Flashback to 2005! My first tracking blog

In August, 2005, I started the Spiritdance Dogs Blog. The blog was archived a few years after I started a new life in Alberta. I plan to take a journey to some of my first posts, back when people were not sure what a “blog” was, as you can see from these comments on my very first post! This post is an introduction to things that you will see in the Flashbacks, which will focus on tracking posts archived from 2005-2012.

Blog comments - first post

The Flashback posts will be fun too, as my home club, the Thunder Bay Kennel and Training Club celebrates its 40th Anniversary! I am honoured to be judging the tracking tests for this anniversary in September. Many of the people still involved in tracking started out as my students at some point and the flashbacks will feature some of them!

People like Margaret (who commented above) and her Aussie Drake who earned there TD in 2008! Quite a story there – her first field was ripped up by an ATV joyrider, so judge Marie P Babin and I laid her a new track. When we went to run it, it was pouring rain and the field was covered with seagulls. I don’t think Margaret could see, but Drake took her to the glove! And “Cavalier cutie pie” Julie Hutka earned a TCH with her boy Austin too!

Marg and Drake

And here are two great photos of Sigrid Appelt (left) with River’s brother Dante – Sigrid is tossing the glove “Mary Tyler Moore style” after Dante nailed his TDX. Last fall, Ben passed his TDX in this same field, 8 years later! To the right is Katie Jaremy passing TD with Henley, in a 4 minute TD on Horan’s little field in 2008. That was my last test before moving to Alberta.


Also in 2008 – RIVER passed her UTD! The feature photo at the top of this post is of my very first urban track EVER with any dog. This was with River, at a seminar I organized for my students in 2006, bringing Susan Highton in from BC to talk about her Tracking Championship journey (she had the first TCH in CKC history, with her Golden Murphy).

In 2005 I decided to take River out and get back into tracking, after taking off almost two years due to Cancer. She was 5 years old and it was the best decision I could have made for us both – leading to 9 years of great times together. She became my first tracking dog – nearly passing a UTDX for her Tracking Championship at age 11. She was Lindau’s Uncharted Course TDX UTD. It was because of my newfound enthusiasm for life and for tracking with my heart dog River that this blog began. Here is a snip from a 2008 post.

River and Dante and Marie
2008 post on the blog – River and Dante – me and Sigrid. New UTD dogs with judge Marie P Babin! This photo is taken on the lawn where Caden’s final glove was for his UTD in 2014! 

Other characters in the blog are Thorn (Ch Lindau Spiritdance Blackthorn TT JHD TD St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog) and Tch Caden von der KlienenWiese age 2. Thorn never really cared much for tracking, though he did get a TD at age 7 months! He was a great friend though, and died of cancer in 2007. Enter Caden in 2008. Caden was my first working lines GSD. In this photo of Caden (right) we had started to train with Jean Blondin, retired RCMP member. Caden was the best teacher for me, with the help of Dan Waters, and Jean.

Caden and I also had a short IPO career, but CKC tracking took up too much of my time due to apprenticing and judging, and IPO is a 200% sport. From the old blog…

Caden 2009 schH


Here is baby Caden at 5 months – same age as Micah now! This was taken back home in Thunder Bay, in the driveway of my hobby farm on Melbourne Road.

Caden 5 months

And speaking of babies – Tch Spiritdance Blackthorn Ben is also featured on this blog along with his sire and dam – TCH Jet (right) and Ted. Ben was born in 2011.

Ben Jet Ted 2011.PNG

Little did I know when I started this blog that three of my dogs would become Tracking Champions – Jet, Caden and Ben! It is like a dream!

But don’t worry – the flashbacks will focus on a fun look back at TRACKING!


Next Flashback: September 2005: Are you ready to enter a tracking test?


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