This fall I made myself a promise that if we were lucky enough to earn our Sporting Detection Master Champion title, I would book a photo session with an amazing local photographer Bev Holoboff Photography Brodie proved to be a bit of a challenge. He wasn’t comfortable posing on top of the table so he was just panting like crazy. Nearly every picture she took, either his tongue was hanging out or his ears were back and he looked nervous. We decided we would try getting some actions shots by throwing a bunch of his scent detection ribbons in the air. Not sure that Brodie found it as funny as we did.
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.
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.
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.