Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Hotel

Blogging about this past weekend's coursing wouldn't be complete without some pictures or video from the hotel experience. We had five Greyhounds and two women in one room with two double beds for one night! Here is Sugar playing possum. She was no more asleep than I was!

And here is some pretty uncoordinated video recorded by me as we were getting back to the room after dinner (and drinks) and as we were getting attacked at the door by the dogs.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Coursing

This past weekend we motored down to Moreland, Georgia to Bear Creek Farm for Southeastern Greyhound Club's (SEGC) Run for Rescue and the Lucy-Foxey Cup trials. Bear Creek Farm is a beautiful 2,000 acre farm nestled in the backwoods of Coweta County not far from Newnan. I wish I had some decent shots of the farm as it is spectacular. Unfortunately, the land owners (Hal and Linda Barry) were away for the weekend attending a Steeplechase in Aiken, South Carolina so we didn't get a chance to chat with them as we usually do. However, they are intrigued with the lure coursing sport and enjoy watching the dogs run and I'm sure wished they had been there! We will be back at that field in October so hopefully they will be there then.

SEGC held a regional awards dinner that evening at a local restaurant so I had decided to stay over at a local motel so that I could attend the dinner. My friend Heather and her Greyhounds Seka and Roxy also stayed with us. Yep, two women and five Greyhounds! What a party! Actually they were all very good girls. We couldn't have asked for anything more than that except maybe a ground floor room. Next time I'll remember that!

Anyhoo, coursing on Saturday was pretty interesting. The course was 920 yards I believe. And the weather was hot, the ground was dry, and the dogs were impressive. Lucy had a good morning run and a good afternoon run. I have forgotten her scores but will get those posted here this evening.

Here is a video of her morning run, I believe. I think my next toy will need to be a camcorder so that I can shoot better long distance videos! More toys and more toys - it never seems to end but I'm sure I would get terribly bored if it did!

At the end of the day, Lucy wound up in a three-way tie for 3rd place, 4th place, and NBQ (5th place). One dog forfeited so I decided to run her for the third time that day to determine the 3rd and 4th place winners. We really wanted to come in 3rd because of the points we would be awarded. You don't get any points after 3rd place - only a ribbon.

Here is a shot of her and her opponent after the initial release, going full-steam ahead chasing the plastic bunnies. And I believe this was the final run-off for 3rd-4th place.

This was taken with my new camera. I have a zoom lens ordered which is on the DHL truck as I type this. I can't wait to work with it! I image I'll be able to get some excellent shots.

The picture below is after Lucy had come in from the run-off and me trying to get her slip lead on her to walk her out before I took her to get some water, get her coursing blanket off and get her cooled down. BTW, she did end up in 3rd place - yeppie!

This was also the day that Heather's Seka ran a practice run. She tried to practice Roxy who would have no part of it. Seka ran beautifully, even if she is missing a toe on one of her back feet! She then entered Seka in Singles for Sunday's trial. Her total score for the day was 310 which was outstanding. Heather is definitely hooked on the sport now, even more so than Seka is, I think. I expect they will be at the May trials in Cartersville.
It truly is just plain, good, clean fun both for the humans who partake and definitely for the hounds. It does get competitive though which just adds some spice to the mix if you ask me!

Oh, I didn't run Lucy on Sunday because during the run-off on Saturday she busted the big pad on one of her back feet. I've been nursing it ever since and thank goodness that is the least serious injury that can occur on the coursing field and one that heals rather rapidly.

I've increased Lucy's training regime - with all this new up and coming talent we don't really have a choice! We'll be ready for May's trials though, so watch out!
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another Successful Day Lure Coursing

And by successful, I mean that there were no injuries. Unfortunately that is always in the back of one's head when you slip your dog and they tear off going what, like 45 miles per hour, chasing the plastic bunnies. But it's the risk you take to be able to see your dog enjoy something so much. Even more so than the marrow bones if you can believe that!

We coursed on Sunday, March 16th, because we were suppose to be in the St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, March 15th however due to the tornados that hit downtown Atlanta Friday night, the parade was cancelled. Bummer, for sure! My girls were all ready, outfits all prepped, and I had made a gazillion peanut butter cookies in the shape of shamrocks for the Greyhounds participating in the parade. Not to worry, they aren't going to waste!

Back to coursing . . . there were only three Open dogs that day and Lucy came in first again! She ran the course so fast, it was unbelievable. The morning preliminary run was good, however, she slipped and tumbled. I think she just lost her footing. She immediately sprang up and sighted the lure and continued on as if nothing had happened. During the fall she apparently broke the elastic neck binding to her coursing blanket. As she was coming in "for the landing" as I call it, it appeared she had no blanket on at all. In fact she did still have it attached to her waist. It was flapping in the breeze behind her and honestly, once she stopped running, it looked like a skirt. Absolutely too funny. She must have impressed the judges with her running style, skirt and all, because they scored her the highest of the three Open runs that morning.

The afternoon run was just as spectacular but thank God, no mishaps occurred. She scored the highest then as well and combined, of course, put her in First place for the day. I believe her final combined score was 310. She was eligible to run for Best in Breed against the Parker's dog Cole, but John and I decided to flip a coin instead, thus sparing the two dogs from having to run the course again. John won the toss so Cole was awarded the Best in Breed ribbon. I should have run Lucy as she certainly could have done it and could have beat Cole but then the course was so horrible for Greyhounds that I was thankful the day was over! By the way, her final score of 310 was about 6 points higher than any of the final scores of the two Field Champion dogs, including that of Cole. That Lucy is phenomenal! And fast - it scares the bageebies out of me!

Here is a shot of Lucy later that evening. Now tell me, is that a tired pup? Looking at the head shot I'd almost think it looks like my dear Lucy needs braces on her teeth! Naw, we won't go there. Been there done that myself and it ain't fun!

Here is a shot of Savannah, my Ragdoll kitty. She is also SEGA's official cat tester. Now, how official does she look? I love that cat. I've always referred to her as my "cat dog" because she is so "dog-like" in her mannerisms. I can call her and she'll come running. Seriously. She so badly wants to go out to potty with the Greyhounds but we all know that "Greyhounds plus kitty in the big outdoors" do not mix well. It definitely wouldn't be a pretty sight. So, she just lives out her "dog wanna be" fairytale life inside the house with her three Greyhounds whom she adores. And they adore her!

And lastly, here is a head shot of Lucy. She looks as if she is posing. See, she can do Meet and Greets, do Pet Therapy, Lure Course with the best of them, and even Model. Very versatile! Ha!

All of these pictures were taken with my new Canon Rebel XTi EOS Digital SLR Camera (10.1 MP). Wow, that's a mouthful to say! I'm quite pleased with the camera thus far but I certainly have alot to learn about it. This isn't quite like the point and shoot Kodak I've been using!

I think a photography class is in my future!

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lazy Sunday - Well, For Some!

I spent most of Saturday and a great bit of today outside enjoying the wonderful weather. Enjoying as much as I could while also doing yard work. It needed to be done and it was a great relief to get most of it done before the Spring really hits. I have to remulch the flowerbeds, put out some fertilizer, and get the garden prepped for planting. That's the garden behind Lucy (who is being lazy). I hope to plant some beans, new potatoes, broccoli, maybe some lettuce and God knows what else. I really enjoy having a garden. I can grow most anything and usually try something off the wall every year. One year I grew some cotton. Yep, the hardest thing about that was finding the seed! I had to order it off the Internet. Even the local Feed and Seed stores don't have cotton seed! You should have seen the looks I would get when I would ask! It was quite funny!

Anyway, with lure coursing and my volunteer activities it's been difficult to have a garden the past few years but I'm determined to get one going this year. I think I can do it. I have to be diligent in getting out there and getting the soil amended and then getting some seeds and plants in the ground before it's too late.

I even have this wonderful tiller - it's a Mantis. It's called "a woman's tiller" because it's so easy to handle. You just hang on and walk it around and try not to run into the fence with it! It really does an excellent job. My brother had to use it a few years back when he and my Dad built my patio for me out of a gazillon 2' x 2' pavers. He thought it was most awesome. I do, too!

While I was working my butt off (I guess hard work never hurt anyone), the dogs took the opportunity to rest and then rest some more. Sugar, shown here on the left, isn't passed out but is really sunbathing. She loves doing this. In fact, her bums are a bit sunburned now. It happens all the time because her bums aren't the furriest so it's basically bare skin there. I should have put sunscreen on her and have done this numerous times before.

Remi also enjoyed a bit of sunbathing. She doesn't get sunburned but I think she is getting "age spots" on her belly. That's what they look like to me - just dark spots. I should probably put sunscreen on her as well. At one point I looked around and Remi was roaching next to Sugar with all four legs straight in the air, using Sugar to prop her up because they were on an incline. It was too cute! Those two love each other so much. They'll lay together and can actually "touch" legs or paws and not freak about it. On the other hand, Sugar and Lucy are like that as well. Remi just deals with Lucy, I think. She likes her okay but she isn't that fond of her, not like she is of Sugar. Guess that's what time will do as Sugar and Remi have been together 4-5 years and Lucy has only been here 1 year. It'll all work itself out in the wash, I suppose.

I must say how jealous I was watching the dogs just lounge around being lazy in the sun like lizards out on rocks on a warm afternoon. I remember the days when I could also lounge around on the beach growing up, with not a care in the world. Oh how I cherish those days! I know Remi, Sugar, and Lucy are cherishing their lazy afternoons as well.

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