Saturday, December 5, 2009
Flyball, what to do next?
I have been playing flyball for about 9 years. In that time I have trained 3 of my own dogs and helps countless other train their dogs as well. I have been lucky enough to run with some fantastic team mates and on the other side of the coin I have run with some that are less than fantastic. At times I think hardest part of playing flyball is being in a team with other people. Most other dog sports do not involve working together with other people it is generally a person and their dogs relationship.
I have my own personal theories about people that do dog sports and their anthropomorphic relationships with their dogs but lets not do to far down that track.
For the most part it is great to see people getting out and having fun with their dogs.
So back to me and my situation I have competed in flyball and agility with great success. In flyball, my main sport, I set out on a goal to capture the national championships (St George Phoenix). Whilst we were not awarded the actual title (because we did not run the fastest time) the official time sheets show that we won the most amount of heats against the eventual winners. This particular situation gave rise to a lot of debate within flyball in Australia leading to my putting forward a new standardised mothod for calculating competition winners in the event of a tie. This proposal was strongly supported (and accepted) by the members.
The confusion and controversy around those nationals was to me a real bummer for me. A situation like that takes a toll on the team, we knew we were not the fastest but we did know that we were a competitive team in division one. To loose on speed countbacks on several occasions was also becoming disheartening to me. My fun in flyball was waning at our team working so hard and loosing every time.
On a personal note my own life had taken a lot of hits I separated from my 14 year relationship (she is now my best friend). I was unemployed for 5 months due to Global Financial Crisis. I lost my house, I was diagnosed with autism (this was actually a relief). I was loosing my passion for flyball in the big picture
Then the World Dog Games were announced, this was an opportunity to show case the sport to a potential audience of millions. I asked a few people if they wanted to put a team together and compete. I was excited once again and built new enthusiasm. As time moved on though and as events unfolded it became obvious that a change was needed, thankfully I was not the only one thinking this way and it ended up I did not need to do anything.
I decided to take a respite from flyball for a while. I had started to try my hand at yard dog trials and was thinking of getting my own sheep dog, perhaps a another koolie from borahview. An announcement was made on an email list about a prospective dog border/staffy mix. I had been thinking of going to the USA and buying my own mix but a lack of funds had prevented this.
This mix (border/staffy) are proving to be a great build for flyball the current world record 14.963 secs is held by a team of four (view video here).
So a few emails were exchanged. I asked that few test be placed on the puppy (10 weeks) the results came back and suited what I was looking for. I now have a new dog. Ricco (named after Lavazza Gusto Ricco coffee It's a strong, intense coffee with a liquourish sweet taste).
I will try and journal my progress (or lack of) as I train him up for flyball, lets see where this journey takes us.