Birdman at Eakin Park
Grom got to ride to work with me this afternoon. YAY! He had to be left in his crate a bit but it was good practice for out at searches when most of what you do is wait. It was a beautiful day and he slept the entire time. Good boy!
The real treat was going to the nearby park for some drive training. We are practicing play sessions in new places so that he gets more excited about playing than all the interesting smells on the ground. (See previous post on this) A search dog must be able to get to work only after a few moments of checking out his surroundings.
The dog and I walked around in the muddy woods with his leash on for about 10 minutes and let him sniff anything he wanted. Then, we wandered back to the car to put on his vest, glow collar, and grab the squeaky tugs. While walking down the path, we ran into Alan the birdman. He is so named after the bird watching walks he leads around the park . I don’t think Grom has ever met someone with such a large white beard before! Grom was trailing behind me when he noticed Alan. He had his tail wagging in big, wide happy arcs. Still, he was not exactly sure what in the world was up with this guy. After talking to birdman for a few seconds, Grom trotted over to him and gave him a quick sniff and a tail wag. Alan gave the pup a good scratching behind the ears. I was thrilled to have my dog become friendly so quickly with a stranger. Especially after the last awful training session.
Two men walked by as we were talking and Grom immediately hit the end of his leash to go and say hi. They must not have been into cute puppies so Grom only got a quick sniff.
It was getting pretty dark when we walked down the path to the woods. I let Grom off the leash after we were a good 20 feet off the trail. The dog decided it was high time to relieve himself and trotted 15 feet away to a spot that needed to smell like pee. He came running back for his treat, which I gave him. When I pulled out the hidden toys from my jacket, he just went nuts! Bouncing, barking, and biting it took everything I had to keep the tugs away from him. Grom missed once and bit me right on my chest, OW! I have got to get better at this keep away thing! The little nipper finally was given one of the tugs. The black pup must have tried to pull me into the mud at least a half a dozen times before I finally let him win.
Boy, was he one proud dog jogging back to the car in the dark with his won toy. I was one happy girl to have such a good boy.