Sunday, January 22, 2012

An alluring Adventure

The forecast for Saturday was for rain, and the forecast did not disappoint.   Saturday morning we headed down from Tennessee to Atlanta Georgia.  The final destination of our trip was to be a day of watching dogs chase plastic bags in Cartersville.  I've wanted to see some live lure coursing for some time and this weekend the South Eastern Greyhound Club was having a trial.  Given the weather was to be less that favorable for grey activities on Saturday, we opted to do some Atlanta based things on Saturday and watch the dogs on Sunday.  I have to give a shout out to a Persian Restaurant we tried called Persepolis Persian Cuisine.  Darn fine food and my wife (who is Persian) verifies its authenticity.    We also hit a little cafe near Cartersville for some refreshments.

By the end of the day Saturday we were all pretty tired but excited about what was to come.

The coursing club are a group of fine people.  The atmosphere was relaxed and reminded me a bit of our own grey play group.  They were well equipped though, with a full lure coursing rig and tent shelters etc.  The field was an expansive 20 acres and the ground was not hard.

Greys weren't the only dogs their either,  Whippets were also in attendance and they had a ball.

They greys had a pretty good time too.

Visitors to the group had the opportunity to do a fun run.  It was a straight line run with no turns across the field. Ricky was raring to go and just as I was supposed to release him he slipped his collar and went all on his own.  Ricky was all over this run and I think did really well.  

Kassa staged a little protest at the beginning by sitting facing away from the field.  Truthfully he just puts his back to the wind when it's cold, but it looked pretty funny none the less.   He wasn't much interested in the lure when it was laying on the ground but when it started moving he was after it.  Over all I think I was a less overwhelmed at the straight line runs then some, because I have seen my boys boogie before under different circumstances.  All in all though we had a great time, and I can definitely see my boys trying out a full course sometime in the future.  We didn't stay till the very end of the event as I needed to get back to a few things in Tennessee while there was a little daylight left.  As such, we got to enjoy the trip back through Chattanooga in much better than the zero visibility that we had on the way down.

Many thanks to John Parker and the other folks at the Southeastern Greyhound Club for holding a great event.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winter Gathering

Every winter GPA-Nashville holds a greyhound event called "The winter gathering".  When ever I hear that title I think that I should be donning a dark rob and heading for Stonehenge.  In reality however it is just a bunch of greyhound crazy dog folks gathering together to shop for greyhound paraphernalia and let the dogs play together.  Winter gathering is also the time of the great greyhound race.  Last year I was very proud that Beth Anne (another grey-play dog)  won the fastest run at 34mph.  I was also not so secretly devastated that  my boy Kassa, who is normally a very motivated runner, basically trotted up the track while high five-ing all his adoring fans on the way.  This year I had Ricky as well, and my boys were the first two race.  Now Ricky has been training himself for this moment.  I don't have to do much as I throw the Frisbee once and he runs around like a bucking bronco for a while until he decides I need to throw it again.

So Ricky and Kassa lined up together and I stood at the other end of the track and held the dog that was running around loose without a watcher.  My friends Tony and Lisa provided me with their most powerful sqeeky toy which the boys found entirely captivating.

They called the start and off they went.  It was over before we could get in an actual action shot, but Kassa clocked in at a respectable 28mph and Ricky clocked in at 31mph.  Truthfully I think most of the dogs can and do run faster than those rates, but in that short distance, before they put on the breaks, that's where they are at. 

Through out the heats Ricky's time held.  Most of the other dogs outside our grey play group also did really well.  Specs and Beth Ann ran 30mph and 29mph.  Tequila also ran in the mid to high 20's.  At the end of it all  Ricky was tied with one other grey (whose name sadly escapes me) at 31mph.  They had a run off.  They clocked Ricky at 31 again and the other dog clocked at 30mph.  Yeah! Ricky Wins!.  Now I will point out that the accuracy of this is somewhat sketchy as they only had one radar gun so I'm not sure how they know exactly which dog hit 31. It may be that the top speed was 31 and Ricky ended in front.  Anyway... at a minimum Ricky clocked in with the fastest time, and that time was shared with one other dog.

 After the event, when all the zipping around and sniffing had ceased, Ricky and Kassa hit the dog beds.

Now I know it shouldn't matter how fast your pet runs, and that it is all in fun...., but I'm going to enjoy the bragging rights anyway :).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Love at first Roo

Although we had a nice relaxing holiday, certain aspects of it were disappointing as both our Christmas and New Years Eve plans were a bust.  Luckily New Years Eve day was uncommonly gorgeous for this time of year and I was able to martial an impromptu grey play meet with Tequila and Beth Anne.  
One of Beth Anne's talents is her ability to roo.  For those not familiar with greyhound vocabulary this is basically singing or howling like a wolf.  Not all grey's do it.  I have played youtube videos of other greys rooing and although interested, my boys didn't join in.  Well this week Beth Anne's mom started off a roo fest and low and behold, Kassa joined in the song.  He was rooing with the best of them.  Tequila and Ricky barked percussion while Beth Anne and Kassa carried the melody.    I think it was a love song, because my aloof boy became interested in Beth Anne and vis versa.  They enjoyed a long friendly game of chase and play, zipping around, cutting each other off, and zipping off again.  The other two dogs watched in wonder.

I'm really happy to see Kassa enjoying the field again (since his collision with Ricky).  He is playing a lot more with the other dogs and will even run around with Ricky as long as Ricky isn't in pursuit of a projectile.
When we got home later we tried to get Kassa to sing again.  He looked at me like I was completely insane.  I guess he saves his songs for someone he can harmonize with.
Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you all have a wonderful year blessed with health, wealth and happiness.