May 12th Nose Work Trial Photos

One of the rules at a Nose Work trial is that no one besides the Official Photographers are allowed to take pictures.  While disappointed, not a single photo was snapped until we exited Camp Carlquist. We didn’t want to take any chances of tarnishing Pongo’s Nose Work Trial–a few photos were just not worth it.

After much anticipation, trial photos were finally posted.  With permission from the National Association of Canine Scent Work and our two fabulous photographers Mike Lewis and Donna Quante (©2012HuskyProductions/Donna Quante), I am able to post pictures of Pongo’s Nose Work trial experience.

Vehicle Search (0:47.30)

Coming into the vehicle search area.

Pongo got “lost” for a moment and forgot where he was suppose to be searching.

Now we’re on track.

Almost there…it’s in the wheel well about 6 inches up from his nose.

Exterior Search (0:46.63)

I was a little worried here that he was going to alert on possible left-over picnic goodies.

The exterior search area was dauntingly huge with lots of nooks, crannies, and distractions.

Now we’re on the birch scent trail.

Getting closer…

Found it Mom!  This was one of Pongo’s best alerts: looking up at me and sitting. Here he is mid-sit.

It was a tricky hide: birch scent stuffed into a birch log but what a smart boy!

Container Search (0:14.12)

This is one of my favorite photos.

And Pongo’s favorite part of the search: getting the treat!

We unfortunately don’t have any photos from the Interior Search but we do have some random photos.

Waiting to move into the search areas.

The awards ceremony.

Celebrating Reid

Our dear, sweet Reid made her journey to the Rainbow Bridge today.  It was a decision that Steve and I had a very difficult time making.  Reid’s mobility had deteriorated to the point where she was having a hard time getting up and moving around, despite her daily dose of Rimadyl.  What made this decision even harder was that she still had her good days, where she wanted to play and appeared to be moving around without too much pain.  But, those good days were few and far between the not so good days.  We wanted her to go in peace and with happiness in her heart, not in pain and suffering because we waited too long.  Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier though.

She has been my companion for 13 1/2 years and Steve’s for 11 1/2.  I remember the day I picked her up from the breeder out in Wasilla.  She was a tiny little thing, who had no idea that we were getting on a plane that night to go spend Christmas with my family in Atlanta, Georgia.

Reid loved Christmas and opening presents.  She thought every present was for her.

She loved the great outdoors…

And was the perfect hiking companion as she would always stick close by.

It was impossible to keep her out of the water though!

Then came along that pesky brother, she decided she would have to tolerate.

She loved to play frisbee, ball, whatever she could find that she could retrieve.  Just throw it NOW!

But what we loved most about Reid was her gentle and loving soul.

Her buddy, Buster the bunny.

Rest In Peace, Sweet Reid.  

We love you very much!  

November 6, 1998 – May 19, 2012

Our Nose Work Champion

Literally.  I really should try and be humble right now but I am one proud Mama and don’t care if I gloat just a little.  Pongo was on today.  I was on today.  And we both rocked Alaska’s first official K9 Nose Work trial!  My goals for today were 1) have fun 2) trust my dog and 3) focus on accuracy not speed.  We accomplished all three goals and so much more…

First Place Overall NW1:

PONGO BUCHANAN!!!   2:09.26

NW1 Title:


Exterior Search: 2nd Place (46.63 seconds)

Interior Search: 2nd Place (21.21 seconds) There was a 0.17 second difference between 1st and 2nd place.

Vehicle Search: 47.30 seconds (12th Place)

Container Search: 14.12 seconds (4th Place)  We could have placed 2nd or 3rd but I didn’t realize that Pongo’s nose had crossed the starting line, which is when the timer starts, and I waited a couple seconds before giving him the “Go find it” cue.

Faults= 0!!!  This was my biggest fear and sweet Pongo gave beautiful alerts today. I thought maybe we had faulted in the container search because he smashed the source box a little but no fault was given.

If you’re interested in seeing Overall Results and Element Results for all trial participants, they can be viewed here.

Steve and I are both beaming and so very proud of Pongo!

Happy 365 Day Anniversary!

I feel like I might jinx us by writing this but it has been one full year since we’ve had to look at one of these:

And spend one miserable day at pet emergency praying he will either puke it up or poop it out.

We’ve been diligent in keeping the rocks out of Pongo’s reach: he wears the basket muzzle of shame at daycare, during recess and our No Rock Left Behind campaign last summer.

We cross our fingers he stays smart…

And keeps the rocks on the ground!

Bringing Her Home

It’s been seven long months since we’ve last seen her.  I’ve often thought about her…wondering if she was safe and yearning to have her back in our company because that signals Summer is finally approaching.

Each year, the Alaska State Fairgrounds in Palmer has a Winter Storage Program for campers, RVs, trailers, boats, etc.  It truly is a bargain to store your recreational vehicle at the State Fairgrounds.  The going rate for covered storage here in Anchorage is about $150/month, which is outrageous!  We paid $400 for seven months!  While the buildings are not heated, they do provide cover from the elements and that was most important to us.  I can’t even imagine what it would have been like trying to store the Airstream in our tiny driveway, with the record amounts of snow we had. It would have been a nightmare to say the least!  So, we were very thankful when we received a call from the State Fairgrounds letting us know we had a space reserved, in the Farm Exhibit building, for the Airstream this Winter.

Dropping Off The Airstream In October

(Steve’s incredible parking job)

Friday was the day for us to head out to Palmer to pick up the Airstream.  But before we could bring her home, the driveway and yard needed a good Spring cleaning.  I spent 2 1/2 hours shoveling, sweeping, raking, and bagging old Winter debris.  Reid enjoyed being outside in the sunshine and playing with her ball, while I worked.

And, here’s the Airstream waiting for her ride home.  She was rather dirty but looked like she had fared the Winter well.

(Pongo got to come along for the ride.  Although it doesn’t look like it here, he was a happy boy!)