Lacey Earns her “T”

by Lisa Pattison


I was fortunate enough to get into the AKC Australian Shepherd Tracking at the Nationals. I was even luckier to draw the first track.

It rained the morning I drove from the motel near Woodstock, CT, to Gardner, MA, where the tracking site was. I remember looking at the side of the road and seeing sand and thinking, “Did I practice in sand?”

It was foggy and very wet, and Lacey’s nose was on the ground the whole time I was getting her ready to start her track. In fact, she tracked from the van, 1500 feet through the woods and to the start flag of her track.

She then did her usual grass eating between the two flags. If nothing else I guess I have learned patience.

All of a sudden she was off. Trotting and pulling, left turn and down hill, right turn and down hill, right turn and up hill, and then she went a distance of a very long let and stood there.

I was thinking she passed the glove and was encouraging her to get it. She was looking over her shoulder back at me which she has done in the past when she overshot a turn.

She turned sharply and charged down the very steep hill. We went forever. She was still flying down the hill when she dove her head under herself and plucked up the glove and made a U turn and galloped back up to the incline to make the delivery. She was so proud of herself and she wasn’t going to give up the glove.

I am so glad she qualified that day. I don’t think I could have physically made it out of that field if she didn’t. It was a gigantic, huge hillside. All the way out it was uphill. In fact, it took longer to get out of the field than to run the track.

The judges, AKC Rep, and tracklayers were all full of praise and ecstasy. “She has a beautiful tracking style,” “A pleasure to watch.”

Lacey is the first Australian Shepherd to earn her TD at an ASC nationals. I am very, very proud.

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