Susanne Howarth

I guess we’ll start with the one element on which we got everything right: Exteriors. It also happens to be our first search of the day. At this point, the weather was still reasonably cool, with not too much breeze. Also, we were the second team to search, so nice and fresh at the start of the day.

Unfortunately, there’s no sound with the video, so you’ll have to infer my calls based on me looking over at the judge! Along the right side of the search area, there are two large shelving units, and the first hide is on the front corner of the first one. The second hide is in the bucket along the left side.

After we finished the search, I wondered whether we might have left a hide behind: as we walked through the search area the first time, I noticed a change of behavior on the cinder block on the right side of the search area, directly across from the bucket where the second hide was located. I was afraid we hadn’t gone back to investigate it adequately — although I now see that we DID check it again. Ultimately, I’m guessing it was just odor drifting from the bucket (and/or shelves?) to that side.

All in all, I was pleased with this search: I felt reasonably comfortable and successful, which is a good way to start the day. I’m intrigued watching (and rewatching) this video to notice (1) that Biscuit’s alert seems to be a look back at me with tail wagging (the tail was fairly silent otherwise); and then also to note the timing of her shaking it all off — after both hides have been found, when I took her back through the search area. I don’t think that shake is a marker that she thinks we should be finished, but it is a frequent behavior during searches, so I want to understand it better!