From the Desert again

BLOG written 3-14-19

Hi again, 10+ days later and finally sitting down to blog again. I had great training sessions with Glenna in Borrego Springs. She was in a house that we could search in so the first day we set this up:

Interior search of two bedroom size rooms that had doors at 90-degree angles from each other so dogs could search both rooms sort of as one. This was set up for pretty advanced dogs [elite and NW3]. First round: no odor! Watch how the dogs work when there is nothing there and never has been. An observation exercise. Round two had two odors in each room if I remember right: In a drawer, under a lamp on a nightstand. Under a chair and at the back of an open shelf at nearly floor level.

Next set of searches: containers. Same setup = no odor first round, watch how the dogs work. I can’t remember if we had distracters. It would be good to set this up in different ways. No odor no distractors, no odor all distractors, no odor some distractors. But not all in the same training session. Round two was with two odors. Couple of distractors. Again, good exercise for observing behavior of your dog. If you hang in there long enough will it push them to false alert? A good thing to know.

Training the next day at a mall like location. Many hides including ground crack, wall, posts, etc. and another search in an area that sort of formed a bit of a wind tunnel. Observation Observation, Observation! Third training day was just containers at Glenna’s place. And we both got fuchsia pink hair dies! Fun Fun Fun!

My twin Bro came on the weekend and we went flower watching on Saturday and saw amazing colors. Ate Mexican food, hunkered down in the bus in the wind. Sunday we drove over to Ocotillo Wells State Park, which borders to the east of Anza Borrego State Park [Borrego Springs is in the middle of the park, weird! Anyway, we ended up getting a private nature hike with the young naturalist and it was amazing. We saw many many desert lilies and she told us about having, in other years, driven all over for 3 hours to find just one. We saw Blister beetles-they cause your skin to blister if you touch them. There are many versions, the biggest being maybe an inch and a half long with a big red stripe across the back. We also saw Ocotillo cactus. Big ones, maybe 10-12 feet tall all sprouting their arms up from the ground. These are in the age range of 100 – 300 YEARS! old. An interesting piece of info from the Naturalist was that they are not finding small ones. The changes in the weather are not conducive to new ones sprouting. So it’s likely that they are a dying breed of cactus. Sad. But there is no global warming [sic].

Monday morning the 11th I headed out and ran errands in Indio then headed back over to Quartzsite to re-group with the women’s caravan I was enjoying before I left for the coast. There are new faces and some folks have left for other destinations. There are about 25 of us right now. Cars and tents to big C class’s and everything in between. It has been very windy still, and cold but expected to warm up over this weekend. Then we will all be complaining about the heat lol. I plan to be with the caravan till around the 22nd at which time I may head to either Las Vegas area or Sedona with an acquaintance I met at the January RTR event. Today I decided due to the weather and distance to bail from the Deckers CO trial. I want to seek the sun and reasonable temps. This winter has thrown many for a loop what with the cold and wet. I want to try to be a weather hunter for a bit before I return to the PNW, which will be in mid April. If your one of my former students in Nose Work, stay tuned for info about practice matches and maybe even a few classes. I will try to get that info out soon.

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