Boxes of Scent 

Odor Recognition Trials are set for Saturday, December 3 in Oregon City and Hazel is registered for Birch, Clove and Anise. We’re still working on scent responses. Let’s fill in the background. Hazel and I have been working on scent training,which is a rapidly growing sport in the USA. The ORT’s are required to actually compete in trials. One doesn’t have to get serious about the game, just taking classes helps stimulate your dogs brain. 

To practice for the odor trials, I place 6 unmarked boxes out on the floor (or 5 as in the below photo). At the event, there will be 12 boxes (2 rows of 6 or one straight row of 12).

 One box has a small tin of scent inside (cotton tipped ear swabs that have resided in a glass lidded jar with one of the 3 scents).

Hazels job is to investigate each box and let me know which one contains the scent. She alerts me by smelling, sitting down (at the box),and looking up at me before receiving a food reward. I’m always surprised at her enthusiasm change when the treats are extra good! She plops her little butt down and looks right at me so fast! Bacon and turkey are wonderful motivators. 

This is a timed event. The dogs have 10 seconds to start across the starting line and 3min total on the course. 

We will be pushing the box searches all week. Normally I hide the scent tins in bookshelves, under chairs, on chairs, taped to the walls, and even some closed drawers. Her skills and focus continues to increase and I’m trying to keep up with her. The next round of classes start on December 6th! Below is a video of her searching boxes outside during a rain break. 


Nosework Fun

Hazel has been progressing quite well through her classes. So well, the vet was totally surprised by her change in personality. Such a different dog from 6 months ago! No more massive barking and distrust of everything! She’s gone through 2 nosework courses and one reactive dog class. We still have a long ways to go…

Below are two YouTube videos of Hazel and I working through a course. The first is from last week, second from this week. We’re getting trained in all three scents (clove, anise, birch) and she is now recognizing scents not paired with food! I’m learning to get out of her way and keep her moving forward to new scents.

Nosework has been great for teaching her to connect with me, plus trust new environments. We’re signed up for our third class. More videos to come….

Sharon Gakstatter is the instructor and narrator of the video. Wonderdogs is the training facility.



The big dog

Hazelnut here! It’s been a full week since joining the house and life is getting better. I’m finally friends with Moby! Granted, we don’t sleep together, but we do play some. Outside he chases me around the yard. Inside I attack and bite his head. I’m still figuring out why my new family doesn’t like me biting their hands and jumping up in their face. So perplexing! All I’m trying to do is give them attention. If I can bite moby’s face, why not theirs? 

Tuesday I tried to fly. Mom was down below poop scooping the yard, I was on the deck and decided to take a shorter route down. Who wants to use the stairs when you can jump? So I did and landed on the muddy ground. Mom freaked out and checked over my entire body. She watched me like a hawk until bedtime. I’m fine, but have decided that route might not be attempted again ( plus they’re putting up chicken wire to keep me from forgetting).

It’s Thursday and rainy! I’m not super thrilled with going outside and Moby hates the wet. Looking like another indoor day. 

Ta ta for now!


Getting a new home 


My name is Hazelnut and I’m taking over this blog. I just moved into my forever home Thursday  after being in the system since September. I used to live in New Mexico until they moved me to the wet and rainy Oregon on December 3rd. After 5 days in the new digs, a lady came to visit after I had surgery. I wasn’t one bit interested in her since she didn’t have food, but she did sit with me for an hour. The next night a man with a fuzzy face came to visit. I liked him right away. Then the lady showed up again with a huge spotted dog. They had FOOD! I loved them right away! They stayed with me for a while then left. The next day the lady came back and put me in the car. I was super worried and whined the whole way to the first stop. She took me to a place filled with many yummy things and nice people. She tried different collars and harnesses on my skinny body until she was satisfied. I got to eat lots of treats! Then we went on another car ride home. That big crazy spotted dog was there! His name is Moby and he’s the boss. There’s also a cat and she really is the queen of the house, which is more important than boss according to Moby. She scares the collar off Moby! I’ve not formally met her yet, but she has hissy fits when she sees me. I don’t think we will be friends.

  After being in my new home for a day, we took a trip to the V-E-T. Me and Moby went into a room together and I barked my head off at the strange ninja people who came in the room. It scared the pee out of me! They had cookies, but I didn’t trust them. My new dad showed up and I felt better.  Moby was overjoyed to see him and his barking stopped. I kept going because I had to protect everyone from those evil ninjas dressed in black! They even had evil black tools to look in my eyes and ears! How rude! Then they played with my knees and it hurt!  One of the ninjas took me out and weighed me. They said I’m 3lbs underweight. That’s why I’m so skinny. I also have bad sounds in my lungs and icky eye goobers. Life hasn’t been too good for me, but now I’m looking forward to eating lots of yummy food and sleeping on comfy couches. 

My parents talked a bunch with the vet lady. They used words like “surgery, TPLO, therapy, upper respiratory infection, and behavior problems ” .  What behavior problems? I bark to protect my family! They bought me some tasty stuff called medicine that is supposed to make me feel better and take away some of the pain. We went back home and Moby bit my ear when mom went outside to get my crate in from the car. It smarts! Mom had to clean it and try to hold on to my ear. When she would let go, I would shake it and restart the bleeding.  It was fun and then she gave up. It did stop bleeding after a bit. Moby was kinda sorry, but I was pestering him bunches. He doesn’t like to share space or chew toys. 

Today is pretty nice. I’ve been cuddling with mom, had breakfast and those yummy meds. We’re going outside every couple of hours and I’ve not had any accidents inside. I really thought the indoor soft carpeted pee area was too good to be true! Right now I’m drifting off to sleep on the couch with Moby. I think I’m gonna like life here! 

Keep stopping by to see how things turn out! 


Hazel  (formerly Dove)