Monday, September 13, 2004

Sunday's flyball practice

Well, despite my best intentions, I just wasn't able to focus on the tug at practice. There's just too much going on and so, so many people to see and greet that I lose track of myself. I did run over four jumps back and forth to my people. BUT, the only reason that I didn't run off to greet the other people was that the gating was up so that I couldn't go anywhere but over the jumps. Even though that seems like it should be a pretty easy thing to do, it's hard in such a new environment. I have to keep reminding one of my people that it'll all come together in due course. She sees how good some of my teammates (especially Cap, who grew up on the same farm that I did, but he's a week older than me--we are so proud of how well he's doing) are doing, but then I give her a quick lick and let her know that even though she may not see it, I'm soaking it all up.

tomorrow I have agility class, which I love 'cause I get to show off how athletic I am and be out in the late summer sun to boot. Even better, this week flyball class starts!! To get ready, my person and I practiced on the flyball box at home today. The flyball box is a box with a pedal on it. When a dog hits the pedal, it triggers a spring mechanism and a ball pops out. Having a "good" box is an important part of being a good flyball dog because, just like in competetive human swimming, the turn around can make all the difference. Also, like swimmers, flyball dogs tend to be fastest when they can do a "swimmer's turn". That's not always how it was, though. It used to be that the handlers actually walked the dog up to the box. Here's some more interesting facts in the history of flyball. As dogs have gotten better boxes, world records have also gotten faster. The earliest world record was held around 1985 by Canine Express and was 24.49 seconds. My team, Front Runners, were the world record holders in 1986 and 1987 (with times of 22.96 and 21.48), but now the fastest team is Spring Loaded and they just keep breaking their own records--most recently last week-end when they ran the course in 15.37.

I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to run the course in under 4 seconds--I just have to figure out how to ignore all the lovely people, other dogs, crazy barking, interesting smells and moving tennis balls. But, it'll come...

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