Monday, March 12, 2012

Blasts' Track - First of the Year!

Because these tracks were the first after a long winter layoff, we wanted to see how the dogs worked, and then work out our training plans. We were really happy when both Emma and Blast really showed no sign of 'being away' from tracking for so long. They were so enthused and both worked really well. Of course, we're still working on some types of snow, but perhaps this week it will be pretty much gone.
We began on a packed snowmobile route, so I could "stay on top" and not sink into the snow.Since the snowmobile route was serpentines in places, it was easy for me to follow and not try to do severe corners. Note Blasts' deep nose. We are moving around a large snow pile here, through a narrow area next to the roadway, approaching our first article, a sock.For Blast, an actual "stop" at an article is unusual, and hopefully a sign of things to come.Nearing a corner, and a bus stop, we had an audience on the bus for a couple of minutes. I often wonder what they think we are doing. Blast has lifted his head, scenting the turn before we reach it.This leg took us out onto the paved parking area. When I laid the track, this was all lightly snow covered..great, I could see my footprints and turns..when we did the track, aged under a half an hour, it had melted and was either slush or even running water. This changes things for the dog, of course, so it was very interesting. Blast is right on the corner slush.And he did it great, a couple of feet ahead, and back turning right on the track, even with the change from snow to slush, and sitting and moving water.I had left the plastic article ON the snow and approaching it, wondered where the heck it was! No tire tracks, no people tracks, no article. Blast started to dig in the slush and astounded me, as the plastic lid was now in a stretch of watery slush!!! Hard to believe how fast the snow was melting, I am standing where the article was, a good 2' out from the snow is presently. Very happy with how Blast was working.We crossed the double driveway and up onto a bare spot where I turned left. He tightly circled a couple of times on the corner which is why I'm trying to hold the line up out of his way, and stomped on it here, then took off, over another driveway and up onto another bare spot.We made another tight left turn around the snow, on bare dead grass, and he's just found a wood articlel before the curb.After the wood article, we head out onto a large paved area, joining the different driveways, and in front of the main door. Again, when I laid the track, there was no water or slush. So scent is moving with running water rivulets and I just let Blast take his time to figure it out here before deciding which way the track is headed.Suddenly he turns right, over to the edge that is snow covered and will curve to the left following the edge of pavement/snow for a stretch alongside a fence.Blast works steadily along the stretch and will craoss the driveway, make a sharp right turn on the other side and find his glove near the corner of the next opening into a parking area.Lots of tugging with the old glove which saw its final day after this session, ending up in bits and pieces. This driveway, again, was snowy a little earlier and is now wet and you can see the pavement was almost covered in dirt spread on top of the ice. Nice conditions for tracking though. What a good time, had by all!