Monday, October 17, 2005

Porter Tracking News

Well, I know I have been very absent here. I have been working hard on my shop blog and shop. I am still waiting to hear about a job I interviewed for over a week ago, but I do know they are doing a full background check. But for the main reason of this post. Porter News! My boy and I were in a tracking test this past Sunday. The following is a write up I did for his breeder, my family and friends.

Well, it was a gorgeous day down in Illinois for our tracking event. Could not have been more perfect weather. Got there in plenty of time for the draw. I was the first alternate and they had two withdrawals, I believe due to those dogs already earning their TDs the weekends prior to this test. I was the 3rd to pick and I received track number 2.

We drove out to the site and I waited patiently while the first dog and handler ran their test. Porter, however, was a little impatient. He whined a little and kept nosing the tall grasses where we waited. I won't bore you with the extra wait time. The first dog was given a lot of time to finish and was finally called for time limit.

It was our turn. To get to our track, we had to go through a lot of cover...tall grasses, thick grasses....well poor Porter was getting a work out, so being the great mom...I picked him up and hauled him through the tough areas. I was feeling pretty beat getting to our track hauling my dog much of the way. Porter, the whole time, was trying his best to sniff everything even while I was holding him up.

We had a small path prior to our track to walk. I got a chance to catch my breath and harness him up. I was told to go ahead and start. We went up to the start flag to find a sock. Porter nudge it and sat down for me. I hooked up my line to his harness, quickly held up the sock and gave the word to "Track!"

Porter shot off down the track to the second flag. We got about 10 feet from there and he tried taking a break to smell something interesting. Got him back to work and we were off! I could kind of tell where the track went and we came to a cross track from deer. Porter explored it a little bit, but I told him to get to work and he came back to the track.

He shot the first corner a little bit, but I could not see where it went at first. Once he committed and moved on, I could see bits of it ahead of us. We were going as fast as I could go. Lots of grapevines trying to take me down. We make out next turn then come to an area of 'confusion.' It looked like an area where deer may have laid down. I couldn't even tell where anything went. There were all kind of tracks around. Porter started to go down one and I trusted him. All of sudden after about 10 feet, the little bugger came back to where the track would have gone if we were going down a straight line prior to the flat area. I felt really good about his 'decision.'

He was going a good pace and then I felt a grapevine just as he decided to turn it up a notch. I fell down to my knees and told him to wait. I look up and he is looking back at me like "Ma! Get up and let's go!" I got up and told him to get going. We made another turn and I was it over yet?

We were coming down to the end, I felt. We had not gotten a whistle yet, so I figured we were doing really good. We started heading to this strange clump of growth. I could kind of tell the track went around it, just to the side. As we got closer it appeared that Porter tried picking something up and paused for a second, but then he continued on. I said "You got something?" I came forward and he kept going. It was just a big leaf. I just kept thinking, it has to be done soon.

A few more feet, Porter sits down. I ask again, "You got something?" He just looks at me. I come up to him and I do not see a glove, but notice this grape vine kind of over the 'path' and blocking his view. I rip it up to let him through and say, "Track!" He gets moving again. Deep in my brain I am still thinking "ISN'T IT OVER YET?"

Fifteen more feet, Porter walks over something. He turns around, sits down, picks up a glove then drops it. I run up to him saying "Good Boy!" Grab the glove and wave it in the air for all that it is worth. The judges yell "Congrats!" The small crowd watching starts cheering. Our track was 447 yards and aged 1 hour 15 minutes. We ran it in 9 minutes. It felt like a lot longer.

So Porter should soon receive his certificate making him, Northwynd's Fungo Get Fuzzy TD. He made me very proud. I did get a compliment from the judges on how well he worked the track. Of the 4 TDs and 3 TDXs, only Porter and an English Spring Spaniel passed. We both were TD passes.

Well that is it. I hope to be able to post more here in the future on updates about Porter. We will be in more events, I hope.

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