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Earthdog Digging out of the Pandemic


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No doubt it's been a frustrating year for dog sports but events have begun to reemerge with a lot of pent-up demand behind them. 

Oregon Trail's End Earthdog Club put on three tests this weekend so Elroy got his first chance to get his feet dirty, so to speak.

Saturday morning he passed Introduction to Quarry on his first attempt. Intro is not a titling class — it's just what the name implies — but good boy Elroy; he already eclipsed Dundees interest in earthdog :P.  Minutes later he failed over at the Junior tunnel — not yet brave or stupid enough to go more than a few feet into a deep dark twisty tunnel. In the afternoon tests he backed out of the Intro tunnel and the Junior tunnel. He had done all he was going to do in that first test in the morning.

On Sundays we have only one test in the morning and he again failed Intro. The judge (a Cairn friend) did some excellent work with him to get him both working the rat and entering the tunnel willingly by the time our "test" was up.  No ribbon for that, but a good experience and one step along the journey.  

We brought Dundee on Sunday and entered him in Intro too, knowing it was really just a donation to the club and an excursion for him. He spent his time kissing the judge and looking cute — he has never in his 10+ years shown the slightest interest in working the rat. Squirrels and birds seem to be a different matter, but that's from the comfort of his own home.

All in all a lovely weekend seeing folks at a dog event again (even if everyone was masked up); the weather exquisite.  

Elroy resting in the shade after his big adventure:



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How great to be out and about again! Your first step Elroy but I bet not your last! Rat - go get it gr-r-r!!

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Good boy Elroy! New adventures for your uprights. Dundee sounds more like Rosie..she would be wiggling that butt of hers and licking and cuddling anyone that offers scritches. Knowing Sam totally different story,  into the tunnel to kill the rat. Never owned a terrier that was so..well terrier.💕🐾🐾

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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie


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It sounds like a good introductory trial, Brad.  My guess is that Elroy will get more reliable with practice and exposure, and maturity, of course.  I've rarely had a dog under two be a very serious worker, only Lunatic Lucy and her Jaws of Death, once a rat bit her nose when she was about 9 months old or so, it was all over until about a month before she died, when she told me she was tired, and didn't want to play the game any more.  Until then she dominated her breed at every trial she entered, both AWTA and AKC.   Her "husband", Bucky, was actually a better hunting terrier, smarter and more apt to actually put meat in the pot, so to speak, but for the artificial environs of a terrier trial, no Scottie could top Lucy.

I had hoped to bring all three of my dogs and enter Johnny and Max, who have papers, but I discovered our tunnels a complete disaster this spring, they need to be excavated, and may well crumble when we do so.  I guess that gives me time to get Charlie his PAL papers, too.  I may finally, after more than three months, *might* be able to get a cheek swab into his mouth to run an Embark DNA test on him to ensure he's purebred, no wonder he lost so many teeth in the dental the shelter did on him, it's clear his previous owners never brushed his teeth, and when I tried, those lips sealed tighter than Fort Knox!

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  • 3 months later...

These events look like so much fun.  I had wanted to do this with Toto, but I'd have to be a better 'Mommy' and have him really pay attention.  I think he'd make a great little 'earth' dog -- until he encountered a toad in a tunnel, and then I think he'd hide behind me.

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  • 11 months later...

We have events like these here.

The 'dog whisperer' I consulted when Toto was an impressionable puppy has a wonderful 'arena' and large barn, and offers classes and trials.  I had really, really big plans -- watching the shows with the dogs on the obstacle courses, with Toto, trying to get him interested.  'Doesn't that look like fun?,' I'd ask.

It lasted until he got a little older.  Goes out in the yard, all-puffed-up, gonna show them deer whose yard they wandered into.  Yes, sir, watch this, Mama!  He barks, jumps; they stand their ground wanting more of *whatever* they were snacking on, and when one of the larger deer, stamped its front foot and snorted, Big Bad Toto ran behind Mama's legs, barking.  I had to chase them off.  'Shoo! and repeat!'

He cracks-us-up.  Sticks his nose out toward a toad, and when the toad hops, he jumps almost as high as the one from Mark Twain's Calaveras County -- Toto, not the toad.  He was inspecting a large beetle on the porch until it appeared menacing more so than intriguing.  The flies on the outside of the screen mesmerize him.

Maybe my next Cairn.

We did have a Jack Russell we adopted years ago, who, if I had had the time then, would've taken home every ribbon.  He climbed a tree after the poor cat, and I don't know which 'look' was funniest -- that, on the cat, about 15 feet off the ground, Cosmos's when he realized where he was -- but it was one of smug satisfaction -- or ours.  This is the little fellow who climbed ladders onto the second story roof.

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