PIctured Check out Art's boys!
With the Gay Games starting this week, I started thinking about our pets and how they should have a chance to compete at the Olympic level too. How cute would the winners look up on the podium wearing their metals and waving their country's flags? There are several sports for you and your dog to enjoy and compete in together. I am not sure about cats and sports. I guess acting aloof could be considered a sport, or maybe hide and seek? I know that I have thought that I lost a cat or two while cat sitting for friends. Felines are extremely talented at hiding!
Dog sports are a great way to supplement your dog's everyday training while keeping them stimulated both mentally and physically and, best of all, it wears them out! Be sure to think about your dog's size and health prior to chosing a sport. Agility training may not be right for a smaller breed unless the course is adjusted for their smaller legs.
Other than Frisbee, agility and flyball are probably the best known dog sports. Agility involves a course that you and your dog run together that can include a tunnel, teeter-totter and weave poles. Flyball is a relay race with four dogs on a team. The dogs jump hurdles and step on a spring-loaded box that shoots out a tennis ball. The dog catches the tennis ball and then runs back over the hurdles. Once the dog crosses the starting line the next dog goes.
Then there is Musical Freestyle! This one sounds perfect for our community. It combines obedience, dance and teamwork between you and your dog, and it is all performed to music. No training aids or treats are allowed, but you are encouraged to wear fabulous costumes!
I must admit that my two can harldy bring back a toy, let alone catch one that pops out of a box and then give it up. They do excel at other things. Bowie could be entered in the I- can-follow-you-to-every-room-even-in-my-sleep competition. Topo could be entered in the squeaking-and de-squeaking-a-toy in-less-than-a-minute contest. And I think that most dogs I know would find thate I-can-roll-over-the-fastest-for-a-belly- rub contest to be an extremely competitive one. Let the games begin!
Let's Pet Together at the River East Art Center
July 20, 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., 435 East Illinois, Chicago
Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and raffles. Denise Zak, Animal Intuitive, artist Alberto Ugarte. Tickets are $35 per person; $40 at the door. Dogs are free! All proceeds benefit The Anti-Cruelty Society. www.anticruelty.org or 312-644-8338, ext. 307.
Tree House Foundation presents Kitty Kindergarden
at Soggy Paws
August 9, 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m., 1148 W. Leland
Socializing your kitten and more. 90 minute class, $15. Proceeds to benefit Tree House. www.TreeHouseAnimals.org or 773-784-5488