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.)