Susanne Howarth

    Interesting observation regarding your guess as to what the wind was doing. I honestly do not recall. However, as I watched the video again just now, I noticed that you can see the raindrops going down at a bit of an angle — from left to right — suggesting that might have been the wind direction. Alternatively, what I perceive as a right-left direction may have been angled forward in relation to the vehicle. Still, I don’t think it was a strong breeze by any means, and who knows what it might have been earlier in the day — i.e., your theory that odor was pooling on or near the Scion’s right front tire is probably valid. Clearly Blackie had a reason to go over there!

    From my thoughts at the time, she first exhibited odor-interest at the front of the Scion the first time we came through. As we circled behind the pickup and up the pickup’s passenger side, she was working, but clearly not in odor. However, as we hit the pickup’s front driver’s side wheel, she gives a mini-head snap at the pickup wheel, and then definitively crosses in front of me to get to the Scion. That’s why, when we came back around and she again indicated interest at that point (and a little before), I called it. I think she may also have shown interest in the front bumper (which can’t be seen in the video), so my in-the-moment analysis was that she was bracketing an inaccessible hide somewhere in that wheel well.

    Interesting observation about me being a little in front of her. Somewhere in my overall training, I thought that was the somewhat desirable location in which to position myself, so as to keep body pressure on her to detail whichever of the vehicles we were searching. Is that not the case? Or — more likely — is it yet another of those “fine lines” — in other words, do I want to use that “slightly ahead of her” body pressure if she’s not yet keyed into the idea that we are searching vehicles, and to ensure she doesn’t skip a corner, but once she’s clearly working, let her be in front and directing us — as long as she continues to detail the vehicle? Or am I completely off base on all of this?!?!?

    Yes, this entire day was challenging for both of us. But I’m definitely buoyed by how well we did the following day and how well Blackie has been working since then! Thanks for the feedback 🙂