Sunday, January 22, 2012

A New Athlete

Like many younger siblings, Guppy is often shown up by his big sister, Norah. Norah is a Basenji mix (we call her Basenji 101) and my first dog as an adult. I rescued her hours from euthanasia at the shelter where I worked. Up until then, I had only fostered cats. 

Norah is as sweet as they come and everyone that meets her falls in love with her (even begrudgingly, Guppy).  Norah excels at most everything she tries. She is very athletic and much taller than Guppy. She is 16 inches at the withers (perfect female Basenji size) where Guppy is 13 inches at the withers (I suspect Guppy’s “birth” parents may have been related hence his dwarfism). Norah jumps higher, runs faster and listens better than Guppy.  

Before we gave up the tropics for the desert both dogs had been enrolled at The Dog Training Club of Tampa where Norah was on her way to becoming an agility superstar and Guppy was working on his obedience in pursuit of his Canine Good Citizen certification. 

Yesterday we attended a Dog Sports shows in Tempe, AZ. I was anxious to introduce Norah to lure coursing; she has a dangerously strong prey drive so I suspected she would love it.
What I wasn’t sure of was how Guppy would do. If he would notice there was something to chase or if he would be as distracted as he normally is. 

I was able to run both dogs and Norah was of course a speed demon. I ran each dog individually and then ran them together. Guppy surprised me and though he acted like he was totally bored during obedience class (he would mess around with other dogs in the class, chew on the floor mats, chew on his leash etc.) he had WAY better focus than Norah on the lure. Norah knew there was something she wanted (and was allowed) to chase but other than that she just wanted to go fast. Guppy was so good he never let his eyes off the lure and even escaped several times from his collar to “crash” the course while another dog was running.
I’m thinking the CGC can wait, I might have a lure coursing superstar (or two) on my hands! Go Guppy go!

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