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Old 11-23-2012, 02:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Happy Tracking News! Double TDs!

On the morning of the test, I rolled out of bed and felt my stomach butterflies shift with a nervous flutter. I had to laugh at myself, it felt ridiculous to still have nerves after years of training and trials. I went about my morning routine, getting everyone fed and watered. As I reached for my tracking boots, I discovered the Kamikaze puppy had stolen them, chewed a giant hole in one, and buried the evidence in the yard. After a mad scramble to locate additional boots, I had to settle on a pair that were four sizes too big.

I clomped my way out to the car and nervously checked the clock. This was not a morning to be running late. If I missed the drawing of the tracks, all that training would be for nothing!

I cruised along as quickly as my bald tires would allow. A few miles from my house, a road closed sign appeared out of the fog. Around that time, the Omen Butterfly gave a tremendous shudder in my stomach and I started to wonder if I should just return to my nice warm bed.

I eventually arrived at the cafe without further incident and managed to choke down a few pieces of toast. I drew track four and made my way out to the tracking site. I watched the first two dogs track and started to relax a little. As the third dog started his track, I went into what can only be described as a complete nervous breakdown brought on by stomach butterflies in full assault mode. I flopped down on the couch in our camper and wondered aloud "Why do I do this to myself?" My husband laughed in a distinctly sarcastic manner. Men.

Somehow I scraped myself up off the couch and made my way out to my dog. I took him to potty and then showed him a bowl with roast beef from the night before. I set the bowl back on his crate and told him, "You find it, you get beefie!"

In a flash, it was time for our track. I hitched a ride to our starting point and the judges said to start when we were ready. Before we got to the start flag, Gavin had his nose down and was tracking. I let the line play out and he was off to work. After about a hundred yards, Gavin must have realized he was tracking in a completely new location. He stopped and looked around like "Where are we?" I reminded him gently "Beefie" and he went right back to work. He trotted along the track at a pretty good pace while I just tried to keep up. This became an interesting challenge while trying to leap the random trenches along the track. You really haven't lived until you try to leap a ditch in oversized clown boots while trying to keep light tension on a tracking lead. Fun times.

After the third corner, I started to increase the tension on the line because I didn't want Gavin to miss the glove. Gavin kept trotting along and I started to wonder if we were going to hear the dreaded whistle. He took another corner and then hallelujah, there was the glove. Gav stopped and nosed the glove. I picked up the glove and shook it around like a mad woman. What a great feeling! My big guy had earned his Tracking Dog title (and a well-deserved bowl of roast beef).

Our celebration was relatively short-lived because I wanted to watch one of our "J" puppies track. Chris and her pup Jude had drawn the #6 track. As they stepped up to the starting flag, I realized it's even more nerve-wracking to watch a friend track. They both trained through the year and I wanted them to do well. Jude dropped his nose to the track and took off. On the third leg, he came to a complete halt, stopping my heart and breathing in the process. After a decidedly thorough investigation of a mouse hole, he went back to work and completed his track in style.

I'm so proud of Gavin, Chris and Jude! What a great day!!!
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PAM Guardyan's Gavin, VCD2, CDX, RE, AX, AXJ, AXP, AJP, TD
PACH Guardyan's Helki, CDX, PCDX, MXP3, MXPB, MJP3, MJPB
Guardyan's Kamikaze BN, CD, RN, NAP, NJP
Guardyan's Kricket BN, CD, NAP, NJP
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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YAY!

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Old 11-23-2012, 07:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah --- way to go .
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Fantastic!!!! Congratulations to all of you!!!

I enjoyed reading the humorous details of your day!
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you all so much!
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PAM Guardyan's Gavin, VCD2, CDX, RE, AX, AXJ, AXP, AJP, TD
PACH Guardyan's Helki, CDX, PCDX, MXP3, MXPB, MJP3, MJPB
Guardyan's Kamikaze BN, CD, RN, NAP, NJP
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Congrats to everyone! I trialed last weekend for my 5th time, I think. I still get just as nervous, if not more nervous every time. The way you described the butterflies is perfect. I feel the same way
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks!!! It seemed like one wrong thing after another that morning. At one point I gave serious consideration to just turning around and heading home. Am really glad I didn't! :-)
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PAM Guardyan's Gavin, VCD2, CDX, RE, AX, AXJ, AXP, AJP, TD
PACH Guardyan's Helki, CDX, PCDX, MXP3, MXPB, MJP3, MJPB
Guardyan's Kamikaze BN, CD, RN, NAP, NJP
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Huge congratulations I loved reading the story, we have yet to venture into tracking work but feel the same about agility and obedience trials. Gives you back some faith when everything seems to be going wrong, you are kind of in the dumps about it all, and everything pulls through and the dog performs beautifully!
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That's the truth! :-)
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PAM Guardyan's Gavin, VCD2, CDX, RE, AX, AXJ, AXP, AJP, TD
PACH Guardyan's Helki, CDX, PCDX, MXP3, MXPB, MJP3, MJPB
Guardyan's Kamikaze BN, CD, RN, NAP, NJP
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Congrats, that's awesome!! Loved the story, too
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