Well today it was FINALLY not raining, after several days of downpour, and Gretchen and Cate came up to track. Gretchen brought her two tailed Rotts (Vikka and Xcel) and Cate brought Vikka's pup, Crunch who is just 2 weeks older than my Annie.
Cate went off to lay a mini TDX track for Bea and Gretchen and I went off to lay the other tracks. I laid two moderately difficult tracks for the "tails" and Gretchen laid a short track for Crunch who has not tracked in quite awhile.
Gathered together and Vikka, Xcel and Crunch ran their tracks and did well. By then Bea's track had aged a bit more than an hour and since we were on a tight schedule- time wise- we decided to run her.
Poor Bea had watched us lay the tracks and 3 dogs run tracks so she was... well a smidge wound up. She ripped the start flag out of the ground, threw it in the air and pounced on it! Then she played a bit of tug with her start article and off we went.
The track started on short grass and immediately crossed a muddy farm road/track then dove through some tall standing grass into an unmown field where the grass was tall but laid over and the field was, of course, squishy to downright wet in some places. Bea's excitement level had her tracking a bit wide to the left of the track, shadowing it. Through an open turn, past a tall upright area of swamp grass to the first article, an oversized tennis ball. Bea touched it and passed it. I stopped, she came back touched it and was looking at me like "WHY is this ball out here?". This is MY fault. We have NOT been practicing with varied articles just the same type all this time and now "I" get to pay for it.
Off we go on the track (as I throw the ball back to Gret and Cate as my pockets were not big enough) to a right turn along a shallow water filled ditch/depression. Then a left into over my head tall standing grass. Bea checked left and right very briefly and then dove in. She found a mitten and indicated it barely and kept tracking. Another strange article type and not one she recognised so I called her back and had her bring it. She looked like "You want that?" but brought it and we played a bit of tug and off we went.
Out of the tall grass and into more laid over tall grass and then onto a cut cornfield (bare earth and corn stalk stubble) to a cell phone (a broken one) which she indicated clearly then came to me to show me it and then brought it happily with only one bring reminder. Then she got wound up about the cell phone and became a bit dingy and over shot the corner by many feet. We came back and once I got her settled again she did find it, though it was an obviously harder tracking experience than the grass. Then she picked up and tracked well til the track came to where the farm road left the field to the left, but the track went straight into the woods. Bea kept working it and following the track to the woods and then she'd look down the road like "WHY would this person do this? WHY are they going in the woods? The road is RIGHT there!" I swear she was so puzzled as to why a human would do that it was very funny. But then she decided to follow the insane person (who ignored a perfectly good road!) and charged into the woods and followed the track on it's open right turn through the small woods patch with noproblems at all over a brook, around the trees and out into more tall grass with a sock article. Oh she was so funny here, she flipped the sock back at me like "OK here's your stupid weird article" LOL
Then a bit further there was a left turn and she had a smidge of trouble there because Gretchen was standing up the bank from us and off the track plus the scent had swirled down the deer trail/grass edge a bit but then she commited and zoom out onto the short grass we went to a glove. Oh poor Bea thought we'd hit then end and was quite proud. Then Cate says we have 1 MORE article! Bea could barely believe me when I told her to find it again but off she went and made the next corner with barely any trouble to the last glove! YEAH!!
The track was just 458 yards but it was the first time we've put all those TDX obstacles AND different articles together. She really did well, Cate and Gretchen agreed. Bea's expressions were just the funniest though about the articles she thought should not be articles.
Then we got Annie out and did the same as last time and had her track some of Bea's track. That little baby had NO trouble on the short grass to muddy road to tall grass transition at all. She got part way down the laid over grass leg and baby Emily started to make a lot of noise about not being allowed to walk. Now Annie has no greater priority in life than small kids. NONE. Kids trump all else. So she spins around and whines, but after just a couple seconds I'll be darned if she does not re commit and track again. She keeps "checking" on Emily who is now walking behind us with the adults carrying that ball. And that pup chooses to track over toddler with ball! HOLY COW! Not only that but she makes the first open corner and the right turn onto the watery depression/ditch when I throw the glove ahead (without her seeing it) and we track up to it. At first she is totally unthrilled at finding it and wants to keep going! But I work her up with it and she's gets excited and even carries it back. (I wanted to stop the track before it got too hard for her). She dropped the glove just a couple times to lick and check on Emily but really got into the spirit and carried it most of the way back to the truck. Track distance? about 90 yards of her mom's track with 1 open and 1 right turn. Which by the way was no longer at all brand newly scented as it was maybe 30-45 min since we had been there.
ALL the dogs (and Emily) were so good and did so well!! (and I can see what MY homework is- weird articles!)