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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mike and Waldo - a tracking team in Louisiana

Finally last evening we got our power back! I feel really bad for people who still have no electricity. We had to manage with just a generator for four and a half days, and it felt more like four and a half weeks.

It was nice to receive the below message from Mike Martien from Louisiana. Mike is tracking with Waldo, a dachshund bred by Laurel Whistance-Smith from Ontario, Canada. Waldo's sire is our FC Asko von der Drachenburg and his dam is FC Lutra von Löwenherz.

Greetings from North Louisiana! I hope all is well with ya’ll and the ice storm hasn’t taken too much of a toll on you! We have been thinking about ya’ll and hope this message finds all well. I realize your internet connection and electricity is probably on the blink (at best), but wanted to send ya’ll a message and update on my wonderful Waldo.

I have had numerous dogs in my life, but none of them have ever had the impact on me that Waldo does. I am so grateful for the help that each of you did in getting me, Laurel, and Waldo together! This year has been kind of slow and it seems that the only calls I have received have been some of the toughest jobs that Waldo and I have gone on. Simply put, Waldo is a tracking machine! I’m including two pictures of Waldo with a small buck that was shot a little over a week ago and no doubt this deer wouldn’t have been found with out Waldo (the pics were taken with my cell phone at the find and aren’t very high quality). The deer was shot quartering away and had terrible shot placement. The bullet entered approximately 2 inches below the deer’s anus and you can see in the picture where the exit was. The hunter had blood for about 80 yards into a pine thicket and then there was no sign of tracks or blood in the pine straw. I wasn’t able to get there quickly and it was 18 hours after the shot when I was able to put Waldo on him (the temp was in the 30’s). Waldo covered trail straight on through the last blood sight and continued on for another 200 yds or so. I had been watching the ground, weeds, and trees the whole time and couldn’t detect the slightest sign of a deer coming through that area. Fortunately, I kept the faith in Waldo (as he has made a fool of me and proved that he knows more about deer tracking than I do numerous times) and just kept a tight hold on the lead and followed him another 200+ yards to the deer. This deer went close to 500 yards (with apparently numerous turns according to Waldo) and didn’t disturb anything or leave a single spec of blood for the last 400 yards on its trail. Given the time between shot and tracking and the numerous mud holes the deer went through, we all were absolutely amazed with his ability. He has proven us “expert” deer hunters and trackers wrong once again… WALDO is the expert. I’m just the loving owner who enjoys holding on to his lead and following him through the woods…

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