Dominating athleticism… Razor sharp senses… Intense animal magnetism… Walter!
It’s been three months since Walter came here from Wyoming Dachshund and Corgi Rescue to save us from a quiet and peaceful life. (read here) We wanted to celebrate in a special way. I suggested a Man from Snowy River film festival, but Walter wanted more.
We settled on Lure Coursing. It was an obvious choice for a corgi athlete like Walter. Lure Coursing is a relative of greyhound racing, but the course has corners and runs across the yucca-adorned prairie. White plastic bags hopefully take the place of a live rabbit. Runs are punctuated by tumbleweed twisters.
First, we registered with AKC. Now we can compete in all sorts of performance events like rally, agility and herding. They asked me to pick his registered name and being a rescue dog, we weren’t burdened with elite kennel names or fancy parent names. I picked a name all about him: Walter, Walter, Walter.
We arrived early and watched a run, the plastic bags whizzed by with a quick dog in hot pursuit, and Walter nearly collapsed my lung, trying to launch out of my arms and join the hunt. When I got my breath back, I decided we should return to base camp and save ourselves for the real thing. I didn’t know how much spectating my body could take.
It was the perfect day, Walter ran with the wind, leaving surprised onlookers cheering. Then he had second breakfast; hard-boiled duck eggs and roast chicken. Athletes like a high protein snack. He didn’t want a nap, but he was willing to meditate. Then finally the second run, even faster than the first.
And just when it could not get one tiny bit better, we came back on Sunday and did it all again.
Have I mentioned how nice all the people were? And the dogs were having such a great time. This is an event where the dogs run with glee and abandon and there is very little human intervention, unless you count the cheers and congratulations for all the dogs.
Walter earned his Coursing Ability title Sunday morning, now he has letters at the end of his name. What does a title mean to us? It’s a stamp on our passport and I expect others. It means that even if we met under bittersweet conditions, we plan to travel side by side from here on out.
On Walter’s last run of the weekend, he started strong and pulled like a locomotive. It was a much hotter day and the finish line was up a long hill. His time just as quick: 300 yards in just a bit over 30 seconds. Do the math, Bunnies.
We came home and went back to our weekday lives. Just when I had convinced Walter that he could nap through my trips to the bathroom, he’s fallen in love all over again and can’t let me out of his sight. Guess I’m still his favorite lure.
Yesterday, I was digging in my tote bag and a plastic bag with some fasteners from the hardware store fell out. Walter grabbed bag and ran to the far end of the house. He would have run another 300 yards if the front door had been open. I think there is some other title for that.
Here’s Walter, obliterating a tumbleweed twice his size, on the way to the kill!
Walter, Walter, Walter, CA: Making the prairie safe from marauding white plastic bags. I know there are some horses out there who want to thank him.
Anna Blake, Infinity Farm.
Consider a Rescue Animal: Wyoming Dachshund and Corgi Rescue or Corgi Connection of Kansas Rescue and Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue.
Please remember to sign up for HORSEPLAY ALLOWED, our Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue Benefit coming up on June 8th. And more information is on my events page.
14 thoughts on “Walter Kills (bags) at Lure Coursing.”
Walter Walter Walter CA, best coursing corgi I know. It was so much fun, watching you have fun. Note: there is no betting on dogs in lure coursing like there might be in greyhound racing…lure coursing simulates dogs hunting/coursing (catching their prey by speed, running by sight and not by scent) rabbit/hares and gives them the opportunity with no rabbits being injured.
I have a really dumb question…what makes them want to pursue a plastic bag? My corgi absolutely loves to run, but I’m not sure a bag would motivate him. I had no idea these long low bodies moved like they do until we got Sam. Our old corgi Dylan doesn’t have an athletic bone in his whole body but Sam is all about muscle and speed.
I had my doubts too! But read Linda’s comment above, and I think for the corgis it is a bit of herding thrown in. I was so surprised and now we have to go again, Walter had the time of his life. I bet Sam would watch once and get it too.
Briarcroft, most dogs want to chase things..you’d be surprised. We did do a bit of ‘training’ with Walter. Toss the bag with a ball or feed them from the bag or smear with peanut butter/bacon fat and pull it on a string at home…all ways to get them interested in chasing the bag. Herding is just a refined prey drive…they just chase the sheep/cattle in a controlled manner. If you have a CAT test near you…let Sam give it a try.
We sure had fun watching Walter run. What a super little hound. He certainly showed that having half-sized legs made no difference at all.
Thanks, KC. You and Tom are the best for hosting. We had the very most fun.
The “chase” segment of the predatory motor pattern sequence is very strong in many, many breeds. For herding breeds, that chase segment is obviously needed, but guided and controlled by humans (see Linda Pocurull’s comment). The next segments of the sequence — grab-bite >> kill-bite — have been inhibited by humans in herding dogs, but in sighthounds those segments remain “alive and well”.
It was a joy to meet Walter that weekend and watch him chase the “bunny” with all his heart and soul. Hard to beat the experience of seeing your canine buddies demonstrate their athleticism with such joyous abandon!
I will sleep better tonight, knowing Walter, Walter, Walter is on the job. That Corgi boy has wings!
This is so wonderful!
Fantastic National Geo Quality photo!
Don’t let him hang in the Safeway parking lot. Shoppers will be imperiled.
Thanks for the tip, Val. The photographer is KC Thompson, and she is great! Our photo posing with the ribbon is the stuff fashion mags are made of…
**swoons with awwwww** Walter! That first picture is simply AWESOME. So happy you found each other.