Holmes and Watson are three months old today. Their Mom is being groomed — more loose hair than I could deal with at home. It’s 50 degrees outside and the sun is glorious. Sue Young is visiting from Tulsa. Her son and daughter-in-law live here. I met Sue when Kip and I went to the Indian Nations Tracking test a couple of years ago. Sue brought her Border Terrorist with whom she’s working VST. Chase and Holmes and I went to the Albuquerque Academy to meet up with Sue and Lizzie-the-dog (Lizzie’s also her DIL’s name). On the Academy grounds, I suggested some possible tracks to Sue, then Chase, Holmes and I went to the undeveloped area on the northernmost part of the grounds. It resembles our tracking area in Placitas, but is only ten minutes from my home instead of an hour.
I laid Chase a 250 yard, four-turn track with five articles. While it was aging a bit, I laid Holmes’ first “desert” track. We’d been playing around on grass at the office, but he needs to learn that a good dog can track anywhere. The baby did his little track pretty well. It only took him a few steps to realize that he would have to use that cute nose. He found the glove and received pieces of rotisserie chicken — in the glove, right above the glove, under the glove — whoo hoo — that’s good stuff! He’ll be fun to track with.
I put him in his crate and released the Baddog. He couldn’t wait for me to dress him. He was wiggling and crying. I lifted him off the tail gate and we walked to the start flag. Our beginning leg is the pits. Chase is so excited that he runs from side to side, waters everything he gets near, barks, jumps on me. I actually must speak harshly to him (which is a rare event), “Leave it!” “Find the glove!” A few minutes of the insanity and he gives me a look, “Are we working? Why didn’t you say so?” Then the Baddog puts his nose down and off we go. He always indicates a corner in the correct direction, but then makes a checking circle before he takes the new leg. He also quarters on the track much as Kip does — moving across the center and back rather than going in a dead straight line. I think it’s how he verifies the track.
Once we turned onto the second leg, Chase got his act together, along an arroyo bed, a right turn, up the edge, down into a second arroyo and straight across, then up the side — “look Mom, a plastic cookie cutter, mmm, chicken”, straight a bit further than a left turn, “look mom, a copper scrubber, and more chicken”, several more yards, “Hey Mom, a flat piece of leather. Where’s my chicken?” Straight some more and a right turn — it’s a short leg, but there’s a knotted sock — and more chicken! We make a final left turn and head to the glove. The glove is the biggie — lots of chicken, and playing and hugs. Just need to get that first leg under control.
Happy three-month birthday, little detectives! We had a great morning!
ps Holmes went out and came back in the dog door. I used some Windex on it so he could see where it led.