Buddy . . . striving to become a Working Dog!

I arrived in New York State Thursday March 28, 2003 via my first really big road trip. Butch MacQueen (Mary's husband) came to Michigan to pick me up because he couldn't wait to meet me (I have that effect on everyone don't you know!) and, he wouldn't hear of shipping me! Six hours later I arrived at my soon-to-be new trainer Mary's home. 
My first day was filled with lots of neat new experiences. I met all my new litter mates (the five Nitro Goldens) and interacted with many new people. It was a little scary at first until I realized that every new person I meet comes complete with two hand petters, just made for me! 
My first training day was Friday. Under the direction of Steve Phillips of Phillips Command Dogs, Mary taught me to heel, sit, sit/stay, and the not-so-dreaded word NO. I was so good she hardly had to say no at all! After obedience, we started scent work training.

I have a very special rolled up towel that smells like narcotics. (Marijuana, Cocaine, and heroine to be exact) That is the only toy I'm now allowed to play with. I loved it! She tied a string to it and teased me so bad that I was crazed! It was awesome! I was so good that I didn't even have to be on a lead. Every time she threw it, I brought it back but had to do a command to get it again. Usually a sit. I liked it because everyone kept saying what a good boy I was. (Ain't I the coolest?)

After we finished playing with the narcotics towel, we went to the local park for my tracking/trailing training. Steve laid two trails about 50' to 75' long for me. All I had to do was follow the footstep trail, that had some intermittent tasty morsels, to get to the end. I really think I've died and gone to doggy heaven, I'm having a blast!
Day two (April fools day I might add!) was even better. Today I perfected the sit, can now heel without leash corrections, and started getting the idea of the stay command. Then the real fun began. They took my favorite towel and started hiding it on me so I had to sniff it out. Can you even believe it? Do they think I'm stupid or what? (Ha ha, I waited until Mary and Steve weren't looking and cheated! :) They threw it under a crate and made me dig at it to get it. I tried to dig all the way to China! My new Mom Mary says I look like a big happy boob because I'm smiling a big smile all the while I'm digging!
After the crates, they hid my special towel under a box with holes drilled in it to make me dig some more. I was Da Man! This isn't work, it's fun! Then back to the park for more tracking/ trailing work. Now this is my idea of work. I sniff footprints, and get an occasional treat along the way. Two more 50' tracks . . . no problemo. Today I was allowed off lead to play and walk in the park because I was so good. And, all the people at the park told me how beautiful they thought I was too. 
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my big adventures (not bad for two days work, eh?). I really look forward to talking with you again. Until then, stay Golden.

Love and Sloppy kisses, Yer little buddy . . . Buddy
(Send comments or questions to Mary MacQueen)

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