I’m writing this post while sitting on a semi-uncomfortable bed in a hotel room nearly 400 miles from my home. It’s my birthday this week and as my present to myself I took a mini-vacation to Central New York to visit with friends and go lure coursing. To say the weekend was awesome would be a total understatement. We hung out with good friends we hadn’t seen in year, Rio got to lure course his little heart out, Shayne “outed” a peanut butter cookie she found in the ground (after it was in her mouth!), Shayne didn’t react to a Borzoi who barked and lunged (play-bow lunge) at her, Rio and Shayne were great with their old friend Risa… the list goes on.
Last year, when I was living in NY, I would drive the 20 minutes a few times a week to meet up with a friend and her dog, Risa. Shayne and Risa get along okay… they can co-exist easily and enjoy each others company… but they don’t interact much. It took us some work to get them to be so good together but they are now quite sound. When I added Rio to the family, Risa was smitten (eventually LOL). They became fast friends and actually played and interacted beautifully. Well, after a year of not seeing each other, I was unsure how the reunion would go. It was beautiful. As Risa came around the corner Rio became a ball of wiggles and even Shayne had her tail going a mile a minute. What was so telling was that Shayne wasn’t super interested in sniffing… she really just knew who it was and was immediately chill. Rio and Risa flirted for quite some time… they love each other! It was as if they hadn’t been a part at all… Risa got a little upset and snarked at Rio who was right next to Shayne–this could have easily caused Shayne to snark back and things to escalate… but no one escalated the issue and it fizzled. I’d almost say that was better than where we were the last time we saw each other!
Maybe the biggest “HOLY COW I LOVE MY DOG” moment came early in the weekend with Shayne. I was leaving my hotel room and I turned my back to Shayne to shut the door and when I turned around I saw her start lift her head and chomp something. I had noticed a cookie on the ground earlier… I told her “out, OUT!” and she reluctantly spit out the peanut butter cookie! It was in her mouth, had been chomped in half and she STILL dropped it (and she loves peanut butter cookies). I was in shock… I didn’t have any food to reward her with so I gave her butt skritches … I couldn’t believe she spit it out!
Our awesome weekend culminated in a fantastic day of lure coursing with Donna Devoist of Wylde Pups Gentle Dog Training. Lure coursing, if you’ve never heard of it, has a few different types of events. Sometimes you’ll see dogs chasing the lure through an obstacle-type course (some short jumps, tires, tunnels, etc), sometimes it’s a judged event (where they look at the pursuit, drive, speed, etc, and sometimes it’s a simple, for the love of the chase, type event where the dogs simply follow a lure around a course. The type of coursing we have done is the latter and we love it. It’s a shame we have to travel so far to course, but the only coursing place I could find near me does not allow lurchers to run (lurchers being sighthound mixes), they are a sighthound only club. I will say, it’s absolutely worth the trip!
Rio simply lives to chase that plastic bag. He barks non-stop and is at the height of his drive… it’s pretty amazing to watch him go. I must boast that he is a ridiculously beautiful mover…. he’s got a beautiful and crazy powerful stride. When I watch him run, I’m just in awe of his movement… it’s just gorgeous. He definitely has a very whippet-y gait and movement. It’s really incredible watching him do what he loves to do naturally. His very first time on the lure he was less than a year old and was all over it… wasn’t as fast and was a little bouncy but boy oh boy did he love it.
Shayne, on the other hand, really doesn’t get it. She has no idea why he goes nuts over a garbage bag. The thought of running her tail off just for the sake of running does not appeal to her… if there were a disc or ball on the lure, then maybe she’d go after it… but even then, who knows. Even though she doesn’t course… she still has lots of fun at the event and normally does a frisbee demo at some point to get the chance to run and have fun.
Here’s a video of our coursing weekend…