Galliarde Earns Her “T”

by Millie Hefner


For those who’ve never met her, Galliarde is a 55-pound black standard Poodle. She has three speeds: fast, faster and turbo-jet. She has three moods: high, higher and dynamite, and is the only dog I know of who could benefit from a little de-motivation. At four months of age, Galliarde was happily carrying a glove, or anything else for that matter, so we started tracking shortly thereafter. Our first attempt at certification about two years later ended with a romp through the field, a glance at what possibly could have been the drop, and a frantic search for the tracklayer’s final destination. However, certification came on the second try, and we were as ready as we could manage this fall and entered three tests. We made the cut in two and a third alternate spot in the third.

The day of the test at Berks County Dog Training Club dawned with fog so thick that the test was postponed from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. because the tracklayers literally could not see even the second starting flags. When the fog finally burned out, the sun came out and the temperature soared. She had track #8, and at this point there were four passes and three failures.

We started out as usual at a pace one notch below flying and did quite well through the first four turns, including a trek up a hill and around some hay stacks. She seemed to have some problems at the fifth turn and did a lot of casting. My panic button was on re-set, but she swung behind me to where she had overshot the turn, poked her nose down and took off downhill in high gear with her poor handler literally hanging on with every ounce of strength available. She found the glove, the audience roared, and I sat down feeling as if I’d won the Medal of Honor in at least three wars when all I had done was run a marathon. Galliarde rolled her black eyes as if to say, “a piece of cake."

Are we going to try for a TDX? Frankly, I don’t think that I’d be able to do it physically, but we’re still packing our weekly lunch kit and water jug and driving off to meet our tracking friends. With cold weather, perhaps the ticks and fleas will disappear for a while and we’ll try some work in the woods, some road work and a fence or two. Who ever knows what could develop. This has been a long and rambling tale but it was a long, hard trail to get that coveted ”T” even if it happened at her first official try.

Respectfully submitted for Kaeley Dial ‘G’ for Galliarde, CD, TD by her ever loving owner and devoted slave, Millie Hefner

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