Friday, February 1, 2008

Crazy, Dedicated Trackers

We have had such a bad drought here that I have never tracked in the rain (and I didn't even know it was possible or why you would want to do it). Usually the ground is very dry which is not the best scenting condition or there is a little dew or frost if I am lucky. So it was quite a surprise when Barbara took me out to the tracking field to meet Ayla, Tully and Trotter and their people in the rain.

The rain let up and Barbara, Chris and Sandi layed tracks for us. Just as they were finished the rain started to come down. I didn't mind since I was warm and dry in the car but Barbara was cold and wet. We waited to let the track age and I thought that we would not track but we did.

When I got up to the start flag to smell my article I found that the sock was soaking wet. Of course I could still pick up the scent but I had to think about it for a bit and circle the flag which I don't usually do. Then I was off tracking. I had to stop several times to shake off the water but continued to work my first track until I found my article and got some sausage biscuit (delicious as always)

I had to run another track with two right turns. Barbara managed to lay it through a big clump of deer fur. What a wonderful smell. I inspected the fur carefully and sniffed it thoroughly. Barbara said "Niamh, use your nose." which is what she says when she wants me to get back to work and so I did. I did the first turn very well but got a bit confused on the second one because Barbara bent over to pick up her marker and stopped me from going forward where I knew the track was. I had to circle around a bit to get refocused but of course I did, found my article and got more sausage biscuit.

Poor Ayla and Trotter had to track while the rain was coming down really hard while I got to sit in the car. I must say that we are really dedicated to tracking to do it in all sorts of weather. No pictures however since we all looked terrible with our fur drenched.

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