Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
UWPCH, ADPL3(2), ADPL3(GC), NC, NI, and NE... 41 and counting...

Saturday, September 26, 2015

New Element Title L2E

The drive was uneventful, with only one small back-up.  Signs into the site were great.  This is a boy scout camp and we've been here before for element trials.  Its a pretty nice site, though there does tend to be a lot of walking involved and somehow its all uphill.  Last time parking was ample, but this time they'd set search areas in places which created line-of-sight issues.  Thus, parking was restricted and it meant people had to move - I moved three times.

It also means there is no separate reactive dog parking and people are pretty careless about walking their dogs right next to the van.  Gimme is in her false pregnancy, so I experimented with different ways to get people to not walk so close.  Had to add a couple of visual screens and then she did much better.

There were four searches:

Before our first search, we started with the practice boxes and I was dismayed to see Gimme pass the odor box twice before stopping at it.  The second time through, she stopped for it the first time.  While we were waiting in the hold, Gimme required a LOT more interaction to keep her from wanting to get back to the baby.  I kept her busy and then when we'd taken the edge off, I switched to rewarding her "Chillax".  I can't say she was relaxed, but she was able to fake it enough to earn treats, which told me she was in her thinking brain.

Search 1
Lean-to - 2 hides, 2:30

The search area was about 30x40 oval shape, partially under a lean-to (tan), including one of the picnic tables there.  It had the edges shown with pink surveyors tape running to benches, trees, a pole with some electrical boxes on it and buckets.  There were also cones and flags.  Inside the search area was a upside down wheelbarrow, a brushy area and a fire-pit. The little arrow is the exit path.

Gimme did a lot of sniffing on the wheel of the wheelbarrow, but I bit my tongue and waited for an actual alert.  From there she went to the picnic table and around the perimeter under the lean-to before coming back to the wheelbarrow, indicating at the handle.  If I hadn't waited, the judge would have asked "where" and I would have been wrong.  Gimme hadn't checked the rest of the area and the search area was in a low spot, without air current, so I walked her along the other arc of the perimeter, which got us near the pole, where she quickly indicated an inaccessible hide.  I even remembered to say "finish".

Search 2
Outside the Kitchen - 2 hides, 2:00

This search was a covered patio outside the kitchen area, and included a couple feet of gravel out from under the patio.  The search area contained two picnic tables, two cabinets (white) and a set of lockers (dark grey).

Gimme went in and sniffed at a spot on the picnic table and then started to go with me as I kept moving.  Then she stopped and said, "No Mom, we have to get this one" and went right back to it.  Good for her!  From there we went around the room and she checked the area.  I was sure there would be a hide in the lockers, but Gimme really only sniffed toward them, without going closer.  From there she went to the support pole and alerted at a large vertical crack near the floor.  She was right and I remembered my part.   Right there I was happy as can be, since my learning curve to say "finish" has been huge.  The two hides were only 4-5 feet apart.

I decided not to use the practice boxes before the third search.  I thought Gimme would benefit from 5 minutes less time away from baby.  It was a risk, but in the past I've noticed she isn't all that interested in practice boxes the second time around, so I thought it was a good gamble.

Search 3
Fort - 2 hides, 2:30

This search was about 40x40, perimeter shown with flags and cones.  One side was the back wall of the fort and another was right along a railroad tie embedded in the ground.  There were two brooms (blue triangles) leaning against the wall, support columns and a hand-washing trough (white).  The picnic table is included for reference because the judge sat there.

Gimme was immediately attracted to the trough and the end with the small square at the spigot is where she showed interest, but she never indicated, though she checked the spot a couple of times.  She checked out the brooms and back wall and headed toward an open door outside the search area on the left side.  She thought it was very attractive and I had to talk her out of it.  As I took her around the perimeter, she found a hide stuck in the ground right next to the railroad tie and alerted.  She practically dug up the odor, so I'm sure we got a fault there for "disturbing the search area".  The support columns presented a real handling challenge and I dropped my leash once, so was afraid I may have been faulted there as well.  From there she went to the trough again, I resisted the urge to blurt-alert and she went on to alert on a garden-hose-holder on the nearest pole (about 2 feet away), which I hadn't even noticed before.  The nose knows.  I said "finish" and we were done.  In hindsight, the moisture of the spigot and proximity probably sucked scent from odor source.

Search 4
Picnic Area - 1 hide, 1:00

This search was a small area under cover (as shown by the four corner columns) only a bit bigger than the picnic table (about 12x15).  The whole leading edge was the startline.

Gimme had hardly stepped into the area when she alerted in the same exact spot on the picnic table as the picnic table hide in the outside-kitchen search.  It was hard for me to believe they'd place a hide in the same exact spot in two different searches... but Gimme insisted, I called "alert" and then "finish" and we were done.  Good thing I didn't let them psyche me out, but it was close. ☺

Gimme had some really fast times and did a great job.  She's been so baby obsessed the last few days, so I was concerned, but when it came down to it, she got right to work.  It'll be a day or so before the results are posted online.  I'll share the info when its available.

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