Our Journey...

Think we forgot to tell you a lil bit about what sort of vacay we're on! Last September of 2011, Dad retired. He and momzers got an RV and decided to plan a trip across the country, visiting national parks on the way to Maine (where's that?) for a family reunion. That's a long trip from northern California! Anyway, this blog is now a record of our travels across the good ole U.S. of A. and even Canada - plus all the things we get to do and see! We started our journey mid-March and hope to be back in NoCal by mid-October - yeah!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three things: Ozzie! Thanks! Tracking!

Mom here: first our apologies for not visiting - again - it's been silly bizzy around here, although today (yay!) it's pretty mellow! Second, we wanted to show you a couple of photos of the super-rapidly-getting-better-OZZIE!!! She's playing and dancing energetically once more and will get her outer stitches removed at the beginning of next week. We are stunned by her amazing recovery and thank all of you so much for sending such powerfully wonderful well wishes - they helped hugely! Thirdly, this post is also about something I tried with Sam a couple of years ago - tracking. We just introduced Avalon (and Sierra Rose) to it yesterday and all doggies loved it! We actually traveled with Sierra Rose and her mom, meeting our good friend and experienced tracking person, Elizabeth Waldspurter, who set the courses for the dogs and instructed us. I want to thank her immensely for helping us get such a great start! I also want to thank Sierra's mom for taking the pictures of Sammie and Avalon trying out this super canine/human "sport"! (There are photos of Sierra as well, but we'll let Sierra post her version!) Okay... our turn!

Isn't she lookin' great???

You look like a zillion "treats" Oz! That's our Sis!!!
So... tracking! To make a long story short, we dogs (as we surely know well) have better scentacles (our word) than hoomans have. In fact, the area of our doggie brains devoted to analyzing the things we smell is 40 times bigger than what a person has - how about that? We know a completely different world than humans, and for this reason, it is furry cool to do tracking. Yesterday, Mom set us loose to do something she had little control over! In our friend, Elizabeth's words, "You can't really correct for tracking. They know what they are doing." Love it! So the object of the game is to sniff our way down the course that Elizabeth makes and get the glove... or... foodables on the glove!

We were urged to watch our teacher as she "set" the course for us. We started small - on a plot of grass in front of a house. Some wind came up and the grass was damp. It's supposedly good to set up a track somewhere that is fresh - as in no humans or animals crossed it to mess up our snooters. Sometimes it will look like we're not following the path correctly, but wind can make us veer up to 3 or even 6 feet off supposedly. (Anyone out there who might be able to correct us on any of this info, let us know...)

In Avalon's words: Finally Mom said, "Avalon, Track!"

And off I went. I sniffed here...

I sniffed there...

And I backtracked and sniffed thereabouts!

Until I saw the prize, but still kept my sniffer to the ground...

And oooooooh... what sweetness to reach the prize! What fun that was!!! I hoped I could do it again and again! Back to you, Sammie.

Okay... so it was my turn. I wasn't spose to look at the camera, but I'm a flashy beast hound. Okay... I'll get serious!

Here I am in earnest... watching Elizabeth set my course. We are now in a less "contaminated" meadow!

Elizabeth returns from dropping the "dime" hot dog foodables along the track. She has stomped on the grass, while dropping a hot dog every few feet, and has placed the glove at the end of the trail. I'm supposed to follow HER scent along the course, leading to her glove, see? (the hot dogs help...). She indicated to Mom that I can go!

And we're off! How I love this activity! And there really is no correcting. Mom's read that she could "help" me a bit more - you can read here - or here for further info, but basically, she has to trust my snooter - hah! Isn't that pawesome?

Meanwhile, Avalon really, really, really wanted to do it again and again without a break and made her wishes loudly known throughout the neighborhood. We will be doing this again soon and we are definitely excited! Huge woofs to Elizabeth - thank you so much! Here are a couple of movies of us tracking!


Kari in WeHo said...

So glad Ozzie is getting better!


Ludo van Doggy said...

Wow! Tracking looks fun! I think I better at chasing stuff though.
Ozzie sure be doing so well!!
~lickies, Ludo

Sierra Rose said...

Great post!! Fun morning and so wonderful of Elizabeth to work with us!! Sorry about the crazy moving video!! :)... no vid post of Avalons famous first go at tracking!!? :)
Ozzie is looking so well, and beautiful!

Sweet hugs,
Sierra Rose

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Ozzie looks WONDERFUL!!!! So good to hear how well she is doing so well.

That tracking looks like a lot of fun. We have seen some of our other blog furiends doing it too. And if it involves hot dogs, we are all for it:)))

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

mayziegal said...

Gosh! That tracking looks like SO much fun! I hope I get to do that one of these days.

And I'm ever so glad that Ozzie is doing so good. She is just so very Most Beautiful!

I also wanted to say thank you, thank you for coming to my Commentathon pawty today! It really means a lot that you could drop by!

Wiggles & Wags,

KT and Lady said...

Happy that the Oz is healing up. We really enjoyed the tracking part. Looks like fun. Think and old dog can learn that new trick? Lady got hot dogs when we took pictures in September. She displayed some interesting behavior after; like she knows exactly what she should do well after the camera was gone, but the set was still there. She went over and posed....for no camera - thinking a hot dog would come flying into her mouth....BOL

Catalina said...

That looks like fun! Thanks for the steps we might try that soon. Can you do tracking in snow?

Oskar said...

Ozzie looks great!

That tracking looks like fun, I'm glad you have some down time to have cool adventures.

Nubbin wiggles,

The Bumpass Hounds said...

Hey S&A,
That tracking is cool. Us dogs have GReat sniffers. Our cuzin Aldo, sissy's working dog, is a professional sniffer at the Pentagon. he works in the remote delivery facility (RDF) where all the incoming supplies are brought in. He sniffs for explosives. If ya'll are good at this tracking then maybe Aldo can get you a job as a professional sniffer. OBTW: we've already practiced tracking hot dogs and it wan't too difficult.

Maggie Mae said...

YaY!! Ozzie is better, her is such a beootiful kitteh! Dis news makes mom and me so happy! You two are great sniffers! :) Happy Thursday my furiends!

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

BRUTUS said...

Woohoo!! That looks like TONS of fun (especially since you mentioned hot dogs!). Carmen is always sniffing around, mom really does want to try & see if she'll track. Would you believe that the first Frenchie EVER just earned a tracking title??

Brutus & Carmen

Lorenza said...

I am very happy to see Ozzie is doing so well!
That tracking thing sure is pawesome!
Glad you are enjoying it!
Kisses and hugs

Wyatt said...

How fun! We signed up for a tracking class, but we can't get in until fall...boo hoo. Can't wait!


Maggie and Mitch said...

Tracking looks like fun and we like the idea of finding treat rewards!
Ozzie looks so happy! We are so happy for her!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! Been away n still catching up. As always you guys have been very busy.I did try tracking class since my dad was a champion ... but no luck. You guys sure having a great time. Good to hear n see happy Ozzie. Oh! I'll be joining Norwood's better half - I think I found my look a like. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Augie and Ti's mom said...

Wow, Ozzie looks great, like nothing ever happened to him! And what fun tracking looks to be! Avalon was so cute being so eager to get out there! I just finished reading "Scent of the Missing" last night, so this was pretty cool :)

Augie and Ti's mom said...

Oops! We know Ozzie is a girl. Doh!

KB said...

Wow, that is very very cool! I should do some formal tracking with K since I use her to "help" me when an animal who I'm tracking crosses dry land. K is amazing when she leads me over those sections.

Your pups look like naturals. What snooters!

I used to do "air-scenting" canine search and rescue. The main mantra was "trust your dog" just like Elizabeth was telling you.

KB said...

I forgot - Ozzie looks awesome. Wow, he's recovered so well. I'm happy for all of you!

Pup Fan said...

Really cool! And so happy to hear Ozzie is doing well. :)

Those Elgin Pugs said...

Enjoyed reading about you all!

'da Elgin gurl,
IzZY, Josie and TriXie

the booker man said...

miss sammie and miss avalon,

wow, miss ozzie is lookin' grrreat! it gives me the warm fuzzies inside to see her playin' again. :)
now let's woof about this trackin' thingie! it looks TOTALLY AWESOME! i so want to try that! mama and daddy play this game with me at home where they hide my tennis ball and make me go find it, so i just know i would really really like trackin'!

the booker man

Sally said...

What a great post. Thank you for sharing.
Happa weekend.

Nice woooh

The Life of Riley said...

Your post has made my human wonder about trying tracking - with my big Golden Retreiver snooz and love of scents, she thniks I might enjoy it - especially after seeing how much fun you had.

Woofs to Ozzie,

Rudy - The dog with a blog said...

That looks like a lot of furry cool fun!
Wish my guide dog training could include that... :)
Glad to hear Ozzie is doing better, she looks furry cute in those pictures!


euthymic said...

I would like to teach my dogs tracking with hot dogs. Where do I get the fiddler? BOL

Mocha Barney, Ashley Pumpernickel and Winniechurchill

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

GReat snooooootering!


The Thundering Herd said...

Avalon - we loved the picture of you "patiently" waiting for your turn.

sophie...^5 said...

Now I know what tracking means...I've sniffed around a lot but now I can be more focused with a goal in mind...tks for this from Sophie your newest follower in Nova Scotia Canada..Cheers!

Barb said...

What fun - especially when no corrections are involved! I liked seeing all your greenery and even blooming bushes from the snow here in CO. PS You are beautiful Girls!

The Thuglets said...

Fabulous to see Ozzie ding so well!

Welldone on your tracking day ... looks like you had a brillo paws day.

Big Nose Pokes
The Thugletsx