On Saturday, October 27th, we went to Vancouver for a UKC trial. Gimme came into the weekend needing three advanced legs to complete 4 titles. On Saturday we had back-to-back searches, Vehicles to Exterior.
Vehicles - There were three whole cars to search. Gimme started across the front and turned back when she got halfway across the bumper of the second car. She sniffed the passenger side front tire and door, then went back around the front and down the driver's side. She sniffed under the middle of the car then quickly smelled her way around the back to the passenger side rear tire, where she alerted. Her time was 18.7 seconds (6 seconds behind first place), for Third Place, and finished our Advanced Vehicle title (AV). Our RallyFrEe practice buddy, Glory, got 1st - the breeze was blowing the scent directly to her as she got to the space between the first and second cars. When Gimme searched the breeze was lighter and kinda swirly.
Exterior - This was a good size search area with some landscaping and a lot of "stuff" on the sidewalk. The startline is the orange line behind the larger tree on the right. Gimme started by turning left into the landscaping off the startline. She didn't go far before she turned back to the sidewalk and sniffed around. She sniffed a black plastic cap next to the little bench and gave me a "look", but I didn't interpret it as an indication (my bad), so then she pawed the cap and I called it. Even with my failure her time was just 8.9 seconds - she got First Place, High in Trial, and completed her Advanced Exterior title (AE).
Our drive home was 2 hours and then to Mom's was another 1:15. I fixed her supper and then drove home. I'd spent 6:30 driving and was exhausted. I was still tired when I got up in the morning, Sunday, October 28th. I was pretty certain Gimme was going to be on her own once we got to the start lines for her searches.
Containers - There was a long line of 12 standard white boxes and I was sure we could get it, provided she didn't go into Demolition Gimme mode. Gimme took two steps onto the gym floor and then just froze. She was standing up on her toenails and unwilling to move. I encouraged her, but it didn't help. I finally supported her using her harness and slowly got her to the startline. The judge was very patient. Once she smelled odor, Gimme relaxed a bit and made her way gingerly down the line of boxes. She stutter-stepped at the fifth box, but didn't stick it. When we got to the end of the line, she froze again... but was able to get moving again, heading back down the line and this time indicated on the same box. I called it and she was right. This completed her Advanced Containers title (AC) and since it was the fourth element at this level we also got her Advanced Nosework title (AN). Gimme's time was 24.2 seconds, very slow for her. I was just so proud of her willingness to work under conditions which were clearly upsetting for her. Given the challenge, her time was good.
After the search she got stuck again and I had to help her with support through her harness to cross the full gym floor to the door. Gimme has never had an issue with linoleum/tile floors, never, not ever. In fact the day before, our route from vehicles to exterior was walking through this same gym and she had no issue. One of the stewards said several dogs had issues with the floor and their owners also said it had not been a problem before. She thought maybe the overhead lights were reflecting against the floor and creating some kind of creepy visual for the dogs. This could be it - when we crossed through the gym the day before, we only had the outdoor light coming through the two open doors, i.e. no reflection.
Interior - This was our first Superior run. The search area wasn't especially large (400 square feet max), but there were two hides and two distinct areas. The search area was a convoluted shape and filled with all manner of stuff. Fortunately Gimme isn't bothered by crowded search areas; I was certainly thankful we could search off leash.
Gimme ignored the threshold and the bit of locker room to the left (lowest picture), going into the first big room. She cruised around in there and then went to the second room. Once in there she soon found a hide on the chair under the white board (behind the woman in the white jacket). She did some more searching in this room and then returned to the first room. She showed some interest in the little stool, but left it and checked other areas in the room. Knowing we had a second hide, as she was coming back toward me I asked her to "humor me" by checking the threshold and lockers. She did, snorted her disdain for my stupid nose and went back to the room, quickly alerting on the stool. Her time was 2:30.1 and the fastest dog was 48 seconds. I'm not bothered by her time - when we get to higher levels, her search style and ability will serve her well. I was happy for her to Q on her first attempt at superior.
Our drive home was 2 hours and this time I dropped Gimme at home since she'd been in the car so much already. Then I drove 1:15 to Mom's and fixed her supper before driving home. Over the weekend I spent 13 hours driving 650 miles. I should get a prize for this.
Here is Gimme posing with all her ribbons and new toy. These four new titles bring us to title #59. Just sayin...
I think she knows the photo routine, since she immediately gets up and lays in front of her ribbons when I start pinning them in place. I guess she wants to make sure I remember what is most important here.