Well it was owing to a chance meeting at a working trial, back in the Spring, that I bumped into Penny Bellis who was asking me about Scentwork UK that prompted me to ask her to judge, at our next trial and fortunately she accepted my offer.
So on the day of the trial Penny arrived bright and early which gave me ample opportunity to go through the first search with her well before the competitors arrived. Fortunately Ali arrived early and in her usual efficient manner, arranged the parking so that time wasn’t wasted swapping appropriate vehicles around for the vehicle search.
I was also pleased to see Hannah (Scribe) and Katrina (Runner) arrive early so that I could explain what to do and we could do a run through with the ‘white dog’ before the day started.
So after the judge’s brief we were ready to start the L2. We had some really impressive searches with all the teams correctly alerting the scent hidden under the bathroom scales but unfortunately a couple of dogs wrongly indicated on one of the chairs. I can only blame the Beavers/cubs for possibly stuffing something under the chair as they had used the village hall the day before.
Next up were the L3’s and Penny had decided to hide the scented article (Gun oil) under the flap of a turned off heater in the small committee room. . This didn’t cause ‘Rags’, the labradoodle and ‘Charlie ‘ the terrier any problems both finding it really quickly with Charlie even deciding to try and steal it!. Fortunately all the teams passed this section.
We then started with the L2 vehicle search and although both scents were hidden in familiar areas (under the toe bar cover and behind a wheel cover) alot of dogs struggled with this search. However Ollie the American Bulldog and Laura worked well as a team and found both articles without any problems. Most of the L3 dogs found the scented article hidden under the rear bumper of the car, but alot of dogs struggled with the article hidden behind the closed door of a van. Most of the dogs just walked passed it not being able to pick up any odour at all.
Again the L2 dogs faired better in the exterior search than those in L3. One of the scents in L3 was hidden in the handle area on a baby gate which again seemed difficult for the L3 dogs to locate so unfortunately the final result rested on the last search the ‘Container Search’ for most of the teams. This time the test was started with the L3’s and Charlie the terrier successfully located the correct 2 items although sadly we lost most of our very good dog & handler teams. Again the L2 faired better with Summer with Annette successfully alerting both items correctly, much to Annette’s relief and Lyla showing her mum Susan, that it was the correct one by holding up one of her paws!
So out of 8 runners in L3 we had 2 qualifiers who should be really proud of their dog’s performance during what turned out to be rather difficult today and 9 qualifiers in L2 with 3 of those all being owned by the same person so well done Hazell with Gem (who went on to win the level ), Quest and Skye. Also a special mention to Pippa for qualifying from ‘Scentwork Wessex’ with her two Collies and Marianne and Merri who isn’t the easiest of dogs.