Monday, April 23, 2012

Blast Earns His Urban Tracking Dog Title!

What a great day we had yesterday in Whitby at the Cross Country Tracking Clubs' UTD/UTDX test!  Blast is now Carmspack Blast TD UTD.
 Judge Jack Wilhelm, apprenticing was Louise from New Brunswick, and our tracklayer was Eileen.  We were just approaching the start.
 And off we go, nose down on the track, a good start for sure...
There were 5 dogs entered in UTD, and 4 dogs in UTDX.  Although there were some really good working dogs on the tracks, and three were soooo close to 'making it', (including our special little Emma who just couldn't seem to make the last corner but worked her heart out) Blast ended up being the only pass of the day.  He did a lovely track, and thanks to many people that forwarded pictures, there are enough to put together the track from start to finish!  Hope you enjoy it!
 We are headed toward a driveway which we will be crossing.  A vehicle drove in and stopped to unload something into the building we were passing, and Blast turned and paused to check that out, before coming back onto the track and proceeding.
 He crossed the road and came to a few obstacles that had to be navigated around.
Apparently, the track turned left after the posts, but he cut this corner right onto the next leg, so at least we didn't have to worry about getting tangled up.  That is the vehicle in the background with the person that caught his attention previously.  Once he hit this second leg, his nose never came up.
Blast moves along this leg never lifting his nose.  Our "three followers" are moving to catch up.  It felt so good to be behind Blast when he was working so well. He zoomed pretty quickly down this leg, and there's no picture on it, as no-one could come up behind until we turned the next corner onto another driveway.  When he reached the corner, he turned briefly right, said "nope" and took off to the left, crossed the driveway and up onto a tiny grassy island.
 From that, he moved into the paved parking area, and rushed up to his first article, a sock.  Above he is on it, and I'm just bending to pick it up. Our track here was near the curb, and after we moved past the article, he went up onto the curb/grass area for most of the rest of that leg, when he lost the scent near the next corner, he came back on the asphalt and turned right.  We headed past a sewer grate (hmmm maybe that was the corner marker???) and out onto grass.
Our "official followers" could see clearly enough, to stay well back of us here.  On the grass alongside the red brick building, he seemed to have a little problem, circling as if having lost the scent.  Not sure what was going on there, there was a structure that began to buzz and we both looked 'upwards' when that happened.  Seemed to be some kind of venting system, but not sure what from.  He 'regained his composure' and shortly picked up the leg, I believe he had gone just past the right turn.
 Once he started along this leg, he was nose down, again, and picking up speed leading to the final article.  YAY!!! I KNEW it was close!!!
A square of leather in the grass, I couldn't see it until he reached it, and paused briefly.
I ran up and picked it up.  Blast would prefer to just keep going, he likes gloves that he can rip apart!!!
 There it is!  After holding it up, I 'traded' it for the sock (first article) in my bag so he could play and tug with it.  Now "that" was rewarding for him!  And then I hear Eileen yelling at me "that's my good sock" and of course, I thought she was kidding.  Blast was having a mighty good tug session with it and it turned out Eileen was serious!  We "argued" over whose sock it was, I gave it back, but I don't think she'd be too happy wearing it again!!!  I also didn't know that it had a rock in it to hold it in place on the track.  It was quite a windy day, so rocks were used to hold down articles that may blow away. They thought I was going to hit myself in the head with it.
What a good boy!  He could knock me down at this point and kiss me to death...he did a really good job, and now has a UTD title.  I just love this dog!
And this was baby, Blast.  Almost three years ago, what a little cutie he was.
 Judge Jack Wilhelm presents us with our lovely Rosette and map of our track.
The wind was still pretty strong so I'm trying to keep the ribbons from blowing around over Blasts' head.  We were pretty cold all day, and the sun just came out near the end of the day.  Blast works well in the wind, so it was really a great day for us!
 Most of the group of spectators waiting for one of the UTDX dog to start its track.

The tracklayers who are so appreciated to volunteer two days to work at these tests....or is it the fish and chips lunch on plotting day that brings them out?!!  Thanks to Jack Wilhelm (our judge) and Louise Weaver (from New Brunswick) who was apprenticing in UTD this weekend.  It was so nice to meet Louise, as we've only 'met' on the Tracking Council Conference calls, and great to talk to her about German Shepherds, as well.
As someone pointed out later, there were four CKC judges attending, and there were also four CKC Tracking Reps.  Kind of unusual. 
We would sure have liked more passes on Sunday, but I think everyone enjoyed the day anyway, watching some nice dogs working and enjoying each others' stories.  Thanks to everyone from myself and Blast, who got a lot of attention! (and there's more pictures, yet, thanks to everyone that contributed).  A really good day!