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.