We also got additional feedback about what we can do to adjust as need be her serum doses based upon her allergies. For instance, when she was itchy this last Fall, I could have upped what I gave her a bit as well as giving the injections more frequently. Nothing like a little more ammo in my pocket against these darn allergies! It was a good visit and she was happy with how well everything had worked for Vegas.
Last night we had our second nose work class working on detecting birch odor. We were down one student in class and got started a bit quicker, so we managed to squeeze in three searches instead of just two. The first one was held in the wide open space of the armory. Three elements were hidden - one in between two metal lockers on a small edge where they were slightly offset, anther on the floor between two basketballs, and the third on the upright, round pole of a portable basketball hoop.
Blogger is being cranky tonight and turning my pictures sideways. After restarting and trying everything including linking from Flickr, I give up and will post more pictures later. I had some great ones of the dog others in class but here you can see a few of Vegas, courtesy of Andrea. She was really "on" last night. She seemed to get that we were there to work and she wasn't nearly as prone to being social.
The last search of the night included our first unpaired birch. It was simply a row of four flat, white boxes and the last one had a few q-tips with birch odor on them. The goal was to walk the dogs down the line and reward instantaneously when they showed more attention to the last box. We've done so much box work at home I can only figure that's why Vegas "got" that she was to move down the line of boxes and didn't stick her nose in the air to search the room. She did this really well and we moved on to our final search looking for another paired item in the weight room.
All in all a great night and fun to take pictures and see the dogs get into working. You can really tell when their nose knows and how they engage their minds to figure out the puzzle of "where it is."
On the agenda for the next fews we have some really fun things. Saturday is an all-day herding clinic at the Three Rivers Working Australian Shepherd facility in Yamhill, OR. The day will start at an unGodly hour since we have to be there by 8am, but it will definitely be a worthwhile experience. The clinician is Brian Abingdon of Abingdon Border Collies and I can't wait. Although I can say I had a moment or three of pause over the last few weeks about being outside all day in February in Oregon. And then I got wise and emailed Sherry for some details and found out what the game plan of the day is.
We start with the beginner dogs in a section of the indoor arena (when the weather is nicer the beginner dogs are in the round pen), then intermediate dogs (or ones that are ok in a bigger space :-) in the whole indoor arena, then the more advanced dogs that want to run in the outdoor trial arena. (I think the only one outside will be my dog with the cows). Once everyone has one run, we start back with the beginner dogs. Everyone gets at least two runs and three if they stay late enough.From the clinic, if I get out of there in time, we will be going to our drill team practice. Then, on Sunday we'll be going to Champoeg State Park with our friend, Beth, and her Lab, Orra, to play at tracking! It's a fun-filled, dog-filled, friend-filled weekend and now I just need to kick this stupid cold to the curb so I can fully enjoy it! Pictures - and possibly - video to come of our adventures this weekend.