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.
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.
We went to the Canine Coaching SDDA trial in Bowden Alberta this weekend. We drove down on Friday so that we wouldn’t have to get up at 4am on Saturday morning in order to get to the trial on time. That turned out to be a good choice because when we woke up Saturday morning and looked out the window of our hotel room we saw a freezing winter wonderland. It would have been a scary drive. I’ve never practiced in a snow storm never mind trialed.
Neither dog titled on Saturday but Spirit got a 2nd place in Advanced Working Containers and Brodie got a first place in Excellent Working Containers and was the only dog to qualify in that component.
Sunday was an amazing day for Brodie. I am so incredibly proud of my boy. He just loves this game of Scent Detection. He earned his Excellent Working Title with a 2nd place in Containers, 1st place in Exteriors and a 3rd place in Interiors. We finished 1st place overall. With a total score of 194/200 we earned our second gold level title.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. Brodie earned his Scent Detection Championship, a beautiful ribbon and beautiful swag. I have to remind myself that he is only 19 months old and he has already accomplished so much. I checked the latest title stats (updated as of 2018SEP09) and determined that as of that date, there have only been 6 Goldens who have earned their Scent Detection Champion SD-CH title so far. When they have them updated I will check again and confirm if he is the 7th.
We got so many compliments on how amazing he was for such a young dog and how well we work together as a team. Those compliments mean so much more to me than any title we have earned.
Spirit came so close to titling on Sunday but we just missed on the exterior component. We qualified in containers with a 3rd place and she finished first in interiors.
On the more humorous side, on Saturday Brodie and I got an extra special fun ribbon for “Sassy Handler” because his Mom let out an expletive during one of our searches. On Sunday we got another special ribbon for “Most Dramatic” because I was so excited when we completed our final component and I realized that we had earned our Championship….I rolled around on the floor with Brodie and smooched him up. And believe it or not, Spirit and I also got one of the “special” ribbons for “Epic Fail” when we NQ’d on our Exterior search on Sunday. They didn’t hand out that many “special” ribbons but somehow we managed to snag three of them. Crazy handler. There was a lot of laughing and a good time had by everyone.
On the weekend we participated in the Cowichan Valley K9 Noseworks scent trial on Vancouver Island. Brodie had a great day on Saturday, He qualified in both Excellent Amateur Interiors (2nd place) and Containers. With those 2 qualifiers he earned his Excellent title.
Spirit struggled a bit but she qualified in Advanced Working containers with a 2nd place. We were really thrilled to learn that we were chosen as the Judge’s favourite team.
Sunday was complete opposite of Saturday. Spirit qualified in all 3 components and earned another Advanced Working Title. She also got a first place in containers and once again we were chosen as the Judge’s favourite team (different Judge).
Brodie didn’t qualify in any of his runs. Our exterior search was particularly interesting. He was so focused on whatever scents were in the environment that he completely ignored me for the entire 5 minutes before we timed out and were disqualified. The Judge and her assistants were in tears from laughing so hard watching me trying to get Brodie to engage with me. I had a good giggle when I was given my score sheets and saw the Judge’s comments……
Thank you to CWV9 for hosting a wonderful. A big thank you to Judges Jane Book and Kathy Hansen and all the wonderful volunteers.
This weekend both Brodie and Spirit competed in Rally Obedience at the Northern Alberta Canine Association (NACA) trial. I’m so proud of both of them. On Friday Brodie got his third qualification for Rally Intermediate and earned his title. He is now known as Copppermoon Lighning Bug CGN, RI, SD-S (SP). We moved up to the Advanced level for Saturday and Sunday. That means he now competes off-leash and there are toys and food used as distractions on the course. Both kryptonite for my boy. The second day he spotted the food bowl and squeaky toy while we were still sitting and waiting to start our run. I knew I was in for trouble. A few seconds into our run he took off and ran and got the squeaky toy. Very proud of myself. I called him back to me and asked him to give me the toy and thank goodness he did. The audience was in stitches. I think I earned brownie points when I put him in a down stay and walked across the course to put the toy back where it belonged. He held the stay and then we resumed the course as if nothing had happened. Little brat! He completed both runs successfully and earned 2 qualifications towards his advanced title. Sunday was also the Golden Retriever Specialty. I was so surprised when the ring steward gave us an an extra ribbon (green) and a beautiful leather leash from the Golden Retriever Club of Alberta for high score in a rally trial. Here’s my handsome boy with all of his swag and a closeup of his new leash.
Not to be outdone by her younger brother, Spirit also had a great weekend. On Friday she got a perfect score of 100 for a high in trial in her first ever Intermediate run. On Saturday she was working towards another perfect score but was spooked when a dog in the adjacent ring doing obedience, ran towards us. We lost 2 points because she got scared and ran to the end of the leash. I was so thrilled with her. She has a history of being reactive and very uncomfortable around other dogs but she didn’t bark and she recovered so quickly and finished the course in style. So proud of how she handled herself. In her final run on Sunday she got a 97 and a 4th in trial. That means she earned her Intermediate title and is now known as Tailspin’s Winter’s Spirit RI SD-A.
A very big thank you to Judges Gail Carroll and Shawn Kelly.
We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday driving back and forth to Camrose to participate in the Battle River Canine Association rally obedience trial. It was a very tough weekend for Brodie. As a 13 month old, teenage intact male, this was his first exposure to a smorgasbord of intact females and he lost his mind. I’ve lost my sweet, calm and focused boy. He has been replaced by this wild child who has zero interest in his Mom. I’m heart broken but I knew it was coming. Hopefully this phase won’t last too long.
Friday was a complete disaster with a NQ in advanced and then we got excused from the ring during his Intermediate run because he decided to have a poop in the ring…totally out of character for him. Saturday was a bit better. We squeaked by our Intermediate run with a 73 qualifying score and a 4th in trial ribbon. Sunday I saw a brief glimpse of my sweet boy and we walked away with an Intermediate score of 88, our second Q and a Second in Class ribbon.
Thank you to Judges Karen Brearley, Margaret Chandler, Marie-Johanne Cloutier.
We are celebrating Brodie’s 1st birthday today. What a joy he has brought to our lives. He is everything that I wanted in a Golden and so much more!
This is what he looked like a year ago
Short video of Brodie trying to play with his birthday present but his sister Spirit has other ideas.