Saturday, May 10, 2008

VST (Variable Surface Tracking)

Sounds mysterious, doesn't it? Really, it is just the name for what is sometimes called urban style tracking. It is fun, and unlike TD & TDX (Tracking Dog and Tracking Dog Excellent tests) tests, it doesn't require quite so much walking in fields, meadows, farmland, and woodland.

Instead, you take a dog out & show him an article from a stranger. This person just walked in a specific pattern through buildings, on asphalt, sidewalks, grassy & dirt areas, etc. and possibly even entered a building. The goal, the dog needs to find where that person walked, what they dropped, and find the final article.

There's more information here, at the Moraine club's website. It is similar to what the Search & Rescue dogs do, but more formalized. I laid two tracks today, on Michigan State University's campus & am hoping that one of my tracks will have a pass. Two will be great, but VST passing rates are low, because people are still learning how to train for it & how to read their dogs. I'll report more tomorrow.

Still working on those dandelions. I've filled up two of those tall brown yard bags so far (and that's only for the backyard). I'm expecting to fill up at least one more, maybe two. The picture above is my Kolkwitza bush. (I think that's the right name) also known as a beauty bush. I think. It is pretty, but only for one short week in the spring time, which is likely why it isn't planted much any more.

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