Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NAMAA Nationals

A full report will be drafted soon, but suffice it to say our very first national specialty was a great success!! Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Hungarian Hound Gathering

On October 5th, I took Gil and Pi on a little outing to Walnut Creek to attend the second annual reunion of a small group of Transylvanian Hound fanciers/owners. Being that the Magyar Agar is a Hungarian breed, and being the dog nerd that I am, I had done some research on other breeds from the same region and stumbled upon the Transylvanian Hound. The Transylvanian Hound, or Erdélyi kopó as it is known in Hungary, is a very rare scenthound breed used primarily for tracking large game like wild boar and deer.

Like the Magyar Agars, the Erdélyi kopó nearly became extinct after the second world war when Romania and Hungary split apart and a new political regime took over what had once been a larger empire. Slowly, through the efforts of dedicated breeders, the Erdélyi kopó is making a come-back. The Transylvanian Hound Club of America is part of that effort, and nearly 3 years after it's inception there are now over 20 Erdélyi kopós registered in the United States.

I found out about the gathering through Facebook and contacted the host to see if it would be okay for the boys and I to come for a visit. I was not only invited, I was welcomed with open arms! The hounds enjoyed some playtime while the humans enjoyed a lovely potluck dinner and friendly conversation.

At the final tally, we had 2 Magyar Agars, 12 Erdélyi kopós, and 3 Vizslas. It was a great little Hungarian family reunion!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

LGRA Racing - Pi's First Points

Photo credit to Julia Jones

So even though Pi is already 2 years old, I delayed his racing career due to several issues which I will not go into detail about here. I had previously only run him in one or two programs, scratching him before he could actually complete a full meet. Last weekend I finally decided that he was ready to run three full programs and entered him in our club's first fall LGRA meet.

I really wish we had starting boxes that could accommodate these Agars. Hand-slipping them not only requires several extra hands, it's also extremely hard to get even slips on all the dogs which can lead to some pretty odd outcomes at the finish line. At this point Pi's speed seems to quickly be approaching Gil's. With Gil getting older and Pi getting closer to his prime age, I expect that he will surpass his father in short time.

We had four Agars racing on Saturday: Gil, Pi, Gator and Patti. In the first program, Pi came in a clear first followed by Gator and then Gil for a very close second/third respectively, and then Patti in fourth. I thought it was odd that Pi finished so far ahead of the others, but I chalked it up to either a preslip on him or a late slip for Gator and Gil. The second and third programs were more consistent with what I would expect; Gator clearly in first with Pi and Gil competing for second and third. At the end of the day when all scores were tallied, Pi ended up taking second place in the meet and earned his first GRC and NRC points. Unfortunately, Patti came out of the third program with one very fat toe and another toe with a swollen knuckle joint. Hopefully with some rest and a little TLC she will recover and be able to finish out the season.