Category Archives: Brodie

I Think He Likes It

This past weekend we took Brodie to Prairie Dog Sports for a barn hunt seminar. To say he loved it would be an understatement. Here is a video of his first introduction to a “rat” in a tube (in Alberta we are not allowed to use rats so we use gerbils instead).

Here is his first time in a ring. He found the “rat” in under 4 seconds.

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We Got Lots of Mail

Our mailbox was overflowing with mail for Brodie and Spirit.  Starting with Spirit, she got her CKC Scent Detection Instinct Title (SDIN) and her SDDA Aerial Games Title (SD-GA).

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Brodie received his CKC Scent Detection Novice (SDN) and his Chase Ability Excellent (CAE)

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SDDA Games Aerial (SD-GA), Games Speed (SD-GS) and Games Distance (SD-GD)

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as well as his C-WAGS Scent Investigator (CS-SI).

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Filed under Brodie, CKC Chase Ability Program, CKC Title, CW-SI, CWAGS, CWAGS Title, Nosework, SDDA, SDDA Games, SDDA Title, Spirit, Sporting Detection, Sporting Detection Dog Association

Halloween C-WAGS Style

We spent the day at See-Spot-Run participating in their Pre-Halloween Howler scent detection trial. Both dogs were on their game qualifying in 7 out of 7 runs and we had a great time.

Spirit got two Level 2 and one Level 3 Q which earned her a Level 3 Scent Investigator title (CW-SI).

Brodie also earned two Level 2 and one Level 3 Q. He ran his first Level 4 search and qualified. So proud of both of them. We are so lucky to be able to participate in scent detection under three different organizations with different scents and rules (C-WAGS, SDDA and CKC)

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Filed under Brodie, CW-SI, CWAGS, CWAGS Title, Nosework, Spirit

SDDA Nationals

I am so glad that we were able to combine our family visits with the Sporting Detection Dogs Association’s inaugural National Challenge Cup. We had a blast meeting so many wonderful people,talking dogs and sniffing.

The festivities started on Friday with a lovely wedding. Esteemed Judge Doug Teeft and his fiancé Cathy tied the knot. Their cake was appropriately topped with German Shepherds.

The Games trial came next. Originally I had signed Brodie up for all 4 games but since that time he has earned all 4 titles. I substituted Spirit in the Speed component since she needs two more Speed Q’s to get her title and championship. Since we had already paid, Brodie ran in the remaining 3 games for the heck of it. Spirit nailed Speed and Brodie Q’d in Aerial and Distance (18 seconds WTG).

Then came the Team component. We didn’t have a pre-arranged partner so Stacy Barnett and I partnered up. She wanted to split the areas up and not call a hide until the other dog came in and confirmed it. Since we already have our title I was happy to follow her plan. Unfortunately that ate up a lot of time. We had successfully called 3, Brodie had sourced the 4th hide but Brava couldn’t confirm it so we timed out. Oh so close. In NACSW they don’t have to be as exact as SDDA when they call their hides. Brava was able to say there is something somewhere around here but I had to bring Brodie in to pinpoint the exact location before I was able to call each of the hides. Although we didn’t Q (only one team did) it was an honour and pleasure to search with such a well known and respected participant, Judge and international nose work instructor.

The Nationals started Saturday morning with each team doing 4 searches (exterior containers, interior and 2 interior/exterior combos). In 3 of the 4 searches we found all the hides for full points plus bonus points. We only found two of the 4 hides in the last interior/exterior combo but since we found the two hardest hides we still earned decent points. Our two afternoon searches weren’t quite as successful. We nailed the exterior search but NQ’d on the vehicle search which cost us a maximum of 30 points. At the end of the first day we had 182 points which put us in 9th place overall

Saturday night was the banquet. We shared a table with Jane book and several of her students and had a wonderful evening. There was a very interesting speaker with 40+ years experience training dogs and handlers all over the world. He talked about how scent behaves and how he approaches a search.

Sunday morning we had 3 searches. They upped the ante by reducing our search time to only 2 minutes each. My amazing boy nailed all 3. Watching him work just made my heart sing. How lucky am I that I get to play sports and share my life with this smart, athletic, goofy and handsome boy. I could have gone home at that point completely happy with our performance.

All of a sudden people where hugging and congratulating me and I didn’t know what was happening until I actually saw the official results. Much to my utter shock, we ended up placing 4th overall. Holy cow….completely unexpected.

The top 12 teams got to participate in the finals. The dogs ran in reverse order of score so we were the 9th team to search. There were 2 search areas, 3 hides in each and only 2 minutes per search. We all started fresh with zero points.

I listened to lots of clapping and cheers for the previous competitors. By the time it was our turn my mouth was dry, my palms and forehead were sweaty and my stomach was doing flip flops. We were way out of our league competing against scent work teachers, judges and some of the best in our sport. When I walked up to the vehicle search and saw the crowd of spectators my hands started shaking. Scent detection is usually a solo sport with just you, your dog, the timer and Judge.

Our first search was not stellar. We missed the first hide right at the front corner of the trailer, found the second inside the bed of the trailer and then moved on to the second vehicle. Brodie picked up the odour and worked it back to source but we timed out just as I called alert.

Thank goodness we had a couple of minutes to wait before we started the exterior search. I was able to sit down, stroke Brodie’s sweet soft forehead and practice some deep breathing to try and relax. I told myself to calm down and forget about who else is searching and how many people are watching and judging us. Just focus on my boy and enjoy ourselves. It worked. We nailed all 3 hides. So proud of Brodie. He is the heart and soul of this team.

We ended up finishing in 7th place, way exceeding any of my dreams. We got a lovely ribbon and a bag of swag.

I wish I could have had a do-over on the first search but that’s how it goes. Valuable lesson learned. Forget about everything else and most importantly trust your dog!!!!

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More Games Titles

Games night at the Manitoba Scent Detection Trial is over. Thanks to our awesome Teams partner Michelle and Neuman, Brodie and I got our 3rd Q and earned our Teams Title. I think that makes us the very first to get all 4 Games Titles 🏅🏅🏅🏅.

Spirit earned her Distance Title giving her her 2nd games title. She completely surprised me by earning a Q in Speed. Anyone who has seen her search knows that speed is not her forte….slow and steady is her mantra. We called the last hide with just a millisecond to spare.

Thank you to all the volunteers, hosts Michelle & Diane and our Judge John-Marc Dugas.

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SDDA Games Champion

We had a great weekend at the Alert K9 trial in Pilot Butte Saskatchewan. We started with Games on Friday night. The first component was speed, the only Q Brodie needed for his third Games title and the championship. He nailed it. According to the latest stats as of 2019SEP08, no one has 3 titles yet so he could be the first dog to attain a Games Championship but we won’t know until the updated stats are available. We were lucky to be paired up again with Darla and Jetta in Team which resulted in our 2nd team Q. Spirit ran both distance and aerial and Q’d in both.

Brodie and I did Elite on Saturday and Sunday. Our streak of passing 2 of 3 components continues. So close😉. No teams passed elite either day.

Big thanks to host Christina, her amazing volunteers and Judge extraordinaire Kathy Hansen.

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C-WAGS Back to School Trial

We spent the day at See Spot Run participating in a C-WAGS scent trial. We had a great day sniffing and hanging out with great people. Brodie was entered in three rounds, one Level 2 and two Level 3, and he qualified in all of them. He earned his Level 3 Scent Investigator (CW-SI) title.

Spirit ran in two Level 3 rounds and qualified in both.

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Sniffing Long Weekend

After Spirit’s emergency surgery on Tuesday, we never thought we would be going to Red Deer to compete in the Little Nose that Knows/Canine Coaching Sporting Detection trial.  The Vet said we would be surprised at how quickly Spirit would recover but we never expected to be going to a scent trial 4 days after her surgery.  We waited until 4:30am Saturday morning to make our final decision.  Spirit was happily eating, peeing and pooping so we decided to go so that Brodie could play.

Brodie competed in Elite on Saturday in the biggest group of Elite competitors that I have ever seen.  Unfortunately not only did no team title, not a single team passed even one of the three components.  Sunday was a much better day.  Several teams passed 2 of the 3 components but we were the only team that passed the first two components and had an opportunity to title if we got the third one.  Brodie was doing really well.  He found two hides in the exterior search where there can be 0 to 3 hides.  We had less than 1 minute left in our search and he pawed at a picnic bench and I blurted out Alert so fast….sadly too fast because immediately I knew that it wasn’t a hide it was a distractor.  Lately Brodie has started pawing at distractors (which is his alert at source) so I have been trying to wait to make my call to make so that I can be sure that the rest of his body language also leads me to believe that it is the hide and not a distractor.  It was so disappointing being that close to a title and missing it.  Ironically I think the Judge was even more disappointed that I was.  He came up to me at the end of the trial to tell me what a wonderful partner Brodie is and how well he searches for a young dog. We ended up with a 2nd place in Interiors and a 3rd in containers.

Over the weekend, every time I came to take Brodie out of the car for a search, Spirit got all excited thinking it was her turn.  It broke my heart to see how disappointed she was when I said Brodie’s name instead of hers.

Sunday afternoon we had the games searches.  Brodie was entered in Speed, Distance and Team and Spirit in Aerial.  Brodie passed the Distance search to earn his Distance title but just missed the Speed component which would have given us a Games Championship.  Our partner in the Team component false alerted early in our search so we were done for the day.  The Aerial component was run last.   I went on the walk through to see the search area and discovered that all the hides were hanging up against a wall and they were all at Spirit’s nose height.  I spoke to the Judge and told him about Spirit’s surgery and how she really just wanted to get out and “play”.  I said I would just let her walk slowly by the hides and not worry about passing or failing…just giving her a positive end to a crappy week.  We were the first team.  She strutted down the side of the building wagging her tail and walking with the classic Berner prance.  It was so wonderful to watch her.  To my surprise she went straight to the hide and did a brilliant indication. She was so proud of herself.  It was her 3rd qualifier in Aerial so we walked away with a Title.

Many thanks to Samatha and Kristina for holding the trial, all the amazing volunteers as well as Judges Jean-Marc Dugas and John Mairs.

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Brodie Got Mail

Brodie received his SDDA Aerial Games title (SD-GA) in the mail today.

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Speedy Sprinter

We ended our racing weekend on a high note. Not only did Brodie qualify in all four of his Sprinter runs but he set a personal best of 45.51kph. The icing on the cake was that he hit 500 points to earn his CKC Sprinter title.

He got to enjoy a post race massage from his Dad

We had to top yesterday’s ice cream cone reward so he got a whole frozen bunny leg. It was definitely a huge hit

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My Chase Ability Star

I’m so proud of my little man. This morning he earned his CKC Chase Ability Excellent Title (CAX) at the Alberta Lure Coursing Association’s Hot Doggin’ trial.

Here is a video of his winning run. At one point he actually caught the lure in his mouth and did a 360 degree spin. When he realized that the rest of the lure was still moving, he spit the piece out of his mouth and took off in hot pursuit again. Gosh he loves this sport.

What do you do to celebrate such a wonderful accomplishment….an ice cream cone from McDonalds of course 😉😂. He inhaled it.

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Mud bath anyone?

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Brought Brodie along with me for our Sunday morning group walk.  We passed by a big, beautiful grassy off-leash park that only had 2 dogs in it so I took a chance and let him go for a run.  Of course, he found the one mud pie in a low lying area and made the most of it.

Good thing we remembered that the nearby lake has a doggy entrance otherwise I don’t know how I would have got him home for a bath without having to wash the inside of the car too.

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Brodie Got Mail

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It’s Brodie’s turn to get a new title in the mail.  This is his CKC Chase Ability title that he earned at the Alberta Lure Coursing Association’s June 7th trial.

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CKC Scent Detection Titles

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Yesterday we got up bright and early to drive to Calgary to participate in the Shiba Inu Club of Canada’s Scent Detection trial at the beautiful Spruce Meadows.  It’s a good thing that Spirit went first because the temperature soared to 30C later in the day.  She found the hide in 10.61 seconds earning her Scent Detection Instinct Title (SDIN).  By the time the Novice teams started it was unbearably hot outside.  We started with containers and Brodie had it sourced from the start line so we finished in 8.19 seconds.  By the time we ran the exterior searches, the search area was in full sun.  Thank goodness he found it in 33.54 seconds.  We finished with the interior search inside the barn.  Brodie found the environment very “smelly-licious” and wasn’t as focused as he should have been.  He found the hide in 33.54 seconds.  Only 6 teams passed all 3 searches to earn their Scent Detection Novice Title (SDN) and thank goodness we were one of them.  The majority of the teams failed on the hot exterior search.  It is very difficult for dogs to scent when they are panting so hard.  At the trial 2 weeks ago 20 teams passed the Novice test so the heat really appears to have been a factor at this trial.

Big thank you to the Shiba Inu Club of Canada, the volunteers and Judge Kelley Ladouceur for a great trial.

ShibaCKC-SD2

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Who’s bed is it?

Is it any wonder that I don’t sleep well 😉😂🐾🐶🐶🐶❤️❤️❤️

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Busy Trial Weekend

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Photo Credit:  Bev Holoboff

On Friday night we braved pouring rain, thunder and lightning so that Brodie could participate in a CKC Chase Ability run. We didn’t get home until almost 10pm and didn’t get to sleep until closer to midnight by the time we had unloaded and reloaded the dogs.

Our alarm went off at 3:15am so that we could drive to Calgary for Spirit to compete in the first CKC Scent Detection trial in Alberta. Her first two runs were perfect. On our third run we heard the dreaded “I’m sorry”. She has a bad habit of alerting at the fringe of odour rather than following it back to source. Too bad, we headed back to Edmonton with 2 qualifying ribbons but no Novice title.

Sunday morning we were up at 6am for a 45 minute drive east of the city to attend the final day of the ALCA speed demons trial. Brodie ran 2 Sprinters and 1 CAP. He managed to get two new personal bests on his Sprinters. He is the fastest male Golden Retriever in Canada running 42.33 km/hr. There is one female Golden who is faster than him at 42.5 km/hr…..so close!!!

At the end of his last Sprinters run he slid through a muddy slough and came out looking like this

Brodie qualified in all 4 of his runs this weekend.

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More Lure Chasing

This past weekend we drove to Calgary so that Brodie could chase some more plastic bags at the Foothills Gazehound Club’s trial.  He did 3 Chase Ability runs and qualified in all of them.  We get so many comments from the sighthound owners about how unusual he is for a Golden…..they think his running style is closer to a greyhound.  Maybe that explains why he is so fast.  In 2018 he was the 3rd fastest Golden (fastest male), with a speed of 40 km/hr.  At his first Sprinter run this year his speed was 42.11, moving him very close to the fastest Golden in Canada, a female who ran 42.41.  Thank you to Mike Johnson for these amazing pictures.

 

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Amazing plastic bag chaser

Enjoying a post race massage

On Friday and Sunday we participated in Alberta Lure Coursing Association’s Sprinters and Chase Ability Program races. Brodie ran two CAP and 2 Sprinter events and qualified in all 4. With his CAP Q on Friday he earned his Chase Ability (CA) title.

Big thank you to ALCA for putting on a wonderful weekend despite all the weather challenges.

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Another CWAGS Title

Today we spent another great day at See Spot Run competing in Brodie’s 3rd and Spirit’s 2nd C-WAGS trial. Brodie did two Level 2 and two Level 3 runs and Q’d in all 4.

Spirit did two Level 2 runs which gave her her 3rd and 4th Q to earn her Level 2 Scent Detective Title CW-SD.

Thank you to Anneli of See Spot Run and Judges: Robbi Bitner and Dana Gallagher.

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The Love of the Chase

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On Sunday we went to our first Chase Ability practice of the year to prepare for a trial in a few of weeks.  We wondered if Brodie would show the same enthusiasm that he had when he first tried it in October.  No need to wonder….he is still obsessed with chasing and catching that plastic bag.  As we sat in the car waiting for the previous group to finish their runs he was vibrating and chirping

He is virtually uncontrollable when he see’s it flying across the field.  We had a harness on him with a leash clipped to the front and another clipped to the back and both of us holding on for dear life as we moved towards the field.  Bev captured these beautiful photos of him.  You can see the intensity in every muscle in his body and the sheer joy of the chase.

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CWAGS Title

We attended our 2nd CWAGS scent trial today. It was hosted by Anneli Hilton of See Spot Run Doggie Daycare and Training Inc. Brodie earned 2 more Level 2 Q’s which earned him his first CWAGS title of Scent Detective CW-SD. He was far less distracted by the environment this time.

208019EF-8CB1-4F5F-90D5-DECBDD0F9172Spirit participated in her first CWAGS trial. See qualified in both of her runs with very focused and thorough searches. Very proud of my girl.

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Iron Paws Medal

Well it’s official. We received our 2019 Iron Paws medal today for the 2 dog sled category. Even though the weather wasn’t the greatest (damn Polar Vortex), we really enjoyed the challenge. Looking forward to doing it again next year.

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First SDDA Games trial

Samantha Freschette of Canine Coaching just posted this video of the first ever SDDA games trial that was held in Innisfail on February 22nd. At the about the 2:16 mark it shows Brodie doing a beautiful indication on the distance search and immediately after that is him indicating on the aerial search.  There is also a great group picture at the end.  It was such a fun trial.

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100 By Summer Dog Walking Challenge

Yesterday was the first day of spring and the first day of the 100 by Summer Dog Walking Challenge.  The idea is that between the 1st day of spring and the 1st day of summer you and your dog(s) walk 100 miles.  This is the 4th annual challenge but the first one that we participating in.  Day 1 finished and we logged 6.5km. There are still a few days left if you want to sign up.

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2019 Iron Paws video

The official video from the 2019 Iron Paws race. There is a picture of Brodie and Spirit at 2:07, Spirit and I at 2:37 and my wipeout at 4:07.

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C-WAGS

We spent St. Patty’s Day at our first C-WAGS scent trial. Anneli and everyone at See Spot Run were so welcoming and friendly.

Brodie and I did one Level 1 and two Level 2 trials and we qualified in all 3. It wasn’t very pretty. He was so distracted by the environment (doggy day care) that it was a constant struggle to get him focused and sniffing.

We were very grateful to win a Judges award for qualifying in all 3 runs at our first trial. We got this pot of “gold” as our prize.

Thanks to our Judges, volunteers and See Spot Run for making our introduction to C-WAGS so positive.

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Great Trial Weekend

So proud of both of my “kids” for doing so well this weekend.  They spent 3 nights and 4 days cooped up in a kennel in the car or a small hotel room.  When we got home last night they burst into the house, running and jumping all over each other so happy to be home and free to move.  This is the first time we have done 3 days at a scent trial.  By noon on Sunday I had run out of steam and had no energy left.  I’m afraid I was the weak link again.

Brodie was great in containers.  We received a perfect score….which I don’t think I have ever gotten from Judge Jean-Marc and we got 2nd place.  I love trialing under him because he always challenges and tests the teams and I learn so much to help us improve as we move forward.  We started out great in our Interior search.  Brodie found the hide in the first room and I was ready to call finish and then second guessed myself and decided to check one more area again.  Brodie pawed at the rug and I quickly called alert just as my head was saying “NOOOOOOO” that wasn’t his normal alert behaviour.  We NQ’d.  We still had Exteriors to do.  Since we no longer had a chance to title,  I decided to try running Brodie without going for an extra pee break to see if I could successfully interrupt his marking behaviour.  Exteriors are particularly  challenging for an intact male that is obsessed with marking.  This search area was even more challenging because there was so much pee-mail already there.  He found the one hide and as we were just finishing up the last few feet of the search area, he marked.  It was so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to yell NO.  A very valuable experiment.  I am really going to have to work on teaching him the difference between peeing on a walk and not peeing when wearing his search collar.  I’ve got my work cut out for me that’s for sure.

Spirit had a great container run and finished in 3rd place.  Unfortunately we NQ’d in interiors because she alerted too far away from the source.  It was a tough call because of the drafts and the pooling of odour.  Most dogs indicated in the exact same place as Spirit did.  Even the judges expressed some regret about the hide placement but once they had NQ’d the first team they had to be consistent and NQ everyone else.  If we had approached the hide from the opposite direction, she would have alerted at the source first before encountering the pooled odour.   We had the same problem in Exteriors, she alerted at the top of the post and not the base.  Ironically, one of the articles in the exterior search area was the same shoe from previous day that so many dogs false alerted on, and ironically Spirit hit on it again.  There is something about that shoe that fooled so many teams.   Very odd.

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Day 1 of Canine Coaching Trial

Tilly photo bomb

It was a great first day at the trial. Both dogs did so well. Brodie went first in Elite. We started with exteriors…darn cold and windy exterior search. The area was also full of dog pee, it was an incredible challenge to keep Brodie from responding to the pee-mail. We managed to qualify and finished 2nd. Containers went really well and we finished in 2nd place again. Then came the dreaded interior search. Brodie narrowed in on the scent quickly but his silly partner jumped the gun and called the alert too quickly. If I had just waited 1/2 a second I would have been able to give the judge the exact location when I heard the dreaded “where?” Instead I was off by a couple of inches. There is so much added pressure when you have passed the first two and know that you need the 3rd component to title. Hopefully tomorrow I will remember to stop and take a breath before calling alert.

Spirit ran in Excellent. We started with the container search which she passed and finished 2nd overall. Then came our interior search. We had 3 rooms to search, two of which where bathrooms. She was very uncomfortable going into the stalls in the men’s bathroom. By the time we got to the ladies bathroom she was shaking and dropping to the ground in fear as we approached the first stall. I did my best to comfort and encourage her. This is the first time she has shown any fear in a bathroom. Thankfully we made it through all three rooms and finished 1st overall. Now the pressure was on. If we passed the exterior search she would not only earned her excellent title but her Championship as well. Alas it was not to be. She alerted on a shoe and we heard the heartbreaking “no'”. We later learned that the first 4 dogs all falsely alerted on the same shoe. We still have tomorrow to hopefully pass the exterior component and earn the titles.

We, or should in say I earned one more title…..”most dramatic”. When I got over the disappointment of Brodie missing his elite title because of my mistake, I blurted out “yeah that means we don’t have to search the urinals”. Turns out the joke was on me. In Spirit’s trial, not only did she have to search the men’s bathroom but also the women’s.  The judge even put a hide on top of one of the urinals. No face smooches for her until I can scrub her muzzle. YUK!!

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Games Trial Fun

Well it looks like that beautiful sunrise this morning was a good omen. We just finished competing in the first ever SDDA (Sporting Detection Dogs Association) Games trial hosted by Canine Coaching. We started with the Distance component and we found the hide in 35 seconds. Then we moved on to the Aerial search and we nailed it in 25 seconds and came in first overall. Next was the one minute Speed search. 20 containers down a hallway and into one room. We found the 3 hides in 56 seconds and came in 2nd overall. Last and most terrifying was the Team search. We were paired with a total stranger and her dog and only had 2 minutes to chat before trialing to come up with a search plan. We started out strong with each of us finding a hide quickly. Sadly the other team false alerted so we were all disqualified. So pleased to walk away with 3 Q’s. Brodie worked his little heart out for me today…so proud of him!!

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Happy Birthday Brodie

My handsome, sweet boy is 2 years old today. Man time flies. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful golden in our lives. We spent the morning doing a 7km canicross at -20 Celsius which felt quite mild compared to the -30 to -40 it has been for the past few weeks. Look at the frost icicles on his chin.

The passage of time:

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