It has taken me nearly two weeks to blog about this track. It was our most audacious track yet and 490 yards long. It really isn't a track we expected Gimme to be ready for, but Nadine wanted a more advanced track for her dog. I was prepared to pull Gimme off if she had big problems, but she did surprisingly well. Plus she can be rather tenacious about solving challenges.
The darker grey is a paved road, which we crossed twice - a first. The light green backwards L shape is some very short grass. The two clumps of green squiggles is a bit of woods - the track went up a dirt path through the woods - another first. The thinner line of grey is a mixed dirt/gravel road we went on briefly as we came out of the woods - another first. And a challenge we didn't plan - the dashed purple line is another tracker who came into the area right behind us, crossing our track in two places and completely overlaying our track on the dirt path - a huge first.
Gimme went first, because Nadine had dropped treats for her every 10 yards. She did well up to the road, but then wasn't sure about crossing the pavement. I encouraged her and when she got to the other side, there was a treat waiting for her. She did really well in the short grass, just charged down it, barely a blip when she hit the cross track and then nailed the right turn. Gimme had a lot of difficulty deciding to turn up the path into the woods. Since the other tracker had gone up the same path and right over the top of where Nadine had gone, this wasn't a surprise. The next difficulty was making the left turn onto the mixed dirt/gravel road, because the other tracker had gone straight and Gimme seemed to get confused about who she was following, crossing into the grass path. I encouraged her to come back to where we had sliced off to the left and then she did good following our track. The second road crossing wasn't nearly as challenging and the rest of the track was pretty simple. There was a bit of notice given where the tracker had cross tracked on the last leg, but no inclination to follow it.
I followed Nadine a couple of times and on her last track, I dropped treats for Gimme, with extra ones to help her with the areas which had been most challenging. By this time the other tracker had gone by again with another person and a dog. Gimme did very well the second time around. The road crossings didn't seem to bother her, though she was off to the left of the track. She went up the path through the woods more readily and there was only a momentary casting about when the two tracks diverged again at the dirt/gravel road.
So I was pleased with her efforts on a track which is far advanced for her. Since she was in an early part of her false pregnancy when it was most intense, I was especially pleased with how well she did and her level of focus.
Speaking of the false pregnancy, Gimme continues to do well. I've been working in the yard a lot for the last few days to keep it from turning into a jungle. I leave the door open so Gimme can come and go from the house. She stays with me pretty much the whole time. She will bring a "baby" out and have it out for awhile. Sometimes she carries it around, sometimes it lays by itself. About every half hour she carries it back in the house and within minutes she comes out with another "baby". I guess she thinks they need the fresh air.
We've been walking a lot and there is a section where I can have Gimme off leash. The other day she was walking along and then all the sudden dashed ahead. Out of reflex I called her back and she turned on a thin dime to come back. It was just then when I saw what she was dashing toward - a bunny on the side of the rails-to-trails paved path. I was awed to have her come back to me from such a huge distraction. Needless to say she got a LOT of peanut butter for being such a good girl.
We have nosework class tomorrow night. Thursday morning I'll meet Nadine for tracking. On Saturday afternoon we have a level 1 vehicle element trial. On Sunday we have two level 2 element trials - containers and interiors. We are lucky to have these so close to home with just an hour drive each way. So we can come home to sleep in our own bed each night. Do cross your fingers for us.