Flora and I attended a very interesting fun tracking training day on the Wednesday of WELKS week at the Three Counties Showground. It was organised by Mandy Dance and Sue Holt, both mini-wirehaired dachshund breeders and exhibitors, and judges. They are very keen for the dachshund to be maintained as a working dog and all their show dogs are fantastic workers.
Well …….. Flora didn’t do very well at all! We worked the novice track (which actually was quite difficult!) and she did eventually complete it. It was a very curvy track and quite a long distance. Poor little mite, her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when she got to the end of the track and came across the rabbit!!
The others all did exceptionally well and, with noses down, covered the ground very quickly. The advanced track was very tricky so we didn’t even bother to volunteer for that one!!
Mandy and Sue were both caravanning for the duration of WELKS and so had it all planned out by the time we arrived at 9am. My job was to supply the rabbits – and there lies another story!! The track was laid and then about an hour later we started working the dogs.
Unfortunately the weather got the better of us and at lunchtime we had to call it a day. Sue had also taken her mini-agility equipment for us to have a go on but it was too wet and cold to contemplate being outside any longer.
We finished the day with coffee and cake in her caravan awning, which was lovely.
Photographs were taken on the day but its unlikely there will be any of Flora ‘working’ as everyone was too busy laughing!
Some months ago we were talking about the day and I rather stupidly offered to take the rabbits. I booked the services of a young lad who loves catching rabbits with his lurcher and ferrets. He was out all day on the Monday – nothing! By 6.00pm on the Tuesday – still nothing!! With people booked to attend the day even coming up from Devon panic set in!! Richard phoned the gamekeeper on the farm where we live and he agreed to go out lamping that evening and try and get a couple for me, which he’d leave hanging on the gate.
I went out at 10.30pm – nothing! Having then fallen asleep on the settee I woke up at about 12.30pm and out again I went to look. It was pitch black and there I was out in my pyjamas trying to open and close gates without waking the kennel dogs. On reaching the final gate where the keeper had promised to leave them, there they were!!!!! What a relief!!
But then, what to do with them? I couldn’t hang them where I’d planned as that meant unlocking padlocked gates which would definitely wake the dogs. I walked round and round in total darkness with these two wretched rabbits trying to find somewhere the fox couldn’t get them. After all, I didn’t want to lose them at this stage!! Eventually I thought on top of the wheelie bin was my only option so there they went!
So off to bed, blood pressure at a better level now, for a good night’s sleep before an early start doing the kennels before setting off to Malvern. I then remembered that I’d left one of the small gates open into where the wheelie bin is kept and if a fox did come into the garden there’d be nothing to stop him walking through the open gate and helping himself. Back downstairs again …. trying not to wake Flora who was asleep in the sitting room and Chutney (my basset who is recovering from gastric torsion) who was asleep in the utility. Gate now firmly shut, house locked and dogs fast asleep – phew, I could get some sleep now too!! And Richard???? Slept through the whole thing!!
I was so relieved to find the rabbits were still there in the morning and on arriving at Malvern handed them over to Sue – she thanked me so much for taking them and I replied “no problem at all, any time”!!!!!