Tuesday, October 27, 2009

another weekend, another flyball tournament, another batch of injuries

Last weekend was our first tournament of the 2010 NAFA season, which runs from October 1 of the previous year through September 30. This one was the annual "South of the Boo!der" Halloween-themed tourney hosted by the Cascade Comets at Argus Ranch in Auburn, which is southeast of Seattle. This year turned out to be a little difficult for me, as Chris had to work all weekend due to staffing issues at his company, which meant I was on my own with the three girls. Luckily our friends Jeff and Julie were willing to let me stay with them on-site in their RV, so I didn't have to do an hour+ of driving twice each day.

Ezri did very well this weekend, and I am very proud of her. She handled her first dirt-surface tournament without blinking twice, and ran happily in both start and second position. On Saturday I started her in one race, where she ran 4.14 - 4.10 - 4.10 - 4.11 - 4.14 across the five heats, setting a new personal best of 4.10 and being VERY consistent with her run times. She also earned her Flyball Dog Champion Silver (1000 points) title on Saturday morning, and is well on her way to her Gold (2500 points) title. Sunday I started her in two of the three races she ran, and she pulled out a 4.06 second run in her first heat of the day! This makes her the third fastest dog in the club by personal best, with Indigo in first with a 3.76 and Curzon in second with a 3.92. Unfortunately, she strained her shoulder trying to avoid our anchor dog for a rerun in her third race, which ended her racing day - the silly little girl completed her race despite the pain, apparently crying with every step down and back until she returned to me. Our onsite vet checked her out and found the strain, and with some aspirin and icing she's already healed past the injury. Ah, to be so young and heal up so quickly!

Jadzia was on our Veterans team, which we ran with four older girls running savage since a veterans team only get 16 heats in a day. The girls did great, with only one missed pass on Saturday (my fault!) and no errors on Sunday, for a total of 780 points over the weekend. We've had "normal" racing teams not earn that many points in a weekend, so we were pretty thrilled to pull this off! Jadzia's racing was very smooth and she was very animated and happy to run, and broke 5.0 seconds three times during the weekend, with most of her runs in the 5.2-5.3 second range. I think now that I have Ezri to "stage-manage" and soak up my ambition, I'm no longer putting pressure on Jadzia that she cannot meet, and this is making flyball way more fun for her.

Phoebe also ran well all weekend, being our little height-dog tank and consistently pulling in 5.8-6.1 second times even with 40+ heats each day. She handled multiple sudden "grab and go" incidents where she was needed to replace our other height dog, and ran for me, Jeff, and Lindsey throughout the weekend without a single dropped ball or snarky comment. Unfortunately, it looks like she broke one of her back molars on Sunday, which I just discovered last night when I noticed she'd made another ball bloody while playing in the living room. Hopefully I can get her into the vet this week for a dental and a removal of the remainder of the tooth, as I don't want her to be in pain - or to bleed all over the toys!

Our next tournament will be the first of December, going up to Abbotsford for the annual Christmas-themed tourney put on by the Dogwood Pacesetters. I can't wait!

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