A Day at the Dog Show (where the dogs talk)

Name: Western Classic Dog Show

Venue: Dogs West Show grounds, Western Australia

I have been to dog shows before and have worked at Crufts Dog Show as a veterinary nurse but the Western Classic Dog Show had to be the most enjoyable show I have ever been to.

Since meeting certain people in Australia, my imagination has taken on a whole new level and I freely admit to blaming Lexie, Denise Pringle, the Italian Greyhound Club of Western Australia, Fran in QLD with the QLD Iggies, and all the other doggy people that I hang around with and count as friends.

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Denise and Pippin – the influence to my imagination aside from Lexie

I did not know what to expect with this show but one thing that took me by surprise, well actually grabbed me by the arse I should say and that is how well all of the dogs were conversing and how much I was privy to overhear.

On arrival

I held Pippin while Denise took the crate from the car and loaded it up and then we made our way to where we would be setting up our stuff.

Pip selfie

Time for a selfie with me and Pippin!

It was a beautiful setting and there is something quite luxurious about going to a dog show that happens in the evening in an outside setting.

The cool temperature, the flood lighting which enables you to get good photography and there is no heat of the day to make it uncomfortable either.

Dogs trotted confidently up and down on the grass, the smell of perfumed grooming products filled the air, owners dressed in suits ready to show their dogs, dogs being wheeled by in their crates and the sounds of dogs barking to let everyone know that they were ready to do their best and that they had ‘arrived’.

Team Jeni Headquarters

We were to be placed in the same area as Jeni and her dogs, which was rather nice as I struck up a bit of a ‘thing’ with Dickens the white poodle who won me over with an accent just like ‘Manu from My Kitchen Rules’ (I have heard it is a fake French accent but I am not sure as it sounds pretty good).

‘Bonjour mon petite rosebud, ‘ow are you on zees wonderful evening’ Dickens asked me. He smelt of expensive aftershave and French cigarettes.

‘I am very well thank you’ I smiled politely.

‘I want to lick your neck, can I lick your neck, I do like a bit of neck before I go in to the show ring’ Dickens said in his smooth French accent.

‘Oh if you must’ I replied and before I knew it, Dickens was washing my neck and wafting his expensive aftershave in my face and asking for my mobile number.

Next to Dickens was a large black Afghan hound sitting on the table while Jeni preened and groomed him ready for his show.

Wearing flared trousers, and looking like a suave and sophisticated 70’s kid, you could almost envisage him listening to ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and doing a fabulous dance-off with John Travolta or something.

‘The name is Logan, how are you?’ He said politely and then as if bored by the whole situation; he didn’t wait for an answer and rested his head on his paws and went back to sleep while his Mum continued to groom him.

Also in Jeni’s section was a very handsome Italian greyhound called ‘Sting’ with genitals bigger than Brutus, actually Brutus would have severe genital-envy as this boy would make any boy-dog jealous.

Sting sat in his crate with a pink blanket and each time a dog walked by, he would growl, bark, attack his blanket and call it a ‘bastard’ and had I not seen it for myself, I would never have believed it.

‘What are you looking at ugly face? I shall kill you!’ Sting yelled at a pug and then promptly attacked his pink blanket and shook the life out of it until it had ‘died’.

‘Bastard, I hate you, you looked at me funny, you are nothing but a blanket to me and you will never take the place of my dear mother!’ Sting growled as he frantically shook his blanket and murdered it in between calling it rude names.

As a group of pugs walked by, Sting yelled at them for having no snouts. The pugs looked angry and flashed their pug bottoms at Sting causing him to kill his blanket again which made the pugs laugh at him and call him a ‘girl’.

Conversations Overheard

Sometimes in life it is not always what you see that makes it interesting but often what you overhear and my goodness I overheard stuff at this show that was said by the dogs in fact I had no idea that dogs could be so gossipy.

My head was buzzing because in my true ‘Dr Doolittle’ style, I could hear hundreds of canine voices all trying to talk over one another and there was no way of shutting them out either.

‘I think the judge may have been blind, I mean she walked like a donkey’ A female voice barked from her crate.

‘Well did you see the size of her belly, she has had far too much dog chow’ another voice growled.

‘That collar was SO last year, hasn’t she heard about Dee Cole’s Canine Company collars – they do ‘Fifty Shades’ collars you know, my Mum is buying me one’ said another dog.

Honestly, it was like the back of a catwalk show with the female dogs all discussing normal stuff like weight, appearance, ability or inability to walk, who had the latest collars, eating disorders and who was who in the dog world.

A Maltese with neatly trimmed furnishings (Lexie the dog groomer taught me that word), glided past as though she were on an electric rail.

‘Do you like my furniture?’ She asked passers by.

‘Don’t you mean FURNISHINGS darling!’ a Chinese crested giggled to her friends causing the Maltese to blush at such a public faux pas.

‘Do my thighs look chunky?’ a greyhound asked me as she walked past. Telling her that no, they didn’t look chunky at all, the greyhound smiled gratefully and then stared longingly at a little boy who was eating a sausage roll.

Talking of food, it was hungry work taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the dog show and I was already thinking about what to eat so Denise had very kindly bought me some hot chips and a can of energy drink to keep me going for the evening.

As I settled into my chair, I clutched my can and balanced my chips on my lap ready to replenish some energy; when I became aware that someone was staring at me.

‘I would like one of those chips, do they have salt on them?’ a beautiful keeshond asked me.

Then catching its owner looking, the keeshond suddenly said in serious voice ‘Are we showing yet?’

When the owner looked away, the keeshond glared at me and willed those hot chips almost to its mouth ‘Please give me some hot chips, I love hot chips’ and then pretended to admire the fluffy bits on a gang of Chinese crested whenever its owner looked in our direction.

I carried on eating my chips and tried to ignore the keeshond that was pleading with me to part with my hot chips but let me tell you it was no easy task as those eyes could have melted the contents of my entire freezer.

Team Pippin

‘Pippin, do you think you might win your class?’ Bronte asked her brother who was standing around taking in the scenery but inwardly was terrified, as he always got scared before a show.

‘I don’t know but please don’t keep on about it Bronte, I have enough to worry about.

‘The other dogs are talking about next weeks lure coursing already and I haven’t even got that organized’ Pippin sighed fretfully.

But there was no time for Pippin to fret any further as Denise wanted to take him to Dee’s stall – purely for a ‘look’ at the collars you understand.

*Please note that Denise is totally incapable of ‘just a look’ when it comes to buying doggy stuff and more to the point, she has got me at it too as I have earmarked a very nice Hells Angels cap for my Brutus*

Despite Pippin having a collar and leash collection to rival that of a rich girls wardrobe, he still came away with a collar somewhat resembling something out of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ only we called it ‘Fifty Shades of Pippin’.

Actually I saw one in purple and gold with leather lining for Brutus to give him the ‘Hugh Hefner’ look but didn’t have the cash to get it, which is as well as my husband would have disowned us all and blamed Dee Cole for her influence. We won’t tell my husband that I am in discussions with Dee as I type; for a bespoke collar for my Brutus, we shall keep that all to ourselves.

‘Does it suit me do you think?’ Pippin asked me, as he looked very self-conscious and more than a little proud.

‘You look very sexy, all the bitches will want you’ I reassured him.

‘He doesn’t want the girls, Pippin only likes boys’ Bronte giggled and then covered her mouth with her slender paw to hide the comment that slipped from her mouth because she had embarrassed her brother.

‘I think it suits you’ Dee’s rather handsome ridgeback barked giving an approving nod in Pippin’s direction.

Wearing what had now been officially termed his ‘Fifty Shades of Pippin’ collar, Pippin was proudly taken around the show grounds and his collar was admired by many and not just by the female dogs either.

‘Hello sweet thing’ A very camp Afghan said to Pippin, ‘Would you like to come to my kennel one day, loving the collar darling’ He shouted to Pip who was now more than a bit mortified and hid behind Denise as he was not used to big dogs fancying him.

Team Kim and Ian

I had decided to catch up with the lovely Kim and Ian Cross with their Afghan Eugene and Archie their Azawakh.

Eugene the Afghan was standing outside the ring being preened ready to go in. It is quite common for Afghans to wear 1970’s flared trousers, and dance across the show ring like John Travolta out of Saturday Night Fever. Basically they are 70’s children and bring an air of glamour to the scene that makes you stop and stare whether you want to or not.

If you don’t believe me, when you go to the next dog show, seek out the Afghans and start singing ‘Night Fever’ and watch those Afghans start wriggling their Afghan hips and waving their feathers and stuff and clicking their paws because these dogs are just born to dance.

‘Excuse me, but is my saddle fully plucked?’ Eugene demanded to his Mum Kim who was busy chatting to me.

‘I said is my saddle fully plucked?’ Eugene repeated as he did not like being ignored.

‘Looks OK to me mate’ a blonde Afghan shouted as it was trotted up and down in the ring and gave the thumbs up.

‘Thank you very much’ Eugene smiled politely at the blonde Afghan that looked like something out of a shampoo advert.

Archie the Azawakh was laughing with some other Azawakh’s at the side of the ring. Although still a puppy really, he looked like a giant with his long legs like a gazelle and slender brindle and white body with not an ounce of fat on him.

‘Is it time to play yet?’ Archie cried to Kim.

‘Shhh! Eugene is showing’ Kim whispered to him and beckoned for him to be quiet.

‘Nice saddle Eugene!’ Archie yelled to his brother.

Grinning at Archie, Eugene shouted back ‘You are just jealous, you can’t beat a nice saddle!’ which caused Logan to bark with laughter.

It was true as well, the Afghan coat is something to be admired and according to Eugene, hairdressers from all over the Universe seek to do hairstyles like a well-groomed Afghan. I am almost tempted myself to walk into my local salon and say ‘Can you give me the Afghan look please’ and then allow her to pluck my saddle and give me a good set of furnishings.

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The sheer elegance of a dog and handler working together

It’s a beagle thing

It is no secret of the fact that I love beagles, I love their soft velvet mouths, their ears, their facial expressions and their ability to look super innocent while being super naughty at the same time.

As Kim was showing me around the grounds, we had stopped to admire the beagles as it would have been positively rude not to admire them when they were so cute.

The beagles were standing in the show ring looking perfect in their pose but still with an obvious look on their faces that there was food somewhere in the vicinity somewhere and it had their name on it.

These beagles looked like something out of a science fiction film where one cute beagle had been cloned several times in a bid for world and food domination.

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The Beagles – don’t be fooled by their dignity, they just want your food

‘I can smell something like sausage, I really ought to go off and investigate’ said one beagle who was waiting for his turn to be judged.

‘Five more minutes and you can snout out the sausage’ the beagle next to him barked.

Several beagles in a crate were trying to bite the bars to get out. A rumour had been circulated that there were hot chips, sausages and everything that a beagle would love. Not to mention deliciously interesting scents around the grounds that would make for a good ‘snouting’ session.

‘You chew the bars and I will pretend to have diarrhea to cause a distraction’ a beagle whispered to his friends as another beagle bit on the bars of the crate in a bid to get out.

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Causing a distraction!

On hearing sounds of baying/howling, Kim and I turned to see a solitary beagle in his crate being wheeled across the grass while singing the song of his people and baying his head off.

‘Save your family, there is going to be a famine unless that sausage finds its way into my mouth right now!’

The owner ignored his cries and carried on wheeling him across the grass while he continued to shout for help.

‘Bring me here, bring me there and bring me back!’ he shouted in a deep voice.

‘Excuse me lady, I haven’t been fed in twenty years and unless you let me out, the whole world is going to end’ sobbed the beagle and then continued to howl to anyone that would listen and anyone that wouldn’t.

‘Famine! Famine I tell you!’ his cries could be heard across the grounds until he was wheeled past a group of whippets who giggled at such dramatics and called him a ‘big girls blouse’ for all the noise that he was creating.

Meanwhile the beagle clones in the show ring maintained their dignity while the beagle in the crate continued to do the song of his people.

But please don’t think that the beagle clones never picked up that scent of the sausage just because they didn’t portray any emotion, because if you looked carefully, you would have seen their noses twitching in a way that would rival that of military radar picking up the enemy.

Team Poodle

Kim had kindly offered to take me to see the poodles and I will admit that going in to this area was like stepping in to another world entirely.

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The glamorous and fabulous world of poodle (and lots of hard work)

The scent of expensive grooming sprays filled my nostrils while my eyes were met with the sight of impeccably groomed poodles being prepared to go in to the show ring.

I saw the most stunningly beautiful dogs that could be comparable to any work of art – it really was dog showing in another dimension.

White poodles and black poodles all wearing the finest of collars and leashes; sat either in their crates, or lay on grooming tables as they were in various stages of being perfected. Their owners were oblivious to everything around them except for doing the last minute finishing touches to their coats.

I overheard one lady saying how many hours she had spent working on her poodle and I didn’t doubt it either because the time, hard work and dedication that the owners put in sure was reflected in their dogs appearance.

The poodles were gossiping, sipping water and keeping a constant check on what was going on in their surroundings.

‘Did you see the kind of clip she turned up in, she looked as though two badly eaten doughnuts had been trimmed on to her rump’ a poodle giggled.

‘Oh my goodness gracious me, are you serious?’ another one replied.

‘Totally, it would have been quite adorbs (adorable) had it not been so funny’ growled the black poodle.

I stood there momentarily unseen by the others until one of them turned round and realized that I was there and then all of them turned round and stared at me in amusement because I had given them a temporary distraction.

‘Who are you? What are you doing in our tent?’ A beautiful white poodle with an accent like Joanna Lumley asked me.

‘Who is she? Who is SHE?’ Another poodle demanded in a shrill voice and then fanned her face dramatically.

The other poodles raised their heads briefly before losing interest and getting back to discussing diamond collars and stuff.

I have never heard such posh accents before and I don’t know what accents poodles normally speak in but this lot had full public school accents and sounded very nice with it although I will say that I felt quite common and somewhat grubby in comparison.

There was certainly no denying the glamour of the poodle tent, it was 100 percent ‘show dog’ and a bit like the back stage of a Moulin Rouge style show for dogs with regards to glamour and beauty.

And for me, it was a privilege to sneak in those couple of minutes watching the skill of the owners that work so hard to make their dogs look that way as well as getting a glimpse into the magical ‘world of Poodle’.

Team Kelpie

Four of the cutest beautifully conditioned kelpies I had ever seen were sat in their respective crates and in true kelpie fashion were all talking exceptionally fast and trying to out-talk one another.

‘Excuse me sweetie, you don’t have a spare sheep in your pocket do you?’ Asked a black kelpie.

‘Don’t be cheeky, that is SO cheeky!’ Snapped a chocolate kelpie who I learned was the alpha bitch.

‘What? I only asked for a spare sheep’ the kelpie responded looking mortally wounded at being called ‘cheeky’.

‘As if she would carry a sheep in her pocket’ the chocolate kelpie growled and then mouthed the words ‘sorry’ to me and shrugged her shoulders and then whispered ‘don’t suppose you have some hot chips in your pocket?’

‘Give us a kiss!’ a little black kelpie with the cutest ears I have ever seen; shouted through his crate and because I have a weakness for kelpies as I have one of my own, I found myself being lured into temptation so the black kelpie could give my hands a wash and tell me all about his day.

As I got up to leave; the kelpies went back to discussing sheep, toys and food and were talking so fast that I could barely understand them but that is the thing with cattle dogs, sheep dogs you see – too busy to let time stay still and if they can’t herd it, they talk about it instead.

Irish Wolfhound

‘Watch out people, I am coming through!’ barked a deep booming voice of an Irish wolfhound.

Trotting along like a small pony, this stunning Irish wolfhound commanded respect, while swishing his tail just because he was so pleased to be there and thought everyone was there just to see him.

‘Hello, look at me, look how big I am, who wants to play with me?’ he shouted as he greeted everyone and anything that crossed his path.

The little dogs barked their heads off and told him to ‘bugger off their patch’ and then hid behind their owners for bravery as the gentle giant went by.

‘I could eat you if I wanted to!’ A Chihuahua yelped at him, and he meant it too – well in his dreams anyway.

‘Yep and I could shit you out again buddy!’ laughed the Irish wolfhound in a good-natured voice.

Feeling suitably crushed at that response, the little dog pursed his lips into a ‘cat bum’ shape of disapproval and then pretended that he was invisible because there is nothing more insulting for a tiny dog than being compared to the turd of an Irish wolfhound in terms of size.

Team Pringle

After visiting and speaking to lots of dogs around the show, we had gone back to where Pippin would be showing as I had promised him that I would cheer him on in the show ring.

‘Bronte is my face clean?’ Pippin asked his sister.

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Pippin asks if his face is clean

‘Yes Pippin, you look perfect’ Bronte growled back at him and he did as well, perfectly groomed as an Italian greyhound can be, fresh clean coat and neatly clipped nails – he could not have looked any more handsome.

‘Can you send a Facebook message to the Iggy gang as well as Amex in QLD?’ Pippin asked me in a grateful voice.

Reassuring him that I would be on top of his social media campaign, I promptly took a photo of him and posted it to Facebook advising his peers that he was going in to the ring shortly.

Pippin was desperate to do well in the show not just for himself but to make his Mum proud of him. Little did Pippin realize that Denise was already proud of him, no matter how he did or no matter what – except for the times that he rolls in horse/fox/dog shit and then the pride is somewhat retracted until he at least has a bath.

Jeni’s dog Sting; who is a professional show dog with a splendid pair of testicles, had been coaching Pippin on how to stand, trot and look gorgeous.

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Sexy Sting sticking his tongue out!

‘Now remember what I say, you have as much right to be here as anybody so do it for all the Iggies in the club and remember Amex in QLD is waiting on the results and all of us love you no matter how you do’. Sting whispered in Pippin’s ears and then patted him on the back with his long slender paw.

Pippin nodded and bit his lip and tried not to cry, dancing from one paw to the other, he muttered to himself repeatedly ‘I am a show dog, I AM a show dog, I am a SHOW DOG, I CAN do this and I WILL do this’ as he tried to drum Sting’s message in to his head and ultimately, his self belief.

‘Good lad!’ Sting grinned at him and nodded towards Bronte ‘He will be OK’.

‘Break a leg and good luck my friend’ Chewy the Tibetan shouted to Pippin.

‘Shhhh, never mention broken legs to an Iggy, we have legs that snap like carrots!’ Bronte growled at Chewy and then started to fiddle with her handkerchief because she was so nervous.

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Chewy gives his support to Pippin

Luckily I managed to get a couple of photographs of Pippin in the show ring being trotted around and standing on the table while the judge checked him over.

Pip in the ring

Pippin – a brave boy doing his best

Doing a quick update to Facebook with the photos of Pippin, Fran from QLD quickly replied after a few minutes ‘Well?’ as she wanted to know how Pippin had done and it was to be an agonizing wait for Fran while we waited for the judge to make her decision.

Pippin stood nicely while the judge made her decision and you could just see the focus in his little face.

‘Sting said I am a show dog, I am a show dog and I am as good as any show dog’ Pippin shut his eyes tight while he waited for the judge,

‘I deserve to be here in my own right and winning is not everything, Mum loves me no matter what’ Pippin said under his breath.

Pippin was so wrapped up in his little mantra that Sting had taught him, he did not even see the judge award him Best Neuter in Breed – our dear little Pippin had won his class.

‘Pippin, you have won my love’ Denise whispered to her little dog as he walked out of the show ring.

‘I am sorry I let you down, I get so nervous when I have to stand that my legs shake and I cannot stop them, I am so sorry but I am a good boy aren’t I?’ Pippin asked Denise, totally not hearing what she said.

‘Pippin, you won – you did it!’ Denise hugged and kissed the tiny little Italian greyhound as he trembled with nerves.

‘I tried to stand still and I tried to trot nicely and I know I dance around a bit, what did you say?……..’ Pippin’s voice trailed off as Denise’s words started to sink in.

‘I knew you could do it, totally knew it – well done lad!’ Sting barked loudly and then told a Chihuahua to ‘piss off’ for looking at him wrong.

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Sting – shows how proud he is of Pippin!

Bronte had no such restraint and was crying unashamedly and yelling ‘This is MY brother, he has just won Best Neuter and he has no testicles!’

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Bronte – tells the world that Pippin won his class (and has no testicles)

‘Of course he has no testicles silly, that is why it is best neuter!’ Woody the Iggy piped up from the background.

‘What, I won, are you sure?’ Pippin stammered to his friends that were all standing there proud as punch, even little Chewy was joining in on the clapping and celebrations.

Soon every dog in our area was congratulating little Pippin and all you could hear was the sound of barking and if you ‘speak dog’, it translated to ‘Well done Pippin!’

Pip the winner

Pippin the winner!

I didn’t hear the rest of what the dogs were saying, my ears and senses were burnt out from the privilege of being in their world for the evening, but I didn’t need to hear them anyway because their actions spoke far louder than their words (or barks).

I could just make out Pippin being lifted on to the shoulders of Woody, Sting and Chewy while the other dogs clapped and Bronte led the procession in a display of high kicking of her slim legs.

‘I won, I really won!’ Pippin said in a mixture of shock, amazement and pride.

Yes Pippin, you did win and in so ways as well – a true champion and with that I updated my Facebook status to Fran in QLD to tell her that Pippin had won.

The End

Thanks and acknowledgments

I think that many people do not realize the time, effort, skill and dedication that go into exhibiting dogs at dog shows.

The night I spent at the dog show I saw some incredible specimens of various breeds of dog with owners spending hours making sure their pets were in their finest form to be shown in the ring.

I saw that owners/exhibitors that spend far more time, money, love, care and effort on their dogs than they do for themselves.

I found the dogs to be friendly, well socialized, in beautiful condition and lovely examples of their breed and the owners had every right to be proud of them.

The exhibitors freely allowed me into their areas and I was able to watch them grooming their dogs, I was also allowed to take photographs and where possible, pet and grab a quick smooch with them (the dogs of course!).

This show was very different from what I had been to before in the UK. It had a friendly atmosphere with everyone only too willing to explain to you or help you if asked and I would say, would be well worth a visit purely for the experience.

I left the Western Classic Dog Show with an exceptionally high opinion and the belief that if anyone knows how to do a great dog show, it is the Australians and in this case, WA that also made me very proud to call myself Australian.

So with that in mind, I would like to thank the exhibitors/owners/breeders for making me feel so welcome and allowing me to take photographs of their gorgeous dogs – your skill and dedication to your animals is amazing.

Dogs West – fantastic show, really something to be proud of and I look forward to the next one.

Denise Pringle – for allowing me to follow Pippin and make him the star of my stories.

Jeni Sach, Dee Cole, Chewy’s owner – Sarah, Woody’s owner – Lyn, and Kim and Ian Cross for all allowing me to use your wonderful dogs for my stories.

Disclaimer

No offence is intended by this story and I just write things down as they come in to my head.

Whilst the dogs in my stories are in fact real, the dialogue that I give them is invented and any bearing or resemblance to the real dogs is purely coincidental and is in good fun and from my imagination only.

Samantha Rose (C) All writing and photography is Copyright March 2015

The Fastest Dog in Australia – The Finals and the Results!

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It was the last day of the contest to find ‘Australia’s Fastest Dog’ and one of the WA clubs –  Lure Coursers Anonymous (LCA) were holding their event at the Naval Base, Kwinana.

The day was going very well and as usual there were several dogs that had tried to make their bid for freedom – one joyously happy greyhound called Abigail that decided that yes, she was selectively deaf and could not hear her owners calling her as she tried to join Mouse Norris on the track for a chat.  It is pretty much ‘the law’ that at least one dog should escape and make a bid for freedom and this day was no different.

ImageAbigail – single girl, likes to chat and enjoys shopping when she isn’t racing

‘Lovely weather today for a run’ Abigail the greyhound said happily as she galloped along side Mouse; who told her to kindly ‘Piss off’ because she wanted to chase the lure instead of chatting about frivolities.

Mouse studio joyMouse wearing her ‘race face’

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Lure Coursing – it’s a social event

10409145_662020710552645_5152004044825946281_nLure coursing – a social affair for all

Many people don’t understand lure coursing nor the benefits and values of it.  It isn’t just about your dog chasing a mechanical lure because believe me not all of them want to chase the lure.  Some of them enjoy the run, some of them enjoy the freedom and some of them do enjoy chasing the lure but one thing they all have in common and that is every dog enjoys the day in general.

The socialization aspect for dog owners and dogs alike, each dog getting extra attention and love lavished on them, perhaps a nice piece of hot dog from the sausage sizzle, or a doggy treat from one of the rescue stands.

Lure coursing events usually raise money for a cause of some kind and this event was raising money for was ‘Everything Beagle’ and ‘K9 Rescue’ not to mention for the lure coursing club itself so that equipment can be maintained/purchased and subsequent events can continue.

So as you see – there is much more to lure coursing than chasing the lure – it really is more of a social club with a multitude of positives and benefits to it.

Back to the event

It was all happening at the course, one of the Afghans was doing its ‘floating down the track like black silken cloth’ routine (as described by my husband), whilst shouting ‘Yippee, I am running free, look how long my legs are, aren’t I marvelous!’  I have seen this Afghan do this before and never tire of watching it either.

10501728_1507362672826214_762521810464220973_nYay! Look at my legs!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

A bulldog called Duke was watching from the sidelines pondering as to whether or not he should enter.  Having short legs and a squashed face, he knew he wouldn’t be the fastest by a long shot but that wasn’t really what it was about and being a good sport, he agreed to make his owners proud and enter anyway.

Bulldogs make up for in personality what they don’t have in snout and can be exceptionally stubborn when they want to be but Duke had decided he would give it a bash and see how it went.

Duke’s owner released him on command to start his race and with the best intentions, Duke went to chase the lure and show off his racing prowess while waddling down the track like a little pig searching for truffles.

After only going for a short while, Duke muttered ‘Bollocks to this, I can’t be bothered’, and then let out a huge fart comparable to the ones my brother used to do after consuming broccoli.  Duke then promptly took a piss up the orange barrier, plodded along for a bit and then after a while, went back to his owner – much to the delight and cheers of the other dogs that always seemed to find a bit of canine rebellion hilarious.

10314731_1507399359489212_2620425477991190388_nDuke – are you taking the piss?

(Photography by Studio Joy)

A Scottish deer-hound X called Fergus was in the process of enjoying some coffee froth before his race, maintaining that he could not possibly run without it.  With his strong Scottish accent, Fergus was yelling various things using Scottish words that the other dogs couldn’t understand but as they were all fascinated by his grey beard and long legs, they just pretended that they knew what he was talking about.

‘Ronald where’s ya trousers!’ Fergus shouted to anyone that would listen and anyone that wouldn’t.  (Google the song ‘Ronald Where’s ya trousers’ to see what I mean)

fergusFergus – the Scottish Deerhound X enjoys his coffee froth

‘Fergus, it is time for your race!’ His owner told him and started to lead him to the release area.

‘Good luck lad, give it your best shot!’ One of the beagles shouted.

‘Is it normal for a dog to have a beard like that?’ Mouse Norris asked Brutus who shrugged his shoulders and replied ‘I am not sure but I think he is a wizard in disguise’

But all that was forgotten when Fergus romped home with such good speeds; that all discussions of his grey beard had been forgotten as the other dogs celebrated and cheered as he had done so well.

The dogs were a delight to watch and there is nothing quite like watching a dog run as though ‘the gate has been left open’ where for just those few minutes, they run free, they run their own personal ‘race’ and then they run into the arms of their proud owners and perhaps that is a lesson for us all – to ‘run as though the gate has been left open’

10428510_1507358209493327_6726719958960631723_nLayla the beagle – running as though someone left the gate open!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

A female Belgian Malinois known as ‘Z’ had to be bribed to let the lure ‘survive’ in return for a tug rope. ‘Let me have it, let me eat that lure, give it to me now, OK give me the rope instead and I will destroy it’ ‘Z’ said in a rather demented voice.  With all thoughts of the lure forgotten, ‘Z’ was taken out of the coursing area back to her crate while firmly attached to a tug rope.  Trade-offs are highly important in lure coursing, I mean why should a dog part with a plastic bag of a lure if you have nothing better to offer it?

Image‘Z’ a Belgian Malinois

The little dogs ran their legs off, the salukis sat aloof in their area preferring to discuss beauty, rabbits and the modern day dog.

A little beagle/cavalier mix called Sam had such a lovely time running that he couldn’t stop barking, even while running his heart out.

‘I can’t breathe’ Sam shouted out as he ran down the track while barking for Perth.

‘Stop talking!’ A Samoyed shouted back ‘And you might be able to you – daft thing!’

10452343_10152245341273037_4578178218962868170_nSam – not stopping for breath as he barked round the course

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Treats for all!

It was rather nice as there were stalls where you could buy treats for your dog, collars, leashes, toys, cups/mugs and just nice souvenirs of the day which is always a good thing in my book.  After all, I don’t know about you but I love having treats to show for the day to look back on and admire.

I had been intending to buy Brutus a bedtime coat for some time but as he had eaten one that Lexie had put on him when I was in NZ, I was a bit dubious.  Besides, Brutus is an odd size and shape and doesn’t fit the ‘normal’ sizes in dog coats.

Vest

Brutus – rather an odd shaped dog

I had been liaising via Facebook with Lesley from ‘Muttrugs’ of WA who make dog jackets to measure, so imagine my surprise to find her at the lure coursing event with her stall.  Lesley tried on one of her polar fleece jackets with a belly strap on Brutus to see how it fitted him.

‘This is nice, can I have it?’ Brutus asked me with his eyes silently promising that no, he wouldn’t eat it and yes, he would and could be a good boy.

‘Promise me you won’t eat it’ I pleaded with Brutus who looked sheepish and said he would do no such thing and whilst it might not be ‘his colour’, it was in fact, made out of his favourite material – baby soft polar fleece.

Brutus as many of you know, loves his soft baby/puppy blankets and being very thin skinned, highly muscled and little or no fat on his body, is very sensitive and feels the cold quite badly so the right jacket material is imperative for him.

Once fitted, that jacket never left Brutus’s back except for when he did his race and then it went straight back on.  It didn’t seem to bother him either, he enjoyed wearing it and enjoyed being warm and even when the other dogs called him a ‘Girly brown bum’, Brutus didn’t care as he felt all ‘wrapped up like a cuddle’ in his jacket and was very proud of that fact.

I was quite amused to see the greyhounds wearing their ‘Onesies’ that Lesley had made them and she was flat out busy measuring various dogs for new clothes so I was thrilled with Brutus’s polar fleece house jacket as you can imagine, although scared it might be eaten at some point like everything else I have bought him.

10419486_661982620556454_931739908848174159_nLesley (Muttrugs) and Brutus – showing off the new housecoat 

Lesley I must add; really is marvellous by the way, honestly – she can make your dog any jacket and the quality is rather superb and I can highly recommend her, you can find ‘Muttrugs’ on Facebook (based in WA).

Hub of activity!

It was a hub of activity; greyhounds were strutting their stuff looking ever-so-slightly bored by anything that wasn’t a lure, some dogs were barking.  The beagles were holding some sort of meeting while the salukis were chatting about dog shows.

Some rescue dogs were gathering round telling their stories of their life in rescue kennels before they were adopted and what it felt like to be adopted.

Other dogs just stared at their owners eating hotdogs, drool coming from their mouths in festoons as they silently willed them for a piece of sausage and always remember, nothing begs quite as efficiently as a dog with big jowls.

Honestly, if you opened your ears, heart and imagination to the surroundings you could hear it all and it was like being privy to ‘Planet Dog’ and I was highly proud to be part of it.

First time for everything!

It was Brutus’s first time doing lure coursing with corners and I will freely admit to being nervous about this as it was a new venue for us and the first time ever that I wasn’t at the other end to catch him.

‘What do I do, where do I go, who am I?’ Brutus said sounding so scared that I thought he might refuse to run.

ImageBrutus nervously waits his turn to race

‘Please don’t social-butterfly, please don’t escape’ I said aloud – you may have even heard me saying that if you were standing nearby. ‘Social-butterflying’ by the way is where Brutus stops at the side of the fence and introduces himself to people/dogs ‘Hello, the names Brutus, pleased to meet you’.

But I needn’t have worried; Brutus did really well and ran quite fast for him.  He took the corners well and despite my fears that he might social butterfly, when he turned the corner and saw me; he ran right back to me  and in to my arms like a champion.

ImageBrutus – Thou Shalt Not Social-Butterfly When Racing

(Photography by Studio Joy)

I wanted to cry as I was so proud of him and that sounds daft but this was a huge deal for my lad and I had to hug and kiss him when I caught him at the end.

Oh yes, I wasn’t sure who clapped but I heard someone clapping when I caught him and hugged him – thank you whoever you were, Brutus gets so excited when people clap and he always thinks it is for him (sometimes I clap when he brings me his toys because he loves the applause).

‘Did I win? Did I win?’ Brutus asked me proudly. I never have the heart to tell him no, he didn’t win overall but he always wins ‘his own personal best’ and my own ‘Good Boy Award’.

10514484_663023367119046_5440793577039023180_nBrutus – running and smiling because he loves it!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

A couple of people actually recognized Brutus from this page which was rather nice and he got quite a bit of attention. I never know whether to admit to writing these stories when people ask as I never know how it’s been taken or if it offends anyone.  After all, just because my dogs have social lives and swear, it is not the same for every other dog – I just tune in and listen to it and write it down.

Mouse Norris who had already run in her first race, was now resting and had gone all ‘rock n roll’ on us and trashed her beautiful pink collapsible soft crate – one of which I was going to order for Brutus but now I know better as if Mouse can wreck hers, Brutus will sure as hell as eat his!

‘Go on Mouse, all the famous people wreck their hotel rooms’ Brutus encouraged his friend as Jet Ska tried hard to fix it but realizing it couldn’t be fixed, collapsed the cage up while Mouse had her hind leg in her water bowl.

ImageMouse Norris going ‘rock n roll’ and trashing her crate while Brutus looks on

‘I am cold, I want my crate, and I want to lie down NOW’ Mouse shouted in a demanding voice.

Jet tried to put down a nice padded mat for her but somehow Mouse ended up wearing it while Brutus went on about rock stars and stuff, after all in Brutus’s eyes, Mouse was his own ‘rock star’.

Brutus was thoroughly over excited because he was hanging out with the greyhounds not to mention flirting with a very pretty whippet puppy who had asked him for his phone number which he promptly refused on grounds of her being too young.

ImageMouse Norris – loving that lure!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Beagles need homes too!

WA group called ‘Everything Beagle’ had their stand at the event and a large rather chunky beagle dog called Baylen wearing half rimmed glasses was serving the public and handing out leaflets about beagles.

Now I know you probably think I am mad and don’t believe that a beagle dog could possibly run a beagle rescue stand, let alone wear glasses and converse with the public. But you really are going to have to trust me on this one, just ask Sharon Macbeth Harris from ‘Everything Beagle’ if you don’t believe me, I am sure she will back me up.

‘Hi, I am head of the beagle stand – you can call me Baylen the beagle.  Would you like to support our rescue group?’ Baylen asked random members of the public and then added; ‘It’s all in a good cause, we have marvelous snouting abilities you know, if you lose your food we can guarantee to find it’.

Looking highly efficient and official, Baylen the beagle was rustling through papers and leaflets about how to adopt a rescue beagle, occasionally chewing on a biro pen, he kept an eye out to see who was taking notice of his stall.

‘Franky, good luck my lovely and make sure you do us all proud and remember – if it moves – eat it’ Baylen yelled to a solid looking beagle who was trying to do press ups to warm up and impress the bitches with his fitness.

As Franky the beagle was released, all the other beagles gathered round to shout support and encouragement to their friend from the sidelines.

It all started off well but Franky the beagle did not get very far when he looked up and said ‘Bugger this, I can smell food – can you smell food? I am sure I can smell food, let me find that food’ in a voice sounding not unlike a robot and before you could blink, Franky had decided to abandon the lure and go off snouting for food as the other beagles cheered him on purely for trying.

‘Oh dear, a good beagle is always guided by thy snout’ said Baylen the beagle as Franky was led off the course by his owner.

ImageFranky the beagle – and like all good beagles, loves his food!

(Photography by Studio Joy)

Baylen the beagle was actually very pleased with Franky’s effort in the race and despite him not finishing the course; it really was quite marvellous the way Franky went in search of food like a good beagle should.  Personally, Baylen thought he would make a super ‘sausage search and rescue dog’ where instead of searching for people lost in the mountains, he could search for sausages instead.  Can you possibly imagine a more enviable and perfect job for a beagle?

Talking of snouting ability, I was at Auckland Airport in April and had declared my medicines as you should and this very important looking beagle followed close to my feet, turned round to the Customs officer and then pawed my rucksack while shouting in a Kiwi accent ‘This chick has drugs on her!’

I mean, I know there is being good at your job but did the beagle have to say it so loudly?  Thank god I wasn’t subjected to the ‘rubber glove’ treatment as I would have died and thank god I declared my prescriptions but this rather efficient looking beagle was a ‘dog with a job’ and his job is to sniff out drugs.  But not all beagles sniff out drugs, most prefer to sniff out food.

A group of naughty beagles were by the sausage sizzle egging their friend on to steal a hotdog.  ‘Go on, I dare you, down it in one!’ a beagle bitch said to her friend.

‘Do you think I should?’ The  beagle replied.

‘It would be positively criminal not to, besides – one has to think of the starving dogs in countries that cannot have hotdogs and eat it on their behalf’ the beagle bitch said firmly as the other beagles nodded vigorously in support.

‘OK, here goes!’ the beagle said while checking to see if his owners where looking and then as quick as a flash, jumped up to the table where some poor unsuspecting customer had left their hotdog, and literally inhaled the hotdog leaving nothing more than a tomato sauce stain on his snout.

‘Good job!’ the beagles all shouted looking ever so impressed.

‘Shhhh, be quiet, they are looking for their hotdog!’ One of the beagles whispered loudly as the others all put on their angelic facial expression so nobody except a beagle owner would realise how naughty they had been.

The person was looking round for their hotdog, with a confused and bewildered expression on their face, they stared several times at the table and then around them but did not for one minute suspect it was a beagle that had robbed them of their hotdog.

And I guess unless they ever read this blog, they never will because if you look at the face of a beagle, you would never believe it yourself.  In fact, I would not have believed it had I not been told so by someone who witnessed the whole affair and that person for their own protection, shall remain anonymous because the beagles will not be happy to be dobbed in for hotdog theft which carries a mandatory sentence of no treats for a week.

Meanwhile Baylen the beagle who was in charge of the Everything Beagle WA stand was trying to promote beagle ownership and rescue.

‘Anyone interested in adopting a beagle? Come on ladies and gents, your life isn’t complete without a beagle in it!’ Baylen said in a cheerful voice before lifting his leg and peeing up the corner of the table and having a snout around on the grass for crumbs of food.

‘Would anyone like to consider adopting Billie? She is one of ours and has been waiting for a home where she will have a nice bed, toys and a family to love her?’ Baylen the beagle shouted to various people walking past.

Baylen was desperate to find Billie a home and had many a conversation with her where he had to try and calm her down when she had become so upset at the thought of never having a family, that she actually became quite inconsolable.

‘I don’t think anyone will want me as I am not a young puppy, I am 7 years old’ Billie had said to Baylen the beagle a few days ago.

Baylen the beagle tried to comfort Billie and replied gently ‘That is a good thing, not everyone is after a puppy or a young dog.  You are just like a  ‘ready prepared meal’ and all good to go, as in you are house trained, you have grown into yourself, you know who you are and what is expected of you’

‘I just want what everyone else has – a family and a home to call my own’ Billie said quietly and then shuffled off to lie down fearing that she would never have her own toys, her own collar/leash, identity tag, her own bed, her own people to love, her own food bowls and her own garden to protect and dig.

All she wanted was to turn up to one of the lure coursing events like the other beagles and proudly show off her family like Franky did.  To have her family enter her in a race and cheer her on like Brutus’s Mum did even though he wasn’t very fast and to win the Good Girl Award’ like Brutus’s Mum makes him win the ‘Good Boy Award’ because she loves him so much.

Billie dreamt of being hand fed a bit of sausage from the sausage sizzle, and perhaps even be bought a treat or two afterwards – maybe a pigs ear for being a good girl in the races.  To have a toy box so full of toys that she wouldn’t know which one to play with first so would probably try and stuff several in her mouth.

In return she vowed she would be a good dog, guard the house, protect the family and provide a warm furry shoulder in times of need.

Because in all my years of working with animals, there is nothing and I emphasise that word NOTHING quite like a rescue dog that has been adopted, when he/she walks out with his/her family to his/her new home for the first time with their tails wagging and their eyes full of hope.

It isn’t too much to ask – is it?

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A collar, leash, toy and ID tag – all part of a Beagles Prayer

Can you help Billie the Beagle

Billie is a 7 year old female beagle, please don’t be fooled by the grey muzzle as she is a very young dog at heart and has a lot of life to live and love to give.  She is ‘ready made’, toilet trained, loving, mature yet fun and knows how to behave.

Could you be the person that brings Billie to the next lure coursing event to show her off to your friends, enjoy the sausage sizzle, the general atmosphere and hang out with the cool Beagle Crew?

If you are living in Western Australia and are interested in adopting her, she is available through the Facebook group Everything Beagle WA, please contact everythingbeaglewa@yahoo.com.au

‘A Beagles Prayer’

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray for a sofa for me to sleep

A family and a nice warm home

A place to love and call my own

Amen

Billie

Billie the beagle – looking for a home

(Photo by K9Kate Pet Photography – http://www.k9kate.com.au)

Time to go home!

10452306_662020313886018_1965263950095129292_nIt’s all a bit too much for Brutus!

Brutus only took part in one race, he was totally exhausted and was not used to the distance so I had decided to pull him from the second run and take him home.  After all the more tired Brutus gets, he goes floppy and refuses to move and at 34 kgs, he is a whole hunk of puppy to carry.

‘I don’t want to go home!’ Brutus sobbed as he could see his beloved Mouse in the distance, standing by her family glancing wistfully at the lure.

And like any child being taken away from a party, Brutus looked longingly at his ‘mates’ as they stayed behind, while making telephone gestures with his paws and mouthing ‘call me’ to Mouse and her friends.

‘FaceTime later tonight to get the results!’ Mouse shouted to Brutus who nodded gratefully back at her.

It took some persuading as well to get him to the car but once he was in the back of my Yaris, he was asleep before I had even pulled out of the car park and literally had to be lifted out of the car when I arrived home.

Later that evening

As I said, every respectable dog that evening was sitting by their computer. Now you will remember at the Guildford race meet with West Coast Dog Sports, Mouse won fastest dog on the day and Brutus came 8 out of 11 in the unregistered large category.

Brutus after having his puppy nap, was wide awake and on the phone to Mouse who was also conference calling Pippin who was on one of his THREE phones, to Gidget who was on the phone to Vader the boxer.

The computers were also out and video calls/FaceTime calls were taking place for maximum State wide contact.  Rocky had a laptop and Brutus was on his bed with his mobile phone to Mouse.

‘The results are in from Lure Coursers Anonymous!’ Pippin shouted from Denise’s lap as he had borrowed her iPad.

Pippin

Pippin checks the iPad to report for WA

‘Damn it – I thought I had nailed it’ Mouse muttered and momentarily looked somewhat annoyed. But being the good sport she is, Mouse sighed, smiled and then added ‘Well done Abigail for coming first, well done Angie for coming second and bloody well done to me for coming third!’

*Now these results are ONLY for the WA contest for Lure Coursers Anonymous (LCA) and will be added to the West Coast Dog Sports (WCDS) results and then the fastest times will be added to the Australia National results to find the Fastest Dog in Australia*.

Mouse was actually very happy as she had already won ‘fastest dog on the day’ in two other WA contests with LCA and WCDS coursing clubs.

Pippin was biting his nails, Gidget had farted with nerves which shocked everyone as she is a lady and NEVER farts.  Vader was flicking boxer snot all over the walls and growling at himself as Tess refused to argue with him.

Now the gangs’ beloved Mighty Mouse had her initial results, they were all keen to see how Brutus had done – Brutus, the cross between Scooby Doo and a Kangaroo.

VADER

Vader the boxer – waiting to see how Brutus has done

‘I know I didn’t win, I am not very fast but Mum is so proud of me’ Brutus said down the phone to Mouse.

Rocky who was behind him while furiously pacing up and down and herding invisible sheep  which he always does when he is nervous. ‘Let me check the laptop’ Rocky said sharply and then sat down on the bed to see if there were any updates.

Rocky on macbook

Rocky – impatient for the results!

Still wearing his beautiful new pyjamas, Brutus was curled up on his bed with his favourite Tony Abbott doll.  He wasn’t sure what to expect as he had never entered any kind of contest before so these feelings were new to him.

He had taken a while to be accepted on the doggy circuit and now he had friends, like real proper friends and a sort of girlfriend in Mouse even if Mouse fancied the lure more than Brutus, he was still proud to be seen by her side.

Not to mention all of the Iggys that he had become pals with plus Benny and Isis the Pharaoh hounds, Dee’s ridgebacks – especially Bailey and Mac who taught him how to fart and blame it on someone else.

‘Brutus, your results are in for large unregistered for Lure Coursers Anonymous’ Mouse said on the phone to Brutus.

‘Oh my god, oh my god, I am so scared – I might have gastro’ Brutus squeaked in his puppy voice that is now broken and sounds like a foghorn.

Brutus on laptop

Brutus wanted to check the results for himself

‘That’s not gastro Turd Legs, that will be the cows hoof you had earlier’ Said Rocky matter-of-factly.

‘Brutus, are you listening?’ Mouse demanded while Bender and Barbie yelled in the background for her to get on with it and was now play-bowing and knocking ornaments over because she was bored.

‘Yes Mouse, I am listening’, Brutus whispered, too scared to speak any louder.

‘There were 14 large unregistered, Fergus came first – that was the dog with the Scottish accent that had the grey beard; and you have come 11 – not a bad effort at all Turd Legs’ Mouse grinned as she read the results down the phone.

Brutus was rather proud to see that his friend Isis the Pharaoh hound had done very well.  Isis like every respectable dog in Australia, was sitting by her computer awaiting the results and was thrilled to see she had won the fastest Pharaoh hound on the day.

Isis

Isis the Pharaoh hound checks her laptop

Pippin was now so excited that he had forgotten his composure and was now bouncing everywhere, Vader wasn’t sure what to do so he barked at invisible friends, Rocky was cracking open some ‘Kelpie beer’ and Brutus had gone back to his bed with a smile on his face, thrilled that he had been placed somewhere – anywhere on that list.

‘What happens now Mouse?’ Pippin asked Mouse who was busy having her ears smoothed back by Bender who was very proud of his sister.

Barbie had her new spectacles on and was trying to use the calculator to get a rough idea of running times. Frustrated because she couldn’t get it to work, she tapped it with her nose, gave up and knocked it to the floor while muttering ‘bugger it’ and stuffed her snout up Bender’s bum.

‘What happens now is Sandra Burrows from the Australian Lure Coursing Association Inc is gathering all the results from each State that entered to get the fastest dog’ Mouse said firmly. Mouse knew things you see, she was as clever as she was pretty.

‘Brutus – are you there?’ Mouse said to Brutus.

(No answer)

‘I think he has gone’ Mouse said and then added ‘But he did bloody well for his first course with turns on it and he is rather a clumsy bugger as well’

And every dog in the group agreed that Brutus had in fact done very well indeed.

As for Brutus, he was curled up on his bed and snoring his head off and yes, he was still wearing his new dog coat.

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Sweet dreams Brutus!

‘Mouse, I can’t wait – seriously I can’t wait’ Barbie said impatiently and then nipped Bender on the bum because she was feeling naughty.

Bender looked round and snapped ‘Will you leave my arse alone please’

‘No, I can’t’ Barbie replied back to a surprised Bender.

Bender was never very good at arguing with women  and just resigned himself to the fact that Barbie had a thing for his butt.

Back at Pippin’s House

‘Pippin, where is Mouse on the final list?’ Bronte asked Pippin who had now extended his talents to three mobile phones a Macbook and an iPad for communication to the Eastern States of Australia and the rest of WA.

‘Shhh, I am trying to do FaceTime QLD’ Pippin said in a voice as sharp as his nose.

‘Good evening QLD – do you have the results for the Fastest Dog in Australia?’ Pippin asked.

Kath 2

Kath the greyhound

(Photo by Jeff Fitzpatrick Photography)

Somewhere in QLD…..

Several dogs sat in the living room getting ready to give the results to Western Australia. It was a hotbed of excitement and anticipation and there was a smell of success, well actually it was wind and it was quite revolting but to dogs, wind equates to success.

A large female greyhound called Kath, with a snout that could open a can of beer and ears like the handlebars off a bicycle sat at her laptop having a FaceTime conference call with Pippin.

Behind Kath sat Ruby the Kelpie who was typing ridiculously fast to document the evening. Wearing half rimmed spectacles and occasionally sipping a Dog-o-cinno coffee, she was obviously taking her job very seriously.

Ruby the Kelpie June 14

Ruby the Kelpie

(Photo by Jeff Fitzpatrick Photography)

Pippin’s friend – Italian greyhound AMEX was also on his laptop trying to do his bit for QLD and was straining his eyes to read the writing, he was representing the Iggy’s of QLD and was also linked up in the conference call to Kath the greyhound as well as Pippin.

AMEX

Amex – doing his bit for the Eastern States Iggys

Amex the Iggy in QLD was secretly supporting ‘Team Mouse’ although he couldn’t admit it to anyone for fear of reprisals.

A large brindle dog called Barney who rather liked to refer to himself as an ‘Australian Sausage Snouting Hound’ (mixed breed) was sitting behind Ruby and Kath on his bed taking notes while occasionally washing his genitals through boredom totally forgetting he was on camera.

Letting out a huge fart, Barney pretended it wasn’t him and it was only when Kath started to make gagging noises, that he blushed and owned up much to Kath and Ruby’s disgust.

Barney the Supervisor

Barney – taking the minutes!

‘Good evening Western Australia, this is QLD here – I think there is going to be some delays before you receive the final results’ Kath said.  Unsure if she had been heard, she pressed her long snout right up to the computer leaving a large nose mark as she muttered ‘Bugger this, I don’t think they heard me’

‘Yes we heard you Kath and yes – we are ready to receive our results’ Pippin said importantly.

‘Ohh, this reminds me of the Eurovision Song Contest where they say ‘Nil Points’ to Luxemburg for their crappy songs’ My cat Gordon sniggered as he was listening in via my computer which was being managed by Rocky who was shaking with excitement.

Gordon has seen many a Eurovision song contest in the UK I might add, as have I and I always remember the ‘nil points’ part of it and used to laugh until the UK had a dreadful run of ‘nil points’ themselves and then I quickly stopped laughing.

IMG_5781

Gordon the cat – he knows all about the Eurovision Song Contest!

‘QLD – how is it looking?’ Pippin asked Kath the greyhound who was now squeaking a toy rabbit from boredom.

‘Western Australia – you could be in for a long night, are you prepared to wait?’ Kath asked.

‘Oh we have to wait up Pippin, we MUST wait, don’t make us go to bed!’ Bronte shouted, causing her Mum Denise to jump out of her skin.

By now dogs nails had been chewed from nerves and god knows where the owners were because every laptop, every phone in every home was being used by a dog – in fact, the whole day/night belonged to the dogs of Australia and the owners were merely surplus to requirements unless there was food on offer.

The whole of the Australian canine world was on the edge waiting for these results and although there could only be one winner, each and every dog knew that the other had run its heart out and had some damn good fun along the way.

People had made new friends, dogs had made new friends and socialised, hot dogs were eaten and inhaled by beagles, money was raised for charity and despite the vast distance and differences between each State of Australia, a key message was being sent around the whole country – Lure coursing, a fun sport to bring people and their dogs together.

‘QLD – do you have any news?’ Pippin asked Kath the greyhound who was now on her back with her legs spread apart flashing her ‘lady-garden’ in true greyhound fashion.

‘Nothing yet WA, but let’s be on our guard. I call a toilet break’ Kath replied.  Barney nodded in agreement and ran outside so he could fart again without making Ruby vomit.

‘Toilet break everyone!’ Pippin declared ‘Regroup in 5 minutes and please, nobody take a shit until after the results’

The dogs ran into the garden for to do a pee with the exception of Brutus who could not control himself and took a shit the size of a small child.

‘Don’t blame me, blame the hotdog’ Brutus blushed as Rocky looked disgusted that Brutus couldn’t hold himself let alone pass something quite so huge.

Soon everyone was back in their respective positions ready to receive the results of Australia’s Fastest Dog competition.

‘Hello Western Australia, are you ready to receive your results?’ Kath the greyhound said in a loud Queensland accent.

‘Hello Queensland, yes we are ready to receive them’ Pippin replied.

‘Good luck everyone’ Gordon said quietly under his breath.

Kath the greyhound took a deep breath and said ‘The winner of the Fastest Dog in Australia Contest, with a run time of 7.28 seconds, is the greyhound Abigail from Western Australia!’

‘In second place with a run time of 7.441 seconds, is the greyhound Angi from Western Australia!’

‘In third place with a run time of 7.533 seconds, is the greyhound Mouse Norris from Western Australia!’

At the House of Mouse

Mouse went very quiet, Bender and Barbie stopped what they were doing. ‘Did they just say Abigail took out the title of Fastest Dog in Australia?’ Barbie said sounding shocked.

Bender look boot-faced and but remained motionless as he waited for Mouse’s reaction.

After what seemed ages, Mouse wagged her tail and grinned ‘Good on her, she did bloody well, besides WA took out the title – go us!’

Barbie nodded her head and wagged her tail and after a few seconds, Bender started running round the living room shouting ‘WA did it! Go Abigail!’

Abi winner

Abigail (WA) – the Fastest Dog in Australia

(Photography by Studio Joy)

‘We did more than that Mouse, you came third so that means that three WA greyhounds took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place – that is more than alright!’ Barbie said sounding absurdly pleased.

‘Yeah, that is more than alright!’ Mouse grinned and even let Barbie have a sniff of her bottom because she was so happy.

At Pippin’s House

Kath the greyhound was busy sorting through papers to pass on the winners of the other categories.  Straining her eyes for a better look, she read the results that Sandra Burrows had sent to her and then read them again.  No, it can’t be!’ Kath said aloud.

‘What’s up?’ Barney asked her

‘Kath, what is it?’ Ruby demanded to know.

‘That cheeky old devil!’ Kath smiled and then went back to her video call with Pippin.

‘Western Australia, are you ready for the results for the Fastest Italian Greyhound section of the contest?’

Pippin wiped some gravy off his mouth, coughed a bit and went to his laptop and replied ‘Go ahead Queensland, we are waiting for you’

‘The winner of the Fastest Italian Greyhound in Australia, is……’ Kath held back.

‘Yes, come on QLD, out with it’ Pippin said fretfully.  Really this was taking far too long for his liking and his warm bed was calling him.

‘The winner of the Fastest Italian Greyhound is you – Pippin Pringle!’ Kath said and forgetting she was representing QLD in the presentation of the contest, added ‘Well done my friend, well done!’

(sounds of dogs clapping and cheering/dogs barking from all over Australia)

Somewhere in the Northern Territory – where the crocs are ‘boss’, the kangaroos are big and the dingos roam

Now whilst the Northern Territory did not compete in this contest, the dogs of the NT were still tuned in so I thought it only fair to give them a mention.

A group of dogs sat outside a pub all discussing the contest and as Pippin’s results came through – the cheers were quite deafening.  And although the NT dogs didn’t enter themselves, they were so very proud of any dogs that did and cheered Pippin on as though he were ‘one of their own’.

Pippin’s House

Pippin stopped talking mid sentence, looked around at Bronte and then back at the computer.  Forgetting he was still connected to Mouse, he could hear her shouting and squealing like a puppy as she congratulated him.

Amex who was in QLD still tuned into the conference call was crying – all the Iggy’s would be so proud, no matter what State they were from, they totally supported one another.

Dear little Pippin – the organiser and ‘keeper-together’ of all the other dogs, Mouse’s ‘main man’ and ‘public liaison’, who despite the long course, took part and ran his ever so tiny little legs off and had was now the fastest Italian greyhound in the contest/Australia.

Pippin looked around and then looked at the computer ‘Did you say I won out of the Iggys?’ he said quietly.

Kath nodded and smiled ‘Yes, you most certainly did and Isis got the fastest Pharaoh hound’

Quickly composing himself, Pippin coughed and then went back to the computer, picked up one of his mobiles and called Isis the Pharaoh hound.

‘Isis, you got fastest Pharaoh hound in Australia’ Pippin told her without a trace of emotion in his face and voice.

Bronte kept her eyes on Pip, she was so proud that she could burst, and burst she did as she pissed herself all over her new outfit.

‘Excellent!’ Isis replied happily, she couldn’t wait to tell everyone the results.  What she couldn’t see was little Pippin quietly crying into his computer because he couldn’t quite believe that he had done so well.

PIpp

 Pippin – a very proud Iggy

At the House of Mouse

‘Congratulations Pip, bloody marvellous!’ Mouse shouted down the phone to wish her friend and confidante well in his achievement.

‘Thanks Mouse, well done to you as well – you were pretty fast yourself’ Pippin replied.

‘Yeah I guess, I am pleased for Abigail though – rumours have it she will be getting a sausage for her efforts’ Mouse said knowingly (Mouse knew everything you see).

‘I think we all deserve sausage’ Pippin said, ‘Does anyone know Brutus’s overall time?’

‘Nope, but Kath the greyhound will know’ Mouse said and then thought to herself ‘I wonder how Brutus went?’

‘Good evening QLD, how did Brutus do?’ Pippin asked Kath at the QLD Headquarters, Kath who was now lying down eating a rather large bone, was caught by surprise and had to wipe bone blood off her snout before talking to Pippin.

‘Brutus, let me check’ Kath said trying to regain efficiency which was fading fast as she was tired and hungry and the novelty of doing Eurovision style reporting was wearing off as she actually wanted to do ‘whizzies’ round the garden and bark at invisible rabbits.

‘Brutus, let me see – Ah yes, Brutus, his time was 11.503 seconds, he has come 26 out of 33 dogs from his category of Large Unregistered’ Kath reported to Pippin.

‘Mouse, did you hear that?’ Pippin asked her on the phone.

‘Yep, I heard – let’s wake him up and tell him’ Mouse shouted to Rocky on the other phone.

At Brutus’s house

‘Brutus, wake up – we have your time for the race’ Rocky said gently to the exhausted Brutus who was snoring like a pig while snuggled up to his Tony Abbott doll and a carrot.  Looking ridiculously cute, he could melt the hardest of hearts.

Abbot

Brutus, Tony Abbot and the carrot

‘Times? What times? Is it dinner time? Brutus asked sleepily and then swallowed a few times and licked his lips because he had just woken from a dream about sausages.

‘You came 26 out of 33 for your category – not bad at all’ Rocky said in a rather proud voice. ‘Here, Mouse would like a word with you’ and handed Brutus the phone.

Gordon was nodding his head and looking very impressed with his canine brother.  Brutus is not a fast dog, he is a heavy and bulky dog and ever so clumsy but one thing is certain, he loves his lure coursing and this was quite some achievement for him.

‘That’s not bad is it Mouse?’ Brutus said feeling proud of himself.

‘No my friend, it certainly isn’t’ Mouse replied back to him.

Back in the Northern Territory

The dogs had just heard Brutus’s results and were very pleased for him.  Not being able to work out his breed, they had decided that he was a mix between Scooby Doo and a Kangaroo.

‘He’s a lanky bastard that Brutus’ The red cloud kelpie muttered and then added ‘But he’s a good bloke’.

And even the kangaroos that had been hanging around agreed with him.

Pippins House

‘QLD – we would like to thank you for your hard work in this event and also everyone at the Australian Lure Coursing Association Inc for allowing this event to take place’ Pippin said in a new energised polite voice.  Wiping his eyes and snout to compose himself, his whole demeanour had taken on a new level of pride.

‘WA – we would like to also thank you for participating in this event and we look forward to collaborating with you on it next year.  This is a final goodnight from all of us in QLD – thank you for your time’ Kath replied and then after a few seconds of enjoying the moment, she closed the laptop.

‘Thank god for that, can I fart now?’ Barney asked desperately before letting out an exceedingly poisonous guff causing Ruby the kelpie to nip him sharply on his bottom.

‘You dogs are so childish!’ Kath the greyhound snapped and then took her bone and jumped up on the sofa to relax.

Amex’s house in QLD

‘Pippin won! Pippin won!’ The tiny little Italian greyhound jumped up and down because he was so happy but noone must ever know that he was supporting Pippin and Mouse in WA, he really ought to have been supporting his own side but hey – friendships are friendships and once you get good friends, no State in Australia should be the divider.

Pippin’s House

The Iggy’s were all telephoning Pippin to congratulate him, Nica, Fletch, Madam Gigi, Rocco, Gidget to name but a few were all now talking in super high pitched voices because they were so very proud of their beloved Pippin.

‘We should have a party!’ Rocco shouted.

‘But only if you don’t try eat anyone Rocco’ Madam Gigi replied and the other Iggy’s laughed while Rocco decided that perhaps on this occasion, he wouldn’t.

Abigail’s House

‘I would like to thank my Mother for giving birth to me and my owner for loving me’ Abigail the greyhound was practising her acceptance speech for her win and deciding which collar to wear.

‘Abigail my love, I don’t think there will be any speeches’ Her owner said gently to the black greyhound who was so proud that her chest cavity had almost increased in size.

‘That’s what you think’ Abigail muttered and then carried on rehearsing.

Brutus’s House

All the dogs were totally exhausted, having been fed and watered and now tucked up in their beds, they were sleepily discussing the days events.

‘It was a good result, I am pleased how well our friends have done’ Brutus told Rocky.

‘You didn’t do so bad yourself either lad’ Rocky replied.

‘Goodnight Rocky’ Brutus whispered to the little black kelpie dog who was curled up in a tight ball on his bed.

‘Night Brutus’ Rocky said back.

Then within five minutes, they were both fast asleep and Brutus just like every other dog that had entered the contest, was dreaming of lure coursing, sausage sizzles, playing with Mouse and just being an all round ‘Good Boy’.

The End

Sofa Face

Brutus – The Good Boy

Thanks and Acknowledgements

(for the past two Fastest Dog events and photos used in this blog)

Photography

Thank you to the following photographers that have kindly allowed me to use their professional photographs for the benefit of this blog entry:

Studio Joy Photography

Phone: 0430 549 346

Email amyjoy2213@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/PhotographyStudioJoy?fref=ts

K9Kate Pet Photography

Phone: 0403756967

http://www.k9kate.com.au

Jeff Fitzpatrick Photography

Phone: 0400 371 401

http://www.jgfitzpatrick.com.au

And to everyone else that has allowed me to use the photographs of their animals.

*Please note that all copyright remains the property of the photographer.  If you would like copies of any of these photographs, you will need to contact the photographer directly but please do not use, copy nor reproduce without their permission*

Lure Coursing Clubs/Associations

Thank you to the Australian Lure Coursing Association for their recognition, support and promotion of the sport and for organising and overseeing the first ‘Fastest Dog in Australia’ competition which has really helped get more interest in lure coursing.

And thank you to Sandra Burrows and everyone that worked so hard and so tirelessly to put the competition together and in turn, bring the States together.

West Coast Dog Sports (WCDS)

Thank you to Dee Cole, Melissa Jones and every single person involved in this club (too many to mention and I am sorry if I have left people out).

The events are well organised and good fun and have opened up a whole new world for many of us and our dogs – thank you.

Lure Coursers Anonymous (LCA)

Thank you to Gina House and her team for a wonderful day last Sunday in what was the final event for the Fastest Dog competition.  The team worked so hard to make it run well and did a marvellous job of doing just that.

It is nice to have another club for geographical convenience, plus I enjoy both clubs so thank you for giving so many of us that option.

Lure Coursing Queensland (LCQ)

Well done in the competition guys – excellent results and bragging rights!  Thank you all for being such good sports and allowing me to include you in Brutus’s stories and providing me with dogs for my characters.

Adelaide Lure Coursing and Racing Club

Really looking forward to seeing you next year guys and including you in the story

The Rest of Australia

Where the bloody hell were ya? (only kidding – perhaps next year?)

Everyone else

And finally thank you to each and every person and their dog that entered this contest and made it so fabulous.

 Lure Coursing Web Links

Australian Lure Coursing Association Inc.                         http://www.alca.asn.au

Lure Coursing Queensland                                               www.qldlurecoursing.com/

West Coast Dog Sports                                                    www.wcds.com.au/

Samantha Rose (C) Copyright July 2014