Next dog to run was a Golden named Chance laid by Dawson's handler. He had a lot of trouble with the deer bed and overshooting his corners, but once he and his handler recovered, they found their final sock and had fun!
My goober Bailey ran a TDX-like track (aged over an hour... hadn't planned on it being aged that long but it took us a while to get through the first two). We had underbrush to go through and logs to leap over. I momentarily lost my brain and forgot that TDX tracks don't have a directional flag, so we went off in the wrong way at first but when I stopped Bailey just circled and picked up the track nicely. Then she was a MANIAC! Did I forget that she hasn't tracked since our test, and she's been cooped up for almost a week now because of A) her toenail and B) DEER HUNTING! I was trying to find the balance between working at a reasonable pace (instead of ALL OVER THE PLACE) and causing her frustration. (I didn't find that balance until nearly the end of the track.) We were all over and she wasn't even recognizing the track for a bit so I stood my ground and let her just circle me, scenting. She finally locked on to her track but powered WAY TOO FAST and overshot the first corner. I backed up and she got it nicely, but went too far and skipped right over her first article. The next leg was a near disaster with her missing an article AGAIN (so very unlike her) because she was just going way too fast. I slowed her down just a bit for the next leg and she tracked like a pro, right over where our tracklayer stepped over a fallen log. A moment of Brilliance! Up into the underbrush where she got tangled doing her corner circle, but when we got straightened out (and found our article) she was as good as gold until our final article (ok, fine, so she blew to the left of that one and had to come back and find it but, hey, she worked the last half of the track a LOT better than the first half).
My dog is a powerhouse who needs someone a little more experienced, but I guess we'll get there. Oh, and I won't try to track her when she's had no exercise and no practice in uhh... a while.
Meanwhile, Buzz was my SuperStar today! He ran a 150 yard track with four articles very, very nicely! He showed me he DOES understand this tracking thing. He was even pulling at his harness and working VERY hard to recover his track. One article confused the heck out of him but he worked right though it and found that darn sock! It was up on a gopher hill and he searched all around it, air scented around it and then finally caught wind of it and got it! He was a very good boy! I'll have to remember to bring him out more often. It's a lot of work to track! He definitely prefers tall grass to short. It's easier to scent!