Monday, 12 October 2009

Penny is now a flyball dog

Well, our first real flyball event was an eye-opener to the human part of the team!

Who would have thought there would be so many rules?

Who would have thought that the team has to provide stewards, who have to sit by the side of races and make sure those rules are obeyed? And that everyone, no matter how new, has to take a turn?

Above all, who would have thought you get into big trouble if your dog wees or poos in the ring? (Penny didn't, but I was on tenterhooks all day, and I don't think I've ever spent so much time convincing her she wants to wee - before we went in each time.)

But, horror of horrors, we were late for our first ever race! I was nervously hanging around the enormously complicated-looking list of events, trying to work out when we had to go over to the start, when I heard the nightmarish announcement that our club's team would have to start with only three dogs. I thought, 'Oh, please, don't let this be my event!'

And then our captain came running, shouting, 'Where's Penny? Where's Penny?"

Thank goodness I had her out of her crate and ready to go. We ran full pelt into the ring, just in time to run in third position in the team. No explanation to Penny about where the ball was, just shove her in the general direction of the box. Of course she ran in circles and our team lost the heat.

And this is where our captain showed me what a great club I've joined. No recriminations. Just 'Settle down, it's okay, that's past history, forget about it.' In the rest of that group of heats (best of five) we ran with the team and all went well.

Not one person told me off. No-one blamed me for the loss.

What a great team spirit.

The rest of the day was tiring but enormous fun - I think, for Penny as well as myself. She got lots of runs and also lots of nice pats from junior humans in our club.

And now Penny has letters after her name. She is Penny, FDX. (Hmm... I'm such a beginner I don't even know what it means. But it sure sounds good.)

Here's a shot of another dog going over the jumps, just to give an idea of the day. (It's taken with my phone, so it's not very clear.)


Scottie the 'Cutie' said...

Flyball looks so fun! I think that you all did so well given the circumstances...and I'm pretty sure that you'll all do great at the next trials! Keep up the great job, Penny!


parlance said...

Scottie, we both had a wonderful day! Let's hope we find the next event just as much fun.

Honey the Great Dane said...

Ooh, I was so excited reading about your Flyball experience - I really can't wait to try it with Honey when we move over to Oz! I Just hope that she won't be too old at 6yrs to do it (that's getting on for a Dane) and also that there is as nice a club as yours in Brisbane...and also that they allow XXXXL sized dogs to join in too!! :-)

ps. can't believe Penny is overweight - she always looks fine to me but I guess that's the problem with fur - it hides a lot of sins! :-) With Honey, you can instantly see anything - mostly sinews and muscles - but we had a hard time too when she first reached adulthood coz her metabolism slowed down but we were still used to feeding her like a growing giant breed puppy...people are always asking us how much she eats and it's actually not as much as everyone thinks, now that she is fully grown - probably not more or not even as much as a very active German Shepherd or other large breed. Problem is, being such a tall girl, she carries weight very easily without it looking bad so we have to be really careful - generally, we try to keep her between 68 - 70kg but somtimes I look at the stuff in her dinner bowl and can't believe that such a huge dog should be eating only so little! :-)

parlance said...

Honey, if all the flyball clubs are as nice as the one we've found, I think you'll have lots of fun. I thought like Hsin-Yi, that maybe Penny is a bit old to be starting flyball (she's nearly five), but I think it dogs are fit and have done lots of training and activities of various kinds, there's no reason they shouldn't try a new sport.

parlance said...

Honey, I forgot to say how amazed I was at how big you actually are - it doesn't always come over in a photo. Wow! 70 kg!