Sabia looks at her person to say, “well, I found it—aren’t you going to feed me?”
Nosework this week was fairly quiet, which I was pretty thankful for. We saw some familiar faces, but apparently some others had a schedule change leading them to choosing a new class night. Works for us! I really appreciate a smaller crew. We’re able to get more runs in, I’m able to ask more questions, and it increases the likelihood that we leave the place before 10pm!
This week I asked Kristina about whether she takes a holiday break, as I know our holiday break from agility is coming up. She does take a shorter break, but it also depends on when the holidays fall. We won’t have class next week for an unknown reason—my guess is that she’s headed out of state for a trial or class of some sort.
Next, I realized that once the holidays are over, it will be January! AKA the beginning of truffle season! Kristina said that we would do a private lesson or two to get going on truffling, and she doesn’t think it’ll take long for Rain to pick it up since she has done all this work the last several months. WAHOO!!!!
We worked exclusively in the side room this week. When class began it was pretty chilly! During our first run a gun club maintenance worker came in and put some pellets in the pellet stove, after which it got better. The heat from the stove does interesting things to odor (as does air flow and/or wind) so Kristina thought it would be interesting to observe how the dogs did in relation to the class before ours.
The first two hides were placed at or above head level for all the dogs.
There were three hides in the second round, once again placed at tricky places at or above the dog’s head level. She made everyone laugh when she maneuvered herself to her beloved hot dog treats in an unusual way (1:44)…
At home we’ve been needing to hide Rain’s morning Kong up high (to keep Mindy from stealing it) and I’m pretty sure that Rain tends to do better at high hides compared to things that are on the floor. So when it was time to do our third and final round, I had a feeling she’d be challenged. And she was! Kristina said that this round was more like what we’ll experience when doing truffle searches.
Apparently the way many of the dogs had been behaving during this search, in our class and the class before ours, was to search in a sort of “starfish” pattern, in and out, in, and back out. The tricky part of this hide is that the odor is sort of going everywhere, so locating the source (especially when it’s concealed, and out of character with the prior two searches you just did!) can be tough. Rain did great though, and she even got a bonus treat that I know she enjoyed!
When I went out to fetch Rain before this last turn, I noticed a light and a person moving around down in the forested ditch next to where I usually put my car during class. After class, it was clear there was a group and they had started a sizable fire. There was at least one woman shouting angrily about some other person. It was a bit of a surprise! In prior months I had heard mention that random things sometimes appear in that forested ditch, but frankly I was expecting to have a wildlife encounter—or evidence that Rain spotted some wildlife—before seeing people. Since we were out of class at a decent time I wasn’t about to stand around, so within a few minutes Rain and I were high-tailing it home to get to bed.