A visit to see Sam’s family who had not been trained and just bred for the show bench

Another very hard frost with all of Ropes Hill Dyke frozen over and the peaty ground frozen solid. A visit to see Sam’s family who had not been trained and just bred for the show bench rather than working.

To Wroxham for lunch with Diana and then, as she went swimming with the girls this afternoon, I worked on. Tried to see the film "Bodyguard", with Diana but we missed getting in as the house was full but enjoyed "The Last of the Mohicans instead.

We had another Sam did well again to go through the night, but I was personally less fortunate, being restless for most of it for no apparent reason. I am now training Sam to drop to command and whistle when not actually with me and am already making some progress. It seems that the conventional wisdom is to leave off serious gun-dog training until they are over six months old, but Sam seems to respond very well and I am achieving real progress with his initial obedience training. He also likes a lot of exercise and easily makes the return trip into Horning for the newspaper every morning. He went into the shop with less fuss today and was pulling less on the lead.

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I took both girls to Lyng Eastleigh to Sam's birthplace this morning and there saw and took photographs of his mother, "Whisper", his sister, "Minnie", and brothers, (dubbed "Turkey" and another). It is funny to see how much the litter varies; Turkey is large and gawky, Minnie is small and frail and the other is very like Sam but smaller in size. Former owner Barbara does not seem to spend much time with the puppies and has not made much progress with them and even the mother and older sister from last year's brood do not even come quickly under control. In fact, I have gained the impression that the dogs are not really worked in the true sense, and that their pedigrees are optimised more for the show bench, and that I perhaps should have found a puppy of a field trial champion rather than having show champions galore. Sam seems to take more after his father, "Emmanual Lochpointer", and I will have to try to track him down and have a chat to his owner. He has supposed to have achieved "Best of Breed at Crufts" but this achievement had apparently not been registered.

The girls quite enjoyed coming with me and seeing the birds of prey that are also kept there but did not like the delays and the cold. To Wroxham for lunch with Diana and then, as she went swimming with the girls this afternoon, I started sorting the huge pile of scrap wood and then put up some picture hooks. This morning I telephoned the Dunhams and arranged for them to come by tomorrow and we look forward to that. I bathed early this evening and then managed to update my journal before taking Diana out to the cinema to see "Bodyguard", a two-hour adventure and love film, but we missed getting in by just eight people in the queue as the house was full. Instead, we saw "The Last of the Mohicans" which we still enjoyed. The girls and Sam were safely asleep when we got back.