Dog Dancing - My beagle and I try America's weirdest pet hobby. By Emily Yoffe
After reading this, I decided to write her -- and then decided to post my email to her here.
Before getting into this -- People I really like and spend weekends with occasionally do Dog Dancing. I don't.
People I like and spend weekends with occasionally do Dock Diving. We get along and our dogs get along, but the beagles eye them with suspicion because they actually LIKE being wet.
So here's the email:
Okay, I have to start out by admitting that the beagle I tried dog dancing with WAS the Number 1 Obedience Beagle in the country (for 8 years, bless her), so both of us were a bit more motivated than you and Sasha. Also a lot more prepared, she actually did things when I told her to do them.
Sometimes. Always when I had food in my hand.
The bad news, was at the time, I think she was 9 years old, too blind for the obedience ring, but however DID walk to the beat of one of the Peanuts tunes, and did do spins and stuff. We tried it for a couple of weeks and I can't remember who decided if it was for the border collies ... she or I. (And no, I didn't have border collies at the time, and I've sworn off them).
Okay, I promised the weirdest dog sport. Big Air is almost the weirdest dog sport -- it was on Great Outdoor Games this weekend, however, those people came up with a weirder one. The Launch. At least Big Air demands the handler to actually throw something. The Launch only requires the dog to run down a dog and grab a dummy suspended in air. The dog that grabs the highest one wins.
Sorry, that's weird.
My husband and I were discussing it in beagle terms -- I would get one of the girls on a boat dock, point out the dummy suspended in air, convince them to run down the dog with food, and then when they saw the water, they would put on the beagle brakes -- curse at me in beagle curses -- silent in Marcie's case, very loud bellows in Maggie's. And I would NEVER EVER get them on a boat dock again.
And I'm someone dumb enough to compete in Dog Obedience for 8 years (but be really good at it), and play dog agility now -- not good at it, but we have an much better time at it than we did with Dog Obedience.
And yes, I cheerfully acknowledge that it is a weird hobby, but a) keeps me off the streets and b) keeps me from killing teenagers (I'm a teacher).