Nadine and I met last Thursday for field tracking. The weather was really nice: sunny, cool, moist ground (dew), and a light breeze. Nadine and I each laid a track. The track she laid was 535 yards and we ran it at 30 minutes.
Gimme started out doing really well. She didn't seem to notice the first set of tire tracks and found the first article easily. She dithered a little on the second turn, but got through it. Then she had to decide about the tire tracks and actually made the third turn a little early. When she got to the pipe (blue cylinder and black "X") she got distracted by seeing a group of a dozen children walking the path (lower x-x line) until they went out of view. She just got to working the corner when they popped into view again (higher x-x line) and she just had to watch them. They weren't really very close and I think it was a side-affect of the increased Keppra dose, which really hits her impulse control hard. Once they were well past where we were, I encouraged her to get back to work and once she sorted out the corner, she was off and running. Articles were start sock, an eyeglass case, a wallet, a small metal dish and the final glove. Even with all the time spent watching the children, we still did the track in 18 minutes. I was happy with her efforts.
The track I laid was 435 yards and we let it age for an hour. Nadine ran it with Cricket. As we were on the third leg the guys from the model airplane flying group started getting antsy because this leg was headed straight into their turf. They had no way of knowing how short the leg was. We are normally done with this area before they start, but since we let the track age so long, it put us out there close to when they start (we'll have to make sure we use the other field when we want to go for longer age). Nadine finished the track and picked up the rest of the articles.
Then I went out to pick up the start sock and two flags; I took Gimme with me to find the first article. I noticed she was distracted to begin with... probably by Cricket's feminine odor (she's in season). Also, she never has been very keen to follow another dog, so I usually don't ask her to do so. We had a big party at the article and then turned off to the right to connect with the path and head back to the car.
Gimme loves her tracking and is normally very good at it. Nadine and I are meeting Wednesday morning at the theater in Auburn for urban tracking. Then Friday night we head up to Bellingham for a two day seminar on Basic Tracking with Sil Sanders. This is probably too basic for us, but I thought it would be a good refresher and give Sil a chance to clean up any bad habits I've developed before we get into the harder stuff.