Weight Pulling - Demo - Schwenksville Community Days - April 30, 2011
We participated in this event last year, and when Tracy asked if we would again this year I said yes very quickly. Unfortunately, Tracy had surgery and couldn't attend, but her mom & dad and Jean were going to be there. Also pitching in was Jill, whom I've never met before but what a terrific dog person and I felt like I've known her a long time.
This year in addition to a Rally Course and Weight Pull, Jean set up a "Doggie Nascar" course:
Tracy's mom had little Mindy with her and Deacon, Jean had Sprint & Angel, Jill had Ivan, Romnie came with Lucy & Dixie, and I was there with Sebastian and Cinnabar.
When we pulled in, some of the folks recognized us from last year and said, "these are the dogs that pull!" So nice they leave a good impression. Well evidently from the photos on the community web page and perhaps word-of-mouth from last year there were many kids wanting to know "when do the malamute rides start" - LOL!
I told them they weren't so much rides, but that we were demonstrating the sport of weightpull and we would need some people for extra weight. If they wanted to participate I had to speak to their parent and get their permission and be released from all liability should they fall off and get injured. The parents were all great and agreed to that.
Before that started, I gave both boys a chance at "Doggie Nascar". Cinnabar loved it. Sebastian was ok with it.
As more of the crowd arrived we started off the weight pull demo with the little dogs first.
Ivan trying for the first time, a pretty good effort:
Siberian trying for the first time, a great effort (he also passed his CGC the same day):
Cinnabar surprising Romnie with power start making one of the blocks fall off the cart. All his other pulls he had kids as well as the blocks so that didn't happen again:
Sebastian pulling blocks & kids:
After that, the dogs rested for a while. Jean setup the weave poles, and while there was a break in the crowd I brought out Sebastian to try them. Been a while since we've done it, but not bad. His entry was good, but after a few of them he decided to skip every other one. A little better on his next try. Cinnabar was very much the same. I realized afterward that we usually only do 6 poles and this was 12 poles, so after the first 6 they were skipping poles. Too smart for their own good.
I took Cinnabar for a walk through the crowd to see all the tents. My goodness the dog is bomb proof. We were mobbed and not just by kids. I don't think I've ever talked so much about malamutes to so many different people. One woman let her toddler come up and before I could stop him, he had his hands on each side of Cinnabar's mouth and was trying to kiss him. Cinnabar leaned down to him and was very gentle. I did tell the woman she shouldn't let him do that with just any dog because to a dog it's an attack. There was an adult woman who was afraid of dogs but her husband talked her into petting Cinnabar. Cinnabar leaned into her and looked up at her with those gentle eyes and she was pretty quickly getting over her fear. She stayed with him for almost 5 minutes. I expected to take a 10 minute walk, but we were out in the crowd for at least a half hour. My sweet boy is a great ambassador for the breed.
Then I took Sebastian out for weaves again. A young lady wanted to pet him and based on Sebastian's reaction to her, knew she was good. She kneeled down and he put his head on her shoulder for the petting. He doesn't do that for everyone. A crowd of kids saw that and started to pounce, but I held up my hand and said "one at a time", knowing he's not bomb proof like his brother. The kids didn't want to wait and scampered off, which was fine by me. I did "Doggie Nascar" with him again and he was more into this time.
Cinnabar got another shot at "Doggie Nascar" and the weaves, and then they both had a break until we were going to demo weight pull again.
Jean gave a scheduled talk to the crowd on Dog Safety, which went well. I could see more people picking up literature after her talk. Jill then gave a scheduled talk about Therapy Dogs, using Ivan as an example. By this time about 5 more people with Therapy Dogs had arrived to support her in her talk. This discussion is harder for the general public, they think Guide Dogs and Search & Rescue Dogs, so this was a good introduction of the topic for these folks.
We had all been very mindful of a gentleman with a big unaltered Lab. The Lab's body language told us he was dominant and he was very interested in some of our dogs. While Jean demo'd weaves he came and stood at the end of the run with his dog. I got between them and asked him to move his dog back, and explained why. I don't think he got it, but did move back a bit. I stayed in between while others ran the weaves.
Time for our next weight pull demo, and the dogs did their thing again. We thought the man and his Lab were gone. I crated Cinnabar after he pulled and got Sebastian out when the Lab was there again looking intently at us. Jean asked him to move back, but when I saw where he moved, I declined to pull Sebastian and Jean agreed. Sebastian can be unpredictable and this gentleman certainly was, so we weren't going to take chances. I kept watching but the man didn't budge.
I brought the cart over to where the boys were crated and pulled him from there, just so he got some work. Surprisingly, even tucked away like that, kids found us and asked lots of questions. So that worked out well.
The day went very quickly and I had two tired boys by the end of it:
There are more photos of our setup, the weaves, the Rally Course & dogs pulling here in my Schwenksville 2011 Album
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