Monday, August 20, 2007

We Found A Trainer

On Saturday we had an appointment to talk with Clyde's potential hunting trainer. I had found Sheldon Twer's website while actively searching for a pointing dog trainer. It's a very nice site with several pages and a lot of information. But there's nothing like actually being at the location to see what may not be seen on a slick website. The same can be said for talking to the man in person. You can get a better feel for the kind of person when you are talking to him face to face.

The kennels is located on the outskirts of Oakdale, about 3 1/2 hours north of us. We left the house at about 20 to 8 and stopped to get fuel for the truck and myself (gotta have my coffee!). My honey bunny decided it would be better to go up I-5 and cut across, rather than straight up 99. He was driving so I didn't argue. He kind of admitted that he may have made a tiny mistake when we cut across on 165 and got stuck behind several slower tomato haulers. (They never listen to reason!)

In spite of the slower traffic we still made excellent time. In fact we were about 30 minutes early for our appointment and Sheldon wasn't there yet. But his kennel helper was, and she talked to us for a time about the day to day activities. At that point she was moving dogs from one side of the kennel to a large fenced field so she could clean the kennels. It was fun watching the dogs running around playing with each other or looking for something in the back end of the field. It reminded me a lot of the dog yard on Cesar Milan's Dog Whisperer program.

Sheldon showed up about five minutes before our actual appointment time and we chatted for a short while. I think what struck me most was how easy-going he was. The kennels didn't have that awful kennel smell I've smelled before and the dogs were all happy. I didn't see any dogs that seemed fearful or overly aggressive. Another plus was that Sheldon currently has another Bracco Italiano in the kennel. Prior to that he was unfamiliar with the breed, so at least now he may have a better idea of what to expect. A little interesting side note was that he's also got another little Italian breed, possibly a Segugio Italiano (I'm just guessing). He said it was in to be trained to flush (game, not the toilet). Both the little unknown Italian breed and the other Bracco happened to be named Enzo. For some reason that struck me as humorous.

So now all we have to do is figure out a good time to bring Clyde.

As we were leaving Sheldon suggested we visit the covered bridge a few miles up and I thought it would be a good photo op. The bridge is in the little tiny "historical" town of Knights Ferry on the Stanislaus River. It's not the original bridge, as that was destroyed in a flood in the 1800's. For more info put "Knights Ferry Covered Bridge" in the search line and a lot of good sites will show up.

Here are a few of the photos I took.

After we left the bridge we headed for home. We were so close to my S.I.L.'s house in Modesto so we swung by there for a brief visit. Turns out her daughter was there with her family too. They had just returned from their oldest son's first football game. We all had a nice visit for about an hour and then it really was time for us to go. We made tentative plans to swing back by when we bring Clyde up. I'm looking forward to that. Maybe we can talk the other S.I.L. and her hubby to come over from San Jose at that time...

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