Sunday’s Beagle Racing was filled with highs and lows. The “lows” came in the racing itself. Just as Beanie was starting to regain her confidence after a series of unfinished races due to jostling and intereference from other dogs earlier in the season, she had another set back.
In the very next race it was clear her confidence had hit rock bottom again. As this was a handicapped points race she started out towards the back of the field – just a yard ahead of Murphy. Instead of going straight for the lure she immediately fell back and ran over to the far side of the track to avoid contact with the other dogs. She ran just fast enough to stay with the pack, but didn’t dare overtake any of the other runners. I’m kind of glad she did, because towards the end of the race more trouble kicked off and this time she was able to avoid it safely.
This kind of thing isn’t the fault of the dogs concerned in any way – they’re newbies who just don’t understand what racing’s about yet and are just playing. Nevertheless it’s a shame to see our normally bold and happy little girl afraid to do the very thing that she loves best. We talked to race organisers Jill and Graham after all the races were over and they came up with a plan to build her back up. This will mean missing a few of the normal races for a few weeks but it’ll be worth it to get Beanie’s confidence fully restored.
Anyway, now for the highpoint of the day. A few people have shown interest in trying agility with their whippets and Beagles so we took a selection of our portable agility kit up to the track. Earlier in the year while at Flyball we’d both noted that Beanie’s understanding of the game dramatically improved when the sides of the course were fenced in closely. We tried the same trick here. Susan made up a straight course involving a few low jumps and a tunnel, and with the help of Beanie’s favorite lure driver “Scooby” we ran fencing tightly along the sides. Once all the racing was over, Susan sent Beanie through the course to show everyone how it should be done.
I then sent Biggles through to show them how it shouldn’t be done (why jump over a pole when you can go straight through it? That’s my boy!)
Then the others had a go and as you can see some of them did extremely well!
A good few of the whippets also had a go. They all flew over the jumps effortlessly but most avoided the tunnel either by dodging around it, or in one spectacular case, jumping right over it!
Some of the whippets are clearly very fast learners, as illustrated by these shots of Maggie negotiating the jumps, followed by her little girl Suzie.
Note the leg position..
..and now compare with Suzie!
The best part of it for me was seeing one of Scooby’s little whippets bounding over the jumps after a tennis ball.
This poor little soul had smashed one of his front legs while running around the garden as a youngster and had never been able to join his pals on the track, but he did just fine on our little agility course. We’re planning to take the agility stuff again next week – it should be great fun.
You can see more pics and videos from Sunday at the following links: