Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tracking Certification in the snow

I'm very pleased to report that yesterday, December 19th, was a great tracking day in Gardiner Maine!

Mary Thompson and Celeste Kelly made the trip to the fields that are part of the Gardiner Family Land Trust. Judy Hermon has been very forunate to be able to obtain use of these fields for tracking, and this was a first attempt to plot realistic tracks. The snow was about 4 to 6 inches deep, with several places only having a slight dusting. Temps were around 30, with only a slight wind towards the end of the third track. The main entrance road was not open, so only the front fields were used. Lots of untouched fields further back and further up the road.

To PASS their certifications were:

Dalmatian - Lucy - Patch Mt's Legend in Time - owned and run by Linda McSherry. Lucy looked around while Linda was putting her harness on as in wondering what they could possibly be doing there - in the snow! Linda stuck to her normal start routine, scented Lucy at the start flag, and then held on to the line for a dash down the track. At the corners Lucy would do a 10 foot circle, hit the track and pull Linda down the new leg. Linda said she had way over dressed for the romp across the fields.

Next up was Golden Retriever - Brian - owned and run by Judy Hermon. Prior to the start Judy kept say the those things that her instructors had told her - be firm, keep your bearings, go forward when he says to, be positive! Again, a good start routine and Brian committed to the track and pulled Judy down the leg. Brian was very methodical, moving the whole track at a good, fast walk and never hesitating or missing a corner. At the glove Judy was out a breath and so thrilled that all her hard work and training paid off with a dedicated tracking partner.

Last to go - Dalmatian - Spring - Patch Mt's Spring Thyme at Blackthorn - owned and run by Sara Pruyne. Spring is just 6 months and 2 weeks old and showed her puppy training curves at times. She would charged down the track for 60 yards, come back to check in, sniff the tufts of grass, and then zoom down the track some more. When on the track she would bury her complete head in the footsteps, as if she couldn't get enough of that good smell. A couple of crosstracks by hikers and loose dogs only caused her a slight hestitation, casting a few feet on either side of the track, then to charged across the path and down the correct leg of the track. The wind had started to pick up at this point, and she worked out where the real scent was, learning lessons as she went. At the glove she even laid down in the snow! Good job Baby Girl.

Thank you Mary and Celeste for having the faith that we would actually practice in the snow and that our dogs were ready for their certifications. And these fields will give the Club an opportunity to have tests in other areas of the state. Wait until they can come back in the spring and see all the great possibilities for TD and TDX tracks.

A special Thank You to Judy Hermon for hosting us and being such a successful student!

Oh - did I mention that the 2 Dalmatians are granddaughters of CT CH Carina? Tracking must be in those genes!

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