Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oldies but Goodies

A Not-Quite-Serious Depiction of a Blood Tracking Test

Blood tracking test.
Log of lot number 2:

9:50 am at the hit site (Anschuss): The dog seems uncertain and not quite convinced of what to do. After a thorough inspection he finally starts moving. The handler’s blood pressure comes down below the danger zone.
After 10 meters: The dog is still not quite convinced if he should keep going. Therefore he takes a short thinking break. But quick eye contact with his master at the other end of the tracking leash forces him to surrender any revolutionary ideas.
24.5 meters to 105 meters: The urge to crowd the dog has overwhelmed the handler, immediately resulting in a remark by one of the judges to,”Give the dog more lead, please.”
105 meters: Tracking leash develops a life of its own and tries desperately to cling to a bush, it doesn’t even shy away from a knot. Slight communication problems develop between dog and his handler as a result.
110 meters to 231 meters: So far no blood found, slight anxiety sets in with the handler. Result - hands must be wiped dry on the pants several times. The dog does not hold up his end of the bargain; he has obviously found a different interesting line. The handler can still nip it in the butt.
232.5 meters to 301 meters: The dog tries again to make a good impression with his handler and walks ahead fast with his nose down on the line. First faint-hearted attempts by the handler to sneak a look backwards. The continued pursuit of the judge’s group and the gallery is noticed with satisfaction.
301 meters 10:08 am: First wound bed found, the handler is clearly amazed. The dog is less impressed.
10:11 am: The dog is still puzzled in what direction he should continue. Confusion of the part of the handler assumes frightening proportions. Sweat attacks and butterflies in the stomach are not good omens. Wild gesturing by some gallery members, which stops abruptly as soon as one of the judges turns around. A quick look out of the corner of the eye over the right shoulder has a positive effect on further tracking.
301 meters to 631 meters: Quickly moving ahead, the handler has obviously found his trust in his dog and follows him without much thinking.
631 meters to 660 meters: Twenty-nine meters of thoroughly plowed ground by a herd of wild boars. That it was specialists at work can be seen immediately, since they followed the course of the line exactly. The second wound bed unfortunately fell victim to this precision work. Resulting in the dog, handler, judges and even the two line experts collectively marching right on by.
660 meters: The two line experts don’t recognize the course anymore, an uneasy feeling sets in with both of them. They get significantly restless, which in turn generates questioning looks by the judges. Deliverance – the wound bed is found, confirmed by a quick look back.  Unfortunately it was overshot by 15 meters. First callback. The handler’s color thereupon changes from bright red to ash white.
Back to 633 meters at 10:25 am: Dog is restarted at the second wound bed.
633 meters to 770 meters: Good progress. Several times the dog marks blood, which in turn adds to the substantial calming of the handler. Fortunately the handler’s natural color returns. Unfortunately, the new gray hair can not be reversed.
770 meters: Third wound bed found. The question by one of the judges to his colleagues, if this is already the third wound bed, is being discretely ignored. The dog had found the subsequent course of the line at the first attempt, which is confirmed by the handler’s quick glance to the rear.
821 meters to 950 meters: Herd of roe deer in the nearby underbrush, a purposeful major attack on the concentration of the teckel and his handler. Revolutionary ideas surface in the teckel, the call of his genes comes to the fore. The handler can barely counter the sudden turn of 90 degrees. The tone of his masters’ voice, “Back to the line, search the wounded!” leaves no room for discussion.
960 meters to 970 meters: The end of the tracking leash tries desperately again to hold onto a shrub, an attempt to knot itself around a nearby shrub fails, however.
970 meters to 1023 meters: The handler tries to slow himself down, so he won’t pass his dog, but doesn’t avoid the admonition to give his dog more leash.
1023 meters: The handler’s attempt to spot the end is unfortunately unsuccessful, attesting to the well-camouflaged carcass at the end. The handler’s blood pressure approaches the upper range on the scale. The sweat glands on the scalp also intensify their activity, which results in the increased usage of a large handkerchief. Minor disagreement among the line experts, they are also a bit disoriented and try desperately to find a clue. This does not go unnoticed by the judges.
1026 meters: One of the line experts has spied the carcass.  Joy can definitely be seen on his face as he barely avoids a cry of relief.
1051 meters: 10:45 am: The carcass is found, relief not only for the handler.

Karl-Heinz Müller invented this test log - with tongue in cheek. Any similarities to a real occurrence would be purely accidental and unintentional.

Der Dachshund, June 2001
pp 148,149
Translation: Anke Masters