An Incident at the Park

Rain’s friends, family, classmates, and long-time readers of Rain in the Forecast probably know that Rain and I visit our neighborhood park every weekday morning and have been doing so for the last three years or more. This is the time when Rain gets some physical and mental activity before I leave for work for the day. We work on training exercises as we are able, and as the park is open to the public it has also provided the opportunity to safely work on her reactivity.

It was a bit surprising then, to say the least, to get what I could only describe as a verbal tirade from a stranger at the park one recent morning. A person with her own dog, no less!

Rain and I were just about to start a few exercises on the play structure. I saw a person approaching the general vicinity and Rain shifted her focus away from me. Sending her away from me during times like this is something I don’t generally do, so we morphed into a game called “Look At That.” The game was originally from Control Unleashed, a book specifically about working with reactive dogs in agility. The point of the game, albeit counter-intuitive, is to increase the dog’s focus on the handler when there’s some sort of trigger or distraction present. I figured this was the best way to keep working with Rain until the person and her dog passed the area.

Instead, the person started shouting and approached us, stopping about ten feet away on the bark dust next to the play structure. And kept shouting for approximately ten minutes. Her accusations included that I was teaching Rain to attack her, that I am very clearly unloved in life, and that “everyone” thinks I’m rude.

What does “being over threshold” mean in dog circles? At least in Reactive Rover, a dog over threshold is barking, lunging, or otherwise reacting to some stimulus. It later occurred to me that this woman seemed to be over threshold herself.

We have encountered this individual before on our park visits in recent weeks. My general observation is that she wants everyone she encounters to interact with her in some fashion. Rain and I are not there for social time, we’re there to do our own thing and to work. As quietly as possible.

While this woman made her accusations and shouted at us for ten minutes (not an exaggeration), I patiently stood and waited. Her intent seemed to be to draw me in to some sort of confrontation—I recognized that and did not respond. My intent was to remain completely silent but when she made reference to going home to report me to the police, I couldn’t help it—”Yes! Please do that! Let the police deal with me!” I was 100% willing and able to talk to the police about my work with Rain and provide three years(!) of documentation and offer up testimony from people we have worked with and around during that time.

But still she shouted, for several more minutes after threatening to report me to the police.

Ten minutes of shouting?!?! What did Rain do during all this? I wasn’t paying close attention for obvious reasons, but early on Rain did bark a bit. After a few minutes even she got bored of barking. At some point I sat down because I wasn’t sure how long the lady would be shouting—with my face down at Rain’s level, she started kissing my cheek for a little bit, before giving up and just observing the scene. My guess is that she was as confused as I was.

Eventually the woman wore herself out, got all the vitriol out of her system, and left. I was glad it hadn’t taken “all morning” like she had threatened at one point. My first thought was to look at my watch and see how far behind our park schedule we were. It was too late to do our playground exercises or walk “the loop” so we skipped ahead. I thought Rain had probably gotten some new mental stimulation out of the ten minutes so we’d be okay.

A pair of maintenance workers arrived as we were heading out of the park about 15 minutes later. Even though Rain tends to bark when we’re in close range of park maintenance staff, I headed over and decided to just feed her a steady stream of cookies to distract her—I wanted to tell a human what had happened, for whatever it would be worth. They listened and encouraged me to write up a report on ParkScan, an online reporting system that sends the reports to “the right people,” quoth one of them. He was wearing a beekeeper’s hat and veil. Rain wouldn’t have liked the hat, but she was focused on all the cookies I was feeding her, just to make sure she kept quiet when I needed her to.

I thanked them and we headed home. I didn’t want to be late for work so my ParkScan report had to wait until later. Standing at my desk and rehashing the event is when I was able to start really processing—and I have been processing ever since. My coworkers gave me their ears and their jokes for the rest of that day. I lost sleep over the next few nights. I’ve had to press through some uncomfortable park interactions in the past and keep going, but this one has probably been the toughest I remember. All I really want is to not interact with this person, and that is the very thing she seems to want everyone to do—by force if necessary.

After a couple nights of stewing over things, I also had a different epiphany: people may not understand what Rain and I are doing as we work. Steven pointed out later that weekend, “to most people, dog training is just ‘sit’ and ‘shake.'” Since I’m responsible and know the consequences I would never let Rain get in a situation where she’s engaging in bad behavior (remember when she lost her off-leash privileges one summer after she went looking for spilled food in the grass one too many times?).

This hasn’t been a problem in prior years because before this past December our park had one to zero regular visitors during our visiting time (it’s 30 degrees and pitch black in February! we’re crazy! why would anyone else be this crazy?) but this year there have been more people visiting on a regular basis. Suddenly we’re drawing more attention to ourselves even though we’re not doing anything different—we’ve been visiting at the same time every day for years now.

A final realization: perhaps Rain has come so far with her reactivity training that she may not look like a reactive dog to the average person anymore! At agility that afternoon Linda and Jackie were remarking how far Rain has come with her noise and bluster. Rain still has her moments (see: new dogs in agility class, sighting a SKWERL, chasing a raccoon under the deck) but she is now capable of keeping up the appearance of being more or less a normal Aussie. It has just taken THREE YEARS of daily, frustrating work to get there. The new park visitors showed up at pretty much the right time—she probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it as well if they had started showing up any sooner.

It’s been over a week and we haven’t seen the doberman lady at all since that day. My nervousness has been a little better each morning as it’s time to harness Rain up and go about our daily business. I have learned to push through my fear over the years, to do the hard work that’s necessary. Only time will tell how this all shakes out.

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Someone’s Got the Buzzies: Weekly Agility Report

Amazing weather returned just in time for agility class this week! The afternoon was pleasantly warm and sunny, putting the showy fall leaves on display. The improved weather also meant that a certain doggo had a case of the buzzies all afternoon.

At the park, we played ball until I felt like Rain might be getting winded. We had made good time and thus had a while before we needed to leave—we ended up walking the entire path around the park. When we were far away from the park entrance an older man with a spaniel showed up and started doing the same. We were loading up to leave as they were in their final stretch, when the spaniel wandered ahead to the grass in front of my car. Rain got really barky, and I did my best to regain her focus, leave the premises, and not injure the doggy. It didn’t go as well as I’d like.

Rain also tends to get barky in the car when the windows start getting rolled up—she associates the action with arriving at our destination. Since I don’t want that neighbor dog running at us when we arrive, I try and roll up the windows early enough that she has calmed down, if needed, by the time we’re within earshot of the neighbor dog. She got pretty worked up about the windows even though the car wasn’t slowing down or exhibiting any other signs of being at our destination. In hindsight, I’m thinking she was still worked up a little from her prior barking eruption.

Once we were in the pens behind the agility arena, an attendee of the prior class who was accompanied by three(!) Bernese mountain dogs decided to come into the pen next to us. Before I knew it, Rain was having an argument through the fence with one of the Berners. (A fierce Berner? Seeing a Bernese mountain dog act like that was truly a novel experience.) We humans broke it up, and Molly soon called from inside the building “You can come in anytime, Heather!”

As we approached I saw a woman talking to Molly right inside the arena door, but the arena walls/doors are solid so I did not see that there was a dog there as well. The door opens in a way that they were still blocked from my view as I opened the door and entered. Surely, reader, you know what happened: yet another barkfest!

Fortunately that was it for the barkfests for the day (thank goodness!)—Ruben didn’t come to class. Because of this, I was able to tell both Linda and Jackie about how their calm presence is so helpful to us. When we’re in class together I feel like the village is helping Rain with her personality quirks, it’s not just me versus everyone and everything else.

In class, Molly started us off doing weave poles. Rain seems to have taken a step back from the success she was recently enjoying, so we started working on a 2×2 version of weaves like little Aria was starting to learn before us. Will using the different method help? I’m not sure, but man, for a dog who has had little to no trouble picking things up over the last few years, weave poles sure are proving to be a huge challenge for her.

After everyone worked on their weaves, it was time to work on a short course. Aria wowed everyone by clearing a jump that hadn’t been reset to her 8” jump height. We had overlooked adjusting jump before they got started. Linda said that Aria is great at jumping and wasn’t too surprised she had cleared it—but even so, Aria should have the correct jump height so she doesn’t risk injury.

I didn’t even realize the opening to the course was more or less a pinwheel until after our turn. I also didn’t realize we were going to #13 until we did the course once to #11—but #12-13 were really easy. What I was proudest of during our couple of runs was that Rain got “feet” really well at the end of the A-frame. Of course since everyone else was at the opposite end of the arena with the A-frame blocking their view, nobody saw it.

Rain does challenging stuff best when nobody else is watching, just like Michigan J. Frog in the classic Warner Brothers cartoon “One Froggy Evening.”

Class was over and it appeared that Rain had finally had enough mental and physical work that she was simmering down for the afternoon. This is why Friday evenings are often the best evenings—once we’re home and Rain and Roy have eaten dinner, things get quiet and I’m able to have a little time and brain space for myself.

Deep Hides and a Hot Dog Jackpot: Nosework Report

The very best thing about nosework this week was a very simple thing: we got out ON TIME!

Morning rain clouds cleared up so Rain didn’t make too much of a fuss when it was time to go to class. Each evening is getting dark a little earlier now, so I was a little concerned that Rain would decide she didn’t want to get in the car. If she is unhappy, she has been pushing through it enough to get to class, realize she gets to work and have fun, and default to her routine.

Kristina structured our evening around deep hides—finding the odor would involve working along walls and pushing into objects. When I sat in on the tail end of the class before us, they were ending with a discussion about flanking. Generally this means being at just the right place behind the dog for support without blocking them into a space so they have nowhere to go to come out.

Our class was fairly straightforward and uneventful, although it’s entirely possible I was so tired that something noteworthy happened and I missed it. The gun club had painted the main door we typically use to access the space, so this week we were using the door that entered into the side room—the same one where a corner hide was fooling some dogs a couple weeks ago as the odor drifted out the door.

Rain did great on our first search. It was of course me having an issue, as I was trying to tell Kristina about a conversation with our vet we had had earlier in the day.

Rain, Kristina has figured out, changes her breathing from a heavy mouth breathing to a quieter nose breathing when she has actually located the odor. Kristina can hear it from across the room, but I have yet to do so myself. Perhaps I need to do a couple of searches with my eyes closed to see if I can zero in on these sounds?

After our turn, I ended up talking a tad to our classmate Chicory (whose dogs are Ajax the Beautiful and Nitro the Speedy) about agility. She had mentioned that “seven of eight runs were Qs” and I had absolutely no idea what that meant. (It meant it they were qualifying runs.) Ajax apparently has a history of being a good agility dog. Since she had talked to me, I attempted to converse by mentioning our agility challenges (me). She pointed out that it’s usually the human who is the weakest link and got drawn into looking at her phone.

During our second search, Rain got a real jackpot at the end when I spilled a bunch of hot dog bits holding the sack behind me.

We now have two puppies of different ages in our class (sometimes?), at different places on the learning curve. Izzy, the German shepherd, isn’t on odor just yet but she’s doing great and finding treats hidden around the search area. Rei, the Pharoah hound puppy whose legs grew as she aged from 10 to 11 weeks, is still getting acclimated to searching boxes and associating them with delicious treats.

Kristina mentioned at some point during the evening that she was moving in the next few days to a place in The Couve. In addition to a house, the property where she’ll be living has a large commercial building where she may be able to do some classes in the future. (I hope she doesn’t stop teaching in our area!) That explains her recent attempts to unload some of her extra dog items! But it also means that her schedule is in flux next week, and while we’re currently scheduled to have class I get the sense that there’s a chance it could be cancelled if her move has some hiccups.

We ended class “early,” our classmates said, and I didn’t check my watch until we had turned on to the main road to go home. It was just after our actual end time! My sleep-deprived brain was very excited to head home a little early and get a head start on getting some Zs.

Return of the Rain: Weekly Agility Report

Wouldn’t you know it—Oregon fall weather finally returned just in time for agility class this week! Rain was reluctant to get in the car, but we managed. I knew she’d be happy once she arrived at our destination(s). And even though there was a pretty decent shower passing through when we were playing at the park, we both enjoyed the change in weather. Rain found plenty to sniff but without the danger of getting too warm.

Jackie and Linda were both back to class this week—Linda stayed through almost the entire hour. It made a ton of difference—at least to me. Rain was acting more subdued because of the weather, but after walking through our course at the beginning of class, Linda made mention that she and Jackie were just discussing how far Rain has come with her noisemaking and such the last couple of years. It had already been quite a stressing day (for reasons to be detailed in an upcoming blog post) but her encouraging words washed over me like a soothing balm. Later on in class Jackie and Poppy came over to visit Rain. Toward the end of class Jackie came over and shared a piece of a special Costco dog treat she had.

At one point I moved over to visit with Aria, sitting in Jackie’s lap. She’s a Havanese with a long coat, and the rain and mud had already started sticking to her! Aria’s little feet were brown, and the mud on her chin hair made her look like she had a beard. Even so she was very happy to say hello and get some attention! Linda said she was really bored being cooped up for six weeks.

As for our course, we did pretty well! It was mostly jumps but there was some circling back that took me a run to really set into my memory. (Remember, I am the weakest link of our team!) One jump required Rain to turn back immediately and that took us a couple of tries to perfect—mostly because of me, of course. I was apparently not giving her the cue early enough, waiting until she was sailing over the jump to let her know what she needed to do next. Molly pointed out that the cue informs her how she takes the jump. We eventually perfected that detail, then Molly suggested trying adding a front cross in the next bit and we got that just fine too. Rain even did fine on “feet” at the end of the dog walk, prompting Molly to suggest we had been working on it. Sadly not true. But I was really glad that we ran the course without too much trouble.

At the end of class we worked on weave poles. (Aria, above, is starting to learn weaves via the 2×2 method.) The last few times Rain has surprised me with how quickly she has gone through the channel with no problem, so naturally it was time for a step back in our progress. It took a handful of tries before Rain went through the entire channel. If it was the only disappointment of the day though, I’d take it!

As for Ruben, he only had one barking eruption during class—at what, I don’t know—and Rain was not amped up enough to respond quickly. I got her attention when she was still having a look and thinking about whether to bark. Perhaps she’s getting used to him?

I can’t help but think my classmates saw my discouragement, but class ended up being way better than last week. It wasn’t just because of last week’s class, but also because of an incident that had happened that morning on our morning jaunt to the park. Their presence and kindness was very helpful to have after a day that had already been pretty tough, so I think I’ll keep hanging out with them at class for a while still. 🙂

A Smorgasbord of Scents: Nosework Report

This week it was noticeably dimmer when Rain and I left home heading to class. I keep thinking that one of these weeks, Rain is going to once again be difficult to load up to travel to class, not to mention she may start having problems by herself between turns. She really has been quite a trooper so far, waiting for long stretches before it’s her turn for five minutes of work and hot dog rewards before being asked to get cooped up alone again.

This week she was waiting extra long before her first turn. As our class slowly trickled in, Kristina placed something in front of two of us. I looked—it was a full bottle of Oregon white truffle oil from a place in the Willamette Valley! Almost immediately I opened it to take a whiff—I had never smelled truffle. It was kinda strong. Not bad. Earthy. I look forward to being able to use this stuff for training at home…but I’ll probably try some sort of modest culinary experiment as well, to see what all the fuss is about.

Kristina then pointed out the many doggy items strewn about the space. They were strewn about for distraction, but each and every one was up for grabs. Kristina was weeding out dog supplies that she was ready to part with. Throughout the rest of the evening, any time one of us took notice of or touched any of the items, Kristina pointed out “it can be yours!” I took a possibly rain-resistant coat for Rain to try on and two centrifuge tubes (“they’re for putting odor in the ground!”) but I think that’s all she managed to unload on our group.

There was also a fair bit of conversation before we got started. Were we waiting for the last person? Were the others just socializing? I’m not totally sure, but it meant we got started late and I knew it wouldn’t get better from there.

Our first search involved six hides in the great room, with a twist. Once the dog had successfully found one hide, we were being challenged to call the dog off searching and connect with us for a count of five. Kristina suggested feeding the dog treats during the time to sustain their attention.

When it came to Rain’s turn, Kristina thought Rain is already so handler-focused she didn’t need to do that particular exercise. (You may hear it mentioned on the video.)

Once again I was the only person in class with only one dog, which also means a long wait between runs. When Ajax wrapped up his turn, Kristina said “time for Rain!” I suddenly realized, “hey that’s ME!” Theoretically I should have already been outside waiting with Rain, so I ended up admitting in front of everyone that Ajax is so beautiful, and he’s so adorable when he finds a hide and looks at his person, that I completely spaced that I should have left to gather Rain. They were amused, I think, but I was a little disappointed in myself that I wasn’t doing my part to keep our class running quickly.

During our second run, when Ajax entered I made a point to everyone that I was shielding my eyes in order to avoid being mesmerized by his beauty as I exited the building.

Our second search didn’t even begin until AFTER class was theoretically over! This time there were two hides in the great room, then two hides in the side room. Many of the dogs kept checking places where there had previously been hides for the class before ours, but Rain never did that.

Something that Rain frequently does do though is hop up on objects, likely because she’s finding odor that’s above her head. A few weeks ago she jumped up on some Rubbermaid boxes without skipping a beat, and at home I’ve seen her finally find something only after she put her front legs atop the arm of the couch and stretched out to really understand where the scent was. Her lack of hesitation about jumping on top of things, incidentally, was one of the big reasons I knew she’d be good at agility.

One of our sometimes-classmates had a new ten-week-old puppy and brought her in to do some box exercises—mostly just putting treats in the boxes to give the puppy a good association with containers and searching. I stuck around for a few minutes after class to interact a little more with the puppy, but she was on a wild tear and I was pretty tired. We kept it pretty short and Rain and I were heading back home shortly thereafter.

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This: Weekly Agility Report

Heading into the Oregon countryside on a sunny but moderate fall afternoon doesn’t sound like a bad time, does it? Yet our weekly excursion to agility class this week was mostly a big pain that left me questioning whether I should continue.

It started off well enough. Rain and I headed out, and at some point I realized I had forgotten to bring her travel bowl and container of water, which have been a must for both classes the last few months. Given her issue the prior week I made sure to not run her too much, and we ended up walking around the secret garden part of the park again.

As we made our way back to the car, I looked down and saw another big bone! This one had clearly been outside a long time. I realized that if someone needs a good place to dump a dead body over the winter, you could do a lot worse than this park. <GULP>

We headed to class, and our first approach was a little on the early side. Theoretically we’re not supposed to be on the property until a certain amount of time before class, even though it seems like I’m the only person who pays much mind to the documents we signed before beginning our training. I made a loop and on our second approach Rain was starting to get fussy.

We’ve had issues with the neighbor farm dog running out to the road when he hears Rain barking inside the car, so I was trying to keep her quiet enough until we had stopped. Once we were, a moment later an ginormous red pickup truck pulled up directly beside us—when I try my hardest to park further down the line of cars specifically to avoid triggering any dogs inside who will in turn trigger Rain’s barking. Usually we have at least two cars with one or more dogs inside.

Upset by dogs in cars on a nice day? That’s pretty standard procedure for agility. Everyone has their own method of keeping their pups cool, but I frequently see these Cool Puppy thermal shading blankets draped over cars.

A few weeks ago there had been a enormous diesel pickup there visiting the property owners, and I wasn’t sure if this vehicle was here for agility or for the residents. Once I saw the silhouette of a fuzzy dog ear I thought it might be Flute and I did my best to get Rain out and moving along quickly. Of course that didn’t work, and Rain actually knelt down to look under the car to try and see the dog. We moved along quickly but I’m sure that the property owner only sees moments like this when she calls Rain reactive, and not all the other times Rain barks just because she’s excited, bored, scared, etc.

Once I got Rain out to the back of the arena, she discovered the kiddy pool was set up and had a great time splashing around and cooling off for a few minutes. She drank water. We played fetch just a little before it was time for class, and things were mostly okay. Then Ruben and one of his people showed up.

Rain was still fine when Ruben breezed past her coming in, but the start line on the week’s course positioned her directly in front of where both Ruben and Flute were sitting, where her left side was directly facing them. Ruben’s person once again built some sort of barrier around them out of plastic chairs.

Naturally, when I placed Rain at her starting point and started walking away, Ruben woofed and then Rain leaped a few steps forward toward him. Was the amazing plastic chair barrier needed? No, but it was clear that Rain was being set up to fail, and frankly my patience was starting to wear thin.

Soon after, Molly had Ruben and his person step outside the arena, Flute’s person decided to head out too, and Molly made reference to how Rain had “cleared the room.” 😤

Our run continued, and my thoughts about how to run the course were often not the advised ones. At one point, I simply couldn’t remember which way we had decided upon. I ran, did the things, took the instruction, but I wouldn’t say I got much from it. The black cloud was firmly in place over my head, and there it would stay. Rain mostly did okay (I’m sure the one issue she had was due to me).

Perhaps you’ve noticed that there has been no mention of our two regular classmates, Linda (Aria/Rudy) and Jackie (Poppy/Cedar). Jackie was out of town again, and Linda is slowly coming back from her medical thing so she did a few small things in the arena before our class started and then she headed out. Flute has never really been “a regular” and Rain hadn’t seen her at all for a couple of months so I’m not surprised she thought Flute was a new dog. Are these our new classmates now?

When we got home after class, I fed Rain and then lay on my bed sulking for the next hour. Rain joined me once she was done with her dinner, and got to enjoy plenty of pets lying next to me. Now in a safer place, I turned my thoughts inward and tried to identify just why it was all bothering me so much. I considered whether we should just give up on agility, given how many challenges need to be overcome just to show up each week. Let’s be clear, dear readers—going to agility is not something I do for myself.

Eventually I lifted myself off the bed and moved on with my evening, not having any more answers, but at least feeling like I wouldn’t need to deal with it for another week.

Vetiver and Myrrh: Nosework Report

September has settled into quite a nice weather pattern in our area—cool mornings and pleasantly warm afternoons. We’ve had a few rain showers, but nothing yet that kept going all day—the type of weather that makes Rain afraid to get in the car.

In October we’ll start getting more serious rain and I suspect that Rain will start having some nosework issues. She gets excited to go to class when we leave home, and hasn’t had much hesitation. I fear when we start getting overcast skies and rain, as I’m afraid she won’t be as pleasant when it comes time to wait in the car between her turns to search. Only time will tell, but it has been on my mind the last few classes.

This week at nosework our first search was inside the big room. Kristina placed “up to ten hides” (there were six). Kristina wanted me to know where they were so I could reward Rain promptly when she found them. We had decided to search off leash this week, partly because I forgot Leashzilla at home. (Kristina was also amused at my nickname for our weird leash, which I hadn’t mentioned in class before.) Rain found all six hides in something like 2:38—not the fastest dog (that’d be Nitro, above) but well below our four minute time limit.

Once everyone was done she told us this was considered an “elite search.” I don’t really know what that means, but I know “elite” is one of the levels at nosework trials. I presume it’s not the first level. Thus, to me it sounds like we’re doing well, doing challenging things in class so I’LL TAKE IT!

Before setting up our second search, Kristina mentioned that Ajax and Nitro’s person had vetiver and myrrh with her, both used in UKC nosework events. She asked if any of us had any objections to our dogs learning these scents, and everyone was quiet. Until I said “um, can I smell them? I want to know what they smell like.” When Kristina was placing the Q-tips in her containers, I sauntered over, saying “I was serious, I do want to smell them.” Then we all came and had a whiff. They’re both very earthy.

After Kristina placed the scented containers I asked more specifically about Rain. I had been noticing that Kristina has been running us on the same searches as the other dogs, most of whom are far more experienced than us. Introducing vetiver and myrrh to Rain seemed a little premature when I didn’t even know if she was on anise or clove—which are the “normal” scents in addition to birch. (Eventually we’ll be learning truffle too, of course.)

Turns out, Kristina has already been incorporating anise and clove into our searches—sometimes with the treats on the hides, and sometimes without! She was right, it IS easy to train new odors once the dog gets the basic concept. It’s so easy that even the handler doesn’t realize that’s what’s going on. (To be fair though, I often don’t know what’s going on, in general.)

An interesting pattern emerged on one of these hides. Ajax, who was right before Rain in the run order on this evening, was giving some very clear alerts that the last hide was in the corner of the door, about 18 inches from where it actually was, on the step in the corner of the room. Kristina had to do some work to get Ajax to stop alerting on the door, and pointed out to the rest of us that the door was clearly sucking the odor out through the gap in the bottom. Rain wasn’t tricked, but some of the other dogs were. Watching Ajax alert so clearly and insistently several times was amusing. Fortunately, Kristina assured us that it wasn’t a hide we’d see reproduced at any trial—but she has described plenty of other false alert situations that have tripped up a fair number of dogs in a group at a trial.

We also had a new person in class—a person who owns four rat terriers. Yet again I was the only person in class without two dogs in class. The rat terrier person even brought in a third dog to do the second search! She normally trains by herself but it sounds as if she may have taken class with another trainer in the distant past. I’m not sure whether we’ll see her again or not.

It seems that Rain is doing a great job in nosework though! When I was exclaiming my surprise about how she was already being trained on anise and clove, I ventured that we could be ready to truffle by January (truffle season) and Kristina concurred. Wahoo!