Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Living Vicariously Thru My Kid and My Dog........

We had a very busy weekend; so busy in fact that I’m just getting around to blogging about it. I was exhausted and needed recovery time. I actually have a two brags to record here, so if you don’t feel like reading the ravings of an unabashed proud mom feel free to skip this post.

First and foremost, Wheeler is going to wrestle in the Georgia High School Association State Tournament this weekend. In order to qualify, he had to finish in the top four in his weight class at our Area Tournament. After spending most of the day last Friday and all day Saturday in Social Circle, GA he qualified. Needless to say he’s really excited, and I’m very proud of him. Here’s a picture of him wrestling.

I can’t guarantee that this pic is from the match that qualified him, but I think it is. They all look the same when they’re rolling around on a mat – ya know.

The Area Tournament felt like it lasted forever. There were about 14 teams there and only two mats – made for a very slow pace. I thought my rump was going to take root on the bleachers. But in the end it was all worth it. Here’s a shot of Wheels relaxing in the stands after his win. He’d more or less recovered from his match by the time I snapped this one.

We’ll spend this Friday and Saturday at the Gwinnett Arena. All good thoughts for a safe and successful completion are appreciated.

I spent the day on Sunday lure coursing with Rosie and Nick. Rosie was one of two Pharaoh Hounds running that day, and the only one running in open, so she could only get four points for the day regardless of how well, or poorly, she ran – assuming of course that she ran the course and didn’t just stop. The good news here however is not how she ran Sunday, though she ran well, but that those four points were enough to earn her Field Champion status. Yeah Rosie!!

We couldn’t have had a better day for coursing. The temps topped out in the high 50’s and it was clear and sunny. The ground was not too dry and provided near perfect footing. My friend Sandy brought yummy BBQ for lunch. The company and the vittles were both excellent, though we missed several of our regular coursing buddies. Sandy also brought Rosie a celebratory bottle of Champagne to commemorate her achievement. Sandy and I drank it at lunch and didn’t even share with poor Rosie. Before you picture two drunk women careening around the field, let me point out that the bottle we shared was small (about ¼ the size of a regular bottle.) Here’s Rosie posing with her spoils.

And another of her passed out on the couch. See how she gathers the sofa pillows and uses them for extra padding. She certainly is no dummy :-)!

When I think about it, wrestling and lure coursing have a lot in common. In both sports lots of time is spent sitting around waiting for your child, or dog as the case may be, to have their turn. Then, although I always wish for success, I mostly pray that they finish their match unhurt.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened in the Lunch Line..

Remember back when you were in high school and went to the cafeteria every day for lunch? I don’t know about you, but I always was scared of the lunch ladies. Back in those days you got what you got – no choices – and you’d better not complain. Some days we had hamburgers with stripes painted on to make the patty appear to have been grilled. On others, fried frozen fish sticks were the hot menu item – usually swimming in tartar sauce – yum!

Rob came home from work several weeks ago all excited. Said he’d been in a commercial that day at lunch. I think my response was along the lines of “That’s nice honey.” I then proceeded to forget all about it. Well yesterday this YouTube creation appeared in my inbox.

I think I was right to be scared of the lunch ladies!! At least he got a free sandwich out of it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's All About The Chase.....

Nick, Rosie, and I spent the weekend before last lure coursing. The three of us really enjoy it for lots of reasons. First and foremost, I really like watching my pups run flat out as fast as they can and, well, I think they like doing the running. I love this picture taken by Uma Rapiti Photography of Nick. He appeared to be looking at the camera as he came in on the bag at the end of the course. I always like Lee’s pictures, but this one is a personality shot that I’ll always treasure.

We had a wonderful weekend. The trial was sponsored by the Southeastern Greyhound Club. Saturday, was an ASFA event. My hounds had a good day. Nick won open, defeating 3 other hounds. Rosie also took open, but it was a hollow victory as she was the only open Pharaoh running that day. Sunday, was the inaugural National Lure Coursing Club trial. The format of the trial was new. The hounds ran in braces and rather than tallying scores from two runs, winners were determined thru a modified double elimination format. I liked some things about this new format and didn’t like others, but all in all, it’s about the chase. The pups don’t know or care how or if they’re being scored. Also, instead of wearing blankets, the pups (at least the short haired breeds) wore wide red or white collars - much easier to deal with from a handler's perspective.

I’ve attached a slide show that I made comprised mostly of pictures from this trial as well as from the Winter Challenge at GANG Park in Calhoun, GA. That ASFA trial was a five day event that culminated on New Year’s Eve, and really tested the hounds’ endurance. We only made it to three of the 5 days. My hounds might have been able to handle five consecutive days of coursing, I couldn’t though.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Father's Eyes.....

Weekend before last, I was at the Southeastern Greyhound Club’s lure coursing field trial where we had a really good time both on the field and visiting with old friends. This post isn’t about that event though (I’ll cover that later after my pictures come), but about a comment made by my friend Toni about Nick’s eyes. She asked me if Dutch Bahama was in his pedigree. Now I’m not a big studier of hound pedigrees, so I had no idea. She pointed out that his eyes looked like he came from that line. She went home and looked it up, and sure enough, Dutch Bahama was Nick’s great great grandpa. Cool!!

Now that got me thinking about why exactly we chose to adopt Nick. After Speedy and Sugar died last summer, we resolved to be a one dog family for awhile. I was considering getting a puppy that I could show as well as lure course. Though I knew in the back of my mind that I would eventually get another grey, I thought the hurt was too fresh and I wasn’t ready. In fact, I didn’t think I would be ready anytime soon. Then I saw Nick’s picture on SEGA’s adoptable page. Here's a copy.

He was a small male (small equals less likely to get hurt coursing) with beautiful eyes that reminded me of Sugar's. Now Nick and Sugar look nothing alike. She was a pretty white female with one brindle ear. He’s a red male – but those eyes.

See what I mean!!

I had to meet him. Well of course once I met him, I had to bring him home. The small black “Speedy kiss” on the top of his head sealed the deal. Funny thing is, I looked back as Sugar's pedigree this weekend. Guess what, Dutch Bahama was her grandpa. What do you know about that?

Now being related to Dutch Bahama is not so unusual. According to Greyhound Data, he sired 2557 pups, but of course not all of them were bred. He was a pretty famous guy though and was inducted into the Greyhound Hall of Fame in 1990.

Turns out that Nick and Speedy are also related through Downing, another famous racer found in both of their pedigrees. He won the World Classic in 1977.

Speedy - also a handsome fellow

I’ve been missing both Speedy and Sugar lately; I guess I always will. Maybe they got together at the Rainbow Bridge and sent Nicky to me. I find that thought a little comforting.