This was my first event, trip, outing, whatever you want to call it, with Nemo. He's my husband's dog. And I was more than a little worried that Nemo would miss my husband.
Nemo DID miss my husband. He also missed the other three dogs, too. Nose Work camp threw him for a loop. There were so many new and different things:
- a cabin, for one thing
- new and different dogs everywhere
- me leaving him in the crate in a strange place with strange dogs barking within earshot
- training in at least three different locations each day AND
- being left in a crate while I watched my classmates run their dogs
You can read about our highs and lows in this post. Overall, it was a good experience for Neems and me. We learned about each other, worked through some tough problems, and came through it no worse for wear. I had really wanted to bring Tango, my yellow Labrador. He's my main guy, my traveling companion, the dog I do everything with. But I hadn't acclimated Tango to crating in the months leading up to our trip.
It's good to stretch our limits, both canine and human. Nemo and I learned a lot about searching. And each other. About Nemo, I found out that Nemo is more sensitive than I ever knew and he relies much more on the other dogs in our household than I realized. About myself, I found out that I am a whole lot more sensitive to Nemo's reactions than I knew (I need him to rely on me, and when he doesn't my feelings are hurt. Waaaah, poor me.)
I also found out how danged hard it is to schlep all the things a human and a dog need for camp! It's challenging enough to navigate between three sessions at three different camp locations each day with a dog at the end of the leash, and all the supplies (working harness, long lead, treats, blanket, chair) but add in some rain, mud, and a ripped up crate, and you've got yourself a real mess!
Now that Nemo's passed his odor recognition test (ORT) for birch, I've got two new goals lined up: (1) get Tango ready for a December ORT and (2) get Nemo trial ready. I've got my work cut out for me, but I feel more confident after attending a great K9 Nose Work camp!