Montgomery County Middletown Meddlers 4H
Saturday October 20th Dry Creek Bloodhounds was honored to give the 4-H club, The Middletown Meddlers,a demo and talk on our bloodhounds and to pass out scent collection kits to the members and their siblings.
We had a beautiful, breezy day, we were afraid the wind might make trailing a little difficult to show them, but the hounds pulled through as usual and it didn't effect them at all. There was a very nice little "cabin" at the pond site and we were able to be out of the wind for Tony to give a short talk on Bloodhounds, their characteristics and uses and to do a little question and answer session. Kim talked about the scent kits, how they work and how to implement them and then did a quick demo on actually finishing the scent jar. Each 4-Her got a kit and their siblings as well, we hope to make this a more widespread practice and we donate them when we can and ask only to have cost covered otherwise, not a money maker for us at all, we just want to get kids covered in case of need. The kits could be a small fund raiser for a group if they wanted too.
After the talks, it was time to trail! All of the kids were anxious to be involved and that was fun, it was hard to pick our victims, but we got it done. We sent a victim and several decoys out first for Allie and Tony, the kids were off at a run and we knew we were in for a challenge! This was exciting for us and the hounds, as too often it is just Tony and I and we are sort of boring....that proved to not be a problem here and we loved it! Allie's trail went around a beautiful pond, across the dam, down into the woods and then down a almost dry creek (remember the almost part, for later on). Our victim took things a little farther than planned, but he did fantastic and made it real life for Allie and Tony. The victim was able to watch Allie work a large scent pool where he had gone around and around a little area, he said "like a real lost person might do".
Allie checked the decoys only enough to make sure it wasn't her victim and rocked her trail, one new distraction she had was a group of parents and kids that followed she and Tony on the trail, that was also very good for her and didn't bother her at all. It took a little while to get everyone back out of the woods, I thought we might have to "call in the hounds" to get them, but soon enough we had victim, decoys, parents and kids all back to camp and we got ready to send Beau.
Beau loves kids and is so interested in all of the activity that I thought he might have trouble working through them, the exposure was fantastic and as usual, he did better than I expected, I need to trust him not only on a trail, but just during life in general, and he is a good boy. Beaus trail was VERY contaminated as the first 2/3rds of it was the same as Allies and had at least 15 fresh people on the exact trail, he was not at all bothered and proved that he was on the right scent when he took the turn the opposite way up the creek.So, he had 4 decoys and a victim headed up creek, not all together, just some of them, so there were scent trails going all over, he stayed on his victim and took me swimming, I commend his victim for NOT taking the easy path, she went up to her knees in water and mud and kept on going. I had told them if it got too rough to just stop and hide, but she kept on going! The creek was NOT dry at that point, it had fairly deep pools with steep banks that were not easy to get up, the victim took the creek and so did we. Beau is still a baby at 8 months and not super athletic yet, though he has improved dramatically recently, he got a little hung up on downed logs in the creek and Momma had to lift all 93 pounds of him over one, but he learned a lot about navigating difficulties during his trail and I am so happy my victim did such a great job of challenging him, he needs that bad! Not everyone sees it like I do, and I want him challenged, but I also don't want him to fail or have a bad experience, so I do my best to help him through and build confidence. He found his little lady in the midst of briers up on the flat area above the creek, I could tell by head checks that he knew she was there, but it was a little rough getting to her.
All in all a super successful day that was a lot of fun and educational for all people and K-9's, so thanks again to The Middletown Meddlers for hosting us.
Tony and Kim
Allie, Beau and Mattie say "Thank You" for the huge bag of biscuits also! They love them and remind us often to give them some.