Sunday, May 22, 2011

Erie's First Title

Hi there, poor neglected blog!

Spring term is over. I survived. Kind of. But you don't need to worry about that. I had one full week off before summer term started. For the first three weeks of summer term, I have only one class that meets twice a week for three hours but the last half of summer term, I have that class plus three classes that meet for one week, Monday to Friday, for eight hours. Sounds awesome doesn't it? I am excited about my orientation and mobility class. Not so much for social and psychological implication of blindness . . . sounds fascinating, doesn't it?
But with only the one class and work just two nights a week, I've had plenty of time to do stuff with Erie.

Three weeks ago, we had a local show. It was a major, so everybody really wants to win their respective "Winner's"- more so than normal. Erie won her class everyday, but she was the only dog. Ha! Never got WB so no majors for her.

This weekend we were at a show in Logan, Utah. There were only five dogs and two of them are "specials," meaning they are already champions and are competing just for Best of Breed so they don't count towards the counts when determining how many points a win is worth so the other three dogs meant there was just one point up for grabs. Erie won one day so she is one point up. It's cool but not overwhelmingly exciting.

But what I really want to talk about is last weekend.

Erie and I were entered in an AKC Tracking Dog (TD) test. Tracking tests are time consuming and expensive so they aren't held too frequently. It can be hard to get into one so I was glad that this was only the second one we had tried to enter and we made it in. Erie and I have been training for tracking since November. She's a natural! In order to pass a TD test, the dog must follow a track that is 30 minutes to two hours old, has three to five turns and is 440-500 yards long. The beginning of the track is marked with a flag and a second flag, indicating the direction of the first leg, is place 30 yards from the first. There is a "starter article" at the first flag for the dog to use to catch the scent and a glove placed at the end that the dog must "mark" in order to pass. The dog is allowed some mistakes, meaning if they go off the track, they do get some time to fix their error and being off track slightly due to wind is okay.

Erie was off like a racehorse at the start!

The judges were waaaayyyy behind us. The judges normally stay one "leg" behind the working
dog but if the dog goes off track they will stay on the track while you wander off it. So, honestly, you can kind of glance at the judges to get an idea of whether you've gone far off or not. I was terrified because the judges weren't anywhere close to where we had been. I found out later that Erie and I were tracking so fast that they decided just to stay in one spot and wait for us to get to the end of the track. They couldn't keep up.

We're going to find that glove!

We found it!

Erie and I drew the third track. We were the third and final pass of the day. The photo shows judge Kristi Rasmussen, me and Erie, judge Wendy McCleery, the apprentice judge, and our track-layer and fellow Vizsla person, Sheryl Hohle.

It was awesome. She was right on the track- she nailed it. We ran it in less than seven minutes (we used just a watch, not a timer so we can't be exact). I was so excited. I didn't know until Judy (Erie's dad's owner) posted it on Facebook, but Erie is Budha's first titled get! That's kind of a fun accomplishment too!

Erie is now known as Kezza's Pride of the Mountains Deepest Desire CGC TD.

I can't wait to try out TDX (Tracking Dog Excellent) in the fall.