We’re transitioning Magnum to trailing as he ages.  Although trailing is harder mentally on the dog, it’s not as hard physically.  Magnum is mature enough to handle the mental change. We did the same thing with Sierra as she got older.

K9 Magnum with his older sister Sierra.
K9 Magnum with his older sister Sierra.

On Tuesday, we responded to a search outlined in this article in the Kitsap Sun.

After being given a scent article, Magnum walked across the street from the man’s house, and then slowly out to Central Valley Road.  Once there, he didn’t take a direction.  We checked both sides of the road, and in both directions.  Then we checked a side street that went west.  Nothing.  Zip.  Nada.

I was a little disappointed, but we instead worked the ditches along a route that the subject had taken during one of his previous unaccompanied forays.

When the subject was found, some distance away, I had occasion to ask a very experienced bloodhound handler what her dog had done after being given the scent.  “He went across the street, wound his way to Central Valley and then didn’t take a direction.”  The exact same thing Magnum had done.

I was feeling sort of bad that Magnum hadn’t jumped on the trail and followed it.  But if the bloodhound also struggled, then it can be forgiven.  A small victory, or at least not a major failure.

We’ll probably never know whether the non-verbal subject somehow hitched a ride in a car to his destination, which would explain why his trail disappeared up at Central Valley.  That seems unlikely given that he left about 1am, but is possible.

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