Sunday, March 28, 2010

Flyball - KAOS Style

Cali and I traveled to Regina this weekend to attend the KAOS flyball tournament. This was my first time at this tournament and I have to say that despite the fact that their building was a little smaller than your typical flyball tournament it made for a great venue. The smaller size made for a more "intimate" atmosphere as so often we just stick to our own teams at tournaments and don't interact with the other groups as much as we could. With a venue like this one it is virtually impossible not to make some new friends as everyone is shoulder to shoulder, and with most of the dogs crated outside or in other rooms we could actually hear each other speak. It was a great place to spend more time with people I have not seen since last racing season and get to know Cali's new teammates a little better.

Cali will be running with Furry Flash Dogsports from Moose Jaw SK this year. We got to know this team a little better during the 2009 racing season and I watched them struggle to run the 10 or so big dogs that belong to their club with only one height dog.

For anyone who is not familiar with flyball the height of the jumps on the way to and from the box are set by the smallest dog on the team, also known as the height dog. Without a small dog on the team members must jump 14 inches (typical teams jump 7-9) which can slow each dog down by as much as a full second and is very physically taxing.

After watching this club try to coordinate running all their big dogs equally in only 5 available spots I spoke to their captain Ken about using one of my girls for the 2010 racing season. Our own club seems to have a large amount of height dogs this year, to the extent that 2 or even 3 will be running on a team at the same time. After discussing the logistics of the move with the club owner and president we transferred Cali over to Furry Flash.

This was our first tournament running with Furry Flash and all my worries about how Cali would handle the new box, new dogs, and new routine, was put to rest after the first race where she handled everything like a seasoned veteran. Cali lives for flyball and her enthusiasm is infectious on the line and some good, not to mention tight, racing added to that excitement and made for a fun day. I knew form watching furry Flash last season that they were a club that thoroughly enjoyed racing their dogs but I never expected to feel so welcome and comfortable in our very first outing with them. I want to thank everyone we ran with on Saturday for making us feel so at home and also say a special thank you to Ignited who allowed me the privilege of running their start dog Moxie in one race and giving me the opportunity to do something I almost never get to do, race the lights to the line. Cali and I had a great time overall and we are really looking forward to what the rest of the racing season will bring.

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