I never thought all of the scenting games I had played with the Parti-Pair would turn into something so useful! One afternoon in late December, my husband had gone into our woods with his chainsaw to cut a new road. During the summer months the Partis and I often pile into the Kawasaki Mule and ride on the roads Glenn has made for us. In the winter, we walk these same roads.

After making his way through the woods for a couple of hours, cutting through limbs and logs as he went, Glenn noticed that the sky was overcast and that it was beginning to get dark. This time of year, nightfall comes early, quickly, and with a significant temperature drop. Glenn was not dressed warmly. He turned around to follow his trail of cut limbs back to the road where he had left the Mule. He had cut through the limbs and logs but had not moved them as he would come back later with the Bobcat. To his dismay, he could not detect a trail to follow.

(A true story -- re-created with pictures.)

Meanwhile, "back at the ranch," I was becoming uneasy that Glenn had been gone for so long. That's when I received his cell phone call. "Er, I think I'm lost. Get Jyah and Sydney to come find me."

After quickly donning coat and gloves and putting blaze orange vests and tracking harnesses on the dogs, the Partis and I hastened down the leaf covered road. A quarter mile down, where the road bends, we came to the Mule. "Find Daddy," I said to the Partis. In so short a time that I could scarcely believe they really knew what they were doing, the Partis struck off down the hill with me bouncing along behind them like a tin can tied to a bumper.

With noses down and tails aloft, the Partis followed the trail straight to a relieved (and somewhat embarrassed) Glenn. Scenting games have always been fun for the Partis but I never dreamt I would have to depend on them for something that could have had serious consequences.

After we were all safely home, Glenn said that as soon as he called me on his cell phone he felt very calm because he trusted totally that the Partis would find him.

And they did.