Susanne Howarth

    These supposed-to-be-simple vehicle threshold searches proved to have a several unplanned challenges! For one thing, Tuesday, when we did these searches, was trash day and we did our third search when the trash truck was in our cul-de-sac. Happily, all that noise didn’t bother Biscuit at all (an interesting observation, considering our discussion of her environmental sensitivities). The next issue was lingering odor: for the second through fifth searches, Biscuit started by checking the places where she had previously found odor. However, she did a very good job of ignoring those locations and finding the new hides. (There was only one hide per search.)

    Finally, there wasn’t much of a breeze yesterday, but there was a gentle bit of air movement from the back of the cars to the front. The first four searches all started downwind, but for our final search, we started upwind (i.e., at the back of the cars) so the breeze was carrying the high hide on the back of the BMW towards the front of the cars. You’ll see that this, combined with my choosing a very high location for the hide increased the level of difficulty significantly – my bad!

    Because the search started with about 30 seconds of Biscuit rushing across the threshold and then searching in places where she can’t be seen, I’ve cut out the actual start of the search and that dead time. At the start, she headed over to the sedan and then sniffed her way up the middle to the front of the cars, checking all of the locations on the front where she had previously found odor. Clearly, she missed the threshold on this one! I started the video of this search at the point where she makes the turn and heads up the side of the BMW towards the back where the hide was located.

    In spite of the difficulty of this hide, Biscuit did a good job of solving the problem, and gives and that super enthusiastic little tail wag to say, “It’s way up there, isn’t it!” Although she wasn’t PRECISELY under the hide, I accepted her answer (once she decided), knowing that the odor was drifting all over the place from that hide. (And yes, I potentially could have paid her sooner on this one, but I like the fact that she came to a decision and that I let her work it out.)

    Biscuit and I will be heading up to Orangevale early on Friday morning for her second NW3 attempt. So I’m going to go ahead and mark this lesson as complete now, so as to see what lesson three holds in store for us. We’ll wait to post another video until you get a chance to review this one, but I’m hoping to DO that lesson (or at least start it) before we leave, which probably means attempting it this afternoon.