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Earthdog Journal

May 2007 -- Whidbey Island
Ch Cairngorm Coffee Tea or Me SE cairn terrierWe're ecstatic!  On Saturday, Kona completes a perfect Senior run to earn his Senior Earthdog title.  I've always been particularly impressed with Kona's recall from the den.  today's recall was under 15 seconds!  On Sunday, we moved him up to Master.  He did a great job in the hunt up, indicated the false den very nicely.  He got to the rats in plenty of time and worked them vigorously.  Unfortunately, Kona failed the honoring portion of this exercise.  He was just a little too excited!

September 2007 -- Turner Oregon
Kona earns his first Master Earthdog Leg on Saturday in Turner, Oregon.  The run was flawless in every respect.  On Sunday in Turner, again he did everything perfect except his indication was weak at the den, so the judge didn't pass him.  All in all a good weekend.  We're happy with his first Master's Leg.

October 2007 -- Crosswicks New Jersey
Val takes Kona back to the CTCA National Specialty where he wins the first ever Working Dog Class.  On the Monday after the specialty weekend, Val and Kona earn his second Master Earthdog leg.  Val reported that it was a perfect run which received high praise from the judge.  Kona is the only Cairn Terrier to earn a Masters Leg on this day.

October 2007 -- Moses Lake
Expectations were high as we hoped to end our year with a Master Earthdog title.  This would have completed all  of the earthdog titles within a year of Kona's first JE leg. 

On Saturday, Kona's run was flawless.  His hunt up was as good as I've seen him do.  He's alert, yet very quiet now in his honoring.  His den work was perfect.  Saturday's qualification left him one leg short of his title and our goal.   Sunday, however was a different story.  He was very excited to go out.  Just as soon as I released him, he bolted toward the den area!  This was the first time he failed a hunt up.  The release point was high above the den.  I think he saw the den area and rat wranglers and decided that's where the rats were!    Unfortunately he failed Sunday and we're left to think about earthdog now over the winter.

May 2008 -- Whidbey Island
I entered Kona on Sunday only as I had appointments on Saturday and couldn't take him for the weekend.  It turned out great, however, as his first run of the season was flawless!  KONA EARNED HIS MASTER EARTHDOG TITLE!!! It was so fun to see him come out the first time of the year and perform perfectly.

As he is now a Master Earthdog, he has the right go back to the Senior dens.  When an earthdog qualifies in both the Master den and the Senior Den, he "Double Q's" or wins an Iron Dog leg.  Iron Dog is not an official title, but more of a fun thing we do with our dogs.  Later in the afternoon, we went back to the Senior den for the first time since his title.   Upon release, he went straight down the tunnel, started work immediately and worked the entire 90 seconds.  I was most proud of his recall.  Upon instructions to recall him, I very slowly made my way to the den entrance, called his name once and within 15 seconds of the judges instructions appeared at the tunnel opening where I picked him up.  Kona completed a perfect Senior Leg to complete his first Double Q.

May 2008 -- Turner Oregon
cairn terrir kona and val double q
Val handled Kona this weekend.  On Saturday, he Double Q'd  Masters and Seniors to earn his first OTEEC "Iron Dog" award.  On Sunday he "Q"d his Masters run, but left the quarry on his Senior run, so no Iron Dog on Sunday.

Of the 8 dogs who ran in Masters at Turner, 6 of them were Cairn Terriers!

May 2008 -- Whidbey Island, Washington
May 17 was the hottest day of the year to date.  Temps in the region hit 87 -90 degrees.  Greg chose to apprentice judge both Introduction to Quarry and Junior Earthdog to work toward his AKC Earthdog Judge qualification, so Val ran Kona today.  Val and Kona started the day with a bang!  He earned his 4th consecutive Masters leg for 2008.  Later in the afternoon, he aced the Senior den to  Double Q -- his third of the season.  Today's Double Q was especially fun as Stiller, Kona's  sire also Double Q'd Masters and Seniors on the day!   I wonder if this is the first ever cairn terrier sire / son combo to Double Q the same day in an AKC earthdog event?

On Sunday, May 18, both Kona and Stiller were stymied in the Masters Den, however they both aced their Senior Den test later in the afternoon.  Greg completed his apprentice Earthdog judge requirements for Junior Earthdog.


June 2008 -- Abbotsford BC

cairn terrier Kona earns Canadian Senior Earthdog legWe made our first earthdog trip to Canada.  The week prior rained hard for 5 days.  I was worried about driving the motorhome into the field venue due to soggy ground conditions.  I had good reason to be concerned!  On the way into the field the ground by a pond gave way and I sunk the right wheels of the motorhome to the axels.  We have AAA plus RV towing.  It took the tow operator 3 hours to pull me out.  We just about lost the motorhome a couple of times.  About 2am I finally parked to get some sleep.

I figured that Kona would be a slam dunk for a couple of Canadian ED titles as each day had 2 trials.  Boy was I wrong!  We started in the junior den and the little poop-stain left the quarry.  I tried again in the evening and he did the same thing!  I found out that because he was a Master Earthdog, that we really didn't need to start in Jr.  I moved him up to Senior and he worked good for 80 seconds (he needed 90) and left again!  Sunday evening we were down to our last attempt and he had a perfect Senior run.  His recall was only 5 seconds!  At least we got a Canadian Senior leg.  I have a goal to have the first US born Cairn Terrier with the title AM/CAN ME! 

I loved ED in Canada despite our challenges.  I hope to go back in September.

Turner Oregon

cairn terier kona and griffon double q earthdogIn the Saturday trial, Kona earns the first ever Greater Portland Dachshund Club's Iron Dog award by qualifying in both Master and Senior.  Griffon, another Cairn Terrier also earned an Iron Dog.  On Sunday, the judge felt his indication was a weak and failed that part of his Master's test, however he aced the Senior den!

July 2008
cairn terrier kona double q's in earthdog PSECKona "Double Q"s at PSEC's earthdog event on Sunday held at the Whall residence in Kent.  It was a good day for cairn terrier earthdogs.  Jill Peterson's Raisin also "double q"s on the day.  There were 16 Master earthdogs resulting in 8 braces!  We were the first brace today.  After our run, I followed New Jersey judge, Ron Sabastiani, as he judged these master's braces.  Ron is a very experienced judge and I learned a lot watching and listening to him.

September 2008
Whidbey Island, Washington:
  Kona "Double Q'd" at the Cascade Dachshund Club's fall event at beautiful Hathor Farm on Whidbey Island.  Kona ran in the last of 7 masters braces and performed flawlessly.  Later, he also "Q'd" in his Senior test.  This was Kona's 10th Master's Leg!

After earthdog was over in the afternoon, the dogs had the opportunity to run a lure coarse.  The terriers and dachshunds chased a mechanical lure around a set course.  Kona was a natural!  Here are some pics of the fun.

Kona was extremely agitated and prey driven as he was waiting for his turn.  In the second photo, he's completely airborne!  In the last picture, his front feet are behind his back feet as he's flying down the straight away!

Click Here to see video of Kona Lure Coursing!

Abbotsford, BC:  Kona passed two tests to earn his Canadian Senior Earthdog title!  Kona is the first cairn terrier to hold a Senior Earthdog title in both the US and Canada!  His stats for his title run:  9 seconds to quarry, started working immediately, recall 7 seconds.  All in all, it was a perfect weekend with blue skies and temps in the low 80's.

Judges Jill Petersen and Sil Sanders awarding Kona his Canadian Senior Legs to complete is title.  Of course, Kona always sucks up to the judge with a big kiss!

Turner Oregon:  Hattie earns her first Junior Earthdog leg.  She finally worked the rats the entire 60 seconds.  She's on her way!   Greg and Kona stayed home, and Val handled Hattie.

May 2009

We journeyed to Turner Or. for our first earthdog test of the year.  The was OTEEC's 10th anniversary.  We took 8 cairns with us in the motorhome.  We had our 4, plus our puppies Lou and Tipsy.  In addition we took Kona's pop, Stiller and  a cairn we were watching for a friend.  Greg was the Sunday intro judge and apprentices in both Senior and Masters.  Because Greg did so much in the way judging activity, Kona got only one senior earthdog run for the entire weekend.  He passed it!  Off to a great start in 2009.   The puppies were introduced to the rats and the dens.  They had a typical start for young ones.  Hattie easily made it to the quarry on time in her junior earthodg test, but didn't start working in time.  Kona's sire Stiller, earned "Iron Dog" double Q's both days.

The next week we were off to Whidlbey Island's PSEC test.  Kona had a fabulous weekend earning Double Q's on both days.  Hattie's 2nd JE leg continues to elude her.  On the first day, she go the quarry quickly, but didn't work.  Day 2 she worked like a devil dog, but was late to the quarry.  Puppy Merl made it all the way to the quarry and worked the rats a little.  He's going to be a fine earthdog.

June 2009 Abbotsford, BC

This trip was an "all boys" weekend.  Stiller (Kona's sire) joined Kona and I for this Canadian earthdog adventure.  This was Stiller's first trip into Canada for earthdog.  Stiller easily qualified 3 times in the Senior level to complete his CKC Senior earthdog title.  Stiller joins Kona as on the 2nd cairn terrier ever to hold Senior level titles in both the US and Canada (he is an ME in the US).  On this weekend, Kona earned his first Canadian Master Earthdog leg.

The CKC master den as two quarry ends and there are 3 (AKC has 2) obstacles for the dog to negotiate. The three obstacles are a root, a height restriction and side restrictions. The den arrangement is also much more complex.

To pass in the master level, the dog must find the live quarry end within 90 seconds, begin to work within 15 seconds and then work for 30 seconds. Then the judge removes the quarry and relocates the quarry to the other quarry end, which simulates "bolting" quarry. The dog then has two minutes to relocate the quarry. He may come out of the den area, at which time the handler may give an additional command to "find the rats". Once the dog relocates the quarry, this time he must work 60 seconds. After 30 seconds, the judge simulates digging, just like we do in the last 30 seconds of our AKC test.

This weekend Kona had a chance to test his abilities in this master den. He has earned a dozen AKC ME legs to date and knows the US game well. The Canadian game proved a little more challenging.

We were able to run the Masters test 3 times over the weekend. In all three tests, Kona received high praise from the judges for his hunts, indication and honoring. In his first test, he found the first quarry end fine, but was overtime on his relocation. In his second test, he had trouble finding the main quarry end (he kept getting confused with the 2nd quarry end). In both cases, however, I couldn't be more proud of him. He worked underground both times well over three minutes to figure out the puzzle without giving up. In his second test I heard him going back and forth over the root obstacle many times. Finally on the 3rd test, he put it all together for his first CKC Master qualifying leg.

Three cairn terriers earned titles over the weekend.  Sandra Millin's cairn terrier, Serge, became the 3rd ever Canadian ME.  Both Stiller and Gazza earned Senior titles.

To date there are only three CKC Master level earthdogs. One is a border terrier, the other two are cairn terriers, and all are from the Northwest. Piper, the border terrier was the first CKC ME. The second is a cairn terrier bitch named Andy, and the third is a cairn terrier male named Serge. All are from Canada. Piper is the first terrier to hold an ME in both the US and Canada.

This was one of my favorite earthdog outings!


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