We just got back from Earthdogging in New Jersey at the Dachshund Club of New Jersey's June Earthdog tests. Oh gosh was it ever HOT out there, we camped out like we usually do so we felt it. Mom borrowed our breeder's dog van so we could all travel in style and air-conditioning! She said it was cheaper than renting a car even though it's a big van. We had an extra doggie friend staying with us for the week so 5 dogs fit better in the van. It doesn't show here but I'm waiting for my turn at Junior on Saturday and I'm pretty nervous! I love Earthdog so much I whine and tremble...Mom tries to tell me it's alright but I know there's a rat to find and I'm excited!!! This is what we do in Earthdog --- wait our turn. The gate steward stands at the board and we check in and everyone waits. We go up to where the red tape is and we get let down to run to the tunnel entrance and disappear. That's Mom with her back to the camera on the left! The person visible over the board is waiting for her dog in the tunnel to do his thing... Yeah, it's wait wait wait -- see these people with their Westies. That one little guy on the right isn't real excited, is he? I could never nap like that before my turn! I did Junior and the Master tests this weekend, and had a blast! If you have your Master Earthdog title you can do any test you want to, so Mom picked a few tests for me. I had SO much fun, but Mom had to wet me down 'cause of the heat. This is a pic of me waiting for my turn after being wet down. I think I'm pretty handsome even when wet. Usually when you enter a test, the judge gets everyone together and tells them what he expects for the class. It's called "orientation" and it's a good idea to attend even though you've been doing Earthdog for years like Mom has. Every judge is different so you should attend. Well it was so hot one judge had his laying down under a tree! People can be so unfair sometimes. Can you imagine Mom and Dennis going swimming at the owner's pool after the tests were over on Saturday afternoon and leaving us in the tent area??? That's exactly what they did! Twice! All we got was a hose-down! Who can I complain to? Looks like Dennis is having a fine old time! Even in the heat the people were having fun. A couple of our doggie pals (including the judge from under the tree) were kidding around and showing off Mike's belt buckle which is SO un-Earthdog. A skull! At least it could be a rat skull, ya know? He ran a wire fox terrier named Sparkle in Senior Earthdog. She's a nice girl, we sat and panted in the heat together. On Sunday when I did Junior again, I did everything right and qualified! Mom had my pic taken with this Junior judge to mark the occasion since I messed up in Master and in Junior on Saturday. What the heck, it's only fun since I have all my titles anyway. I even chewed through 2 wooden bars at the end where the rat cage was and the judge had to hold up the Junior class 'til they replaced the bars. I do that sometimes but it happens! Mom got to keep a bar, too. It's an informal Earthdog thing we call the "Order of the Broken Bar" or if there's a little blood on it from chewing too hard, the "Order of the Bloody Broken Bar". I love it!! (no rats were harmed, just the bars)
And here's a bonus for all you sports fans -- my first video taken of me doing Earthdog. It's not long, it's just of Mom letting me down in the Junior class so I can dash to the tunnel and disappear through 30 feet and 3 90-degree turns to get to the rats and bark my brains out. Yesterday the judge said I was 4 seconds up to the rats so you know I was going fast through that tunnel.
Turn up the sound and you can hear me bellow! You can hear the judge teasing about how "those Bedlington people are always late". He's the guy with the belt buckle in a previous picture and always teases us. I had fun although that time I didn't qualify 'cause I left the rats 2 seconds before I should have. I was sooo excited, I was going to find another way to get at them. Oops!
Have a great week!