Friday, November 23, 2007

Cold trails and obedience trials

Last week, I sat in a freezing tin hut next to a football pitch, at a meeting to organise Recherche Utilitaire this weekend. This is like pistage, but painted large. Instead of the dogs following tracks in a single field, they are expected to follow a cold trail, three hours old, for a kilometre or more. They sniff at a t-shirt, worn by the tracer for only 20 minutes, and then they must find objects scattered along the way, such as a scarf, a leather key ring, a wallet or a piece of wood.
The tracers go out at 5 in the morning to mark the scent and leave the objects, so I was rather relieved to be given the job of serving aperitifs at 7 in the evening, instead. To each their own area of expertise.

I am told that the main difficulty is that members of the public pick up the objects before the dogs get to them. I don’t expect that the wallet will last very long then, do you? It certainly wouldn’t last long in London, but here in Brittany it is more likely to be taken straight to the police station as lost property, rather than just plain stolen.
Still annoying, but in a nice kind of way.

Porridge will be participating in this three day event later on in the afternoon. She will be doing an obedience trial to obtain a certificate. The judge has already met her and suggested that I take her out for at least a 2 hour walk beforehand so that she is “calm”. This is not a side of her that I have ever seen before. I look forward to it.


Lucy said...

Go Porridge!

Rosie said...

Porridge went off like a rocket...not ideal for obedience. She barked while the other five dogs performed (distracting them). Leapt enthusiastically at the judge while he checked her for sociability (too much!) and then was classed as excellent for her performance (I couldnt believe it either).