We met this morning at the Game Farm Park in Auburn. Its a really large sports complex where we've been alternating with the cinema for our urban tracking. It was fairly warm - low 70's. While its been dry, much of the area where this track was laid had just been watered and Nadine's shoes were wet from walking through the wet grass to lay our track. It was about 400 yards and just 40 minutes old. There are lines of trees alongside most of the paved walkways (the green circles) and the wide grey lines represent those paved walkways.
Gimme really struggled to get focused for most of this track. She'd just stop and look around and really have trouble getting back on task. There were things going on nearby, but nothing really unusual, so I really think it was just Mommy-brain zapping her concentration. From the start sock to the green "X" it was a continuing issue for her - I even threw an extra article ahead of her to give her something to work with and get rewarded for (right before the green "X").
From there to the red "X", Gimme was her usual self, dragging me along and then, she just stopped. After the red "X" I did loving-the-track to help her get into the game again (I could see where the glove was hidden) and she did finally find it (though my knees will never be the same). I would have done loving-the-track before the green "X", but Nadine hadn't really marked the track in a way where I could be sure exactly where to show my love.
Because this was so frustrating for Gimme, we set up a motivational track for her - in a giant arc around the outside of a fenced ball field. There was the start sock and then five more articles spaced 30 yards apart. The track included a 30 foot segment on pavement along a building. Each article had some of Nadine's special sweet pork in it. We ran the track at just 20 minutes, on ground which was drier than earlier. Even though by then the temps had climbed to the high 70's, she went through this track like a steamroller. She never even blinked at the paved section or the transition back to grass. Perhaps the building acted like a curb.
I'm inclined to think much of the problem was just Mommy-brain, which I hope will be gone by next weekend's urban tracking seminar. We were in a rush when we left home this morning and I forgot to grab baby-Rockette. I didn't see anything to suggest Gimme was really worried about not having baby with her, even though from the time we left until we go home was 9½ hours. Still the hormones could still be messing with her ability to concentrate and resist distraction.
Since she did so well on the motivational track, despite the lack of moisture and higher temperature, I'm also wondering if she needs a motivational track and then 15-30 minutes back in the car to think about it before the real deal. We went through a period where she needed a motivational track (article circles) for her field tracking. Counting the urban times at seminars and the clinic, she's only done urban tracking about 25 times. So I'm also pondering whether we've missed some foundation and need to back up and re-do from the beginning. I'll be eager to hear Sil's assessment next weekend. I'll do whatever it takes to help Gimme be successful.