The sport of Lure Coursing … maybe in the Spring, definitely not in the Winter.
(That pun would be so much better with a photo or two to illustrate it, but I can’t run my dogs and photograph them at the same time. Sorry for the let down.)
Have you ever been lure coursing? This is a super fun sport! It goes like this:
This guy has this nifty little motor thing:
The motor operates a zippy fast nylon line that has these attached to the end:
All dogs want these things.*
(*”all dogs” does not include Winter)
These dogs REALLY want those things:
So you set some of them doggies up on this end of the field:
and then motor guy makes the plastic bag bunnies run away, and all hell breaks loose!
It’s pretty amazing … the dogs are SO FAST! They really want those plastic bag bunnies in the worst way, so they run like stink. That’s some exciting shit.
Unless you are Winter. If you are Winter, you are either way too smart to confuse a plastic bag with a bunny, or you are way too stupid to figure out the rules of what is probably the easiest game in the entire world.
Each of my dogs got two turns today – first separately and then as a team. Spring’s first turn was pretty sketchy because while chasing the “bunny” was kind of fun, there was a stranger THAT MUST BE BARKED AT! BARKBARKBARK! at the finish line waiting to catch her, so she turned around and came back to me and grumbled about the strange lady being a bunny hog.
So for Winter’s turn, I let someone else loose him at the start line and I waited for him at the end, thinking it would encourage him to run in my direction. Except the “course” is L-Shaped, and I guess when he was dragged (against his will, thankyouverymuch) around the corner of the “L” to the start, he assumed I had disappeared out the gate we entered through, so he ran straight to the gate and then tried desperately to dig his way out. Fuck the plastic bag bunny!
For their next turn, I decided to run them together, hoping it would engender some confidence…after all, they hunt real bunnies together, so I thought maybe they’d be bolder if they chased the plastic bag bunny as a pair. I got them all hyped up and the bunny took off – Winter ran in the opposite direction and started frantically peeing on ANYTHING he could find. Spring, OTOH, chased the bunny for a little while, but her Invisible Mommy Bungee Cord is apparently only 50 feet long and she then had to come back to me.
So not so successful at lure coursing, akshully. Apparently there is something that goes by the nefarious name of The Squawker that can be attached to the bunny and this gets the bloodthirsty Sighthound juices flowing, which we will try with Spring next time. Alas, next time will be most like be some time in the Spring, as this was the last practice of the year. I always jump on the bandwagon too late :(
There is however a lure coursing trial next month, and I am thinking about renting a really good telephoto lens and attending to photograph it. Mine just can’t handle high speed and low light, plus its focus is being all funky lately, so getting decent shots was a challenge. Not being rich enough to buy expensive photo toys sucks.
Still, we had fun. It was really cool to see the super fast dogs do their super fast thing.
I know it’s kind of redundant to say, but they are really built for this kind of game/sport. I mean, everyone knows that already, but then you see it in action and it’s like, wow!
But this group is very accommodating. A few years ago I contacted a breed specific sighthound group that I knew did lure coursing and inquired about setting up an all-breed lure coursing day as a fundraiser for their club. My SINGLE GOAL in contacting them was to find a sport for Wootie in his pre-fat days.
Come on, you know you want a piece of this sumpin’-sumpin’, chubby chaser!
The group rep essentially replied that their dogs were awesome, all other breeds – especially mutts – sucked and they had no interest in playing with us. Harumph.
The folks in this group recognize that a) lure coursing is a not-very-popular sport and b) people can only get interested in it if they play it and c) most people don’t have sighthounds so d) if they invite people to play, they will like it, and buy sighthounds, and the sport will get more popular. They were incredibly welcoming and friendly, even though my dogs sucked. I bet Wootie would have been AWESOME at it. I almost brought him, but I was afraid I would be shamed because he’s so fat!
Anyway, we were invited because our friend TDBCR Skye plays, along with some other mixed breeds.
Skye is AWESOME at it!
This Great Dane X German Shepherd Dog – also awesome!
Even the Doodle put my dogs to shame!
So yeah, it was good times. We’re psyched about going back next year.
Teeny Martine tagged along too, because on the way home she got her stitches out.
She says her face is feeling much better, thank you!
She continues to be a most delightful puppy. I enjoy fostering the littles when they need me, but there is something about a herding breed puppy that just trumps them all. She is so much more connected, and personable somehow. She’s wonderful, I will miss her greatly when she is ready to leave me.
Piper won’t miss her either, because MOOOM, she has the ball AGAIN.
And because you often complain that you can’t tell how small my dogs are, here is a photo that gives you some scale. Spring is slightly larger than a 3 month old Collie pup, and Wootie is slightly taller than a Spring.
There. Now you can sleep at night :)