On the 26th, we met with Nadine at Auburn Cinema for tracking practice. Our tracks were the same as they'd been before, only longer: 75, 100 and 125 yards. I had her place extra articles in place of some of the food drops the exercise called for (we are following Sil's new book, section U2). The weather was cool, with a light breeze.
After our last session where Gimme needed so much help to get started on each of her tracks, I wasn't sure what to expect this time. Gimme was in season and sometimes she has an off day (or two) and sometimes not. Maybe she always has those off days, but it depends on what we are doing whether it's a noticeable factor. In any case, this time she was awesome. It was definitely a case of her driving the train and me holding on. She was in-charge and really focused. So great to see.
This Sunday, the 29th, I took her out to Medline for a session. I set a track of 359 yards, cool with a very light breeze, but only aged 15 minutes. My goal was to see how she would do leaving a track actually on the bark of the landscape islands.
She did such a nice job with this track. It's clear she has come a long way in her tracking on pavement skills. She found all the articles very easily. One of them was a 1x2 inch piece of thin rubber. She has huge motivation to find articles, since they are her reward points - a fact, which hasn't escaped her notice. It took me ten minutes to lay the track and she ran it in 11 minutes. I couldn't be happier with how she handled it. I didn't expect her to do this well.
Now we'll try something of similar complexity with more age. I think she'd have done fine with 30 minutes, but we got a late start and I didn't have the time. Besides, it's always good to have a really easy track now and then. This track wasn't "easy", but the short age nudged it significantly closer to easy.