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Little Dogs Make Big Progress


Team Beppo and Team Scout had a fun, festive and fruitful couple of days. We were hosted at the Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles, and you couldn’t ask for a better location to search. Planes, jeeps, helicopters, tanks, and a lovely gift shop! All of these were in play for both the Nose Work 3 and Elite trials that happened this week.

We had an amazing day! Beppo, the Mighty Little Man, with his short legs and great nose made a big splash. As you might know, the Nose Work 3 Title is often very elusive and can take many attempts to complete. However, this past Monday, we earned our Nose Work 3 Elite Title, came in 4th place overall, and got a hide that 36 out of 38 teams missed. Of course, it was a ground hide which Beppo loves! The other challenges included high hides, huge rooms, windy conditions, containers outside and heat and still Beppo boy powered through.

In my last 3 trials we had 3 failures in a row and I must admit, those failures made me very unhappy and frustrated at first, but then I reminded myself that I'm human and was going to make mistakes. I just had to change my thinking and focus on our strengths and believe we would get over the hurdles. I know that Beppo is a good little searcher, and our failures would make us a better team. I came to find out that those misses taught me to give him space to work, and improved my ability to see when he got to the odor source and indicated (i.e. It’s here mom!).

So onward to the Elite division for Team Beppo. We look forward to exploring more challenges and having fun.


Team Scout had one of their best trials ever. They had a 3rd place finish, and shared the highest success score of the trial. They also placed 2nd on 2 of 4 searches, and were awarded a “Pronounce”. Pronounce according to NACSW means the handler/dog teams demonstrate exceptional technique and/or teamwork that trial day. So, it was a big win for Team Scout.

What was very bizarre was Mary was horribly ill with food poisoning or some other gut problem right before the trial. She wasn’t sure she could even go out and run Scout. She decided it was worth a shot to see how they did on the first search and if things didn’t go well, she would call it a day. They did fine on that search, only missing one hide, and she didn’t need to run to the bathroom in the middle of the search (thankfully). After more than an hour of waiting for the next search, consuming mass quantity of papaya pills, a can of ginger ale and a thermos full of chamomile tea, she began to recover. By noon she was feeling mostly well and able to continue with the trial. Maybe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

For both teams the searches are just a part of joy of trialing. The Nose Work Community that includes the competitors who cheer you on, the trial coordinators and judges who make the trials happen, the venues that are interesting and unique, and of course our amazing superhero dogs. Our furry partners find things in GIANT venues, in all kinds of conditions, and do their best to make you a star. We are grateful for all these reasons, and so much more.

Last but not least a special thank you to the Central Coast Nose Work Club; the Certifying Official, Anita Chessman; the Judges, Diane Baley & Chris Tyler; the Host Jennifer Nowell ; the Volunteer Coordinator Becky Anastasio, and all of the fabulous volunteers.

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