Passing it forward

On Saturday, I had 5 teams of nose work students run in a (relatively) local NW1 trial.  I was confident that they’d all title.

They blew my expectations out of the water.  Not only did they all title, here’s the list of placements in ascending order:






I had a crap day on Saturday (don’t ask!).  Plus I’d asked them to text me with updates.*  Although I checked my phone obsessively, I received nothing.  Got back to our hotel room and checked email…. to find these amazing, wonderful, incredible results.

In the interim, I’ve heard that each of the teams received at least one of the coveted “P’s.” “P” is the abbreviation for ‘pronounced,’ a designation that judges give out sparingly to teams that they feel demonstrated exceptional teamwork.

The *single* team that got “only” one P was made up of a handler that volunteered to run  another person’s dog, and with whom she had only worked 8-10 times.  Phenomenal!

To me, the pronounced designation is more important than a placement.  Anyone can have a fast dog, or be lucky in a search.  Not everyone can work as a team with their dog – or someone else’s.  The fact that these teams did as well as they did, both with teamwork and with placements, is amazing, and delightful.

I’m so proud of each and every 2-legged and 4-legged student.  To me, it’s actually better than having placed myself.

One my human students emailed me this:

“Seriously, THANK YOU for all of the coaching and encouragement and practice runs!!
A lot of the things the judges talked about at the debrief yesterday were things you’ve told us 1000 times – Back up! Go around stuff both directions! Don’t pull the dog off odor! 
So valuable to learn those things in class rather than at a trial :-)”
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 How lucky I am to have students who listened to what I said, integrated the information, and then implemented it.
*Turns out that the building I was in on Saturday was a dead zone for cell phones.  I’d forgotten to bring my mobile with me that night.  When we drove away from the building today, I had 20+ text updates!


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