Six Happy Trackers
When the sheep were moved out of the fields I got around to wondering if Xmas would be a good time to run some ‘Beginner’ and L1 & L2 tracking tests.
So the first job was to find an assessor at this busy time of year and fortunately Maurice Millington came to the rescue saying that he could be available on ‘New Years’ day. I easily managed to round up 6 teams as it seems that dog folk like to be doing something with their dogs over the Xmas period other than visiting family!.
The next dilemma was the unusually large amount of extremely windy and rain that we have been getting and wondered if at the last moment that I would have to call the whole thing off. Fortunately the weather gods were on our side and after a light frost in the morning the forecast rain didn’t descend on us until we had finished around 2 o’clock.
First up were Colin & the GSD ‘Remus’ who was to attempt his L1 track for the first time. Remus couldn’t quite hold back his excitement and nearly dashed off to do the track without Colin. This team went on to do a brilliant track especially in the most difficult, rabbit chewed field. A good start.
Next was Marianne & Merri, also doing the L1, who were very nervous after just missing out passing last time.
This team held it together especially coming down the last leg where it had later become apparent that someone had walked across the field. Good team work saved the day so well done. This was then followed by our last L1 team Michelle and Mia who were initially going to do the ‘Beginners’ test’ but after a bit of a push, were encouraged to take the L1 test. Michelle took everything in her stride and Mia was on good form and tracked like a professional and at no point ever looking in trouble, so well done.
Next was the first of the L2’s Ali with her X-breed dog ‘Chase’. In the past Chase has struggled with aged tracks and Ali has done a lot of work in this area so it was interesting to see if Chase could cope with the 2 hour old track today. Chase had a good start and worked hard sorting out all the ‘game’ tracks and Ali has finally convinced him that stopping on bits of carpet and hosepipes would be worth his while. So a good pass for this team. Next up was Ann & Lottie. Lottie hasn’t been the easiest of dogs, being a rescue who just loved to go off hunting, kidding her owner that this was the way!. After a lot of Ann’s hard work and training, Lottie didn’t find the animal tracks as enticing as she had previously and went on to pass the L2 test.
Lastly we had the two ‘Beginners’ tests, Jennie & Mischief and the judge’s own young Labrador dog, who I assessed. First up was Jennie and Mischief who started off really well down the ‘downwind leg’. Mischief then was highly distracted by further tracks (earlier dog walkers we assumed) and it was Jennies steering and persuasion that Mischief went on to find the piece of carpet much to Jennie’s relief!
Maurice ran his young 8 month old Labrador ‘Ash’ on the other ‘Beginner’s track’ for me to assess. Ash was awesome and especially for a youngster and I am sure this team will go far.
So, a big thanks again to Maurice Millington for coming over to assess my group which ended with a 100% pass rate resulting in 6 happy trackers.