Tracking through the sand burrs

May 4, 2008

Our 675 mile (each way) trip to Oklahoma was not successful.  The weather was perfect, the location was picturesque.  Kip drew Track #6 so we started at 10:40.  It was getting warm, but was not hot.  We went to the start flag, he took about three steps and held up his right rear paw.  I told him to wait, walked down my tracking line and removed a sticker from his paw.  I stepped back and he tracked for another ten feet then held up another paw.  I went down the line again and removed another sticker.  By the time he reached the 30 yard flag,  I had removed at least eight stickers (called sand burrs by the Oklahomans). Kip turned around, came back to me, and said, “This is not something I want to do.”  I tried to motivate him, but we finally called the track.  I carried him to the tall grass and he tracked another leg and turn, although he found the glove, he was really done.  Sigh! Luck of the draw! When I took him back to the car and checked his feet, the hair between his pads was bloody so, I think, he told me the truth when he said it wasn’t fun.

  1. StubbyDog says:

    Ouch! Poor Kip. I don’t blame him one bit.

  2. Shelley says:

    How disappointing 🙁

    Poor Kip! Are they allowed to wear Mutt-luks while tracking?

  3. C-Myste says:

    The club should have known about the stickers. I have some dogs that are real wimps about them too (Kacy).

    We call it “puncture vine” or “goat head” here and it’s a recent infiltrator from California. Google confirms that it’s the same as thing called “sand bur” other places.

    Nasty things 🙁

  4. C-Myste says:

    Tom says that wiki is wrong and that “sandbur” is a grass.
    was my original source.

    Now I’m curious. Was it a grass with stickers or a prostrate vine?

  5. MyEye says:

    These are vines that lie flat on the ground. We have goatheads here as well, but what they call sand burrs are like goatheads with more spines. They seem to have a little hook at the end of each spine so they hold on the the skin.

    This was the first time the club has used this location and the other tracks did not have the burrs. There was profuse apologizing, but, of course, my dog had quit on the track so we did not pass. Four of the six TD entries did pass and one of the TDX entries. Most of the track (we did walk the rest of it) was in growing hay. Kip had no problem with the tall grass (though he completely disappeared into it), and he has tracked before when he’s picked up a couple of stickers — this was just too much for him.