Friday, January 27, 2006

P in his new groove

Something I never expected to happen – P missed S. He's gotten over it now, but his frequent peeks over the barrier in the car and his middling performance in the field give me that impression. Since giving S away twelve days ago, we've flown five times and today he caught his first game. I'd been doing jump-ups with him – so much easier with one bird because the other one always knows what's going on – 75 - 100 daily. (According to Steve Layman who popularized jump-ups here, I should be doing 120 to see a dramatic increase in performance, but I do see it in longer, stronger flights already.)

However, P just doesn't stay as close to me as he did when S was around. Before, he followed better. He's been finding sitters a quarter-mile (or more) away, which is hard on both of us because I can't be there when he needs assistance. Today he kept heading at about eight-o'clock to where I wanted to go. I didn't know what he was seeing there, which was apparently nothing. After a half-hour of nothing he caught a sitter. This was along a levee next to a field of milk cows and calves. I had an audience of about fifteen cows curious about what was not having anything to do with them, and instead screaming (the rabbit) and cursing (me, because P wouldn't let go of the rabbit).

If I don't give in and follow him, he should eventually start to follow me.

Annoyance side note. Two months ago I became acquainted with an energetic woman who was completely taken with the hawks, S in particular because of his friendly nature. She loves them to death, and is devastated that I've given S to another falconer. Efforts to explain my reasoning haven't registered with her. She's so upset, one would think I'd put half her puppy in the disposal unit or something. And she's blabbing some kind of self-blame, as if I should have taken her feelings into account first. Hence, I'm annoyed. I don't need that. She's not a falconer; S is not hers to put a claim on.

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