Sunday, September 11, 2016

NSGA Annual Picnic - Agility Demo

Our local adoption group hosts an annual picnic every year in September, and it is so much fun! There's usually around 200 people and 100 hounds. There are collar and coat vendors, raffle prizes, games, and a live auction.

This year we offered to do an agility and disc demo, and I also decided to sell my homemade dog treats. I have been making treats for my own dogs for a little while now, mostly dehydrated, and more recently I have taken to baking fish fudge and liver brownies for them. I also made a couple batches of apple pupcakes for the event which were a huge hit. I had planned to offer some crash courses in obedience but with so many events it became very difficult to make that work. Being tied to my own booth meant that I didn't really get to enjoy all the events and festivities, but it also kept me from spending too much money! I managed to escape only buying 2 things, both for Kenna. She got a new collar and an adult sized rain coat.

And then of course there was the demo. I had quite a bit planned for the demo but ran into a lot of unexpected complications. For one thing the radar gun runs took place in the same fenced agility area, which makes sense so they didn't have to set up two fences. They were also concerned about space with all the people they were expecting though, and as a result the area we were given for agility was incredibly small. Timing/scheduling was also a bit of an issue since there were so many events to be fit into only a couple of hours. I had both of my girls to run, and then I asked another local family that has just started in agility with their two greyhounds to join us. I had planned for each dog to run a couple of courses that my instructor had designed for the event, and then I wanted to do some simple gambles (because distance work is pretty impressive!), followed by a little disc demonstration. However, with all the events we ended up only getting about 15 minutes for our demo, which meant running each dog once (I ran Kili twice) but not getting to do anything else. I was a little disappointed as I'd really been looking forward to the demo, but everyone told me how much they enjoyed it so mission accomplished! If I were to do it again in future though I think I'd need to have an idea of the schedule ahead of time so I could be sure that we'd have enough time to put on a full demo to make it worth the effort of hauling the equipment! This was a first for both parties, and I don't think we really planned it out as well as we could have! But that's to be expected the first time around.

 Here's some footage of each of the dogs. The aww and amazement when Kili does the first set of weave poles makes me smile. I'm always happy when she impresses people, but I'm so used to seeing dogs doing so much more than just a simple set of weave poles that I forget that it's a pretty cool behaviour for the general public!

Prior to the demo I did have one person remark, "Oh! I know you! You're the one with the magic greyhound that can do agility!" I suppose to most of the greyhound community it must seem like magic, but I assure you there's no magic... just lots of training! :)


janette Ash said...

Those are great weaves, way to go Kili. 200 participants, wow, sure makes our picnics of 40 or 50 seem small by all accounts. It was especially nice to see a couple of other hounds participating in agility. Looks like the weather was nice, glad you all had a great time. Here is hoping that the picnic helps some newly retired greyhounds find their forever homes, how awesome would that be.

Kristie Smith said...
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Apex Agility Greyhounds said...

There were lots of foster hounds in attendance, so hopefully some of them found their forever couches. And yes, we got really lucky with the weather! We were at an agility trial the following day and the weather was truly awful. I was so happy we were only there for half a day!