A local Rhodesian Ridgeback club was having a fun practice day and we were invited to bring our dogs to a lure-coursing practice in the beautiful town of Lovettsville, VA. Always excited to see and try a new dog-related activity, off we went at 7:00a this morning.
There were about 20 Rhodesian Ridgebacks and every one of them knew exactly why they were there. Charged up and ready to run, they were excited to get the morning started. I wish I would have gotten some of them on video so you could see just how graceful and powerful these dogs are when they run at full-speed, chasing the little plastic bag (lure) as it zips around the field on a small piece of rope.
Dogs under a year shouldn't do a full course. It's too jarring on their still-developing joints. This club has a special course for puppies. It's a short, straight course without turns. They pull the lure slowly (thank goodness – Talos isn't what you'd call fast. Or graceful.) to keep the pups at a reasonable speed.
Alas, all I have is video of Talos taking a "puppy fun run." While it's cute to watch a puppy do just about anything, it's not even close to what lure coursing looks like. I'll post the video shortly.
I do have some footage of Nemo, too, but it's almost as bad as Talos' run! Toward the end of the morning, though, Nemo was getting that the point of lure coursing was to chase the lure. He liked to run out a bit, then would look over his shoulder to see where we were. If he'd run too far away, he'd leave the traveling lure and make a bee-line back to us. With Dana running the course with him (what a great husband I have!), Nemo finally made a successful run! And Dana got his cardio in for the day!
Despite being the only people without a Ridgeback (or two), everyone made us feel very welcome. We feel like we made many new dog friends, as well as people friends today.