Sunday, July 22, 2012

So Close, I can Taste It!

No agility practice again this week due to astronomical temperatures.

Flyball practice yesterday went really well.  I didn't have nearly enough time to work with my dogs like I wanted to.  I think I've reached my limit of number of dogs I can train: 4.  4 is my limit of dogs in flyball.  I'm so thankful that I'm 100% happy with how Trophy's boxturn was retrained and I'm fine with Pan's 3 footed turn, so I don't feel the need to work with them nearly as much and infact I have been using them more with training Demo than running lineups with the team.  And I'm ok with that!

Yesterday at Practice we worked on Demo's focus on his lane while other dogs ran in the other lane.  There were gates up down the middle, but I had several large open gaps for him to watch the action.  He never crossed over once.  I went from running him dead last (when the last dog in the other lane was just about back to his handler all the way up to sending him down seconds after their start dog left the line.  He is definitely watching the other lane on the way back (which is slowing him way down) BUT he refocuses on me instantaneously as I talk to him.  SO *I* need to remember to call him more on the way back and I think we'll be ok.

Today I brought in the jump board and worked on his boxturn.  I was able to send him from 20 feet away down to the practice board and call him back for his tug.  Adjusted the props until I liked where his feet were hitting, then I took a leap of faith and duct taped a ball on the board.

Two feet on the box, retreived ball, lots of tugging reward (before he wouldn't even touch the board for the ball).  same result a second time.

Then, we had 3 feet on the board,  and then we had 4 feet in a perfect little turn and he retrieved the ball!!!


I'm so excited this is coming together!!  Next U-FLI tournament is in September followed closely by CanAm in October.  If we just do singles and pairs in September I'll be ok with that, but I *NEEEEED* him to be ready by CanAm!!! :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Demo, Super-Awesome Flyball Dog In The Making

This weekend can best be summed up in one word: HOT.

Heat index climbed well above 100 degrees on Saturday with no clouds in the sky and a pathetic breeze.  Racing, the humans, and the dogs, got so hot that we took a 2 hour break from 3pm to 5pm to cool down.

Thank goodness Sunday cooled down significantly (if you can call 80 "cool").

Pan and Trophy earned their next titles, Pan got to try her paw as Start Dog (and loved it!), and Demo debuted in preflight and totally rocked it.  His focus was SPOT ON and AMAZING with the comotion in the race building from the main ring.

My dogs and I managed to run clean the vast majority of the weekend.  The only blemishes being a bad pass by Pan on Malley because Malley bobbled the ball the same instant I released Pan, so I literally couldn't do anything to stop it, and the second being a random, and very out-of-character, early dropped ball by Trophy.

Due to the heat and the ability of our teams to easily run under 24.999 seconds (in order to earn 25 points per heat)  I didn't even bother trying to push close passes.  Most of my passes this weekend we around 8 feet wide.  We didn't have a pass caller either, but no one wanted to rerun dogs on Saturday, the wider the better as long as we were making time!

At one point the head table told our times keeper to let us know our passes were all like 8 feet, and she promptly told them we don't care today as long as we run clean. :)

Pan earned 900+ points and Trophy 800, so I'm happy.  Trophy's foot held up great even though he had to suffer through the torture of having his feet encased in vet wrap all weekend.

The big star of the weekend, for me anyway, was Demo.  Talk about cool as a cucumber.  When he hit the lanes he had a two track mind:  1. BALL, 2. TUG!  He was so focused, confident, and fast despite the temperature.  His fastest time was a 4.636, and he averaged 5.1's and that was with him taking a ball off the floor and me too tried to run with him as much as I need to to keep him motivated and pouring on the speed.  We will get there!

You don't have to jump so high, BabyDog, they're only 8 inch jumps!

I am SO GLAD I don't have to get up tomorrow, the sun gave my body a beating, I am so drained!  However, the Neutrogena sunscreen I bought (SPF100) is pretty amazing.  I managed to walk away with only a burned left shoulder. :)

Trophy's Flyball Hangover in the car on the way home Sunday.

Friday, July 6, 2012

About to get my flyball on!

There hasn't been much to blog about the past few weeks.  Trophy returned to agility the week after class was canceled due to heat.  I jumped him at 16 inches and no A-frame.  We did pretty well together, and we made it through the whole class.  This past week we returned to our normal 20 inch jumps, and other than a little motivation issues, I think we did well.

This weekend is the July flyball tournament in Sandusky.  I'm super excited as this tournament marks one year of competing for me and Trophy!!  I can't believe it's already been a year!!  It's a U-FLI tournament and we're hoping to walk away with at least Pan's TF-III (1,000points) and Trophy's TFE (2,500 points).

Not really looking forward to running in the heat tomorrow.  I finished packing my car 10:30 and I was COVERED in dripping sweat.  10:30pm should NEVER be this hot and humid.  I thought I moved home from Texas to get out of that nasty stuff?!

I'm as ready as I'll ever be for the heat.  4 gallons of water just for the dogs, cooling coats, 2 big box fans and 2 smaller battery operated fans.  I'm as good as I'll ever be, I guess.  Not to mention the million rolls of vet wrap I crammed in my bag to wrap Trophy's feet with.

I also, after much debate, decided not to camp tomorrow night at the grounds and instead will be driving home to enjoy a cold shower and my own bed before getting up early and trucking out.  (Let's hope I don't get a ticket on the way home like I did last year, however.  We don't have to make EVERYTHING a tradition.)

Ok, time to take a quick shower, throw some extra clothes in a bag (cause I'm sure I'm going to sweat through them all) and hop into bed.  Tomorrow morning will be here before I know it.

yeah, fast asleep. hehe
Demo is making his preflight debut tomorrow!  * excited*.  No box turn, no expectations, just getting him on the lanes with other dogs running in a separate ring.  Experience, he needs it.  Can't wait to see some of his times, even without the box turn.  Boy is mighty fast.