IGGY AT HIS BEST!
The drive down to Nashville Saturday was great, it took me about 5 hours. I decided to first visit the Hermitage, Home of Andrew Jackson where the test was to be given. I later learned they have 9000 acres of rolling fallow meadows and had ample room for the six tracks.
Of course the flags were already in the fields, so I quickly drove around and headed out before anyone thought I was cheating. Red Roof was several miles away on #40 so I checked in around 4:00, showered, walked Iggy and dressed for dinner.
Did I mention the Nashville club had invited all participants to share dinner with the club members involved and Judges. They sent me direction to Ellendale's Italian restaurant , it was only about a mile away, and the food was delicious!! It was really nice to relax, meet new friends, and share canine stories. If I had been at the motel I would have had more time to get nervous!
Upon leaving the restaurant they said " See you for breakfast at 7:30, track drawing is at 8:00!" What breakfast too! . . they said, of course, our members love to cook!
Well Iggy and I arrived at 7:30 ready for breakfast . . . . I never miss breakfast, even when trialing. It was truly delicious. I started out with cheese grits . . OH how I love grits, only the south knows how to fix grits! followed by an egg casserole, pigs in a blanket (wieners wrapped in dough), coffee and I skipped the array of sweet rolls. (Now you would think I would be to full to track) Next came the drawing and since I was #1 to get in, I got to put my hand in a basket full of green grass and pull a gold coin with the number #2 on the back. They then handed me a little green hat for Iggy to wear for St. Patrick's Day. cute, cute!
I would run track 2 and I had some more time to collect myself and potty before we ran. I hate to be at the end because my nerves get so much in a tangle I make mistakes.
Off we drove to track #1 to watch a Westie from a distance. He was very, very, cute but slow as molasses. He would walk a few steps, stop, look around before going further. IT TOOK AROUND 20 MINUTES BEFORE HE FOUND HIS GLOVE. We all felt we earned it with him! I told those watching that they wouldn't have long to wait for Iggy as he usually ran fast!
Track #2, we line up around 10 feet behind the first flag to help him further acquire the scent before picking up the cute St. Patrick's Day bandanna. He's off !!! (did I mention he has the bad habit of eating the orange flags, or at least bit ting a piece before taking off again) Now the club flags were the taller poles with a nice bigger flag and yes he did leap up to grab the flag before running ahead to the next at 30 yards. After his usual beginning he towed me straight ahead at a fast clip. We had two turns running a little up hill before we turned again around some giant tree, I thought we were to close to the tree but I kept saying "Trust your dog!" and he continued on for one more turn to find the GLOVE!! Of course I leaped in the air, ran to him, through the glove several time in the air for him to catch before hugging our Judge who by the way said "The spectators didn't need to follow their map, Iggy ran so deliberately they didn't
need one". He also said "Nice handling" That one meant the most but I felt I was only along for the ride . .so to speak. I think the biggest part is I trusted Iggy!
Now, I forgot to mention something sort of important, I guess I should have told this sooner. I have found that Iggy loves great rewards, especially when he runs a great track. So, I have found that buying a small can of liver or lamb cat food and opening it in the car, right before we run, gives him great motivation and thus we run back after completion of a nice run to JACKPOT !! He enjoyed every morsel!
Track #3 - Irish Water Spaniel - failed, Track #4 A Rhodesian Ridgeback who ran almost as fast as Iggy - passed, Track #5 a Beagle, very cute but caught the sent of something and wouldn't make a turn, Track #6 a Shetland Sheepdog (tracking Judge owner) also failed.
Next followed a wonderful pitch-in lunch and pictures. Again the food was delicious and although I thought I would be really sleeping driving home at 1:30, I was still on an exhilarated high!
p.s. As you know this has taken me a least 3 years to reach this goal. Iggy always could track, I could not alway read what he had to say. Running as fast as he does, being sort of old, I found it difficult to look at him, watch my step and trust him. He also has matured and has become more confident in tracking and agility for that matter.
We will continue to train for a TDX but I think I'm in for a journey, especially when running through the woods and thickets.
Love you all,
Judy,Iggy TD,, OA, AXJ, WWD and Ziva