Red (Nose Work) Star!

Saturday was hot & miserably humid.  Despite the conditions, however, His Redness exceeded my hopes.  He worked like a pro to earn his NASCW Nose Work 1 title, with a third place finish in exteriors.  We were also ‘pronounced’ for team work in interiors & exteriors.  (The trial was held at a small elementary school in north eastern Pennsylvania.)

Toka, understandably, does not like working in the heat.   I don’t either!  I ended up running the car to have the air condition on, despite having a reflective tarp over the car, as well as cooling beds for the dogs & fans blowing.

His first search was containers.  The white boxes used for Odor Recognition Tests were set up along part of a basketball court, with 13 boxes in a semi-circle & 4 boxes at the corners of a square.

Toka was hot & miserable, but searched the boxes in the semi-circle. We then made it around the square, where he alerted on the last of the 17 containers.  Good boy! You got it.

The exterior search had a *lot* of grass.  My heart sank when I saw the son the walk through before the trial:  all I could think was ‘uh, oh, he’s going to pee!’  The Certifying Official allowed all dogs a very short potty break before entering the search area, however, because of the amount of water all were consuming due to the heat.

The hide was on a bench of a picnic table set.  Toka walked under the table to get to the bench & clearly indicated the hide.

We then waited till after lunch for Part Deux of the day.  By that time I was running the car & the air conditioning so we were all cool.

Search #3 was interiors – we were in Mrs. Henning’s classroom (Toka sniffed the banner announcing this).  There were desks arranged along the outside of the room & a kiddie table & chairs in the middle.  Toka checked the table first, then veered outside the search area boundaries to catch odor, & track it to a small chair.

Last, vehicles.  There were 2 cars parked parallel to one another, and a third parked perpendicular.  Based on the slight hill & the way the wind was blowing, I thought it would be on the perpendicularly located car. We looped around the first car, & then he bypassed the 2nd car & headed to the car I suspected held the hide.  Nailed in in 25 seconds!

His pack-mate Kiyo also had an excellent weekend.

I’d entered Kiyo in the vehicle elements trial on a lark, and fortunately we got into the morning session for today.  Element trials focus on one of the 4 elements required to title at each level — vehicles, exteriors, interiors & containers.  Today was exclusively vehicles.There were 34 other teams competing, and we were split into two groups.  There were 4 searches.

Our first two searches were back to back.  The first was 2 cars perpendicular to each other.  Kiyo strolled around one car, then made a B-line for the license plate.  Alert!  Love hearing the ‘yes!’ that comes with a successful search.

From there we went directly to a small SUV with a trailer next to it.  The SUV was the search vehicle, the trailer was there as a distraction.  1 minute timeframe for this one.  She walked up to the car, sniffed around the tire, & started biting the hubcap.  Correct again!  She’s so smart!

We then went back to our car, & waited for the next two searches.  Weird weather today – it rained, it cleared up, it poured, it drizzled, then we had blazing sun until the cloud cover came back.

Searches 3 & 4 were equally successful.  #3 was a horse trailer & pick up that had a van backed up perpendicular to it.  Kiyo sniffed along the edge of the (smelly) horse trailer, then took a left along the van.  She then went directly to the correct wheel & alerted.

The last search was a small tractor with a blade in front & a bucket in back & a lawn mower.   They were parked quite close to a wall, & the breeze was clearly blowing odor towards the wall.   This was a threshold search — which mean the hide (container holding the single scented Q-tip) was on the far right front part of the blade.  Little Missy sniffed the wall for a second or two.  I touched her to remind her ‘check the tractor.’  She turned & alerted. Since she couldn’t bite the blade at the ground, she placed her foot on it.

GOOOD DOGS! I’m so fortunate to have such talented pups!

One thought on “Red (Nose Work) Star!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s