Friday, August 31, 2007

Football and Flyball!!

The only thing more exciting than Nick Saban's debut as the new head coach at The University of Alabama is Marley officially starting flyball practice tomorrow...okay, maybe it's not more exciting, but at our house, it's damn close!
Veronica has been competing for almost three years now - training a dog with ZERO ball drive to run flyball wasn't an easy task, but we did it. And yes, our Retriever couldn't care less about a ball. She also hates water. Freak. Thing is, Veronica runs for us, not because she particularly likes it (as opposed to the Border Collies in our club who live and die for a tennis ball). She could probably outrun any dog in our club at Doggie Funzone ( - it's a lure course) but in flyball? Nah, she takes her own sweet time. And see the last picture of her at the box? Yeah, that's not even close to being the right way to trigger the ball!
That's Mazie in the first picture - we worked her for almost two years hoping that she might compete one day, but it's not in the cards. 1) Mazie has bi-lateral hip dysplasia and while the exercise has made an amazing change in her daily activity (and held off hip replacement surgery so far!) she can't run for long periods of time and 2) Mazie is the canine version of Rain Man. She can learn complex series of commands. She can hide a toy and go right back to it weeks later. But she can't seem to make the connection between the jumps and the box. She can do one or the other but trying to combine the two is overload and she resorts to her OCD action of spinning in circles. Always counter-clockwise, thank you very much.
Then there's Marley. Long body. Long legs. Ball drive. She's a flyballer's dream. Unfortunately, she's also still a puppy and a bit of a spaz. She's easily distracted - in basic obedience, she had a crush on our instructor Philip. She would totally ignore me and just stare at him with her big cow eyes! So, step one in our quest for a flyball phenom is harnessing that crazy energy...the races only last about 20 seconds on average so I don't even need a long attention span to work with!
Now, are you ready for some football???? ROLL TIDE!!!

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