At this point, Grandma has decided that Katie will just watch
Now, let me tell you a little bit about this very, very special lure. It's a plastic grocery sack. So, here I am, about to take my Siberian off leash, with a 4' fence along one side of the course, and expect them to chase a stupid little plastic bag...yards away from me...I mean, so far that they're a little speck in the grass. Have I lost my flippin mind? (No need to answer that!)
So, up went Frosty. First off, I'd forgotten NO FLEXIES...and I didn't have any other leashes with me. Ok, we were forgiven that faux pas after I swore NEVER to do it again. Sean took Frosty over to the start and I watched him get ready to release her...FROM HER COLLAR! ACK. No leash, no collar...Siberian? Again, I wondered, had I lost my flippin mind? (Again, no response required). Pat, managing the lure controls, scooted it back and forth to get Frosty's attention..and boy did she. Frosty danced in place in anticipation of capturing that amazing lure. Then, she was off! My heart in my throat, Grandma standing by with a noisy bag of treats...I watched my little girl race around the course...chasing a plastic bag! Her focus was amazing...and she followed the entire course and came back to the start point, got to jump on the bag and was re-leashed by Daddy and given a treat by Grandma.
Now I'm feeling more confident. My first off leash, off collar lure coursing run and I have my dog back, safe and sound in her crate. Of course, we had to buy one of the spiffy, quick release, lure coursing collars so we had the right equipment
So, after the success with Frosty, we're feeling pretty confident. So, Ice is up next. I cautioned the gal with the Italian Greyhound to hang onto her dog, Ice has a pretty good prey drive and I wanted to be able to come back. She assured me she'd hang on to her dog
Next it was Satinka's turn. My biggest concern was that she'd get bored 1/2 way around (at the absolute farthest point from me) and go exploring the park. Holy COW. Talk about focused. Satinka ran this course like she was born to it, cornering like a pro, turning and following that lure every foot of the way. I couldn't believe her aptitude for this game. And, quite a game it was for her. When she got to the end, she pounced on the lure (good thing they're cheap) and managed to get a piece of it before Daddy got ready to catch her and crate her up. Oh boy, now for Tink's favorite game...chase me! But the rattle of treats in Grandma's hand proved to be too much to resist and Satinka was safely collared and re-crated.
Now it's Katie's turn. Grandma wasn't sure about turning Katie loose, but after seeing Satinka the Brat, I was feeling pretty confident that Katie'd do just fine. Sean took her collar off and the lure took off....but, hey, over here...some loose dirt by the starting spot... We all laughed as Katie let the lure take off while she explored the loose dirt...hey, after all, a pile of dirt v. having to chase a plastic bag? No contest, right? The lure started on it's merry way, unthreatened by a chasing dog. Pat brought it back, ran it back and forth to get Katie's attention again and then they were off! Katie didn't run with the drive of the other three...but she chased that darn lure until she caught it...and then went back to the safety of her crate (I could see Grandma's relief).
So, all four dogs ran and we decided to give Tinks and Ice another go. Tinks was first. Quivering with anticipation...dancing from foot to foot..begging Daddy to let go of her, she waited impatiently. Then it was her turn again. The lure took off...and the black and white blur that was Satinka took off with it...all the way around, although this time she let the lure take some corners and she shortcutted to try and cut it off (no one said she was stupid
Ice was our final run of the day. He'd been watching all afternoon and he WANTED that lure. So, off he went, my 7 1/2 yr old, harness banging, wheel dog. He had a good run...but, somewhere toward the end, the lure got far enough ahead of him that he got distracted...uh oh. No problem...Pat reversed the lure to get it back in front of him...but he's running backwards on the course...after a little feather or something tied on the line...to heck with that plastic bag, he found something smaller to chase... After much laughter (although I'll admit mine was nervous laughter) eventually he targeted the lure again and came on in, happy as could be.
There wasn't a peep out of them on the way home...they slept like logs. We had a great time and I can't wait to take some of the dogs out again. If you'd told me on Friday that I'd be turning one of my Siberians loose, with no collar in a park that I hadn't walked the fence line, that had a temporary 4 foot plastic fence along one side...I'd have told you that you were crazy...but, maybe I'm the crazy one?