Sunday, October 19, 2014

Over the Rivers and Through the Woods : New Tracking Venues Now That Rigby Passed her TD!

October 19, 2014, Rigby earned her first performance title, Tracking Dog, TD!  I am so proud of this girl and love her enthusiasm for tracking!

Saturday Rigby and I drove to the Cleveland, Ohio area and spent the night in Westlake at a Red Roof Inn.  This was only Rigby's third night in a hotel and the noises outside our room still make her a bit anxious and neither of us got a very good night's sleep.  But come morning we were both ready to head out and have some tracking fun!

The weather was perfect for tracking!  After quite a bit of rain Saturday, Sunday was cloudy and cool, great for holding scent on the track.

The test was put on by the Cleveland All-Breed Training Club and was held at Charlemont Reservation in Rochester, Ohio.

We arrived early for the draw of the tracks which was to be held at 8:30.  The other TD entrant, Karen Phillips, and I were sent to a nearby cemetery to keep us out of sight while our tracks were laid. Karen and I kept ourselves busy reading the weathered headstones and wondering about the lives of the people buried in this old graveyard.

Then we had a few moments to exercise our dogs before it was time for the draw.  I played fetch with Rigby with a glove for a few moments, trying to make sure she was in a tracking frame of mind.

Karen was No. 1 in the catalog and she was the first to draw.  The draw gifts were large bags of homemade dog treats with one treat being in the shape of a glove.  Karen's treat bag had a 2 on the bottom of it, meaning she got the second track.  Of course, that meant that Rigby and I had the first track! 

The draw gifts were large bags of home made dog treats
 with one treat being in the shape of a glove.

I went and got Rigby from the car, gathered up her harness and tracking line and headed for the start flag.  The judges, Ken Barna and Steve Ripley, told me that the track was properly aged and I could start when we were ready.  I put Rigby's harness on, fastened the line to the D-ring and encouraged her to start tracking.

While in between the two start flags Rigby hesitated a bit and searched off to the side of the track a bit, but with another word or two of encouragement she settled in and started down the first leg.

Honestly, I don't remember a lot about the track, it all went pretty quickly and I spent most of my energy trying to stay upright and not inhibiting Rigby's forward motion.  I thought the only things I said to her were the words, "Yes", "Easy" and "Nice turn," but I was informed by more than one person that at some point along the test I said to her, "Easy, don't kill me!"  So it gives you an idea of what was going through my mind.

The field her track was in went from scrub grass to areas of short mowed grass, back to higher grass, then into the short grass again.  There was a small ditch that I'm so glad that Rigby stopped and stood in, so that I saw it and didn't fall over it.  One time she also paused when the track went back into the high grass, turned and looked at me, as if asking if it was okay to do the change of cover.  I told her, "Yes," and off she went again.

I started to remind her to look for the glove on the next to last leg, I knew we were getting close.  She made that last turn just before the woods, toward the road, so I knew the glove was in that stretch of land and, sure enough, she paused and I could see the glove.  She gladly brought it back to me and I whooped in joy, as did the judges and gallery!!

Rigby's track was 450 yards in length and was 38 minutes old when we started it at 8:38 and she found the glove at 8:43 -- a very quick 5-minute track!

To follow the track, you start in the lower right-hand corner where there are two flags and follow it to the end.

The two photos above are of the judges, the track layer for my track, Lisa, and, of course, Rigby and me!  The field behind us is where Rigby's test was held.

I'm happy to report that Rigby was not the only dog earning a tracking title today!  Karen Phillips and her Golden Retriever also passed their TD test and Kim Cassida and her Belgian Tervuren got their TDX title!!

The CABTC doesn't give ribbons for the passing dogs, instead I got a fob with the letters TD and pretty stones, that I can hang on Rigby's crate or somewhere else in the car.  The fob was made by club member Karen Phillips.  I also got to choose a prize from among a variety of items and I chose a blue leather lead that should look nice on Rigby.  Of course, we also got to keep the glove that Rigby found at the end of her track!

I am so appreciative of CABTC for putting on this nice test and all the club members who volunteer and help out!  Thanks to one and all!!

We had a wonderful day and these will be memories I will cherish for years to come.

Now, on to TDX training, the woods, streams, cross tracks and all the other challenges!

No comments:

Post a Comment