Betty Fletcher and Colonel, TD!!

by Betty Fletcher


Well, we did it! No, I mean my little short legged, tailless, long-bodied Pembroke Welsh Corgi, ”Colonel” did it. The place, Southern Maryland Dog Training Club of Forestville, Cheltenham Maryland. The day, March 25, 1990. The time 11:10. The weather COLD and SNOWING, the snow melting as it fell on the ground. Nine entries showed up: seven English Springer Spaniels, one Bloodhound and one Corgi.

I drew the eighth track, so had plenty of time of wait. The site is a Boy’s Correctional Facility and is very large, many buildings and miles of fields. You had to drive from one track area to another. When my time was near they told me where to drive and park, and we prepared ourselves by walking around, mainly to keep warm.

As the dog before me finished, I was told to go out onto the field to meet the judges. When I started to walk in that field, I found out not only that they grow giant tufts of grass in Maryland, but tall grass. This was not a field for a short-legged Corgi.

I walked and the Colonel jumped, trying to get over the tufts of grass he could not walk through. He would try to go around them, but mainly he had to jump over them. We walked quite a distance to meet the Judges and that was just the beginning; the starting flag was not visible because it was so far away. So again I walked and the Colonel jumped until we reached the flag.

By now we felt as if we had done a Marathon. I was warm and the Colonel was panting heavily. He seemed quiet, and I was thankful it was not a warm humid day, or it may have ended right there. I put the harness on very slowly to give him some rest, and when we got ready, walked to the flag.

I said FIND and off he went, nose to track as best as he could between jumping, skipping and hopping. He never stopped working and never went off the track, but because of the high grass it took over 12 minutes to complete it. I really felt that he was on the track, he was working so well, but still I braced myself for a whistle blow at every turn. It is such a lonely, empty feeling out there, so quiet, you feel as if you are on a planet all by yourself, and I could sense the Judges were far behind me.

It seemed I had 14 turns and two miles of track before the magic glove appeared in front of the Colonel. He grabbed it and brought it to me and fell on his back waving all four paws in the air and said, “I DID IT.”

The track ended in a deep gully and as I looked up the “mountain” the Judges and tracklayer were all waving a cheering. What a wonderful feeling. Both the Colonel and I rode out of that field on a wonderful high cloud, wet, cold, tired and happy. Would we do it again? You bet. TDX, here we come.

I would like to thank Joe Dainty for steering me to Lenape, one year ago. Special thanks to Millie Hefner who kept me on the “track”, Fran Wilmeth for her quiet encouragement and Marion Rapp who believes that Corgis can do anything.

Respectfully submitted by Elizabeth Fletcher & Ariel’s E Bright Pocket UDT

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