has probably found half a dozen - some in parts, edrwww - in the forests around and we found a second completely undamaged (apart from being dead) in the front garden some days after this one...

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Corto is certainly growing :)

This week it has started looking as if somebody has pulled his legs - they're long! He's falling over them all the time, too :)



This is Corto !!

At least, we're pretty sure of the name by now. He may be just a little bit of a villain, but a good-hearted one. And beautiful and charming, for sure!