News and updates of my Border Collies and our canine performance events.

Visit our website at
http://www.madaboutbcs.com/








December 30, 2009

Another Year Over...


...and a new one soon to begin!

2009 brought lots of new titles to Token & Dandy, most significantly Dandy's MAD in April and Token's ADCH in August. I don't trial as much as I did years ago....everything costs money....but we continue to enjoy the journey more than ever!

Token
became a daddy again this year, not once but twice! On September 22, Shebaa's Meg gave birth to 7 wonderfu
l pups, 2 boys & 5 girls. This is a repeat breeding of the 2006 event that gave me Dandy. Most of the pups went to performance homes, so it will be exciting to follow their careers!
Token's second litter this year was born on November 9 (Dandy's birthday!), and KEG's Blur gave birth to 4 boys and 2 girls, with things like agility & flyball in their futures.
Pictures of all the pups can be found on my website www.MadAboutBCs.com

Tripper continues to live with Mom, where he is King of the Castle. My mom thinks he is weird, but he's just a Border Collie :-) He may like to howl when the news comes on TV, but he's good company for her, and he's stress-free living the simple life!

Toss
is now 14 1/2 years old, and in November was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure. He will only eat canned food or m
eat these days, in several small meals, and he's gotten extremely thin. But despite his bloodwork being pretty dismal, he seems to be feeling OK, and can still act pretty perky. So, one day at a time...

Tempo arrived on the scene in November, and he is now 3 months old. He is much like his dad Token in that he's confident & very full of himself, and has quite the nose for food! He's learning about clicker training, tug toys, the tippy board, ramps & steps, and how to unstuff toys. We could do without that last one.... ;-) I'm looking forward to the new adventure in 2010 known as Tempo!

I continue to take an abnormal amount of pictures, many can be seen online in my Picasa albums.
http://picasaweb.google.com/barkingadchoo

Time to rest up for the New Year!

Flyball: New Record for our Multi Team


December 5-6, 2009 - Flyball Tournament hosted by Jet Set in York, Pa.

Dandy ran anchor on our Multi team in Division 1, and we took First Place while setting a new team record of 17.341!

Token
ran as start dog on our Regular Division 4 team and we placed 2nd in a field of 6 teams. It was my first tournament since May, so I felt a bit rusty, and my dogs were passing dogs they had not ever passed before, but it all worked out pretty well! Plus I finally got some nice flyball pictures of Dandy by Swift-Bennett Photography!



Another milestone in Tempo's babyhood, he stayed in a motel for the first time (with no accidents ) and attended his first flyball event. At only 10 weeks old, he was very good! He was quiet all day in his crate at the tournament, he wasn't worried about anything at all, and there were many NEW things to encounter. He met a ton of new people and loved everyone. And he even pottied on lead like a big boy :-)

A fun weekend for all!

December 1, 2009

Meet "Tempo"

The new puppy came home on November 10, 2009, at 7 weeks of age. His name is "Tempo" as I have a real fondness for music :-) His registered name will be Shebaa's Heart And Soul. I've had him for 3 weeks now, and he's doing great. I've lost count of how many 'new people' he has met but it is way over 100 by 10 weeks of age, so he's getting well socialized during the critical time. He is experiencing many different things to prepare him for an active life of agility & flyball, as well as simply being a well-adjusted and confident companion. He's a very good puppy and I look forward to the journey ahead of us!


Dandy with his baby brother Tempo...

Tempo tries out the agility tunnel!
video

Agility Season Wrapped Up

We just finished our last two Agility trials for 2009. Token earned a Team Qualifier for 2010, also finishing his Tournament Master title.
Dandy also earned a Team Qualifier for 2010, with his team placing 3rd in the tournament!
Both Token & Dandy earned multiple placements in the team classes.


Dandy has also earned a Grand Prix qualifier for 2010.

Overall, 2009 was a good year, both dogs made progress as all three of us are learning new & improved ways of handling. It will be a work in progress for quite some time, but we are enjoying the journey in spite of the not-quite-perfect runs! Regardless of "Q's" and ribbons won or lost, I am grateful to have happy healthy dogs who truly enjoy playing this game with me.

October 28, 2009

The Chosen One

Meg & Token's pups are only 5 weeks old, but I have made my choice. Since I want another boy, and there are only two in this litter, both black/white, both marked very similar, the choice was narrowed down right from the start! They are both lovely pups, but for some reason, I've been drawn to one in particular from the beginning. He was the last one born, and the biggest (yikes...) and I still don't know that much about personalites. But... each time I've visited the pups over the last 2-3 weeks, I seem to only have eyes for him, so I can't fight it, I must succumb to his spell and claim him as mine.
He'll be coming home with me in two weeks...the hard part will be coming up with a name!

October 20, 2009

Dandy's Adventure In The Big Apple

On Sunday, October 18, 2009, Dandy and I ventured into New York City, to the Javits Center. The event was AKC's Meet The Breeds, which was a 2-day extravaganza that invited the general public to meet many different breeds of dogs and to watch demonstrations such as Obedience, Agility, Police Dogs, Earthdog and Flyball. My flyball club, Infurno, was invited to present the Flyball demo. I was not about to attempt driving into Manhattan by myself, so I only went on Sunday when I was able to ride in with Valerie from my obedience club. Knowing we'd have to walk a couple of blocks from the parking lot to the Javits Center, I brought just one dog. And I was glad I made that decision! For Dandy's crate, I used a little pup tent that stores in a small duffle bag...that plus a bag for all of our "stuff" was enough to deal with while walking one Border Collie who decided that every square inch of the streets and sidewalks needed to be sniffed!
Once inside the Javits Center, we were met with thousands of people. Wall-to-wall people. Trying to get through the crowds was painstakingly slow. And everyone wanted to reach out and touch the dogs...and they did!
Eventually we made it to the crating area, which was nice & quiet, behind curtains, away from the crowds. Prior to our demo in the main ring, we had a bit of a Meet & Greet in one of the small demo rings. The dogs showed how they trigger the flyball box, grab the ball, and run back to get their reward, which is a game of tug for Dandy. In between, the dogs were constantly being petted by children & adults alike, with many of them pulling out their camera phones to snap pictures.
Dandy was awesome...he was a wonderful ambassador for his breed, so I had my work cut out for me in convincing people that a Border Collie is NOT the best choice for a family pet! Dandy is cute, he's sweet, and let the kids pet him over & over without any objections at all; he was a model citizen! But I let people know that Border Collies need not only physical exercise but mental exercise as well, every day. And many are not as good with kids as Dandy is. Fortunately, there were over 130 other breeds there for people to investigate.
(And if a dog didn't suit them, there was also a huge section of the exhibit devoted to cats, sponsored by the CFA.)
The most interesting question I got regarding Dandy was when a man asked, "Is that a Bernese Mountain Dog?" Ummmm....not quite.... Well, maybe he was a cat person ;-)
Our Flyball demo in the main ring was lots of fun, and Dandy didn't miss a beat, even though he has not done any flyball at all since May. But what I'm most proud of is how he handled himself in a very overwhelming and stressful environment. He IS my Pride and Joy :-)


October 4, 2009

Token's a Daddy again!



The Meg/Token breeding that produced Dandy in 2006 has been repeated, and on September 22, 2009, Meg gave birth to 7 healthy puppies (5 girls and 2 boys). Three of the girls are blue merles, one is a classic black & white, and one is a black/white tri. Both of the boys are traditionally-marked black & white.
The pups are 11 days old in the photos posted here.

And I have oodles of pictures of the pups in Picasa albums (online):
http://picasaweb.google.com/barkingadchoo

I'm looking forward to seeing our baby Border Collies develop over the next few weeks!

September 13, 2009

Agility Videos from August

Finally got a few videos uploaded to youtube, from Agility trials in August. It's always hit or miss if I get any decent runs on tape!

Dandy in Masters Standard 8/23/09

Dandy in Masters Jumpers 8/28/09

Dandy wins Steeplechase 8/30/09

Token finished his ADCH on 8/29/09, by qualifying in Masters Jumpers but that run did not get on video....THIS video is not a perfect run...it was pouring rain, I slipped in the mud, I did an ugly unplanned Rear Cross, and Token zipped into the weaves after the seesaw for an off-course and an "E"...but it's the only one I have to commemorate his day!

Token in Masters Standard 8/29/09

September 1, 2009

Agility Dog Champion TOKEN!

On August 29, 2009, at the Y Agility Trial at the infamous Blackthorne Resort in East Durham, NY, Token earned his USDAA Agility Dog Champion title!
We had one of those weekends where, in most classes, we just missed qualifying by one error...but Token qualified in the one class that meant the most to us at this point: Master Jumpers. He needed one more leg to finish the requirements for his ADCH, and he did just that, qualifying with a 2nd place on a very tricky course, in the pouring rain. Running the 117 yard course very conservatively, he finished it cleanly in 21.41 seconds. This also finished his Jumper Master title, too.
I was delighted to finish this landmark title under Judge Lynn Sigman, who is one of the coolest of great people I've come to know through this sport.

Dandy had his moment of glory as well. Besides qualifying in Friday's Master Jumpers class with a 2nd place, he ran fast & clean in Round 1 of Steeplechase to earn a qualification with the top score in the 26" class. And in Round 2/Finals, he continued his fast & clean streak to take the Blue Ribbon for 1st place!

So, not alot of ribbons this weekend, but we got the ones that count the most!

July 21, 2009

New Title for Token

July 18-19, 2009 - AKC Agility Trial hosted by the Non-Sporting Dog Club of the Garden State, held at New Hope Farms in Port Jervis, NY.

Token earned his 3rd leg in AKC Excellent A FAST on July 18, 2009, to finish his Excellent FAST title.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_GlJl636J4

Dandy qualified in Excellent A Jumpers With Weaves (24") with a First Place.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WymkUNnvHg

We had a few nice runs that were not clean, but overall both Token & Dandy ran really well. Dandy had a lovely Excellent Standard run with just one error:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Igz_TnXj4A

And it was nice to have a trial so close to home!

June 24, 2009

Blackthorne June 2009


Another weekend at the Blackthorne in the Irish Catskills of NY...many good runs with just one or two bobbles...a couple with multiple bobbles...and several Q's for both Token and Dandy.

Token earned his 10th leg in Master Gamblers to finish his Gambler Champion title, and his 15th leg in Master Snooker for his Snooker Champion-Bronze title. He also qualified in one Masters Standard class and in Master Pairs.

Dandy earned his 5th leg in Masters Standard for his Standard Agility Master title. He ran Master Pairs on Friday with fellow Border Collie "Freddie", and they qualified with a clean, fast run and a 2nd place! In Saturday's Pairs class, Dandy was paired with Jefferson, a sweet 13 yr old mixed-breed dog who just won't quit... he's fighting cancer yet living life to the fullest. He is Ann Marie's soulmate and it was an honor to run with them. So it was indeed special as Dandy and Jefferson qualified for Dandy's 5th leg and his Relay Master title. Thank you, Jefferson!

Dandy needed two Super Q's in Master Snooker to finish that title, and we had two chances to run Snooker over the weekend. (3 of the 5 legs for this title must be scores in the top 15% of the class, so we not only had to qualify but we had to beat almost every other dog in the 26" class; the top 3 dogs earned Super Q's this weekend.) In Saturday's Snooker, we went for the high points with the 7-pt weaves, and we finished with 51 pts and 2nd place and a Super Q! Sunday's Snooker gave us a tunnel for the 7-pt obstacle but 4 reds that made getting there difficult at times...we had to improvise after our 4th red as Dandy decided to do the 5-pt jump combo instead of the tunnel....but we made it thru to the end, and finished with 57 pts and First Place and our final Super Q to earn Dandy's Snooker Master title!


Our next USDAA trial is not until August, which seems so far away. But we do have a local AKC trial in July to keep us "in gear".

Our room at the Blackthorne was actually renovated...old dark paneling & carpet are gone, room is bright with pretty area rugs, new drapes rather than the vertical blinds with every other one missing, a new lamp (with the plastic still on the shade ), and the biggest improvement of all, a Remote Control for the TV!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

June 16, 2009

USDAA Northeast Regional

On June 12-14, we attended the USDAA Northeast Regional in Bethlehem, PA, hosted by Keystone Agility Club. I have not been to a Regional event in several years, and this was the first one for both Token and Dandy. They were both qualified to run in the Grand Prix and Steeplechase. We did not advance to Round 2 in either due to one error in each run that kept us from having the clean runs necessary for advancement. But I'm very proud of the boys nevertheless!
We also competed in the Team competition (3 dogs/handlers per team, running 5 classes with cumulative scoring). There were 67 teams entered, with the top 33 earning a "qualification". With the intense competition at a Regional event, I didn't have high expectations to qualify.
Token did well on his team, managing to get scores in all 5 of his events (in other words, he didn't get any "Eliminations"). However, his teammates (two other Border Collies) had a bit of bad luck with some off-course Eliminations, so Token's team ended up in 45th place with no "Q". My teammates were fun & supportive of one another, so we still enjoyed the competition.

Dandy was teamed up with a mini-poodle named Beau, run by Lynn S., a long-time agility friend whom I teamed with several times in past years, mostly when I was running Toss. We were unable to find a 3rd so we entered as a Draw, and were matched up with a cool Sheltie named Logan, run by Mary A. With these three boys, we named our team "Sharp Dressed Men" (thanks for the idea, Carole!) All 3 'Sharp Dressed Men' ran well, without incurring any "Eliminations" at all. After the final class of the Relay, we were thrilled to end up in 4th place overall! Of course, they only gave awards for 1st through 3rd....so we just missed the virtual podium. But I could not be more proud of 2-yr-old Dandy at his very first big event, he did a tremendous job! And thanks to my great teammates for helping us earn a Team "Q" as well.
Click Dandy in the Team Relay for a photo of Dandy.
And here is Token in the Team Relay

June 7, 2009

Lake Days



Finally, a weekend free with nice weather! I got some quality training sessions in with Token and Dandy, and also got to take them to the lake. Toss got to enjoy the lake, too! (see video!)


video

June 4, 2009

Agility Update

Over the Memorial Day holiday, we spent 3 days at Agility Camp in Ohio. It was a great learning experience! For the sake of consistency & focus, I worked only Token in the camp sessions. (Dandy will get his turn at another camp in July!) Overall, it was very worthwhile. Token ran well the following weekend at the Contact Agility Club's USDAA trial May 30-31, in Wingdale, NY. We still have alot to learn and much to finesse but I see much improvement. Token qualified in 4 out of 7 classes, with placements: 3rd place in Masters Snooker, 2nd place in Masters Standard, 1st place in Master Pairs, and a nice clean run to take 1st place in Round 1 of Steeplechase. Round 2 was not as pretty, we ended up 3rd place. But overall, I was pleased with our runs.
Dandy only got one Q out of the weekend, in Master Pairs, where he ran clean & fast! We earned 5-10 faults in other runs, but I did not do any training with Dandy while at camp nor over the past couple weeks. So, we have this coming weekend off, and I plan to work on skills & drills to get me & Dandy back in sync!

Here is a video of Dandy's Steeplechase run, faults and all...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CHyl9ynDoY

Here is Token's Steeplechase run, 1st place in Round 1...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5GAc-lxtNo

(If the links don't work, go to youtube and search for barkingadchoo)
And I don't know why these can't be viewed in HQ
when my other videos could....

May 12, 2009

New Flyball Titles

Flyball at the Fairgrounds, in Greenfield, MA, May 9-10, 2009
Dandy ran as Start Dog on our Multi Division 1 team, which took 2nd place and set a new record for our Best Time of 17.624! Dandy continued his speedy streak by running 3.9s nine times over the weekend. His best time for this tournament was 3.93, and his average was 4.05. And he has officially earned his Flyball Master (FM) title of 5,000 points. (According to NAFA, he hit 5,000 points at the last tournament, Buffalo Wings, but my records showed he needed 20 more points, so we officially celebrated the title in Greenfield.)

See video of Dandy's team on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqjai351gxU

Token ran as Start Dog on our Regular Division 2 team, which placed 2nd with a best time for the weekend of 18.3. Token's best time was 4.04, with an average of 4.12. Token hit 15,000 points to earn his Flyball Master Champion (FMCH) title! AND....the highlight for me in one of Sunday's races was getting a 0.000 start with Token!!!

No more flyball on our calendar for a while, we are going deep into Agility mode for the next 2 months.

May 5, 2009

USDAA May 2-3, 2009

The ACE Agility trial in Granby, MA, was much smaller than usual this year. The bad part for me personally was that there were so few dogs in the 26" Masters classes. With both Token & Dandy in the same classes, I often had only 3 dogs (less than 3 minutes) in between my runs. A few of my runs were not good as a direct result of this...but we managed a have some good runs, too. Not many Q's but overall not too bad considering the circumstances.
Token qualified both days in Snooker, including a 1st place and Super Q in Saturday's Snooker. Most other classes we were just one fault away from a Q.
Dandy qualified with a 4th place in Sunday's Snooker...had he not knocked the very last bar, it would have been 1st place and a Super Q :-(
He also qualified in Gamblers, with a 1st place, and in Pairs with a 2nd place.

It was a nice trial with nice weather, and lots of great company. I also got to enjoy a visit with Janet & Token's brother Rippy (and Princess Kelly, too!) as I was graciously invited to stay there for the weekend. :-)

Our next USDAA trial will be the end of May.

This coming weekend, it's back to Massachusettes for Flyball. I was nuts to plan 4 weekends in a row....

April 28, 2009

New Title for Token

Token earned his 3rd leg to finish his AKC Open JWW title at the Mid-Hudson Agility trial on April 25, 2009. Jumpers courses have been tough for us, but changing handling systems and retraining his jumping are paying off. He ran a 141 yd course cleanly in 25.1 seconds. The next day he missed qualifying in his Excellent JWW debut as I caused a refusal by not taking one more step that was needed & pulling him off a jump. But Token did his part beautifully, jumping cleanly (even with convergence!), and doing awesome independent weaves. So much improvement since a year ago!
Token also earned his 2nd leg in Excellent A Standard finishing the 179 yd course in 38.22 seconds. I would have preferred that he held his contacts and gotten a slower time...but he was pretty high!

Dandy earned his first leg in Excellent A JWW finishing the 160 yd course in 26.21 seconds, winning the 24" class!

Nice sunny skies, but did it have to be so HOT??? It felt like July, not April!

April 21, 2009

New Personal Best for Dandy

Dandy ran as the Start dog on our Multi team at the Buffalo Wings Flyball Tournament in Hamburg, NY, on April 18 & 19, 2009, and set a new Best Time for himself by running a 3.92! He ran consistently at 4.0 for nearly every heat, and also hit the 3.9s eight times. This is the overall fastest he's run to date. His team took First Place in Multi Div 1 with a Best Time of 17.896 .

Token ran on our Regular Division 2 team, which placed 2nd. He ran in the 2nd spot, which he's never done before, and had to pass a dog he's never passed before...so he was not at his best. He prefers to be lead dog :)

A highlight of the weekend was getting to see Token's two pups from last summer's breeding. These girls are now 9 months old.




A couple more pics are on my website:

April 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to Token!

Token is 6 years old today, April 17, 2009. Where does the time go? Thanks, Lynn, for letting me have this very special boy, he is my heart and soul.
Also Happy Birthday to Token's brother Rip!


April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to Tripper & Toss

Happy Birthday to Tripper and Toss!
Tripper turned 10 years old on April 15 and Toss is celebrating his 14th birthday today on April 16.

April 7, 2009

Videos - Agility Trial April 5, 2009

Token & Dandy in Masters Standard
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSletivuGQs

Token in Steeplechase Finals
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcVBJBJFjJg

Dandy earns his MAD in Master Jumpers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwNnAOsW_TA

Videos are best viewed in HQ

April 6, 2009

Dandy goes MAD!


At not-quite 2 yrs 5 mos old, and after a grand total of 11 USDAA Agility Trials, Dandy finished his Master Agility Dog (MAD) title at the Y Agility trial in CT on April 5, 2009. He needed a Jumpers leg to complete the MAD requirements and he did it in first-rate style, qualifying and winning the 26" class by completing a 148 yard course (SCT: 35 seconds) in 22.64 seconds.
I am in awe of this dog and I could not be any prouder. Thank you, Terri, for breeding such a wonderful pup. He's da bomb! And thank you, Lynn, for Token, without whom Dandy would not be!

Token did his part, too, by winning the 26" Steeplechase!

Sunday's Masters Standard course belonged to my boys in the 26" division as they both qualified and placed...A 162 yard course, Standard Course Time 52 seconds: First Place went to Dandy with a time of 38.47 seconds while 2nd place went to Token with 39.2 seconds!

Other highlights: Token qualified in Masters Gamblers with a 1st place, and Dandy qualified in Master Snooker with a 3rd place. We had a couple of disasterous runs, too, but the good runs made up for it. Our next USDAA trial will be in May...let's hope for a real spring-like weekend!

March 23, 2009

USDAA Agility Trial - March 21-22, 2009

USDAA Dog Agility Masters Team Tournament - All Dogs Gym, Manchester, NH - 03/21-22/09
Team Gamblers - Both Token & Dandy had nice openings & both earned 25 pts but neither got the bonus points in the gamble portion due to an indecisive handler (that would be ME).
Team Standard - Both Token and Dandy ran clean! Token took 1st place and Dandy took 2nd! (Both ran in the 26" division)
Team Jumpers - Dandy ran clean and took 2nd place. Token had one handler-induced refusal and got 6th place.
Team Snooker - Token earned 47 points and 2nd place. Dandy & I had some miscommunication and only earned 19 points.
Team Relay - Dandy had one bar down & one refusal; Token ran clean, and his team ended up qualifying! (A 'team' qualification is one of the requirements for a Championship in USDAA, so I was very glad to get this accomplished!)
Steeplechase - Token qualified in 2nd place in Round 1 & took 3rd place in the Finals (he hit the last board of the Long Jump). Dandy & I had a couple of bobbles and missed qualifying by 0.7 seconds.

Thanks to my teammates Deirdre, Jody & Helen for taping some of my runs so I can post some videos here!

I have also posted them on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaBbTsAqT4g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s3__VJQt6E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLFVvS9eZfs



video



video

video

February 17, 2009

Bestest Friends

Jessica is a member of our Flyball Team. She is 8 years old, and runs a neat little mixed-breed dog named "Kit" as start dog on one of our Regular teams. Jessica loves dogs, and Token and Dandy are two of her best buds!










Flyball - Mardi Gras Madness!

Weston Whirlwinds hosted a huge 2-ring Flyball Tournament in Fitchburg, MA, this past weekend, February 14-15, 2009, with a Mardi Gras theme and nearly 12 hours of racing on Saturday.

My club had 4 teams racing; Dandy was on one and Token was on TWO teams. With Token running as Start Dog fulltime on 2 teams, he had 14 races on Saturday, and 10 on Sunday, running over 100 heats in the two days. He bobbled the ball twice near the end of the day on Saturday, as he was getting tired, but other than that, he ran clean & flawless in every race. His individual best time for the weekend was 4.09 seconds. His Regular team had a Best Time of 19.003, and placed 3rd out of 7 teams in a highly competitive Division 2. Token's other team was our Division 2 Multi team; we broke out twice so we had to be careful not to do it a third time if we wanted to place. It was hard to push but not push too much, especially with this line-up that we never ran before and included two very green dogs. This team ended up in 3rd place after some really tight races.

Dandy was only (?) on one team, so he had 7 races on Satuday, and 5 on Sunday, running anchor on Division 1 Multi-Breed team. His individual Best Time was 4.1, and his team posted a new record for a Best Time of 17.779, finishing in 2nd Place.
Dandy earned 925 points, and with Token's double-running, he came home with 1,635 points! No more tournaments on the calendar until April. In the meantime, we have an agility trial in March in NH, so it's time to switch gears again.

January 25, 2009

Jump Training

I continue to work on jump training for Agility. Token is being retrained for jumping skills, and a year ago, when doing this exercise, he would have just launched & landed behind me. We've made alot of progress, but it's an ongoing project. I see that I've gotten sloppy, I should be feeding lower to keep his head down.

video

January 6, 2009

The Agony & The Ecstasy of Flyball

My plan for the weekend of January 3-4, 2009, was to combine Flyball & Agility for the first time...a one-day Flyball tournament in Manchester, NH, on Saturday, and then the last day of a 3-day Agility Trial in Hampstead, NH, on Sunday. I drove up to NH on Friday, the weather was fine, no snowstorms to stress over. For Flyball, Dandy would be racing on Wild Fire, our Multi team, seeded 2nd in the Multi division. Token was racing on our Rapid Fire team, seeded 3rd in Regular 1. This was the first time we raced this particular lineup for Wild Fire, so we have some fine-tuning to do, but we ran well. Running Dandy as anchor is a totally new position for me, and I need to gradually tighten up my passes, with Dandy following Bailey, the big Golden Retriever, so we will be working on that in practice.
All was going well until Wild Fire's 4th race of the day....when I had a very unfortunate collision with Bailey, the Golden. Bailey had missed grabbing his tug toy, and while Dandy was racing back to me and I was looking at him and starting to step backwards, Bailey had come back to grab his tug & slammed into the side of my right knee with full Golden-power force! I lost my balance & fell, but the fall was not an issue...it was the impact on the side of my knee and then the twisting of the knee. I sat on the floor for quite a while, trying to be a big girl and not cry. They helped me up & to a chair. A fellow competitor, Shannon, stepped in to run Dandy for me as we had 2 more heats in that race. He ran for her for one heat, but he left on the last one, looking for me. I guess he's more of a mommy's boy than I realized!
After sitting for a few minutes, I was able to walk but it was slow & painful. I had 3 more races with Token, and 2 more with Dandy. Keeping the walking parts to a minimum, I continued to race my dogs, though I could not run up & back with them, like normal.
Even with all the drama....Dandy's team of Wild Fire WON the Multi division! This was a huge accomplishment for us. We broke 18.0 seconds twice, with our best time being 17.87! For a brand new multi team, with a less than perfect day, we are very proud to have won. Token's team placed 4th with a best time of 18.22, so we did a respectable job. (we will not ever win Regular 1, racing against 16 second teams, so we just strive for our personal bests).
Token's best time was 4.09, racing in the 3rd position, so I was thrilled with his performance. Dandy's best time was 4.15, and I know we can improve. Our next tourney will be in February, in Massachusettes.
Sunday was a big disappointment for me as I could not go to the Agility trial. Since I could barely walk, I surely could not do agility. My knee became very swollen. I stayed overnight in NH Saturday night as planned (which was a good plan since it was 8:00pm by the time I left the flyball tourney). But instead of going to the trial, I drove home. I then went to Urgent Care, got the knee xrayed, no fractures, no evidence of torn ligaments, so my Rx was rest & ice & ibuprofen, and see if it gets better. It's now Tuesday, and it's much better, the swelling has gone done, and I have more range of motion. So I'm confident that it's nothing serious & will heal quickly. Considering how it felt on Sunday, I'm suprised at how much better it is today...but also very relieved!!!!
It may still be a while before I can run in agility, but I have no trials lined up until maybe March.
Looks like it's going to be a long winter....