Burning Dog 2009

24 09 2009

Last weekend was the last NAFA tournament of the year for MRR. I dont normally go to tourneys in Reno, but the site was so close to the Truckee one that i figured it would be a shame NOT to go. Besides, that means more NAFA points for us, which is low this year due to a minimal amount of tournaments.

Bay Racer’s held its second annual Burning Dog tourney at a site called Rock Park, in Sparks, Nevada. I have to say that it is one of the most beautiful outdoor Flyball event that i have ever been to. Even more beautiful than Truckee! The grass was lush and plentiful, and the Truckee river was literally about 10 feet outside our camp site. Just on the other side of the river, there was an airport, with planes taking off and landing all day. This didnt really add to the beauty, per-say, but it was mind-boggling how close the planes were over the flyball lanes-like you could reach out and touch them!

The first day was humid and hot, but with cloud cover. Jet was running all day and Riley was only running on Sunday, on a veterans team. Jet’s team was in a slow division, so i was worried he wouldnt have as much fun as usual. Then, early in the morning before racing, we learned that one of the teams in our division scratched, and we would be racing by ourselves for those races. I decided i was going to focus on just running clean, but Jet had other ideas. The first race of the day was the race with no competition, and our height dog was starting, but Jet was totally amped.  He was barking and lunging like crazy. Even with no competition during that first race he ran 4.2 the first heat, then 4.4, and then 4.3 witha pass. He was passing into our JRT and i was having trouble keeping my passes from being too close. I was back at about 55 feet, but getting close to 0 foot passes!

Jet had blast on his second race too. He got to start, and was racing an old rival, an austrailian shephard named Ishu. Not sure why, but ever since he’s started Flyball Jet’s always gone a little bit crazy when running against certain dogs, Ishu one of them. Jet was running 4.2’s and 4.3’s and was so excited i kept having to rearrage him so that he was facing the lane, he kept trying to stare and bark at Ishu.

The weekend went by fairly smooth. Riley ran on Sunday, which was a little hotter but still not bad, and did very well to bring the ball back every time. I was concerned that she may get tired in the heat, but she only had 3 races and ended the day happy and sucessful.  Both dogs loved having the river available to cool off, although i had to stop letting Jet get in because i was afraid he would chip his teeth on the huge river rocks he was trying to fish out.

Next to Bay Racer’s tournament in Hayward, this was one of the best NAFA tournaments I’ve ever attended. Jet ran the weekend between 4.2 and 4.5 seconds, even when his competition was either very slow or non-existent. I was getting much better start times than i usually do, even with Jet going crazy on the line. I even got a perfect start time of .0000 running another dog on the team. They gave me this Hippie Rubber Duck that said “Perfect Start” on it..it was sweet, even though it was super ugly. Haha. I also feel that the elevation when i go to the Truckee and Reno tournament was effecting me. My dogs had no issues, but I was feeling weak in the knees, like when you have low blood sugar and feel like there is no strength in your limbs. I’m pretty sure it was because the lack of oxygen to my muscles from being so high up in elevation.

 Jet ran a huge amount of heats over the weekend. He had 5 races saturday and sunday, which were 4/4’s. Thats 20 heats per day, 40 in a weekend, plus the extra run during the warm up, so thats 50 heats over the weekend. That also does not include the false starts Jet had to deal with for being a start dog. He’s gaining back the level of fitness we’ve been working to achieve again; this is great news!

Jet’s definatly changed his running tactics in terms of his tug. When he runs back with his ball he does this crazy launch into the air from a couple feet back and just slams into it. This usually sends me flying forward with him and gives me the feeling that i’m an antelope getting pulled down by a wolf during a hunt. Is it any wonder why my arms and shoulders are so sore after a tournament?

Jet earned a total of 812 points for the weekend, earning him a total of 16,350 NAFA points. Riley only earned 175, and has 1,747 points. But who knows, maybe one day she’ll have enough for her Master! Dream Big!

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