Sniff and Go

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Today was my first time ever at something called a “Sniff and Go.”  To be honest, I was really excited because it sounded a lot like going on a walk and sniffing to find trees to send pee-mail.  It turns out, that is not what it is.

We got in the car and went to the Competitive Canine Gym where we practice nose work and agility.  We’ve never gone there before 7:00 a.m., but today when we got there, several cars were already there.

Mom went in and came back with a number to tape to the car, so this was definitely not my normal routine.  Mom hung out with me for for about 30 minutes, but then some guy called us to stand in line.  A few  minutes after that, we were walking into a room for me to search to find the odor.  The first room was a bathroom, and I’ve searched there before.  I did some sniffing, and I was really interested in this little trash can in there, but Mom didn’t call alert.  She told me she knew there was something over there, but she wasn’t clear where.  I wasn’t absolutely sure, and it turns out it was in the roll of toilet paper in the dispenser right about the trash.  That was pretty sneaky, but I was close, and I’ll bet I would have found it if I had more than 90 seconds.

The next room was the kitchen.  I went in there, checked it out, and then went right over the one corner of the table underneath it.  Mom called, “alert,” and the judge said, that’s correct, so I got some yummy turkey treats.  That didn’t even take a whole minute even though I had two and a half.

The third room was a classroom.  I wasn’t really sure what was going on in there.  Mom let me search, and she sort of stood in the corner most of the time.  I sniffed one area above my head, and Mom was pretty sure I was telling her that the odor was behind me, but we ran out of time.  As it turns out, Mom had been standing in front of the corner where the odor was hidden most of the time.  Not much I can do if she’s blocking the scent.  Mom needs more training for sure, but I love her anyway.

The fourth room had lots of windows.  I did have to stop and admire myself in the glass, but then Mom reminded me to go sniff.  She figured out I was telling her the odor was on the fan on the floor, so she called “alert,” and then she let me find the specific spot.  More yummy turkey treats for me!

Next we walked around the building to the back where there were three cars lined up.  I saw my buddy Barb, and she told Mom where to line me up.  We started, and I walked by the first two cars and paid some attention to the third one.  Mom wasn’t sure, so she asked me to walk by again on the other side.  It wasn’t interesting at all, so we went back down the first side, and I sniffed, sniffed, sniffed at the wheel well on the back side of the car.  Mom called, “alert,” and the judge said yes, so there were more treats for me!

As we left, Mom told Barb she hoped that we hadn’t embarrassed her.  Making her proud might be a stretch, but at least we didn’t fail to find the odor in all five spots which Mom said was something she feared might happen.

It was a a lot of fun, and I hope to do more of this “sniff and go” stuff as well as something called an Odor Recognition Test (ORT) in November.  I really do like sniffing, and taking Mom with me when I do it is even more fun.

-Moz