Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mutt Dog Derby

The Mutt Dog Derby is an annual fundraiser for the local humane society in which anyone can bring their dog down to the local greyhound park and let them race on the track! We haven't done it for several years for whatever reason, but we decided to go this year. We took 5 of our 6 dogs and ran 4 of them. Bibi, a winner in her division about 5 years ago, stayed home because it was very hot, and we didn't want to stress her with her heart condition and all. Laika has had some dog aggression issues in the past, so we took her to expose her to a bunch of other dogs on neutral territory. She did fantastic, and we will likely run her next year.

The event is organized in a fun manner. The dogs are divided by size (small = <25 medium =" 25" large =" ">40 lbs) and run in several preliminary heats. The dogs start in the actual starting boxes that the greyhounds use and run down the homestretch to the wildly calling and cheering owners. The winner of each heat will return in the evening and run against the other winners in their size class. These races are run as something of a "half-time show" between actual greyhound races. The first, second and third place winners in each division get a trophy and $75, $50, and $25, respectively.

Anyway, our dogs had a pretty pathetic showing. Teddy (Yorkie) and Schatzi (long-haired dachshund) ran in the fourth small dog race of the morning. Teddy was in the number 7 position and Schatzi was in the number 8. In all the dogs' defense, sound doesn't carry very well down to them and the addition of the cheering and yelling of the spectators further confuses them. Additionally, there are "helpers" all over the track to keep an eye on the dogs and help them along, which is also disorienting.

Our newest addition, Cozi (Pomeranian), and Shiba (long-tailed Yorkie) ran in the fifth small dog race. Cozi was in the number 1 position, and Shiba in the number 2. Entertainingly enough, Cozi - the dog we figured was the least likely to go anywhere - was the only one of our dogs who actually finished the race!

All in all, a fun event! We will try to train with a loud whistle or something and have a better showing next year!

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