Auburn Cinema - On Thursday, June 21st, Nadine and I met for tracking. The weather was in the 60's, but very dry. We set up island-hopping serpentines, which were supposed to be aged 50 minutes - Gimme's turned out to be 1:05.
There wasn't anything about this she hadn't done before, but she wasn't tracking with her usual confidence (she was in a false pregnancy). She was getting pretty good at working on pavement and improving age toward an hour, but we didn't do any pavement the month of May. Then our pavement practice in early June was the one with the rain squall, so I think she's lost a little ground.
This and the last time we did island hopping, I noticed a tendency to get up on the dirt instead of staying down beside the curb. It takes about half the track before she remembers to follow the curb. We haven't done curbs in such a long time, but now with them showing up in this section of Sil's book, it seems she's forgotten those "rules". In our practices at Medline practices, while we have curbs, we haven't used them in this way, so she's used to crossing them, though we have followed them some of the time.
Game Farm Park - On Friday, June 29th, Nadine and I met for sports field tracking. It was in the 60's and the grass was very wet. The track was 491 yards and aged for 1:10. This should have been a great track for Gimme, but we ran into an unusual challenge.
As we were tracking the first leg (upper left), a woman walked her Golden from the parking lot to the tennis courts. Gimme made the first corner and tracked down the edge of the grass next to the cement path to the first article. It was at this time we realized the woman had tied her dog somewhat close to the path (big orange circle). We decided to just leave the track and start again at the next article (hidden by the 4th green dot). As we walked down the edge of the path as far from the dog as we could, he charged us and then we realized the line he was on was far too long. Gimme and I leaped right into the grass, but not before Gimme was in full reaction mode. I had choice words for the idiot owners... Had I known the line was so long, we would have walked in the ditch to begin with.
It took Gimme a couple of minutes to settle down and start working again at the next article. It was a plastic cup, which she's used to finding, but she's never started with one, so Nadine scented a fresh sock and layed it at this second start. Gimme was trying very hard to work, but it was clear I didn't have 100% of her focus. She kept stopping and looking around; obviously still on high alert. I encouraged her to return to work and she did get through to the end of this track, but she missed the second article from the new start.
Gimme was such a good girl, so determined to keep working. So sad our motivational track was ruined by someone else's thoughtless behavior. Did I mention my choice words to the inconsiderate idiot owners???
Medline - On Saturday, June 30th, Gimme and I went out to the Medline property and were able to get to the main parking lot. It was very dry, 64º, with a strong breeze. I aged the track 50 minutes. The challenge was our path between some 16-wheel-trailers (thick white lines - upper right), with an article right in between two rigs - we've done this once before, but with trucks attached, which likely affects how the breeze moves on the front end of the trailers. Gimme ran the track in good time, 12 minutes, which is the same time I spent laying it - usually a good sign.
We started with the breeze in our face. Gimme did a good job on the first turn and crossed the first landscape strip with ease. She missed the first article on the second strip and went on to miss the next two articles as well. That's three misses in a row, something she NEVER does. Gimme loves articles and has only missed a handful of articles in her entire tracking career, so this was astounding to me.
The direction of the breeze changed as we crossed the third landscape strip on the second leg, so it was in our face again. Gimme did another nice job with the second turn. The third turn (next to the trailer rigs) proved to be very challenging. The front ends of these trailers are high off the ground, so I'm sure breezes do unusual things around them. She didn't have any trouble following the track between the trailers, but missed the third article placed between them. From there to the end she did a solid job, finding both articles easily.
Auburn Cinema - On Thursday, July 5th, Nadine and I met for tracking. The temperature was 65 and again, very dry. We set up long straight lines, which were supposed to be aged 50 minutes - Gimme's age turned out to be 1:15. The start sock was mysteriously absent from its appointed place. We scented Gimme on a new start sock and with a little help and encouragement, she got started and soon found the first article.
The second article was a segment of PVC pipe (red smear) and it got run over by a car, exploding pieces 15-20 feet in several directions. To her credit, Gimme found the only piece remaining in its original position. Who knew...
Overall she did a decent job from there to the end (hardly any cars, despite picture). It wasn't her best tracking, but better than we've had in recent weeks. She's out of the worst of her false pregnancy, so I'm sure this helps.
We have an urban tracking seminar in two weeks. So between now and then I plan to get in another session on pavement. I want to do something more like an article circle (if we can use Medline) or else a few simple L's with articles on every leg.