by Gina DeAlmeida


Yes, that is right! This November, Toro and I made the draw for the Lenape TD Tracking Test.  We were lucky enough to be picked as the last entry in a trial of eight TD tracks. I was just happy to have made the entry. This would be Toro's first try at a TD title to be added to his name. I was nervous, but I had still entered another trial later in the month for a backup just in case my nerves got the best of me.

We arrived that morning with all the other entries and were treated to a wonderful breakfast. As the time drew nearer, I knew that I did not have to pick a track. Being the eighth of eight entries, we would have whatever track was left... This would be the last one left in the hat, the one not chosen by all the other people who picked before me. We were hoping to go early - but we had no say in the matter. Let fate give us our track.

Well, as each person picked, the numbers of the tracks began to be called out. 4, 7, 2, 6, 8, 3, 5. Where is #1? Who has #1? The first track was NOT drawn. OH MY, CAN THIS BE?  Did I get the first track? Right after I finished pinching myself I was given the last slip of paper from the hat. #1 - Wa Hooie!!

No time to think. No time to get nervous.  No time to waste. Just enough time to run to the potty! Get in the truck and off we go. Keep calm, let the judges go first and follow them. Thirty seconds later we were across the street from where we started. There was a convoy of six or seven cars/trucks following us filled with "The Gallery". These were the people who wanted to watch your track; they were NOT supposed to make you nervous. Ha Ha Ha Ha.

Well we got there and everyone got out of the trucks quickly. The judges, the track layer, "The Gallery" and especially that person that walked so many tracks for me, my trainer - were all watching us. NO PRESSURE!

We tried to block every one out. This was just another morning track that we had been running for the last eight months. Toro took his usual two minute potty break, got some water, played with his stick for 30 seconds, put his harness on and  we made our way over to the two judges waiting for us. I clipped his line from his collar to his harness and it was now time to work!

He took me onto the track. He made a left turn towards a dirt part of the field. (I thought we were off track, but I trusted him) We made a few more turns, we were very far away from the start. (I thought we were off track, but I trusted him.) We headed down towards a river, the grass got higher, I was waiting to be called off the track by the judges. (I thought we were off track, but I trusted him) Then it happened.  He stopped, turned and looked at me, put his head down and picked up a GLOVE!!! We did it. He was wonderful. He brought the glove back to the start and schmoozed with everyone the gallery. I heard some wonderful comments about my young boy. I was so proud and I just wanted to say one thing...... I TRUSTED HIM AND HE CAME THROUGH WITH A WIN. 

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