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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Brandy's Nose Work Journey

I'm not much of a writer, but I put this together to honor Brandy and my Nose Work journey.

I pulled into the Kennel Club parking lot and took a deep breath. Being around new people wasn’t exactly my kind of thing, but I did this to myself so here I go!

“Ready, Girlfriend?” I asked Brandy, my 6-year-old red and rust Doberman. She wasn’t exactly excited about new things either, but I was cautiously optimistic. I had read some really great things about this sport; we were going to have so much fun together!

It was our first Nose Work class, Intro to Nose Work, and it had been a long haul up until this point. There was a class scheduled to begin much earlier, but Brandy tore her CCL (ACL in humans) and had to have a TPLO. Then she cleaved off part of one her big molars and had to have surgery to remove that. So here we were in June starting something that should have begun the fall before.

I grabbed my kennel, leash, my partner and off we went! I wouldn’t say that first class was an epic fail, but fun was not had by all. Brandy was extremely nervous of the new building and didn’t like having the other dogs around her (although they are all kenneled, she still knew they were there). She also peed on the floor…in front of everyone! That makes someone who’s socially anxious want to run out the door and never come back. It didn’t seem like she was impressed with the game of finding treats in boxes either. I was so disenchanted!! That is the exact word that I used in my journal that evening too, disenchanted. Our journey almost ended before it began!

Thankfully the kind hearted instructor took pity on two pitiful girls and asked us to come back when there weren’t any classes going on. She recommended bringing something that Brandy really liked, like her tennis ball to make sure she had a great experience. That seemed to work well, because the next class there was definitely more pep in Brandy’s step. She was actively trying to find those treats! I had a glimpse, a small one, of what she was capable of.

As I continued in the classes, I found out about the NACSW and all of the trials you can go to and titles and fancy ribbons you could earn. That wasn’t my goal at first though. I told my husband, “We’re never going to trial. I just want to do it for fun so Brandy stays active as she ages”.

Never say never! Eventually I wanted to at least give a trial a shot and put all that we learned to the test. I remember that trial like it was yesterday. It was an Interior Element trial in Joliet, IL (the first element trial in that state!). My knees were literally shaking; I was so nervous. Brandy seemed to spin around the room for an eternity without finding anything during our first search. I’m sure she felt my nerves right through the leash! Finally, she stopped on a large potted plant and gave me “the look.” “Alert!”, I called out. “Yes!”, replied the judge! From that moment on I was hooked. We didn’t get our L1I title that day, but got a leg toward it which was enough for me.

We worked hard. There were fears we both had to conquer. The dog who was afraid of the Kennel Club building ended up searching schools, fairgrounds and baseball stadiums! She never did meet a bathroom she liked though. Slippery floors were her Kryptonite.

I hated driving and broke into a cold sweat even thinking about going out on my own, even just an hour away. When you want something badly enough you have to take a leap and I did. Now I can say I’ve driven all around the Midwest with my dog (and GPS) at my side.

Over the course of our trialing days, Brandy earned the nickname “Container Queen”. She loved that element and always made me look good! Very fittingly, our last trial was the L2C (level 2 containers) at the Green Bay Country Club. She may have been a little wobbly, but she was so excited to be out in her element. At 11 years old, not only did she title, she took 3rd place overall!

Eight titles and many trials later, we had to retire from competition due to Brandy’s health. The titles and ribbons are great, but the best thing was spending all that time with my girl. Not only did it help a neurotic dog grow and overcome her fears, it helped her neurotic handler grow and overcome hers. We truly could say that we had so much fun together!

Brandy passed away last September and the outpouring of love and support from my Nose Work community was overwhelming and humbling. I am so grateful that I had the chance to go on this amazing journey with this wonderful dog.

“Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance”
Garth Brooks – The Dance


"In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."



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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 11:15 AM
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I couldn't love this more. What a lovely tribute.


DSC_0133
by Shanoa Delta, on Flickr

Richter & Sypha
Glengate's Mountain Fortress CAA ORT L1V NW1 L1I L1E L1C NW2 L2V L2I ACT1 RATI SOG WAC
& Sirai's Golden Masquerade ORT NW1 L1C L1V L1E L1I NW2 RATI SOG WAC
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
― Jane Goodall
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 12:47 PM
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I agree with MC, what a lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing that journey with us and for those that might feel the same trepidition in starting that with their own dogs.

It took a lot of courage on both your parts and you did it together - just very heartwarming.
I loved the photo, too.
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"Lots of people talk to animals...Not very many listen, though...That's the problem. " ~ The Tao of Pooh
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 09:26 AM
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Beautiful tribute to your beautiful girl. Brought lots of tears.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 11:12 AM
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What a wonderful tribute and such great memories for you, thank you for sharing!



She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.
- Author Unknown
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 01:30 PM
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I love this. It's got me all teary and choked up in a good way. This is a beautiful way to honour your old gal and the relationship you had with each other.



Kin's Sweet Revenge aka Sugar December 31/18

Coco Loco RIP April 16/09 to December 21/18
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2019, 01:32 AM
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A beautiful tribute... I loved learning to get to know you and Brandy through it, and I felt the urge to give my girl a quick hug, a little misty-eyed.

Have you thought of maybe submitting this to a dog related publication (whether online or print)? I love the bit about overcoming neurosis and fear, and I think it could benefit a lot of pet dogs around the country. It's the kind of story I think many people would read and go "hey maybe I could get into this with my dog"... more people getting involved with stimulating their dogs = happier, saner dogs
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2019, 09:27 AM
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79 - What a story ! What a journey you and Brandy had together - The way it should be - the Dog and there best friend .

I agree with Artie - this tribute should be in print .

Thanks for sharing this with us all .

Doc
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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I did share it with a Nose Work group I'm in on Facebook. I'm not sure where else would be a good place. I honestly wasn't sure I was going to share it at all, but my husband encouraged me to.
Thank you for all of the kind words!
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