Fun with dogs

Sunday, May 22, 2011

First CAT legs for both Boxers!

While I'm a little behind on my agility updates, I do have some great news from yesterday.  Both boxers picked up a Coursing Aptitude Test (CAT)  leg yesterday.  My local all-breed club consists of a LOT of sighthound owners.  As a result, they do a lot of lure coursing trials.  Yesterday afternoon (Saturday), they held their first CAT.  It was limited to 25 dogs, and run at the end of the first day of their lure coursing trial.  The premium suggested we show up at 2, I got there a little before noon because I'd planned to help out if needed.

Well, when I arrived, I could tell things were running late.  They had an unusually large number of entries for the regular trial, so the CAT wasn't going to start until much later.  Thank goodness it was a breezy, 58 degree, overcast day, so I could crate the boxers comfortably in the car.  We sat around and chatted with friends for a while, and watched some dogs run.  A friend that graduated vet school a year ahead of me (Roberta) was running her Ridgeback at the trial.  Saucy (the ridgeback) was out running, somehow managed to "cheat" and jump across some brush, as well as catch herself on the line.  Lure coursing can be a dangerous sport.  When she finished her run, Roberta noticed Saucy had a laceration running vertically about 3-4 inches along her chest.  Neither of us had the materials to stitch up a laceration that big, so I told Roberta I had my vet clinic keys with me, and my clinic was 20 minutes down the road so we could go stitch her up there.  I knew I was risking missing my CAT runs with the boxers, but Roberta would do the same for me if my dog needed stitches.  We hauled butt down to the clinic, local blocked the area with lidocaine, then cleaned and stitched it up.  We made it back to the trial just in time for our runs.  Obviously poor Saucy is out of the trial for the weekend but at least we got it cleaned up and stitched up.

So after passing our lameness check (you have to gait the dog in front of two officials to make sure they are fit to run), we were set to course!  The boxers have been to practices before, Harry Potter has done a lot of practice coursing, but Lexi has only been to one.  Practices only consist of 100-150 yard straight courses.  The CAT was a 300 yard oval course for small dogs under 12 inches and brachycephalic breeds, all other dogs run 600 yrds.  I figured Harry Potter would do it, but I did wonder about Lexi.  Turns out I didn't have to worry.  She took off like a shot, chasing the bag with determination.

You see in the video that she almost caught the bag several times, the people watching were yelling at the guy running the lure to go faster. :)  I am quite sure he didn't expect such speed out of a boxer!  She ran the 300 yards in 30 seconds.  As she came around towards the end where I could catch her, I could hear her squealing at the lure.  Talk about an excited, happy boxer!  We passed, and she qualified for her first CAT leg.  For our title we need 2 more legs, which we hope to get in June.

Photos of Lexi from the professional photographer that was there

Harry Potter was up next, but I had no worries about him.  He's always been excited about lure coursing, to the point of screaming and lunging when the machine starts up.  He ran really well, was nice and tight with good follow.

He finished the 300 yrs in 27 seconds to get his first qualifying CAT leg.  Hopefully he will finish his CAT title in June as well.

Photos of Harry Potter from the professional photographer that was there. 

It was an awesomely fun day, spent with some great dog friends, and I can't wait to do it again in June!

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