Islay and I had a great weekend in Yorkshire where she had her first opportunity to run on a grouse moor. It was this Kennel Club event twelve years ago that introduced me to the pinnacle of all dog work - which I still can't get enough of.
There’s something about being in the middle of such majestic scenery, watching your dog working on a carpet of heather, settling into its natural rhythm with little in the way of distractions. Initially is seems so simple, but as you begin to learn about the vagaries of scent, and the wily grouse, it becomes a much more nuanced voyage of discovery.
I’m glad to report Islay feels the same way, and had the time of her life, in spite of storm Jorge best efforts. She located and pointed several grouse, including a lovely piece of work, in a tricky backwind.
The Kennel Club runs two of these fantastic events every year. I would encourage anyone with one of the pointing breeds, who hasn’t had the chance to see their dog run on a grouse moor, to give it a go - you might be surprised.
I’m taking Yogi to the second of these events in couple of weeks and will try to get some pictures of him in action.