Tani's TD Test

by Gail Thompson


It was at the Lackawanna test. There were two dogs scheduled to run the TD tests, but since the other dog was a bitch in season, it made no difference who went first.... Tani did.

It was about 40 degrees and it was drizzling slightly so the calf-high cover was wet. The track was up on the side of a hill and I could see the starting flags for both TD tracks. Mine was the track to the right, so I figured that I wouldn't be going into the other half of the field. Tani started off like gangbusters and as long as he was on the track, I could see it from the disturbed moisture. The first turn was a 90-degree one to the right and the next two were 90 degrees to the left. Then we came to a ditch about three feet deep and about ten feet wide. (My best recollection!) I could not see the track on the other side of the ditch and I figured it didn't go there because the other track was in the other half of that field anyway. There were tire (?) tracks going back down to the left on the close side of the ditch, and I could see nothing to the right.

Tani got really excited and I am sure he was convinced there was an article in the ditch. He searched and searched, coming back once out of the ditch to my side of the ditch. He got back down in the ditch and kept searching. The scent must have pooled there but he must have known where it went eventually because he had worked himself about 20 feet down the hill in the ditch. Finally he gave up and ran back up the hill and started off on the other side of the ditch with no casting or hesitation. I had no choice but to go with him. I was sure I'd hear a whistle because now I could not see any track ahead of him, but no whistle. After about 50 yards he made a 45-degree turn to the left. As I looked down the field ahead of him I could see what looked like a glove about 50 yards ahead. He nailed it, picked it up and started back toward me with it, tail wagging. When he got about 20 feet from me, he changed course and took it to the judges! That was his first TD test.

Carol, who certified him just before the test closed, said she had never cried before when a dog passed. I had not met Carol before the day she certified him. Carol and I are still good friends though we don't see each other very often.

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