Monday, May 25, 2009

VST Track in Bloomington

We spent Saturday morning tracking in Bloomington with friends. Bloomington is home to Indiana University, and I didn't realize until I was driving home that I wore my Purdue University t-shirt that day. Guess I was making a statement in support of my alma mater without even realizing it! 

I laid this VST track for Devon at 7:45 a.m. It was 64 degrees with 80% humidity when I laid it. We ran it at 10:35 a.m., and it was about 77 degrees with 56% humidity when we ran it. There was no breeze, and it was heating up to become a very warm and muggy day. The track was 326 yards long with 176 yards of non-veg, or 54%. Devon did an outstanding job with this track. 

She struggled on her start, circling a lot. I see working on starts in our future! Devon double checked herself several times on the first transition onto the driveway. I laid some extra scent with hand prints, but no chalk except for the MOT turn. Devon did a much better job on her entry into the parking lot.

Devon worked the MOT pretty hard, and she was really getting hot. She did put her nose down right on the chalk. It didn't take her long to work through it. She handled the next turn along the curb very well, committing to it after checking the curb to her right. The metal article was a nice reward there.

There was a loading dock area and dumpster to the left of Devon's track through the next parking area. As we started the track, a trash truck came and emptied the dumpster, so I wondered how a trash truck right on her track right before she ran it would affect her track. Devon did pull down into the loading area and sniff the area a lot, but generally worked right through this area very well.

Out of the last parking lot and into the grass for a veg turn looks straight forward on the map. However, there were dozens of people coming up from the soccer fields below to their vehicles parked at the school. In fact, most of these people were walking close to or on this turn. Devon had to track straight at these people, looking for her turn. 

This was where Devon was most impressive on her track. She worked the turn hard as kids and adults walked by, even two kicking soccer balls right beside her and across her path! The temperature shot up from 72-82 within that hour and the sun and humidity made it very warm. The plastic article just past the turn was a perfect placement for her, because it focused her on the track since she struggled with the turn. 

After she found her plastic article, Devon made quick work of the end of the track. She tracked right through the mulch in the playground area and the rubber coated surface around the slides and the blacktop on the way out of the playground. She cut the last corner because she winded her final article. This was very interesting because there was a plastic toy in the ground near the turn that she didn't even glance at; she knew it wasn't hers.

With all the distractions and the kids and adults working and playing around her, Devon tracked very well. I'm glad our last several tracks have had people on them wanting to pet her. Devon understands that sometimes she gets to "talk" to these folks and other times she must work through it. She's getting more ready for her tests with each practice track we do!

No comments: