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Sunday, January 28, 2018

John's last training line

by John Jeanneney

You young trackers  have many good years ahead of you, but eventually things wind down. As old tracker, I can give you a preview of what is coming eventually. First I had to give up taking calls to find deer. I just couldn't navigate steep slopes and thick cover due to poor balance and lack of leg strength. But at least I had the comfort of knowing that I could still train puppies on easier terrain. I could still work with my dogs.

At the end of January there was a break in the winter weather and the ground was bare. I took out Odin, age five and a half months, on a 22 hour line, 375 yards long.  Odin's is a puppy from Germany, and he had not had much training in tracking before the snow came. Odin was doing amazingly good work on the old line with its six right angle turns. Then I fell down in the flat, easy  woods and lost my grip on the plastic clothes line that I use as a tracking leash with half-grown puppies. What a nuisance it is to be 82 years old and semi-competent!

Odin took off, as I struggled to crawl to a tree and  pull myself back up on my feet. When I hobbled ahead to the last turn I could see Odin a 150 yards ahead. He had followed the blood line around the last turn and was "baying" at the deer skin. He didn't quite know what to do with it, but he knew that it was the treasure at the end of the track, and that this was important.

My instability in the woods, falling down and all, forced me to admit to myself that even training  puppies to track was now beyond my capability; this sad day  was softened by Odin's brilliant work at a young age. I will live on in the memory and spirit of my dogs.




7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You will be missed but have inspired so many with Your love for the dogs and tracking

Ramsey Bell said...

John,
I started following and reading your blogs about two years ago when I came across your book and web page born-to-track.com
I had dachshunds as a child and have always desired to have another as I have gotten older. They were always wonderful loving pets, but until I read your blogs I didn’t appreciate what they were as Working/Hunting dogs.
Your passion for your dogs, tracking game, and the outdoors have been a delight for me to read about.
Eventhough your in this transition in life I hope you might continue to blog occasionally and pass on the wisdom and insights you have learned through the dogs you’ve trained.
Thanks again for passing along your knowledge to the next generations.
All the best
Ramsey Bell

Sheila Gordon said...

You are an amazing consultant/counselor for trainers and trackers alike. Your vast knowledge of dogs in general and tracking in specific will always be sought after!
Thank you for giving of that knowledge to those of us who didn't have a clue when we first started with our puppies!

flyinlizard said...

I have had the privilege to track twice that I can clearly remember, with you John and the knowledge and passion you have is unending. Time is not always a kind master. What you have done to further the use of tracking dogs in this country I feel will not be surpassed by anyone. I reread your book ,Dead On ,before every deer season opens to refresh my memory of what deer may do when wounded and still able to run. The Deer Search number is in my phone and thankfully I have not had to use it in a very long time. Odin knows his job even at his young age due to your early guidance. I wish you the best and if you ever find yourselves around Millbrook you are welcome at 891 camby Rd. God Bless you sir and thank you. Paul ollivett.

Outdoorstom said...

John - the guidance you have given me will never be forgotten. Your love of dogs, tracking, and the generous sharing of your knowledge worldwide has helped so many people. Thank you!!!

Harry said...

I'm sorry john....

Anonymous said...

Your passion and love for tracking and dachshunds is so very evident in your knowledge and stories. Thank you for sharing your love for them, I am just one of many who have been inspired through your experiences, many of which I will never forget as I share the woods with my very own Moosbach-Zuzelek pup.

Jeffrey Annis NC