Monday, June 02, 2008

Tracking Wiggy!

I promised there was something big (other than dog agility, of course) that happened this weekend. Well, here it is!

On Saturday night when we got home from the trial and we had rested up a bit, Mum let Gracie and Me, and my kittie bro, Wiggy out in the yard to play.

Wiggy has been super good this year about staying in the fence. So much so that Mum has given him some independence, letting him be out there on his own with us for time periods (with Mum watching from the window of course). And, to Mum's amazement he has not jumped the fence once.

Well, Saturday night was a different story. Mum admits she took her eye off Wiggy from the window for about 5 minutes to go and run something out to the car for the next day's trip, and what happened? You guessed it, Wiggy jumped the fence. And Mum didn't discover it for about 5 minutes, which in kittie time means you can make it about three houses away.

Mum looked around the neighborhood, down three house, up three house, the backside of the house, the front side of the house - calling for Wiggy all the time. But after about 25 minutes she still couldn't find the little escape artist. And she was getting tired and worried.

For those of you who don't know, Wiggy used to be able to go outside a lot, BD (before dogs). But he had to be on a harness, because that's the rule in our town - kitties have to be on leash if they are going to be outside. And it's a whole lot safer anyway. Overtime, though, it became more and more dangerous for Wiggy to be outside, even on lead with a loose dog here and there. And after Gracie and I came along, there wasn't a lot of time for Wiggy to go out on leash - he got to go occasionally, but not everyday like he used to. And when he did, he loved to go down three houses to where the storm drain was and hang out - guess he felt safe there.

So the drain was the first place Mum looked for him when he jumped the fence. But she couldn't find him there either.

Panic started to set it with Mum. So she did the next thing that popped into her mind. She thought, maybe if Johann can find his target as well as he does, maybe he can find Wiggy? So she leashed me up, and we went out the back door and the back fence - all the time Mum saying to me, "find Wiggy, find Wiggy!"

Well, you would have thought I was on a mission from God! (Love that line from the Blues Brothers movie). I was swimming the ground on leash, nose to the ground, Mum running behind me trying to keep up, heading three doors down the front side of the houses on my mission to find Wiggy. Just as I got to the last house before the road, I suddenly turned right and ran as fast as I could with Mum holding my leash to the drain where Wiggy used to head out.

I sniffed and sniffed around the drain, Wiggy had been here! I knew it! Mum had me go a ways in to the drain to see if Wiggy was still there, but I came out right away - no Wiggy in that drain. So Mum said again, "find Wiggy, find Wiggy!" I started sniffing and picked up his scent again, headed up the hill that is behind all of our houses and started running toward the house a couple of doors down from us. Mum looked up, and sure enough, Wiggy was sitting at their back door.

Mum was super excited! And totally amazed at my talent! She just couldn't believe that I actually tracked Wiggy. I've never been trained to track anything, I've never tracked anything, and I don't even know what tracking is. I just knew that Mum needed me to find my kittie bro, and I was going to find him!

And I found Wiggy in about three minutes!

Wiggy was not very happy to be found. When we found him all the fur on his spine rose up toward the heavens, he humped his back and spat at me. Silly kitty. Don't you know, Wiggy, that I saved your life? Where's the gratefulness? Huh?

Mum and I had a lot of fun on Sunday telling our friends at the trial about me tracking Wiggy. We're not sure they believed the story, they had not heard a lot about shelties doing tracking. They where curious if I had done any tracking before, and if I actually knew my kittie bros name. But yep, I did it, and I did it with incredible focus, quickly and very directly. Mum was most certain I knew exactly what I was doing.

Now I can add tracking to my repertoire of accomplishments - agility, tricks, herding and now tracking! Can you believe it! Mum was so grateful and proud of me, that night I got some super good treats, a nice icing down of my muscles when I got home, followed by an incredible massage! Hey I earned it right?


  1. Johann - who knew you were such a good tracker! Thank goodness you found Wiggy so quickly!

  2. Silly cats. I don't know why people say they are smarter than us (obviously wrong). That was the best Q of all--soon you'll have to S&R to your list of accomplishments, Johann! Woofs, Kharma

  3. That sounds like a scary experience for your mum, Johann, but you saved the day. I didn't quite get the bit about cats outside, though - do they have to be on a harness in their own yard, or only on the street?

  4. Way to go Johann.. You are a hero!! I am so relieved to hear that Wiggy was found and is safe.

    Sadie and I are starting our Rally Obedience classes this evening. We are so excited. :-)

  5. hey johann... u're amazing... what a natural talent of tracking u had there...

    i'm sure ur mum wouldn't wanna let her eyes off wiggy anymore.

  6. Pawesome job JoJo!!

    I've been's our natural instinct! buddy Gio (a sheltie) has been tracking many times! So tell your friends, it can be done!!



    I'm not surprised about Wiggy's reaction...I know you live with two..but cats are tricky creatures. I have yet to meet a nice one!!

  7. Boy, you really saved the day, Johann. (Maybe you can get a tv show and rescue people like Lassie used to do!) You're such a smart dog,
    Brilliant job!

  8. You are soooo smart Johann! We're not very big cat fans here at our house. We don't even like small creatures like birds/squirrels/rabbits, etc. in our yard. Have a great day!

    Shawna and Laci


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