TRACS TDX Jan 28 2024

Jan 28 TDX Tracking Test

At Mather Regional Park, Sacramento CA.
Entries to Penny Larson.
Day-of Secretary Penny Larson.
Chief Tracklayer Sue Larson.

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Astonishingly beautiful clear mild day, we were in shirtsleeves.  Superb conditions – moist but not wet ground, new green growth, last year’s knee-high dead grasses still standing.  Three tracks offered (plus possible alternate), received 8 entries.  Then two of those entries passed at the SacDTC TDX test the weekend before ours (YAY!), then the original second alternate withdrew a couple days before the test, all this resulting in the third alternate becoming first alternate.  Emergency phone calls to her, to tell her she should plan on coming down!

First track went to a spectacularly precise GSD bitch.  They penciled in 5 legs and 5 turns, passed both sets of crosstracks (early: I love it when judges do that!), picking up one intermediate article.  Then they hit the asphalt road.  Kudos to the handler for saying “We’re going to go home and work on that” – the dog wasn’t able to figure out the track crossed the road.  SUPER exciting to watch, poster child precision!

Second track went to a bearded collie bitch.  This was just one of those days when the dog started out heading in the opposite direction of the track, and just couldn’t get turned around to be able to locate the track’s start direction.

Third track went to a border collie dog.  Okay I’ll give up on the third-person narration: this was me and my sweet boy, our first TDX outing.  I have to laugh at our start.  Literally minutes before we joined the judges walking towards the start of the track, I was telling one of my wise friends (and telling myself too) that I was going to disengage my brain and just go with whatever the dog offered, because he is really driven to do the right thing.  SOOO he took off like a sled dog (that’s what we do) racing down the first leg of the track, and very quickly pulled up short and took off to the right to explore something.  Me: “really? oh come on, no way that was a leg, come on baby dog: think this through.”  He circles back, checks some stuff out, and then takes off to the right again.  Me: “no seriously, don’t mess with me before we even get to the first turn.”  He circles back.  Okay I swear we spent an hour doing this (maybe it was only ten minutes) before finally two things: Me: “wait, maybe this is real”, and “wait, didn’t I say my brain wasn’t invited to this party?”  I followed him to the right this time and it felt like he deeply doubled down on the sled dog thing to let me know I was an idiot but maybe salvageable since I had finally let him do the right thing, what a GREAT dog for not giving up on me.  The rest of the track was uneventful and wonderful and my boy found the end glove and had a great game of tug with it, I’m so proud of him!  Karey Krauter and Vista How About Now, TDX.

Fourth/alternate track went to a belgian tervuren bitch from Oregon who didn’t expect to come down until she got two days notice from the test secretary, but she arrived in plenty of time with bells on! (figuratively).  They penciled in the track and the turns, not registering any of the dumb distractions like cross tracks and roads and creeks (with water in it, THAT wasn’t there before!), finishing in ten minutes flat, SPECTACULAR!  Very cute if momentarily confusing moment when the dog spotted one of our plotting marker flags left behind after laying the track (it had been tossed off-track by some kids the night before?): the dog dashed over to retrieve it, aw good dog. Kyla Smay and Jamaica’s Valiant Spirit TDX TDU TKI.  CONGRATULATIONS!  Also congrats to Kyla who went on to run in the terv club TDX test the following weekend – in a literally apocalyptic bomb cyclone/atmospheric river weather event – and passed there too!  TDX2!

HUGE thanks to judges Rita Crawford and Bob Rollins and apprentice judge Jenny Cuccinello – sainted local judges who make it possible for us to not lose our shirt putting on these tests, THANK YOU.  Thanks to trial secretary Penny Larson (who also brought good food!  I’m all about the food) and CTL Sue Larson, and tracklayers Terry Southard and Meg Azevedo and Cathy Beam and Colton Meyer.  Crosstracklayers (shoot didn’t catch who?).  Driver Katy Robertson (best hostess ever and also has a car with actual usable back seats!).  Photographers extraordinaire Colton Meyer and Katy Robertson.

Karey midtrack

Karey, midtrack

Karey ribbon

Karey, ribbon

Kyla midtrack

Kyl;a midtrack

Kyla ribbon

Kyla, ribbon