It is time for another update on ABTCR Alum “EDEN (the Elf)” who was adopted in September 2016. We have been in our house for about a year and Eden is settling in, but is always within eyesight of me. The yard is now fenced in, however, Eden is not so keen about being out there on her own. I thought she would love running around in the yard in the morning while I got ready for work, but no. I tell her how lucky she is and how many of her hound kin would love a fenced in yard like she has. But she wants to be where I am.

We are making progress on her separation anxiety. I can leave her alone for about 90 minutes or so and do some errands. She still comes to work with me although I do try to bring her to dog daycare 1 day a week. I do not know if I’ll ever be able to leave her alone in the house for extended (3- 8 hours) amounts of time, but for now that is not a priority. We will continue to work on building her independence and sense of security in the house.

Eden is doing very well in nose work. We compete in AKC (American Kennel Club) Scent Work and Eden now has all of her Advance titles and is now working at the Excellent level. In AKC Excellent there are now 3 odors (Birch, Anise and Clove) and 3 hides in each search element: Containers, Interiors, Exteriors and Buried. We also started competing in NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work). This venue has different challenges. The search areas are more complex and you have to enter and pass all four search elements at the trial in order to earn your title. The searches are Vehicles (outside only), Exterior, Interiors and Containers and at level 1 the odor is birch and there is one hide. I am so happy to say that Eden the Elf earned her NW1 title on her first try! I was so proud of my girl working in a new environment. 37 teams were entered and only 19 teams titled. The attached two photos from the NW1 trial were taken by Lindsey Smith (used with permission). When we go to nose work trials, Eden and I do represent American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue – I always wear one of my t-shirts and now my hat.

This summer we are working on tracking. Eden is very close to being ready to enter an AKC tracking dog test. Her human partner, not yet. I need to work on reading Eden’s body language better. In particular what does Eden do (looking at her head, tail, and gait) when she makes a correct turn so that I believe her? What does she do when she misses a turn? What does she look like when she is casting for the track in a complicated environment (ex. wind, water, terrain)? How can I help her recover and find the track again? I am amazed at Eden’s skill in scent detection. I love watching her work and do activities that she (and the other hounds) were bred to do.

Rita Monde

1 June 2019

Eden is doing very well and is rocking it in Nosework. In AKC she now has all her Novice search titles and only needs 1 more qualifying score in Advance interior searches to have all her advance titles (Containers, Exterior, Buried, Interior). We are also doing tracking and well - Eden is more interested in sniffing (and sniffing all around) rather than locking into the human scent trail and following that. We have only been doing tracking since October and our very patient instructor says this is normal. Once she does get on the scent, she does track well. It is just getting her into "the game" sooner.

I attached a few pictures. One is of her most recent Ribbon Haul at the Obedience Club of Daytona FL May trial where she finished her Novice Exterior, Advanced Exterior, Advanced Container titles and got 2 legs towards her Advanced interior title. The other is an "action shot" from our nosework class. In the picture with the bell, the hide was under the bell - Eden usually uses her paw to indicate where the hide is located.

We are still working with her separation anxiety but we are slowly taking steps forward. I am hoping the final key to diminishing her anxiety is a house. Yes, I bought Eden a house. If she is a very good girl, Santa should be able to deliver a 6ft high privacy fence for our back yard in December or January. We need to take care of some trees first - and hopefully before a hurricane decides to do it for us!

Rita Monde

3 July 2018

On September 29, 2016 Eden came into my life. I drove up to Tallahassee to meet Eden and her foster mom and finalize the adoption of my new hound girl. Her description on the website said she was petite, but she looked so much bigger in the pictures. I was struck by how small a 40 lb coonie is – my previous dog was ~ 65 lb and boy do 25 pounds make a difference! But she had those big hound ears and those eyes that just totally pulled at my heart. After a short get acquainted meeting in a hotel room, I put Eden in my car and we drove 8 hrs to South Florida – her new home.

It has been a rocky year – Eden has a bad case of separation anxiety. We are working with a vet behaviorist on that and there are small signs of progress. I am fortunate that I have a lifestyle and a job that accommodate this issue. I learned quickly that Eden is an excellent football cuddle buddy and does not get riled when the humans get upset when our favorite team fumbles the game away.

Fortunately, Eden does well at dog day care; she is friendly and gets along well with other dogs. On the days I take her to work, she goes into her crate (her office) and naps the afternoon away. I live in an area that has a lot of restaurants with outdoor dog-friendly seating and Eden is always a well-behaved dining companion.

After two basic good manners classes, Eden and I enrolled in a Nosework class. We entered an AKC Scent Work trial in Ocala and she did AWESOME. We were entered in the Novice A class for Container (box) Search and Buried search. Eden earned her title (SBN) in Novice Buried hides and her 3 qualifying scores placed her 5th, 3rd and 1st in the Novice A class. We got 2 of the 3 qualifying scored needed for her Container search title and one of them was a 2nd place.

Eden is a very cool dog and I hope in time she will learn to trust me, and herself, and be comfortable being alone, just for a short time. I love her dearly and will take care of her.

Rita Monde

19 December 2017