GIMME DID IT! She passed her TD on her first try, in challenging conditions, while in season. Gimme Rocks!!!
The track was 465 yards and 45 minutes old. The ground was very moist (a good thing), but the cover was rather sparse, though consistently so. The day was cool and overcast, drizzling off and on. The breeze was nominal. The field was very muddy and I walked the last leg with 3" high mud "stilts" stuck to the bottom of my shoes.
Gimme has never tracked in this kind of cover. The cover at Fort Lewis was sparse, but still longer than this. She once did a track in Bow that was sparse like this, but the grass was longer than today's grass. Nadine's Cricket had sparse cover on her track, but not like this. The grass was similar, slightly longer, but in rows, with mud between the rows - so she basically got a change of cover every six inches and couldn't figure it out.
We were the last TD dog because of Gimme's "condition". When we went out on the field the prior dog was still finishing his track and Gimme was a little distracted, but he was far enough away that she was able to get to work.
She did her usual saw-tooth routine on the first leg. She circled the second flag repeatedly, then stoped to circle halfway between it and the corner, then again at the corner. She was back and forth and would take up lines of direction and then abandon them to come back to the track. The drawing above is based entirely on combining the two maps the judges provided. If you had asked me how our track was shaped, I would have drawn a pretzel. All I could do was focus on the last learned lesson, to only go with her if she had her nose down in the track - clearly it worked. I really was clueless otherwise and was just assuming she was doing well since I hadn't heard the dreaded whistle.
On the last leg she'd been gradually moving wider and I assumed we were on the track since it was generally in one direction. We were actually well to the side of the track - 15 yards at least - and getting wider. And then Gimme just stopped (at the red "x") and turned to look at me like, "Whaaaaaat?" I just encouraged her. Her nose went up, she stood still considering for what seemed an eternity, and then drove in a straight line to the glove. I wasn't sure if I should go with her, since she didn't have her nose down, but given my stilts, I didn't have a lot of choice in the matter. By the time we got back to the car she was ready to go again.
Gimme did this track in 12 minutes, which is kind of long for her. She was clearly frustrated on the first and second legs, but then got into it and soldiered on. Since it was so slippery, I was glad she wasn't hauling-A like usual. As a measure of how challenging this was for her, I re-scented her three times. Most of the time I don't have to re-scent her and I've never done it more than once in a track. The judges thought she was a really good tracker and surprisingly to me, had a lot compliments about my handling. I didn't feel like I did anything more than just be an anchor, but I guess I anchored at the right times.
I am so totally proud of her for this accomplishment. She went into really unusual conditions and worked it out on her own.
Here's a picture of Gimme with her haul. She really doesn't care much
about ribbons, gloves or crystal, but does love it when I show my
appreciation with steak.