Since the recent seminar, Dorothy has decided we need to do at least one blind search in every class. We started off this new trend with 2 blind searches. There was a lot of distraction because of their recent Spring cleaning, purging and furniture rearranging. All the dogs seemed to find this more interesting/distracting than going into a completely strange place. Gimme wasted no time in finding out where the shelving with the toys on it had been moved to.
Our first search was a blind container search of eleven boxes with a standing ladder in the middle of it. The ladder presented a handling challenge.
My first difficulty was getting Gimme to leave the van. She was happy to get her harness and line put on, but when she got out of the van and realized how hard it was raining - then she only wanted to get right back in. It took me a moment to convince her she could make it to the door of the building without drowning.
Gimme entered the search area, immediately swung up the left side and located the hide, but she didn't stop for it - though I saw a stutter step. She continued around the boxes, checked out the nearest shelf unit (the one with the toys). It was off to the right side of this search. I didn't want to pull her off it in case she was using it in her search, but after a moment I moved on without pulling on the line and she quickly came with me. The second time she came to the hide, she very definitely alerted on it.
Our second search was a blind 2 vehicle search outside in the rain. We were second to search and I took the time to put on my FrogTog jacket. Gimme was completely unimpressed with getting out in the rain again, but at least it wasn't coming down in sheets like earlier.
She went from the startline up the right side of the nearest vehicle and across the top right to the hide, bypassing it a couple of feet and then whipping back to it. From there I took her around the other side of the vehicle, between the two and around the other vehicle. She showed interest in the spots I indicated in brown. I did not call any of those spots
There were a couple of times I thought it might lead to something, but she never committed. I did see these spots were in a sort of line from the actual hide and wondered if scent was drifting and catching on other spots on the vehicle. Also, I'd noticed recently how Gimme glances toward me when she is getting ready to source a hide. I wasn't seeing "the look" before "The Look". I can't say why, but I got an impression Gimme was thinking about indicating, to see if I'd take her back to the van (and out of the rain). So I called "finish" (I was right) and took her to the van. Dorothy said she was almost certain I was going to push it too far and talk her into a false alert.
For our third search we had 3 hides. Gimme came off the startline like gangbusters as usual. I was fiddling with the leash and the door, so she came back right away to check on me and caught scent. So for the first time ever, she got the threshold hide first without being held near it. From there she scanned the room, kinda checking things out quickly (she'd been on leash for the container search) and ended up in the far corner and got the hide on the stool. Then she came back and got the one on the ladder - she seemed to take awhile to source it.
I talked to Dorothy about what I was seeing in "the look" before "The Look", asking if she'd ever noticed it. She said she hadn't specifically, but she'd seen how often Gimme checks in, so she might not have attached any significance to it. She also thought it might be a case of her wanting to see if I was paying attention - especially when she was getting close to a hide. She's going to watch for it in future classes, as will I.
I also noticed Gimme seemed a little less focused than usual. She seems to be in a place in her false pregnancy where her focus and self-control are less than normal. I've since created a Bach flower essence remedy for focus and self-control. It seems to be working well in our training in the evenings, so I may try it before class next week and see if it makes a difference.
Right now Gimme is napping, since we just came home a bit ago from a 3 mile walk.