Our lack of posting was all caused by our big busy weekend at the Muddypaws flyball tournament in Salem, Oregon! On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we made the drive down to Salem to our very first flyball tournament.
On Friday night we attended green dog racing which is intended for dogs new to the sport. There's no judging or real time keeping and you're allowed to use props. Athena ran singles and doubles and did fairly well in the new environment. However, she continued to inconsistently bring her ball back to me, so we didn't have much hope for her to be in the actual tournament on Saturday and Sunday.
Athena was able to warm-up with a team on Saturday to get the feel for the ring, noise, and overall chaos of flyball. She did great with the distraction overload and stayed totally focused on me and her ball. She was still dropping the ball though right after retrieving it from the box, and we didn't want to chance putting her in an actual race because of it.
Then we decided to just give it a try with an orange ChuckIt ball instead of the normal tennis ball. Well, you all know how obsessed Athena is with ChuckIt balls! Once she found out that ChuckIt balls were involved, she never again dropped the ball early. This sealed the deal and Athena debuted in the official flyball ring on Saturday afternoon racing with her team Back That Pass Up!
Above is a video of Athena racing with her team (she's the fourth dog in the lineup). Athena managed to earn two flyball titles. You may now refer to her as:
Athena, FD, FDX
The FD stands for Flyball Dog which is earned with 20 points and the FDX stands for Flyball Dog Excellent which is earned with 100 points. Athena's teammate Henry who also debuted this weekend earned himself a couple of titles as well!
I am SO proud of Athena for having such a successful first flyball tournament. Sometimes she can be a bit spacey at practice (running around the hurdles instead of jumping over them, not bringing the ball back, running into other dogs, etc.), so I wasn't quite sure how she would react to the crazy flyball environment. She actually acted like a fairly trained dog and managed to jump over all of the hurdles almost every time she ran a race (there was one flub up when she went around them after a bad box turn). As far as being off-leash in the presence of so many other dogs in the ring, Athena kept her cool and didn't do any of her usual attempts at socializing.
In other news, we also won three raffle baskets at the tournament filled with tons of doggie loot!
What fun activities did you do with your dog this weekend?