When we finished our last trial in October I thought that would be the end of our 2018 season but I was wrong. When I saw the premium for the K9 Scentinels trial in Surrey BC, I just knew we had to enter. The best dog teams in our sport were going to be there and we would have the opportunity to trial along side them and learn so much. Traveling through the mountains at this time of year can be very treacherous but we were lucky and had great weather both ways. It is very rare to be able to see the top of Mount Robson…it is usually hidden in the clouds.
Brodie only needed one more Q in Excellent Interiors so I entered him both Saturday and Sunday hoping that he would pass one of them and earn his Master Championship. I also entered him in Elite for both days but we didn’t get a spot on either day. We ended up first on the waiting list for Saturday and 3rd on Sunday. Spirit has been “off” on scent work lately so I did not enter her at all. A few days before the trial we got the great news that someone has cancelled on Saturday so Brodie would get a chance to do an Elite run.
For Excellent Interiors you have 15 minutes to search 3 rooms. One will have 1 hide, one will have 2 hides and the other will be clear. You cannot leave a room until you call it clear or finished. As luck would have it, Brodie passed his Excellent run in 2 minutes and 40 seconds and earned his Master Championship on Saturday. K9 Scentinels made a video of each dog’s run and shared it with us after the trial (thank you!).
Since Brodie didn’t need his run on Sunday, K9 Scentinels allowed me to substitute Spirit in for him and switch it to Exteriors. I was so proud of Spirit. She worked her little heart out (slow and steady) and not only got high in trial but she earned her Excellent Title. Here’s Spirit’s video It was early Sunday morning, -2C and the whole search area was on a steep frosty covered hill (concrete and grass). There were 3 hides.
We ended up getting the opportunity to run Elite on both days. Elite is so much harder than all the previous levels combined. There are an unknown number of hides, you have to deal with converging and pooling odour and it is a real head game for the handler. Unfortunately not a single team qualified in Elite either day. I was so hoping to see history made and witness the first team ever to earn their Elite Championship or Grand Master Championship. There are two teams that just need one more elite title to reach both of these milestones.
After Brodie’s learn to pull class last weekend, I had planned to take the dogs out this weekend and introduce Brodie to a kicksled and then if things went well, connect them to the kicksled as a team. Mother Nature actually cooperated and gave us a good dump of snow yesterday, so rather than pulling the sled on grass they got to work in the snow with me riding and kicking behind them. We didn’t get much speed or distance but it was a decent first effort.
So proud of my little man being the first Golden Retriever to earn his Sporting Detection Elite Title (SD-EL) and of course a Championship title is a nice addition too.
This weekend we attended the ALCA (Alberta Lure Coursing Association) Frosty Canine Trial. We had a blast. We were shocked to see how intense Brodie’s prey drive was. I wasn’t strong enough to hold him back if he caught a glimpse of another dog running after the lure. We decided that I would be the catcher at the finish line and Don would be the holder at the start line. While we were waiting for his first run, Brodie flipped Don over trying to get to the lure on the opposite side of the field. We ended up using two leashes and both of us holding on for dear life to get him off the field after his run. It took him just under 9 seconds to complete his first 100 metre sprint which equates to 40km per hour and his first 40 Sprinters points. Wow!! His second run was identical and we ended up with two Q’s in Sprinters and 80 points.
On Saturday afternoon we tried Chase Ability which is 600 yards non stop looping around. Again he was over the top excited to chase the lure. He successfully completed the course and earned his first CAP Q.
On Sunday we came back for day two and the results were the same, 2 more Q’s in Sprinters and a Q in Chase Ability. Brodie earned his CKC Sprinters Novice (SN) title by achieving the required 150 points in his first 4 sprinters’ runs. He is now officially Coppermoon Lightning Bug CGN RI SD-CH SD-EL SN
Photo courtesy of Bev Holoboff
Judging by his enthusiasm (looks like he is smiling) I think he loves Sprinters and CAP even more than he loves Sporting Detection.
Dad gave him an amazing full body massage after all his hard work this weekend. In almost 30 years of being together I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a massage….just sayin’.
Thank you to Wade Waters for sharing these amazing actions shots that he took of Brodie:
Saturday – Excellent Exterior, Advanced working 1st overall and high in trial
This weekend we participated in our final sporting detection trial for 2018. Chinook Dog Centre put on a really amazing event and it was their very first trial. Big congratulations to Joanne and Brandy-Lee. The timing of runs was fantastic, we were fed really well and we even finished early on Sunday.
On Saturday Brodie had a very busy day trialing at 3 different levels. Normally I would never do that but at the last minute we decided to pull Spirit’s entry because she just didn’t want to play scent games at the last trial and I didn’t think it was fair to force her to do it again (will be play over the winter to find out if she is still interested in Scenting or if it is time to retire). You can only get a refund for medical reasons so we substituted Brodie in for her events. He qualified in Excellent Working Exteriors and finished in 3rd place. He rocked Advanced working qualifying in all 3 components with a 1st in Interiors, 2nd in Containers and 2nd in Exteriors. He finished first overall in Advanced Working and we also won high in trial and got a basket full of goodies. He was fantastic at the Elite level. We qualified in containers and exteriors and got to the final room in our interior search and he alerted at the top of a fire extinguisher but the hide was 2 inches higher in the light switch. So close. It was a heart breaker.
Sunday – Advanced working 1st overall and high in trial
On Sunday he only ran in Excellent and Advanced. We were both tired, he was a little crazy running all over the place and then decided to play soccer with the containers instead of searching them. Needless to say we NQ’d. He managed to slow down a little bit for the Advanced searches. We qualified in all 3 components with a 3rd in Interiors, 1st in Containers and 1st in Exteriors. Once again we finished first overall, won high in trial again and got a second basket full of goodies. So proud of my little man. If we had managed to get just one Excellent Interior qualifier this weekend we would have earned our SD-MACH (Master Champion). On the positive side, we have something to look forward to next year.
Big thanks to Judges Mary-Ann Warren and Doug Wilson
This past weekend we made the long drive down to Picture Butte Alberta to attend the Sniff and Tell Sporting Detection Trial. The trial was held at Coyote Flats Pioneer Village. What a terrific venue for a scent trial. The weather was amazing and Team Brodie had a fantastic weekend. We ran in both Working Advanced and Elite. On Saturday in Advanced we got 2nd place in Exteriors, 3rd place in containers and finished first overall. Elite didn’t go as well. We didn’t qualify in any component nor did any of the other competitors. On Sunday we finished 1st in Advanced Working Exteriors but the big news is that we earned the elusive Elite Title and we are the first Golden team to earn it. It was such a rush and an emotional roller coaster all in one. The Judge gave me a big hug after our last component and all of the other competitors were huddled outside cheering for us when we came out. That is one of the things that I love about this sport. We are all cheerleaders for one another and we are happy for each other even when we haven’t been successful. We were the only team to earn a title so by default we got the High Overall Elite award. Look at the haul of awards and goodies we came home with.
Spirit ran in the Amateur Excellent stream on both days but false alerted on every run. Very unusual for her but she seemed very happy doing it.