The rat hunt is on! All you ratties hiding around in the bales of straw better look out because Olivia and I are coming to find you! Good thing you are kept safe in your tubes!
On Monday I told you that Olivia and I had a blast searching for rats at the barn hunt trial. Well, the photographer photos are out, and we bought a few to show you all how we look searching, and how much fun we were having. Unfortunately, some of the best moments are not captured, but we still have some good photos. Being Olivia’s first ever trial, we had to get one or two of her in action.
The novice course is much smaller than the masters course I search in. It is only two bales high, with a small tunnel, but it is perfect for pups new to the sport. In barn hunt, the handler can only touch the dog when she finds a rat, and then only for a short time. To make sure Mom doesn’t accidentally touch us, she always keeps her hands locked behind her back. Those are the only two decent photos of Olivia searching last weekend.
Now, this is me on top of a big stack of bales. At this point, Mom told me to get busy and do the tunnel. My response was to stand on the bale and pose for a photo before completely ignoring Mom’s instructions. I am looking at it, but I would rather keep looking for rats than go into a tunnel. The tunnel thing is a point of contention between me and Mom.
Hey look! I found a rat! Mom always removes the rat tube when I find it otherwise I will keep going back to it. When she picks it up, she lets me sniff it, and sometimes it makes me really crazy. Notice how I am standing on my back paws only. If you have ever met me in the furs, you know I love to stand up on my back feet. I can even walk on just my back feet. For a short girl, it is a good skill to have.
Now you can see that I don’t want to let that rat go. Notice also that Mom always holds the tube with two hands, tightly. Rats are treated like kings in this sport. They can only work so much at one time. Dogs are not allowed to really eat on a tube. Humans must not drop a rat tube, or hold it vertically. Because I want that tube, Mom has a good grip to make sure I don’t knock it out of her hands. Treating a rat poorly results in disqualification.
The rat tube is given to the nearest rat wrangler either inside or outside of the ring. Mom is focused on me, and evidently didn’t see the wrangler right behind her. I’m walking with Mom on just my back paws, begging her to give me the rat I found. How can she refuse my efforts, I’ll never know.
As she makes her way to drop off “my” rat, I stay with her, hoping for a change to grab it. Rats, her grip is loosening, and she is about to hand off “my” rat! Still, the rat hunt is so fun, I’ll just go and find myself another one. In masters, there are one to five hidden in every search. Mom has to figure out when I have found them all.
Hope you enjoyed a few rat hunt photos. We are thankful we get to do fun sports like this, so we’re joining the Brian’s Home Blog Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!