rat look right October 2000 Earthdog Trial rat look left

Hoover entering the tunnel
Saturday, October 21

This fall I went to two earthdog trials. October 21st, was a beautiful day. Nothing like September's trial with the rain and snow. I started by dragging Mom up to the senior test site. Mom let me go and I ran over to the judge. You should always check out the judge because they always have the rats. But that doesn't mean they will let you get to them. The judge waved her clipboard at me and told me to go away. I checked out the false exit and down I went. I must have made a wrong turn because I ended up coming out the entrance. I then ran back over to the judge to see if she would let me see the rats now. She didn't. So I ran over to the entrance and went down the tunnel.
This time I found the rats. I really told them off and dug fiercely at the bars. When the judge took the rats out of the tunnel, I raced back through the tunnel and came out the false entrance. (It is the fastest way out of the tunnel system.) Mom then caught me. Because I followed the weird human rules, I qualified and got my second senior leg. (Mom's comment: The rules are not weird, but from Hoover's perspective he thinks they are.) Mom was really happy, but I wish I could have gotten a rat.
Hoover 2nd Senior Leg
Second Senior Leg
Sunday, October 22

The next day I knew exactly what was going on. Mom let me go at the starting stakes and I ran and checked out the judge. When she made a move to keep me away I just knew that she wasn't going to let me get the rats above ground. So I didn't use my usual persistent manner of insisting. I ran back over to the main entrance and went down. I got to the rats very quickly and worked for the whole 90 seconds.

Then the judge started to get ready and take the rats out. Hey, I'm smart, I knew what was up. So I dashed out of the tunnels. But since the judge hadn't pulled the rats out of the tunnel, I was disqualified. You aren't supposed to leave the quarry while it is still in the tunnel. But why wait, when you know where the rats are going. Mom was a little bummed. I did my best senior test except for anticipating the rats leaving and I didn't qualify. And I only needed one more leg to get my senior title. On the bright side, the master test is always the first class to run. Therefore, we won't have to get up really early at the next trial. Mom is a total slug-a-bed, so she will enjoy that.
Hoover and Mac's 2nd Senior Leg
Mac and I getting our ribbons on Saturday

My best friend, Mac was also at the trial. We have qualified the same day for all of our junior legs and our two senior legs. He is a grand little scottie, loves to hunt. He didn't qualify on Sunday because he went down the false exit to the rats. To qualify you have to go through 30 feet of tunnel. So you have to go down the main entrance. The false exit is a lot closer to the rats then the entrance. But if you go down the entrance and come out the false exit. And then go back down the false exit to the rats you will qualify because you have traversed the 30 feet of tunnels.

I know it doesn't make a lot of sense, but those are the rules of the game. This trial Mom didn't get many pictures. The digital camera got too cold and stopped working. The wind really was blowing, making it very cold.

Here are some pictures of Gayle, Mac's mom, trying to catch him after the rats were removed from the tunnel. You wouldn't think he could move that fast with those little legs, but you would be wrong. He's like greased lightning!

Happy Ratting!

Mac being carried Mac poking his head out of the tunnel

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Copyright © 2000 Anne Macmillan All Rights Reserved
last updated 11/11/00
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