Blue’s TDX

by Martha Windisch


My Golden Retriever, Blue, earned his TDX at the Hudson Valley TDX test on October 7, 2001, at the scenic hayfields below the Shawangunk Mountains near New Paltz, New York. The judges were Michael Clemens and Salle Richards.

Salle posted the following description of Blue’s pass on the tracking e-mail list, and she gave me permission to use it in the newsletter. Her write-up is so much better than I could do - I barely knew where the track went since I was busy concentrating on Blue and trying to breathe through a head cold!

 “Hudson Valley had a beautiful TDX pass yesterday. It was Golden Retriever “Blue” who is also a senior hunting dog owned by Martha Windisch.

"This really was a super, super job that defines what the TDX is all about. The track had everything - road cross, two hedgerow crosses, woods, logs, swamp pass, hills, and a difficult scenting problem near the end.

"In fact, I tried to talk Co-judge Mike Clemens into using it as the spare. We finally agreed to leave it as the fourth and final track because of an iffy weather forecast and the possibility of too much water on the real spare if it rained (it didn’t).

"Martha and Blue started strong and never faltered. A wonderful example of teamwork. What really impressed me was the tremendous focus of this relatively young Golden (three years). The teamwork came into play with the expert way Martha handled him through ‘scent problems.’ There were areas that the dog had to work out what the scent was doing (around hedgerows and particularly on the exit of the woods).

"It was another example of how an animal sport can provide an aesthetic thrill.

"Good job, Martha and Blue!!!

"Maybe this was an extra special success for me because I have run into Martha and Blue from their success at a TD certification match to sporadic meetings over the last couple of years. To watch this team grow into a spectacular performance was really heartening. Really made me want to throw down my clipboard and go train my dogs.”

Salle E. Richards

I did e-mail Salle to thank her for all the compliments! Blue deserves the majority of the compliments since he is the motivated one with the nose. I just held onto the line and tried to stay on my feet, intently studied Blue’s body language, followed him when he took a new direction, and then listened for the whistle - but fortunately never heard it!!!

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