Ever wonder what happens when you retire a tracking dog?
They don’t every really retire. Up until her death, two years later, almost exactly, Dottie was still showing me she was happy to show me all the things in the vicinity of our walk routes that had human scent on them.
The above photo is something from my archives. As I’ve been going through the downsizing process I found a folder of Polaroids from photo shoots of my artwork.
It’s a large, about 24 x 30 inch board, made into a calendar as you can see. It’s Dottie’s journal for January 2001.
Of course I helped her with the labeling, but that’s what a could trainer does right?
The “finds” are labeled as to location, description of surrounding area (snow/foliage/etc.), date, time of day, and any weather notes (because of course weather conditions influence scent conditions).
There were a few “personal items” that got written up but not saved. My students will remember their lesson on “sex spots” and realize that living as we do, near the University, which is full most of the year, with young people, who, well, you get the idea—we walked by a lot of these locations on a daily basis.
The item that most puzzled me was the large pottery shard that was found on the soft ground in a secluded, but not so secluded that you could set up a campsite, spot. I wonder where it was actually broken and who transported it to where Dottie found it.
Did I ever tell you about the time we were on a walk and she ran into the bushes by the emergency entrance to the hospital and sat completely still, her gun indication (because I didn’t want her ever dislodging anything or setting something off)?
I wore leather glove for better leash handling when I walked her so I picked the gun up, took it home, and called the police; because I sure didn’t want it around the house.
She was so happy that day.
I was always puzzled that the police, while they picked it up, were really uninterested in it. Seems to me a gun ditched by the emergency entrance to the hospital might be of interest, especially since it hadn’t been contaminated.
I miss Dottie every day. Her bright, energetic, and adventuresome spirit. Emma chose well for me.
Think about the different ways you can journal and start one today. There is no time like the present, the now—journals help us understand that.