A TD for Gus

by Jim (one tired puppy) Bunderla


Lenape's TD test, November 7, 2010. 45 degrees with 15 to 20 m.p.h. winds. It was cold and windy, and I had drawn the first track. Oh goodie, let's throw in another quart of butterflies. We started off well, Gus did not eat the start article and made a beeline for the second flag. Apparently he felt the second flag was an article and did not want to go on until he was praised for finding it. He got tangled around the flagstaff, managed to knock the flag off the pole and indicated the flag when it hit the ground. Gus also took some time to stand and watch a buzzard that was circling overhead. We spent about ten minutes at the flag, and it dawned on me to tell him, "Good boy, find more.” Gus was off and running finally.

He did a beautiful first and second turn and had to work the third corner a bit but found the line. He worked down the line, wind at our backs, and we were almost at the end of the field when he decided to work back and off to the left of the track. We backed up about 30 yards, and he started looking for the track again. Back off we went again in the original direction but only about ten yards or so this time. Gus worked his way back again but on the right side this time. I managed to stumble and drop the lead but took a couple of fast steps, stepped on it and recovered. Gus worked back to me, and we backed up on the original line about three yards when he wheeled around to the right and took off like a shot. He went about twenty yards and then literally leaped about five feet forward and belly flopped on the glove. Thank you, Tracking Gods!! My head is still spinning.

One more thing. The judges asked me what the story was with the buzzard. I said I was standing still for so long that the buzzard thought I was dead and was just waiting for Gus to leave so he could have lunch.

I want to thank my wife Nancy who has been working Gus for me since my back surgery last March. She has really brought him along, and I would not be writing this if she hadn't done a really great job with him. I would also like to thank our training partners (Judy, Sandy, Pat & John) and "coach" Teryl Lebkuecher. Also, a huge thank you to Howard for laying the track. Thank you to all the club members who worked the test.

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