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What a fabulous weekend! Chuckanut Dog Training Assoc's Variable Surface Tracking Test was held on June 19 at Western Washington University, Bellingham Technical College, and Whatcom Community College, in Bellingham, WA.
Despite the steady drizzle Saturday, our judges, Stephanie Gonyeau from Goldendale, WA and Sil Sanders from Stanwood, WA, led the intrepid tracklayers out onto the campuses and plotted six VST tracks for Sunday’s test. Umbrellas and rain gear and the raised trunks of cars provided enough shelter for this hardy crew. Tracklayers were Susan Highton, Laurel Whatley, Kathleen Ball, Jodi Moline, and Jon Rowlett. Our chief tracklayer was Jeanne Laverdier – also in charge of the awards. Ingrid Grant was the test chair and in charge of hospitality, providing amazing lunches out of the back of her car. Barb Webb had her introduction to tracking by providing transportation for the judges.
Sunday brought dry weather for the dogs and handlers entered in the test. Dogs arrived from Washington, British Columbia, and California. There were two Smooth Collies, a Golden Retriever, a Weimaraner, a Clumber Spaniel, and a Border Terrier.
The Clumber Spaniel, Spice Twice Red Riding Hood TDX, otherwise known as Charlotte, and her owner Theresa Coles from North Vancouver, BC, drew track number two at WWU, and PASSED! Charlotte became a Champion Tracker! Joy flooded WWU’s campus and spilled over into the surrounding neighborhood. The celebration probably woke up some of the neighbors and had them wondering where the good vibes were coming from. Charlotte is the fourth dog to earn a VST at a CDTA test. Returning to base camp, the judges & tracklayer, Susan, were beaming, the spectators were thrilled, Theresa was floating, and clever Charlotte was looking for her good-dog treats.
Charlotte and Theresa were the only passing team for the day. The other teams worked well but made one mistake which caused the judges to blow the whistle.
Where else can one passing performance fan the fires of hope for everyone involved for the entire day? Tracking! You gotta love it.
Pattie Moon, CDTA VST Test Secretary