Saturday, March 1, 2003
The most amazing thing happened today while tracking! I was handling Red tracking Petra, and we were using her jacket as a scent article. Red didn't seem to know what to do at first, and it took him a good couple of minutes to put it together. I commanded him to seek, offered him Petra's jacket to sniff, then praised him when he put his nose to the ground. Still, he was't taking the trail. He would move forward a few times, then sit and scratch his ear, or move into me with affection, looking for a pet. I was doubtful at that moment that he understood what the command to seek meant. I was starting to worry that I couldn't get him on the scent, and I'd blow the whole exercise for us both.
Anyway, I decided to try one last time to see if maybe moving him a few steps on the trail would help him make the connection. It must have, because as soon as he got two feet in the direction Petra had taken, he took off hot on the scent, and I was praising him, relieved that I hadn't botched the exercise.
We reached the forest, and Red wanted to go through what must have been the thickest, prickliest bushes on the whole property. I didn't see Petra's footprints, and I couldn't imagine she'd have gone through that so I tried to bring Red out of the forest. In the process, I lost the 30' tracking line!