its been a while since i posted about doing stuff with my dogs. mostly thats because i havent actually done anything with them (except for walks) for a while. by ‘anything’ i mean organised sporting things, like herding or flyball. some readers may remember me making a decision to pull back from flyball this time last year. it was a hard decision but the right one at the time. for the most part, i have not missed flyball overly much. i’ve missed the fun of racing possum, and the people we were racing with, but the general bullshit craziness of dog people? not so much.
but this weekend just gone may have ended all that. well, started me thinking anyway. i went down to canberra to the royal national capital agricultural show. my ex-team (in which both possum and jem race, and ricco is in training) were the co-hosts of the national championships. they are a pretty big deal, three days of racing, two racing rings, 40 teams from all over australia. extra hands are always required. so i was asked if i could help with some of the organising and with ‘ring calling’ of the competition (this means allocating teams to a ring for their next race using a computer program and announcing the rings and calling teams etc over the loud speaker). i was ambivalent. i was nervous about going back to flyball. i was anxious about the people, whether i would cope with all the memories, whether everyone would just make me cranky. and i dont like being cranky (well not ALL the time). but i did it.
it wasnt entirely smooth sailing. i was with trent for the whole weekend and of course that meant we’d have to have at least one fight about something. i let my anxiety get to me. but we worked through it, and then it was fun. a lot of fun actually. i did a pretty good job (even if i do say so myself), and we got through 140 races on day one, 100 on day two. i made only one big mistake sending the wrong team to the wrong ring at about race 227, at which point i lost my cool a little, but we recovered and i think thats not a bad effort.
we had to be there every morning at 6am, long before everyone else, to set up the lanes and lights and make sure everything was working.
i spent most of my time under a cabana in front of a computer screen, with this as my view
and it was hot as hades in canberra this weekend of course, until the storm ripped through right over presentations on sunday night! thankfully we were staying at a fellow flyballers house who had a pool, so saturday night after a scorching day in the sun, we all jumped in. and i do mean everyone.
possum LOVES to swim. in fact shes obsessed. she knew this pool was here as soon as we walked in and she just stood at the back door waiting to be let out on the deck. then she tried to jump the glass fence and she barked and whimpered until we let her in. she is so adorable, she does this thing where she waits on the edge of the pool for you to say ‘ready set go’ and on the go she jumps in. then she climbs out
just so she can do it again. when she’s swimming she kind of yelps and bites the water in front of her, making it splash so she can bite at the splash!
god i love that dog.
she thoroughly deserved the swim though, she ran like a demon all weekend even though she’d started to scrape some skin off her pads from hitting the box too hard (hence the red boots).
jem and ricco also did really well. jem turned 10 last week and is still the ‘fastest wombat in flyball’ (as we call him), he really loves it, although he doesnt run as many races as he used to. ricco is still in training and ran in the singles (ie, just against one other dog rather than in a team of four) (by the way, if you dont know what flyball is, look here. you’ll see trent (“its fantastic!”) and possum in the red team with me putting the ball in the box). the team itself came third in its division, which is not their best result, but they had fun anyway
(possum doesnt care much for ribbons). it was so much fun that im thinking of going back to running possum myself. maybe when ricco is fully trained so trent can run the boys and i’ll run my girl. of course, i could just be suffering sun stroke! and i had no time for any knitting either. what’s become of me?!