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!

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