On Saturday, February 3rd I took Gimme to Medline for tracking. I parked the van where you see the white square. The conditions when I laid the track were a cool 51º, dry with a light breeze. I aged the track 35 minutes. Mostly it was a simple 5-turn track, with all the turns out in the open. I planned for the last leg to parallel close to some of the new fencing (black line) - to see how it was compared to chainlink. As it turned out, the fencing was farther from the curb than I thought it would be and no way to get down close to it.
Gimme did well. She's gotten very good at crossing the landscape strips and does well with turns on open pavement. By the time we ran the track the breeze was stronger than before and was variable in direction. Gimme was again up on the landscaping for the last leg, instead of being down next to the curb. She ran this pretty steadily and was almost as fast running the track as the time it took me to lay it. She sure does love her articles.
On Friday, February 9th, Nadine and I met at Game Farm Park. We didn't get any tracking done, since we spent the time taking pictures for our ad in the Spotter. We were trying to get pictures of the girls "tracking", so we repeatedly set them up to run to a glove for free cookies. This really turned out to be a fun game for the girls and I'm sure it improved their article-love. Of course, Gimme has plenty of article love already.
As it turns out, we aren't happy with the pictures. My camera is set to do a lot of things automatically and they just aren't sharp enough to go in an ad. My friend Carol is going to do the ad layout for us. She's a professional photographer and she helped me figure out what I need to change in the camera settings to get better results. So, we are going to try again this Friday. Cross your fingers.
On Saturday, February 10th, Gimme and I again went to Medline. I wanted to focus on transitions with larger sections of vegetation, so the transitions were more like what we'd see in a trial. Of course a real TDU would have a significantly higher proportion of vegetation to hard surface. I actually left the Medline property, crossing the street and using some of the grounds of another business. I didn't realize when I laid the track just how much meandering I did. There were a number of very soft turns of just 10-15º. And I also followed right along the edge between the grass and beauty bark as I was coming back onto Medline property. It was about 50º with a very light breeze. The other thing I wanted to do was to age it longer, so it was 45 minutes old.
Gimme hasn't been on a hard surface track that old before, so she had a hard time even getting started. It took me 12 minutes to lay the track and she spent 26 minutes running it, which is verrrry long for her. Gimme struggled to even start, she didn't think there was enough scent to work with. I encouraged her and even helped a little to get her going. She did great on all the vegetation. She spent a very long time deciding to go back to hard surface halfway through the second leg. Near the end of it we cross over about ten feet of grass and then back to pavement again. She really had a hard time finding the second turn (on pavement). Just as she solved it, a bunch of people walked through the parking lot and interrupted our work. I don't want to offend anyone on property we are using, so I just deal with their friendliness (green rectangle). Of course, it was really hard for Gimme to get back to work and I had to help her. From there she did great to the end. The meander along the landscaping grass/bark edge was no issue. She did better with the next transition to pavement and by then she must've had her groove on, since the last turn and finding the last glove went very smoothly.
I do need to plan ahead better, so I'm prepared to enhance my scent when I'm on pavement and pushing the age. I'll check the book and decide which to use next time. It will be two weeks from now since we are doing weight pull this Saturday.
I did get word about 2 seminars Sil Sanders is offering in June and July. One is for TD/TDX and the other is Urban. I've already sent in our registration. I can hardly wait.