We just returned from a certification attempt to make Kip eligible to enter a Tracking Test and, I hope, earn his Tracking Dog title. We track in the high desert with cactus and prickly pear and tumbleweed — lots of dry sand. Last night we had rain (first in a month and a half). In town this morning, it looked like the storm was gone, but as I drove north, I saw a big black cloud that I just knew was hanging over the tracking area on the Forest Service land. The certifying judge was right ahead of me as we pulled onto the forest road.
The wind was gusting up to 30 mph, there was an intermittent dry snow, and the temperature was in the low 40’s. The judge loaned me gloves, all I had for warmth was a sweatshirt because it’s been in the 70’s here, and the weather change was unexpected.
Kip took his sweet time negotiating the 450-yard, four-turn track. Perhaps the bushes and grass smelled extra good because of the rain. The judge has an awful cold and I know she wanted my little guy to JUST follow the track — and so he did — but in his own way. He found the glove! All the advice on the tracking lists about being patient — well they haven’t covered the half of it.
But we got our certification forms and will try to get into the Indian Nations Tracking Test on May 4th, otherwise we’ll be looking in Colorado in the fall. I’m so relieved to get this under our belts — though I knew all along that the little guy could do it!