And So Does Molly…

by Linda Riley


Well … Molly finally did it! UDT at last!

Those who know us are aware that Molly and I have had a bumpy trip to her elusive “T”. The fall tracking season started with a new problem when Molly had an allergic reaction and lost her sense of smell. Definitely not the way to pass a tracking test!

But hope springs eternal, and I felt that if she could get in, one of the late fall tests might suit her. Oriole Dog Training Club’s test was the last possibility for us this fall and when we got in, it seemed as if things were finally falling into place.

Molly loves the cold, and the test day was just that with very little wind. To make us feel even more at home, the test site was a horse farm. I wasn’t thrilled when we drew the first track, but I figured at least it would be over soon one way or another.

She started well and had no trouble with the first three legs which were in low grass. At the third turn she seemed confused and I was also, since a left turn would’ve taken us back near the start, but a right turn meant a change of cover - from low green grass to dead weeds about shoulder height! Into the high weeds we went and luckily no whistle. Out of the high cover and a short right turn and then some anxious moments for me when we had a diversion of field mice. I got her attention back on the track and was pleased with her confidence. The next turn was perfect, and I was sure we must be nearing the end and also began to feel that maybe we had a chance at passing. It seemed as if that leg would never end, but when I saw her stop and then saw the glove poking up out of the grass, I literally went crazy. I was cheering, crying and hugging her all at once. Even the judges and tracklayer got involved, and there wasn’t a dry eye amongst us. Luckily someone had enough tissues for us all.

Now that it’s all over, all the work seems worthwhile, and the memories of the bad days are fading fast. I know for certain that the “T” belongs not just to Molly and me but to all the Lenape members who faithfully laid track and encouraged us. Many thanks to all of you. None of this would’ve been possible without your help.

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