For almost a year now, I'd been meaning to go to one of these things, but for one reason or another (well, really just for the one reason: because I am lazy as hell), I never made it out there. So when my friend Danielle said she was interested in giving lure coursing a shot, I thought: finally! Now I'll have no excuse not to haul my lazy butt out there.
And lo, so we went. I actually thought we were going to be 45 minutes late (30 minutes my fault for sleeping in, 15 minutes Peter's fault for deciding at the last second that he wanted to come), but it turned out when we got there that the start time had been delayed for an hour because the grass was still too wet with dew for the dogs to run safely. So actually we ended up being 15 minutes early instead. Score!
Going in, my guess was that Crookytail would be interested in chasing the lures and Pongu might chase them for like 20 feet before giving up and coming back to me.
I got the general direction of their reactions right, but was way off as to the intensity.
Crooky locked on to the lures and got his laser-focused crazy eyes the first time he glimpsed the bags jerking on a test run through the orange fencing. When he finally got a chance to chase them, he was so excited that he actually pulled me off my feet, because I was not prepared for that level of drive coming from Crookytail.
And once he'd tasted the crazy dynamite joys of running after the lure, he was inconsolable about missing out on all the other dogs' runs. The parking lot faced the course, and Crooky could see the lure flying past from inside our car, so he bounced around inside and went insane with frustration that he couldn't be out there.
When I lined up for Pongu's turn, he finally couldn't stand it anymore, jumped out the open window, and ran to the start line. Peter hauled him back to the car and put the windows up a little higher so Crooky wouldn't be able to fit through them again, but that didn't stop the Crookydog. He pounded on the car horn to let us all know that he was Very Disappointed that it wasn't his turn, and then he tried to wriggle out of the partly closed windows and got stuck halfway through.
I had to borrow Danielle's crate and stick Crooky in Dog Jail to keep him out of trouble.
And then Pongu finally got his turn!
...which he didn't want at all.
Pongu didn't like the motor. He didn't like the rustling of the plastic bags. He was not interested in chasing the lure; he barely glanced at it even once the whole time. As far as Pongu was concerned, if we weren't going to do any real work, he didn't want to be there, and he wanted to leave. Immediately.
(I'm amazed Danielle got this one good picture of Pongu. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE. He was just a nutcase throughout, alternately trying to flee the ring and trying to punch me into going with him.)
Both dogs got a second turn, this time with both of them in the ring together, under the hopes that Pongu would see Crooky chasing the lure and be more confident about following the other dog's lead.
I forgot: Pongu never deigns to follow Crooky's lead. But that was all right; Crooky had plenty of fun without him. (Credit for all these pictures, like the previous one, goes to dogbirddaily.)
Guess I'll have to think about whether I want to go after a lure coursing title with Crooky, or just stick with the occasional fun run. Hey, he's finally got an actual sport he can do better than Pongu!