11 August 2013
Otterpop has some fun, and nobody blew up.
Otterpop is semi officially sort of somewhat retired from agility competition except for Gamblers. We have decreed that she can do agility practicing until her wonky back legs look really weird then I make her go sit down. Making her run in trials, where she's already kind of sketchy on the whole concept of WHY BOTHER, seems excessive. But since she's been the Queen of 8" Performance Gamblers, and it's so fun to get those hard gambles, we're going to keep doing that as long as she wants to.
It's hard to find a hobby as awesome as agility. Otterpop pretty much likes agility and running really fast in forests. And trotting behind the tractor. And she's figured who is related to who in Game of Thrones, ie, Are You a Barathian? That's basically her whole life. We're getting dull and boring in our old age.
But wait. What else does Otterpop like? Sharp things and bombs make her short list, so how about explosives detection? Learning to sniff out bombs is a useful skill which would also likely work in the future to detect zombies or evil robots.
I didn't tell her she doesn't get to actually KEEP the bombs.
And at our super foundation, day one, super beginning level, we didn't get to use any real bombs. Our training wheels involved using chicken and birch scent on q-tips. But bombs and zombies are just around the corner. Otterpop thought this was a GREAT hobby, and didn't even try to bite Andrew. Andrew also teaches cop dogs and military dogs to sniff out things like explosives and money and drugs.
Zombies is not a scent that he discussed in class but once you have the odor foundation you can pair it with whatever you like.
Otterpop excelled in this sport for a first timer, even though she jumped into and onto the boxes part of the time and offered handstands when she couldn't find the scents. And barked. Barking is not exactly stealth, undercover bomb sniffing behavior. But it is really funny to watch.
There are lots of ways to teach nosework, apparently. I don't know very much about it. Except that you can use it to find BOMBS. Our teacher, Andrew Ramsey was great, and I sure hope we can try this again!
by team small dog at 8:56 PM