I start with a warning about acorns, this year there are a lot of berries on the bushes, and fruit on trees, this also applies to Oak trees which are laden with acorns .The only large animal that seems to able to eat acorns safely are pigs, and while dogs on the whole are not interested in the them, should they eat them the Tannin they contain can cause internal damage and kidney disease, and sadly be fatal in young dogs. Recently a puppy who was being walked in one of our local parks, picked one up and ate it. That evening the owner realised she was not well and rushed her to the vets, but sadly despite the best efforts of the vet she died.
I am sure you all know that SKC has been cancelled, towards the end of August when the Covid cases seemed to be falling, there was just a small chance it might go ahead, but once the cases started to rise again there was no chance, especially as it would have been indoors. SKC very sensibly did not open the entries. At the moment when the next Ch Show will be sadly is anyone’s guess.
Onto more cheerful things, on Saturday 19th September I had a lovely day and for most part I could forget that we are in a pandemic, but without breaking any Covid rules, being Covid careful and keeping social distancing. It was dark when the alarm went off and only just getting light, when I put Time in the car and set off up the A1. It was just like before Covid, then the news bulletin came on car radio reminding me, but that was only for accouple of minutes. I arrived outside Sarah Stonton’s house just before 8am.I followed her to a scent trial organised by her Agility/Scent club. I do have a Sat Nav and it was at the same venue I went to a few weeks ago for a scent workshop, but I have learned over the years that post codes in the countryside are not always that easy to find, and I did not want to take wrong turn and be late, so Sarah said I could follow her. With the dry weather we have had we were able to park in the agility field, with the cars well spread out as there were only 4 competitors with a total of 6 dogs. There were 2 days of trials with morning and afternoon sessions, obviously with limited numbers. We arrived in plenty of time to allow the dogs to stretch their legs, we then took one of the well-spaced out chairs in the Dutch Barn, which is open on one side so very airy and virtually like being outside. The judge arrived and told us how the trial would be run. Three searches, one outside with various small items that could be found in a house or garden, a wall and an inside search. There would be up to 3 hides to find in each search, but the judge would not tell us how many hides for each search. If we decided there was 1,2 or 3 and that was correct, we could get 5 Bonus points. We had a different running order for each search. The outside items was the first search, Time found three which was correct. Next was the old stone wall, he found one low down and one in a crevice in the wall, he did not seem to be able to find another one, so I called the two which turned out to be correct. Then it was the inside search, although inside was a polite description of the building, it was an old brick building that had 3 openings will no doors and I should imagine was originally used to house pigs, it was almost as airy as the Dutch Barn. Searching in a building like that is difficult for dogs because of the swirling wind. There was an old boat, a boat trailer and other equipment. I called it after two finds but there were three, the judge said although I had Time on a long lead, there was a point when I had it tight and that was why he missed the third hide, he could not get to it, bad handling on my part. We had to wait till the afternoon trial had been held for the results.
It was beautiful day warm with slight breeze and hardly a cloud in the sky, Sarah knew of a local pub which served meals in their large garden, so she took Loxy and Jack home for a well-earned rest and we headed for the pub. The only time we put masks on used hand sanitizer was as we walked through the pub to the garden, which had very well-spaced out tables. The pub was dog friendly, so I was able to take Time in with me. With the rapid increase in Covid cases I think I will have to remember that very enjoyable day for some time to come.
Later that evening the results were posted on line and Time was 4th out of 11, but to be honest I could not have cared if he had been 11th, he had been such a good boy all day, it was only the third time he had been out since Crufts, apart of course from his walks, and I think he enjoyed his day out as much as I did.
Loxy and Jack had been 2nd and 3rd in the previous trial but this time it was not their day. However, the following Saturday(26th) Loxy pulled out all the stops and had a very successful day, qualifying Level 1 in her first ever Scentwork UK Trial. There are 4 searches. The outside of a Car, small Outside Items, Containers (Boxes and Luggage) and Table and Chairs. You can only compete one dog at a Scentwork Trial, so I am sure Jack will do as well when he competes.
The Obreedience team are busy practising for their next online competition, so I should soon be able to give you the results.
Margaret Deuchar firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK.