Thursday, September 16, 2010

Boo for flyball politics!

Flyball politics, what the heck does that even mean? Why do they exist and why can't they just go away? Politics have a way of always making their way into everything. It's such a shame! Boo for flyball politics!!

We all play flyball to have fun with our dogs, right? Most of us play flyball as our hobby, not for a living. Hobbies are supposed to be the fun part of our lives. There is so much crap going on in the world today, why bring politics and general nastiness into flyball?

As with life, you are not going to get along with everyone in flyball, that is a given. We are all adults and since we have made it this far in life, then I am sure everyone has gone through arguments and disagreements with people. Since we are adults and live in a civilized society, we learn to deal with these situations in a mature manner. We may not always agree with how we are treated, but then we no longer associate with those people anymore.

I guess all the tension arises because the flyball world is such a small one. This makes it nearly impossible to just walk away and no longer associate with a person or group that you no longer get along with. Maybe that is why flyball politics can get so ugly? Can't we still try to act like mature adults? Am I saying that I have always acted like this awesome mature adult that I talk about? No, I admit to being angry, hurt and acting unreasonable. But as time goes on, I can think about things rationally and I try my best to move on and look at the big picture: having fun with my dogs! They don't care what is going on with other people or other teams. They don't care what kind of politics or BS is going on. A good lesson to learn from the dogs!

We started X Flyball with one major goal in mind: to have a fun, positive experience with our dogs. In order to reach this goal we decided that we wanted nothing to do with the politics of flyball. We don't care what team you play for, what color your team is, where you live, how fast your team is, or what organization you play for. We are just out there to have fun and be as competitive as possible. As X approaches its first year as a team we have struggled to stay out of the politics of flyball, but we all feel that we are much happier for it. I hope that whatever the situation is, we can all can take the time to look at the bigger picture.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fall Tournaments!

We have all decided that flyball out west is crazy with its scheduling.  We have several times each year where there are no tournaments for 2-3 months (such as the summer), and then there is a three month period where there seems to be a tournament almost every weekend (fall)!  It is excruciating to have to make the call to not go to a tournament when we all love playing with our dogs so much.

This fall our team has had to make some really tough tournament decisions based not only on cost (entry fees, travel, hotel, etc.) and time off work, but also just to not over-work our dogs and have time to fix training issues if they come up at tournaments. 

Keeping in mind the big trip that we have planned to St. Louis in November, we also had to think about balancing that with our local fall tournament schedule.  The St. Louis trip alone will mean at least a week off from work for everyone, not to mention travel expenses.  Had we decided to forgo the championships this year, we probably could have afforded to go to a few more fall tournaments!  But we are hoping that we made some good decisions this year and that our green dogs will get some valuable racing experience this fall before heading east.

We are so excited about the big trip, especially getting to see our friends on teams that we do not get to see or race against very often!  We can't wait to see everyone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer of X

Everyone on X has been keeping busy this summer!  Besides our regular flyball practices, we have all been getting our dogs out to keep in condition, cross-train in other sports, and just to have fun.

This past weekend half of our team was able to help out at Lickety Splits' annual Training Days workshop.  It was a great event and a really fun way to spend the weekend.  It was wonderful to see so many green dogs and handlers make so much progress in such a short time.  Lickety Splits has helped our team so much - we were thrilled to be able to reciprocate by helping out this weekend.

All of our dogs love swimming, so they have all been doing a lot of that so far this summer. The Vegas crew is fortunate enough to have Kathy and Alex's ginormous pool, which has already hosted several mega-dog-swim-fests.  In fact, one of my favorite memories of this summer will always be driving up to race at Stampede's June tournament one day, then driving back to Vegas and swimming all of the dogs that night at Kathy and Alex's pool. When you also add Alex's killer grilled burgers and hot dogs, it was a totally perfect day and just what summer should always be about.

We have also had a blast swimming and hanging out with Rude Dogs West.  You all rock!  THANK YOU!

Here in San Diego, we have been taking our dogs to Fiesta Island pretty regularly to run and swim.  (I'm not gonna lie, Fiesta Island is a freaking awesome place to take your dogs: it is a 90 acre fenced in dog beach.)  I have also discovered a great place to take my dogs for a straight-up swimming workout.  Cutting Edge K9 Rehab is only 10 minutes from my house.  You can do physical therapy with your dog if needed, or if you have healthy dogs, you can rent pool time and do 30 minutes of nonstop water retrieves.  It is awesome exercise for my dogs, not to mention they do not run crazy around the pool and shred their feet!

Dragon and Seek at Cutting Edge K9. photo by Trish Penick

Speaking of swimming, we on X are giving our dogs electrolytes to drink prior to going into the water this summer.  Water toxicity is something that everyone with water-loving dogs should be aware of. It is a life-threatening condition that has happened to quite a few dogs that we know.  Pre-loading your dog with electrolytes can help prevent this from happening, but always be observant of your dogs in the pool (or hose, sprinkler, etc), especially if they are prone to swallowing water as they swim. 

We are all looking forward to our next practice all together as a group.  Although being geographically separated is annoying most of the time, when we do get together, it is always cool to see how much some of our dogs have improved since the last time we saw them.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rest In Peace Cobydog

For those of us who play flyball, we will always have that one special dog who introduces us to the world of flyball. What a world it is! Anyone who plays flyball knows it's one crazy world to live in. When we play flyball with our dogs there comes a point when we all realize that it's more of a partnership than an owner and dog relationship. We spend endless hours training, travel all over and we share the love of the game with our dogs. Flyball dogs are not just pets, they are our partners in crime, companions, and above all else they are beloved family members. The dog that introduced Kathy to flyball was Coby, lovingly referred to as Cobydog.

Cobydog was a beautiful blue Australian Cattle Dog. Everyone who saw him thought he was beautiful. His full name was Ch. Castle Butte's Cobalt Blue. In his early years he was shown and earned his Championship in the show ring. Coby was always super high drive and was very hard to show because he had such high toy drive. Other competitors knew this about Coby so they would bring squeaky toys into the ring and try to distract Coby on purpose. But no one could take away from his good looks so he earned his Championship anyway!

Flyball was the perfect sport for Coby: he was able to use his high drive and the game involved a ball and barking!! Kathy and Coby quickly became hooked on flyball and the rest is history! Coby loved the game of flyball and earned his FMX in NAFA. He had to retire at the age of 9 because he was losing his vision, but even with limited sight he ran his last race with the same gusto he started with. That was what Coby was all about. He put his whole heart into everything and always knew how to have a good time. Not only was he a great flyball dog, he was also Kathy's protector. Kathy always felt safe when going on hikes alone, walking alone or just being at home alone. Coby's bond with Kathy was so strong he would protect her against anything.

Today the X family is grieving and giving our dogs extra hugs today because Kathy and Alex had to make one of the hardest decisions that anyone ever has to make. Coby will forever be in our hearts. He was the coolest ACD I ever met. He had this huge heart and just this awesome spirit. Every time I saw him he had a huge smile on his face. He always had a toy in his mouth and was game to do anything. He lost all his vision but he didn't care. He lived life to the fullest and always had fun! We should all live our lives like Coby lived his.

Somewhere out there Cobydog has his sight back and is running around with his Polly pig and of course barking up a storm and is just as happy as he ever was! We love you and will miss you Cobydog!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dragon Breaks The U-FLI Singles Record!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Dragon and Stephanie!! Dragon became the fastest singles dog in U-FLI with a time of 3.603 this past weekend!!

Lets start at the beginning....

We made a spur of them moment decision after the Bishop tournament to go to Stampede's Summer Hot Spot tournament after someone had to pull one team at the last minute and there was a slot open for us to race in. After the last tournament there were a few kinks that we thought we needed to work out with our green dogs. We also thought it would be great experience for Dragon to run singles again to give him more experience and confidence. We decided to go for one day and just make a fun easy weekend of it.

We woke up at 4:30am and drove out to Hurricane UT. Everyone knows I'm not an morning person but I can usually wake up early for flyball. Plus I'm use to getting no sleep before flyball tournaments because Kathy and I are usually so excited we talk the whole night before and only end up getting a few hours of sleep anyways. We also lost an hour going to UT so we needed to get up extra early. The drive to UT was beautiful!

We got to the tournament site bright and early and our awesome friends from Utah Tail Blazers had saved us the most perfect spot. They are a great bunch. We helped each other out all day and
it worked out great. We so appreciated their help. Our small little team only came with four people (plus Kurt) so if it were not for their wonderful help we would not have been able to race. This was the first weekend I was able to use my wire crates!! WOO HOO!! I'm such a wire crate convert! Thank you Omaha Speed Racers!! The wire crates give my dogs so much more room to stretch out and so much more ventilation! AND its so much easier to haul into the building!! Before you know it I might convert to using just an X-pen!!

Our main focus of the day was to get Stare running in start, get Psycho more experience passing and run singles with Dragon. We started off the morning with a bang! Stare came out on fire! This boy loves to start. In Bishop he was running anchor for a few various reasons and was just gaining his confidence. He was solid all weekend and did amazing in Bishop but he ran in start this weekend with a vengeance! It was like he was telling us this is where I want to be! Okay okay Stare, you can run in start! The big blue bullet ran awesome! We were all so proud of Stare but it was so cute to see how happy Kathy was. She has put a ton of hard work into this dog he loves to play the game for her!

My little red merle fluff ball ran like a big boy this weekend! He is passing like a pro and gaining confidence each and every heat. I can no longer call him a baby dog! Psycho is so much fun to run, he runs with so much passion and personality it just cracks me up. One time when I was revving him to start just as he was taking off he let out a big WOOF WOOF. It had everyone laughing. When he comes back he runs past me with the ball and gives me a few more woofs. Maybe its more like GRR GRR than a woof. LOL! Very proud of my boy. His box turn has held up beautiful and he just loves the game. Before he lines up again he usually tries to give me a few kisses. :-)

Last but definitely not least, Dragon ran singles and did better than we ever expected. He ran singles for the first time about a month ago but you could tell he had matured so much since than. He ran with with so much confidence, he was so much more sure of his footing, and he really understood the game. Dragon broke the UFLI singles record with a 3.603!! Dragon for sure is a special whippet. Anyone who has met him can tell you what a cool dude he is. His zest for life is contagious. His work ethic rivals any BC. He loves people to the point that it hurts. Literally! He usually is so excited to see people that he will bonk your eye, bite your lip, scratch you to pieces, clean out your sinuses. All in a very loving way though!
It is always so much fun to watch Dragon and Steph. They are such a great team! Steph and her Border Collie Sage (first dog ever to post a 3.6x in singles) held the title of UFLI's fastest singles time in 2006 so it was very cool to see Steph take the title back with Dragon. We want to give a special thank you to Louise Hoelscher of Poeta Whippets for this very special boy! Steph did a lot of searching for the perfect whippet and found him at Poeta Whippets!

Since we only entered the tournament for one day we drove back home and had a pool party at Kathy's house! It was such a great way to end a perfect day of racing. We had about 15 dogs all out at once jumping in the pool after a hot day of racing. I wish I had gotten it on video. It was like they were all in fast forward! They were having a blast. I almost didn't realize that my BS Hostel who usually thinks she is allergic to water was jumping in the pool! I have tried to get her to swim for 2 years now and this was the first time she willingly jumped in the pool by herself. I thought that was the most perfect way to end the day. But nope! The most perfect way was to end the day was with some of Alex's (Kathy's husband) hamburgers. WOW, I have never tasted such a juicy well made burger! It was to die for! As always X had great time and can not wait for the next tournament. We are very very Xcited to get Dragon in a line up and see what the crazy red brindle Whippet Boy Wonder can do!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bedlam in Bishop

Okay, Okay, so I have been a total blogging slacker! This blogging thing is hard to keep up!! I’ll try to be timelier in the future. But since we are going to another tournament this weekend I figured I would at least try to blog about the last one first!
Seek, Hostel, Drastic, Stare - 15.699
X formed late last year and we have been slowly trying to integrate all of our green dog into line ups and tweaking things here and there. One of our main goals when we started X was to make sure that each and every dog reached their full potential. We practiced hard all year long and we were finally able to put together an “A” team in Bishop. Stare ran on a team for the very first time and did awesome! Drastic ran in the pack for the very first time and was as solid as they get. Drastic only has eyes for her mom’s arms and hands (LOL!). Hostel came back with a vengeance after sitting out for 8 months while I tweaked a few things. We still have a ton of things to work on and fine tune. We realized just how much more work we had to do when we finally put these four dogs together. But we are excited, hopeful and look forward to continuing to improve our dogs and line ups. But with all that being said we were very proud to say we broke in to the 15s for the first time!!! Our line up was Seek (9” HD), Hostel, Drastic and Stare. Our best time of the weekend being a 15.699!! Woo hoo!!! This for sure would not have been possible without Gina’s mad box loading skills!! Gina is the BEST BOX LOADER EVER!!! She takes her job very serious and is always on top of things. It’s a very exciting time for us. Our hard work is finally paying off and each goal and milestone has been so much fun to share with this amazing group of people and dogs. We also have a few other green dogs that are showing tons of potential to make it to the A team!
Speaking of green dogs showing potential!!! Dragon had an amazing debut weekend in Bishop. He is a 14 month old whippet and from the day Steph brought him home we all knew he was special. We had been around a few whippets before and had never seen a whippet with this much drive, work ethic, personality, spunk and not to mention SPEED!! Match that with Steph’s amazing training skills and dedication to make this a positive experience for Dragon and what do you get? You get a debut weekend that people only dream about! Dragon’s best official time on the clock in singles was a 3.645. His best line-to-line time was a 3.559!! Go DRAGON!! X is really really looking forward to adding Dragon to our A team! Congratulations Steph and Dragon!!
Replay, Later and Psycho all ran on a team for the first time too! They were all very good boys and did awesome! Psycho took to passing like a pro and had no issues and carried his ball back the whole tournament! Later is going to be a great HD addition to our team and we cant wait to see what kind of times the little guy can post. The ever handsome Replay did great! He ran some awesome times and also passed like a pro. We look forward to also adding Replay to our A team line up. He is just as fast as he is handsome!
Bishop is just one of those tournaments that everyone talks about. Lickety Splits did an awesome job hosting. The venue is awesome, the town is awesome, the FOOD in town is awesome and then going to the lake after is so much fun! The dogs love it! We also would not have had such a great time if it were not for help of our Bay Area BFFs (Tracy and Leslie) and Tooie. You guys ROCK! Thank you so much for all your help! We are so Xcited for what the future might bring. We just love this crazy game of flyball!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Need 4 Speed

Fly'N Aces put on an AMAZING tournament. It was their first ever tournament and all of us on X could not have been more impressed. There were two super long days of racing that went smoothly without any issues due to their planning and hard work. FNA thought of everything! Every team even got a free photo with a cool racing back drop. You would have never been able to guess it was their first time hosting a tournament from how smooth the weekend went. Great job and congrats on a job well done FNA. X is looking forward to next year!

So what's better than a local tournament?? That's right, sharing it with friends! X was honored to have some very special guests. Lyndsy and Sharon from Omaha Speedracers came out from Nebraska to race with us. It was so much fun! They were a blast and it was so much fun racing with them. Also so much fun to meet their dogs. Ninja is Psycho's half brother and they share the same craziness. Dash is Psycho's very handsome Uncle. Skye was a sweetheart. If you love Border Collies you will love Skye. You just have to meet her to understand. Big thanks to everyone who supported Tugs for Ta-Tas! Hope you all are enjoying your pink tugs!

The Friday night before the tournament we met up with our good friends from Utah Tail Blazers and Mad Dogs. We had a blast at Hash House a Go Go. If you guys are ever in Vegas it's a must-do restaurant. The theme is twisted farm food. The food is amazing and the portions are GINORMOUS. I think Gina's eyes popped out of her head when she saw her plate. Then we all had giggle fits when our plates came. You can't help but laugh when you see the size of these plates. I think they are the size of the platters you use to serve your Thanksgiving turkey! We enjoyed a great meal and caught up while excited for the tournament ahead.

I have to give a huge CONGRATS to all our green dogs. They all did awesome this past weekend. Replay, the most handsome BC ever, did great! He is just one of those dogs that is always such a good boy! He does everything that you ask of him and does it with tons of drive and enthusiasm. And of course he always looks handsome and stunning while doing it! Replay ran singles for the first time this past weekend and ran very consistent 3.8s - 3.9s. His best recorded singles time was a 3.891 with a line to line time of 3.844. Go Replay!!

Later aka "Hairy Farmdog" (since he looks exactly like Mav), also did awesome! This little bitty guy thought that Saturday was for warm ups. I think his best time on Saturday was a line to line time of low 4.2s. On Sunday he really came out to race. His best recorded singles time was a 4.049 with a line to line time of 3.999! His daddy Simon was so proud of both of his boys, Later and Ree. Congrats Simon! X is so proud of you!

Drastic, our resident Mal on crack, ran in a line up for the first time this past weekend. If any of you guys know Drastic she is really a dog that seems like she is on crack. I do not know what goes on in her head but whoa, she is a nut! She ran in anchor FLAWLESSLY the whole weekend. She kept her game face on and rocked the house! She had no issues going into a pass and rocked her box turns. On average she was running low 3.9s with some 3.8s. Yay for Drastic!! Her mom and handler, Nicole did take a beating while running her, but it's the price you pay for flyball right?! LOL! OH and Drastic waited until the last race of the day on Sunday to have a massive blow out in the ring! What a good girl for holding it until the end of the tournament. I have never seen a more massive blow out in the ring. It spanned two lanes, the whole length of the ring, and took 4 people to clean up. Drastic does nothing small! :-)

Stare was on fire this past weekend. This was his second tournament running singles and he is really starting to race and get into his groove. His fastest recorded singles time of the weekend was a 3.705 and his best line to line time was a 3.645! He got fastest singles dog both days. Congrats Kathy and Stare! We cant wait to get this blue bullet in our line up.

Dragon, aka Whippet Boy Wonder, warmed up a few times throughout the weekend and did amazing. He did recalls and full runs and rocked it. There were a ton of distractions for a 13 month old whippet but he pulled it together and got some X-cellent practice runs in. X is so X-cited for this crazy whippet boy to debut. As always it's amazing to see Steph and Dragon together. They make an X-cellent team.

We were so proud of our green dogs but we were even more proud to say we have great flyball friends. X, Utah Tail Blazers, Leap of Faith, Mad Dogs, Lickety Splits, Lyndsy and Sharon all worked as one big group and helped each other out all weekend. None of us came with a lot of team members but with us all helping out it was like we had a team of 50 people! It was awesome to see and experience. Nothing is better that great flyball friends!

The days were loooooooong!!! I think we were there until 10pm racing each night. So I am not even sure what place our teams came in. We ran 2 teams each day and I think one of them came in 2nd and one of them came in 3rd each day. Our major team goal of the weekend was to get Drastic running on a team but while doing that we accomplished a new best time of 16.296! We didn't even notice that we reached a new best time until Lyndsy told us. HA, and by the time she told us we had to set up for the next heat so it sort of came and went before we knew it. So let me celebrate now. WOO HOOO!!!!!!! :-P

There was some great racing going on at the Speedway this past weekend. Many new best times. Congrats to Rude Dogs West for a new personal best time of 15.81!! It was a blast to race against you guys! Utah Tail Blazers, Hot Pawsuit, TNG (2 new world records!) and Phoenix Fuzion also set new best times. Congratulations!

Again, we were so impressed with FNA's tournament. They did an awesome job. We recommend it to everyone. Come next year and join the fun. Great weather, great racing, great friends and a great time had by all!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

X's Debut Tournament

All I can say is WOW!!! Seriously the weekend could not have gone better. We had our first tournament as X Flyball last weekend. We went in with one team each day and a few singles. I'm not sure what everyone else on the team expected but I expected to do decent but knew we would have some kinks to work out. Never expected the weekend to go as well as it did.

Let's start from the beginning of the recap. The LV Chapter left pretty late on Friday night. Made it to SD at around 12am Saturday morning. Unloaded the truck, by the way Alex Hunter is a packing wizard, we were able to fit about 11 dogs in the truck with the box and all our luggage and equipment. Holy crap, and we didn't even need to strap anyone to the top of the truck! So with about only 3 hours of sleep we head off to Ramona, set up all our stuff and BAM the weekend started!

First race of the day Drastic is up for her singles. She has been out for about 8 months due to an injury and had actually just been back on a box for a little less than a month. She had looked really great the weekend before at practice but you never know with a green dog. She gets out there and does great. Posting pretty consistent 3.8s. She would have had some 3.7s in there if her sleepy handler had woken up a little earlier in the day. I think at one point Steph and I were like "Did you sleep through that light, Nicole"? LOL, but in all fairness it turns out that Drastic, the sweetest little girl ever, is very hard to start. Steph found that out when she gave it a try later that weekend. Darn, and we were having fun blaming Nicole for her bad starts. :-) Drastic is back and was the most consistent she has ever been. We are so looking forward to having this crazy girl in our line up.

Next up was our first team race. We went into all pretty confident I think. Our line up on Saturday was Seek, Truce, Tripp and Prada. Then my space cadet BC, Truce decided that she was a little unsure of passing. She had been doing fine during practices so I don't really know what was going through her head at the time. It was her first time running in the pack and only her second tournament running on a team so I'm sure all the stuff that was going on was just blowing her mind. I ended up having to start her at like the 15' line and actually run up to the line with her a few times. I also waited for the returning dog to pass her. Wow, not really how I expected our first team race to go. I was really bummed about the whole thing but my team was great about it. Super supportive and let us work through her issues all weekend. At the end of the day on Saturday she was passing into the oncoming dog nicely as long as I didn't push her too much. She was not scheduled to run on Sunday but I really wanted to keep working her passing so she could get used to it so we ran her on Sunday also. By the end of the weekend I was so proud of my baby girl! She was passing like a pro and running pretty solid. She and I were able to work it out and we might not have been able to post any record breaking team times but we ran clean! Woo Hoo!! By the end of the day on Sunday Truce posted her best time of 3.97 in the pack. Her box has always been an issue but her box turn even seemed to improve! Go figure, I think this baby dog likes to race!

Okay back to Saturday, after our first team race Psycho's first single was up. It really is the weirdest thing. When I debut a dog I am not really nervous at all. I think I will be, or I think I should be but but when I'm in the lane with my dog its just me and the dog. I don't really see anyone else. At that point there is no more training I can do, but now its just time to go out there and have some fun. So I went out there with Psycho and had a blast. If anyone knows Psycho, they know he loves to have fun. He is just a crazy little red ball of energy. Once he is in working mode he doesn't know there is anyone else there besides me. We had a few spit balls but he ran two clean heats. Over the course of his singles races on Saturday I saw things we needed to work on. Him bringing the ball back farther over the line and a few striding issues. His box held up so I am so I am very proud of him for that. I really can't wait to get this little guy in a line up. He is so much fun to run.
Click here for Psycho's debut video.

So after Psycho's singles race Stare was up! I think I was more nervous for Stare's race then I was for my own dog's debut. Stare started his racing career with fireworks. I'm not sure what time he posted on his first run but the other dog false started so they reran and Stare had to wait and boy, did he get pissed! The next run he was all fired up and ran a 3.752!! If you took out Kathy's reaction time it was a 3.686 line to line. The most amazing thing is he doesn't even look like he is trying that hard. I can't wait to see what this boy has to give when he is going full out and actually realizes what's going on! He has a super bright future ahead of him. Over the course of the weekend Stare continued to amaze us. On Sunday he posted the exact same time of 3.752! He won fastest singles time both days. It was awesome to see how happy and proud Kathy was of her Stare Bear! Thank you to Pam Casselman for breeding such a wonderful dog. Also huge thanks to Mary Kline and Lisa Kronz for this wonderful addition to X!
Click here for Stare's debut video

We only had one team racing each day, something that we all were not use to, so we filled the time with our favorite activity, eating! LOL, at the start of Saturday morning we looked at all our snacks and wondered why we brought so much. By the end of Saturday we knew why we brought all the snacks, to eat them all. I guess our goal by Sunday was to eat every last snack that we had brought. :-) Before some races I was so full I didn't know how I was going to even move. Still we made lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it. Gina proved to be the master of grilling the perfect grill cheese sandwich. We all ooohhhh and ahhhhed over how perfectly golden she could make our sandwiches. You can tell on X we all enjoy our food. Racing went pretty late on Saturday so we stayed for the Lickety Splits BBQ. I'm disappointed with myself that I didn't take more food pics over the course of the weekend but really, I was too busy eating it all to bother with the pics. Steph did take a pic of how awesome Gina made our grilled cheese sandwich though. Here ya go!

With Truce's passing issues starting off right from the get-go we were just racing clean to help Truce get over her issues. I can't even recall what our team times were. By the last race of Saturday we were shocked to realized that we only had to win one heat in order to win 1st place in Div 1. I have no clue how that happened. I guess it really pays to run clean. We knew the other team had us on time especially with the 5-10 ft passes I was passing with Truce. On the last heat of the last race of the day we just decided to go for it. We had no pass caller for that race, so we really didn't know what our passes were. The only thing we could base our passes off of were our dogs' usual times. So I think everyone moved up to tighten up their passes and I backed Truce up to where I was hoping she would be able to pass and we went for it. Steph and Seek helped us out with a great reaction time (.01) and we pulled it off! We saw our anchor dog hit the box at pretty much the same time as the other team's anchor dog and it actually looked like their dog hit the start/finish line first, but when we saw the time we had beat them by like a 100th of a second. We were all ecstatic. It had been a very long time since we had even played flyball to try to win so this was a lot of fun, even if it was just for one heat. Taking 1st place was just icing on the cake to an awesome day.

On Sunday I ended up pulling the Psycho Man because he had started to limp. He jammed his toe the previous weekend and by the end of the day Saturday it started bugging him. That was a bummer but he showed me he was pretty solid in the lanes and we will be working hard to get him on a team for our next tournament. We ended up winning 1st place on Sunday too with our slower team (Pirate, Truce, Choice, Raven). Again it wasn't until the end of the day we realized we had a shot at winning and really don't know how we pulled it off at the end. Sunday was supposed to be our "points whore" team. Raven, Nicole's 8 year old BC, was only about 600 points away from her Top Flight Expert Plaque. I don't know how we did it but we ended up winning 1st place in Div 1 again, and it was not until awards were announced that we realized that Raven actually got her plaque too! I guess we all don't know how to do math because we all thought we had not gotten enough points. So we were all very excited for Raven. Congrats Raven! She is now in semi-retirement and will enjoy training puppies and chasing birds.

More awesome accomplishments of the weekend, Seek and Prada both bested their singles time. Seek with a 3.84 and Prada with a 4.0! Pirate and Tripp also had new personal best times of a 4.03 for Pirate running start over 7" and 4.04 for Tripp running in the pack over 9"! Replay warmed up on Saturday and did awesome! No one could ask for a more perfect BC. Later did full runs during warm ups on Sunday and rocked the house! The little guy sure got pumped up with all the engery. He was totally focused and rocked his box turn. Go Later!

The future looks bright for X! We have an amazing group of dogs and an amazing group of people who love to have fun with their dogs. I am so looking forward to achieving each new milestone and accomplishment as a team. Thank you to everyone on X for an awesome first tournament. Here is to many more to come!

Monday, March 8, 2010

What's up with the food pics?

A lot of people have asked me what's up with all the food pics. I'm not really sure how it got started but I think it got started due to the fact that Steph lives 5 hours away from me. I was always telling her about this yummy thing I tried and where we should go the next time she visited. So when we got on Facebook it was super easy to just take a pic of my food and post it.

How does any of this have anything to do with flyball and X Flyball? Well first of all what person who plays flyball doesn't love food? Seems that all aspects of flyball revolve around food. You practice and then you go out to eat. You go to tournaments and anytime you are not running a dog you are eating. You eat all day and snack on yummy stuff and then after the tournament you go out to eat. So why do we do flyball? I guess we love dogs and we love to eat. :-)

As I started posting pics of the different foods and meals that I ate I realized that having them on FB was super cool. I could go back through my food album and remember the yummy meal I had but also remember the awesome times I had with good friends. So the pics to me are sort of like hearing a song on the radio and remembering that memory. I look back at my pics and remember the great times I have had with my flyball friends.

Here are a few of my favorite food pics I thought I would share with you guys.

Hash House a Go Go aka Twisted Farm food. One of the most fun places to eat in Vegas. If you are ever in Vegas its a must have. This meal was enjoyed with a friend that I had not seen or talked to in a long time.

X Flyball's X-Mas Party.

The most awesome after practice meal ever! Sand Crab Cafe in Escondido.

Friendship night dessert with X.

ChickFilA - breakfast of champions. Nothing is better than CFA!

X-mas dinner with the Hunters.

Death Roll that almost killed Cindy and I. After tournament dinner with RDR.

A Steph and Colleen addiction - All you can eat Sushi.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

2 more X members!!

Okay so I have to apologize for being a lazy blogger. It's harder than it looks, to keep up a blog! Now I have more sympathy for all the blogs I like to read that take forever to get updated. :-)

Tactic joined the X family about a month ago. Tactic is owned and loved by Gina Malizia. He is a crazy little mix who is already doing box turns off people. No one has zoomies quite as exciting as Tactic. He comes from Blue Cedar Sport Dogs. We can't thank Tooie and Ian enough for such a cute spunky little guy!
Our latest addition is Blackie!!! Okay, so his name is not really Blackie, but we called him that for so long that it's hard to not call him that now. :-) Nicole couldn't decide on a name so we called him Blackie until she settled on the name Vibe. Vibe was bred by Crystal Cappel. He is out of Hatter, who is Crystal's heart dog, and Riddle who belongs to Ashley Hilliker of Offspring Border Collies. Thank you Crystal and Ashley for this wonderful little boy. Vibe is a border collie so of course he is perfect in every way. :-)
Having three young pups on the team that are relatively the same age has been so much fun! I'm looking forward to sharing training videos as these young pups progress in their training. Right now they are all concentrating on their tugging. Right now the tug is the end all be all. They are also learning the touch stick and learning to work with distractions. Let the games begin!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Introducing the newest member of X Flyball Team!

Our newest member of X Flyball is HNH Extreme Flip Flop, Teva. She is a very cute split face, black and white Border Collie. She hails from Painted Star Farm and was bred by Bonnie Klonowski. Teva's mother is HNH Blue Porsche and father is Tripp from Power Tripp Border Collies.
I met Teva yesterday and was very impressed with this little girl. She is full of spunk and determination. She tugs like a little hellion. Holds on with all her might even through lots of distractions. She tugged with me, a stranger she just met while her mama walking by her several times and she also held on while her BC brother walked by. That's a lot to ask of a 7 week old pup! But she did it naturally and with ease. I loved that she liked to bring the tug back to me. When I let go of the tug she brought it right back for more tugging. We have high hopes for the newest and littlest team member of X. Congratulations Kathy on your new baby girl! Thank you Bonnie for an X-tremely talented little pup!

So what does X do with puppies? We start their training right away of course. Stay tuned for training updates! Here is a little video of her tugging. We have a lot planned for this littler girl. :-)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lots of X-citment for our green dogs!

There has been a ton of X-citing things going on with X. Since we are a small team we are not able to practice on a regular basis. We don't always have access to do full course work. If you are in the same situation do not worry! We have found that when we switch up our training from week to week it's a lot of fun. We have fun and the dogs don't get bored. Here are a few things that we do. We try and do box work once or twice a week. Then on either Saturday or Sunday we try and do some kind of jump training. Lots of chase recalls and power jumping going over more then four jumps. It's great for conditioning and it's also great to get the dog's jumping rhythm down. Allowing you to make sure that the dog is taking off at the right place etc. If we do our power jumping on Saturday then on Sunday we try and do something really fun to help with conditioning. Like hiking or just a fun romp at the park. We fit in full course work when we can (again, thank you FNA for allowing us to practice with you guys!!) but we have found that with all the other little things that we do in between has really helped progress the dogs faster in their full course work.

Anyways, on the the fun stuff! Our green dogs have been having a blast lately. I will try and give you a brief update on how they are doing.

Stare is our resident Border/Whippet cross. We like to call him Stare Bear, he is all hugs and kisses. He is intense like a Border Collie and has the speed of a Whippet. Stare ran the full course for the first time last Friday. Since we don't always have access to full course work we broke down all the steps for Stare before putting it together on the course last Friday. He did not let us down. He ran clean, held his box turn, held his ball and fired out one hell of a return! We are also very X-cited that our new three stride technique worked. Good boy Stare!

Dragon is the coolest Whippet ever! Everyone that meets him will agree with me. He is a lean red racing machine who has springs for legs! You can just tell this dog has heart. I have been calling him Whippet Boy Wonder since he was a pup and he sure lives up to his nick name. He tugs like a beast and does whatever you ask of him with enthusiasm and of course tons of heart. He went over jumps for the first time this weekend and blew us all away. We were all amazed with his grace and speed. He literally blew Nicole away. She was the one letting go of him and she got a face full of dirt and grass! Way to go WBW!!

Drastic the Maligator is doing great with her conditioning. With her wall work and jump work she will be back in action in no time. She is getting stronger and stronger each practice. We will start box work with her very soon. Can't wait to see this crazy girl back in the lanes. Her striding looks fantastic over the jumps. Drastic is such a "sweet" girl!

Psycho my red merle boy is very much enjoying himself and I am having a blast running him. He is getting more confident each time he hits the course. Seems like when you are starting a new dog there is so much to worry about. Like striding, rotation, take off, ball holding, that you sometimes forget to just enjoy the partnership that you have with your dog. Each time I work Psycho or any of my dogs for that matter I try to remind myself that we play flyball to have fun with our dogs. Keep it positive and fun. Psycho ran the full course with another dog in the other lane for the first time this weekend. From the video you can just see how much fun he is having. It really makes me smile. :-)

It's 2010 and we are X-cited for what the new year will bring to our new team.