I've gotten behind again on my blogging. I try to keep up, but Gimme has these ideas about how much time I'm allowed to spend on the computer. Her tummy needs to be stroked and there are other important duties for me to attend to, doncha know.
Last Saturday we went out for some hard surface tracking. I'd found a huge building with an equally large parking area on GoogleEarth. When I got there I discovered it was a regional center for Target and their parking area is fenced in. However, the security guard was really nice and told me where there was a building nearby with large parking. Since the pictures on GoogleEarth are sometimes very old (the pictures of my house are at least ten years old), this building didn't show up. He said he thought it was unoccupied. It is now occupied by Medline, a medical equipment company.
The building is not as big as the Target center, but the parking area is the same size. To give you an idea of the size of the place, it has 80 loading docks and parking in between them for another 80 semi-trailers, plus another 40 semi-trailer spaces across the end. Employee parking has space for about 400 cars, with lots of islands and such. The morning we were there, only 5 cars were present. This is going to be a great place for us to train, with a host of options.
I was able to set three tracks down at the warehouse end. They were 75, 100 and 125 yard tracks, aged 45 minutes, with food drops every 5 yards. The longest track was set as a serpentine. Temps started at 60 degrees when we arrived and were up to 65 by the time we finished tracking.
On the first two tracks Gimme did a great job. I noticed she was challenged when we passed two storm drains. In nosework we've seen and discussed the effect storm drains have on exterior searches, so I knew exactly what was going on when I saw it. She really motored down these two tracks, snatching up all the bits of beef jerky.
On the third track, it didn't go as well. I didn't mark the track with chalk, thinking I'd be able to see where it was based on the beef jerky. Unfortunately the jerky blended in a lot more on this asphalt. So between the blending and Gimme's speed, I was not really clear about where the track went. As a result, my handling was not as good. Also, Gimme tends to be less accurate on the third track, so this was a factor. I'm trying to think of something long-handled I can use to hold my chalk so I don't have to bend over a million times while laying a track. Gimme was able to find the final article despite my poor handling.
After tracking we went for a 2-mile walk. Then we came home and Gimme rested while I worked on several projects around the house.
We haven't been tracking since then and probably won't for the next couple of weeks. Nadine has several conflicts. It'll be a good time for a break during this unseasonably hot weather.