Sunday, 28 December 2008

Flyball videos

We had a training session today, mainly for the team dogs but Storm and a couple of the other starter dogs had some runs as well. They were all timed and Storm has got quicker since last time he trained and got a fastest time of 4.86 seconds. He did 5.30 last time he was timed. Monty got a fastest time of 4.83 seconds but on average Storm is faster than Monty. Here's a video clip of each of them. Monty doing an 8 hurdle run to build fitness & stamina and Storm just doing the usual 4 hurdle run. The 7" hurdles are nothing for Storm and he doesn't have to jump at all, he just runs over the top of them lol. He can't do higher hurdles until he's older.

Friday, 26 December 2008


I let Monty & Storm have a go at working Basher, my horse today. I put Bash in the arena and went and got Storm. It was only the 2nd time Storm has seen a horse so he was a bit wary to begin. Bash is a good boy though and will just plod around the arena while I follow on behind. Storm quickly got braver and was going in and sending him on (he thought it was him sending him on heh). He was a bit gobby and kept having a bark which is just down to lacking confidence. He kept in behind and just drove Bash forwards and at one point Bash slowed down and Storm shot in, nipped him on the hock and sent him off again.
After he'd spent a bit of time working I put him back in the car and got Monty out.
Monty was very wary to begin as he developed a fear of horses after touching the electric fence and getting zapped. There were two horses on the other side of the fence so he figured that horses being present mean't he'd get electrocuted. I sent Bash of plodding round the arena and Monty soon got braver and started circling him. Storm takes the direct route and goes straight in whereas Monty keeps some distance and just circles. He's also a bit gobby and kept barking.
Bash is fine for them to start on but they will need to move onto something else to learn to work properly. Bash isn't scared of dogs so they can't move him around as he'll just walk over the top of them if they try and head him off and make him change direction. I walked round and kept Bash moving and changing direction but of course the dogs thought they were doing it which was boosting their confidence. They need to move onto something that they can move around themselves. I don't know if Mark will let me use his cows to practice lol. They both looked very pleased with themselves after their efforts heh. From there it was off to the lake to get legs clean as they had orange legs from the sand in the arena.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Quiet time

For the dogs anyway. Flyball has finished for this year so the boys are just chilling and enjoying the holiday. They still do their clicker training so they're not taking a holiday from everything lol. I took them on the park with the ball launcher today and totally knackered them out. I know when Monty is knackered cos he will leg it after the ball but then flop to the floor once he gets to it. Storm won't bother trying to race Monty for the ball and will hang back if Monty is in the lead. If Storm sets off first though he will go full tilt after the ball while Monty is trying to get their first. They'll quite often get to the ball at the same time and then its a guess as to who has it. Storm comes back much quicker than Monty does and brings the ball to me whereas Monty throws it at me on his way past. Monty is a cheat and will run off across the field and wait for the ball to be thrown to him rather than for him. I make him come back though and won't let him set off running until the ball has been launched. If he pisses off in one direction assuming thats where the ball is going to go I will launch it in the opposite direction so he has twice as far to run to get it. Monty had to drag himself home afterwards lol. When we got home they were both laid out on the kitchen floor doing very good steam train impressions hahahaha. Monty managed to slobber all over the floor as well! Half hour later he was back on his feet throwing toys at me to try and get me to play fetch with him. Monty's a pain and is always mithering to be played with (fetch) whereas Storm lays down quietly and waits until he's invited to play.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Bath time

Well, after much deliberation and research I gave Storm a bath today. I've always been led to believe that it isn't good for them to be bathed unless absolutely necessary but upon doing some research into it, it stated that its better for them to have a clean coat than a dirty one. Storm was absolutely minging, his whites were yellow!!!! I fished my rubber bath mat out and put it in the shower tray for him. On his previous baths he would lie down in the shower which made washing him a bit tricky. The rubber mat mean't he remained standing which was a big help. I used his deodorising dog shampoo and also used some conditioner on his tail, feathers & britches. I had the bag of treats handy and kept giving him one for being a good boy. Unfortunately the water ran cold halfway through but he didn't seem to mind too much. Afterwards I gave him a good rub down with the towel and then blowdried him. He's all nice and clean now and smells much better than he did......shame it won't last long *sigh*

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Doncaster Indoor Tournament

Was up early yesterday morning to get to Doncaster. Fortunately Doncaster is only about 30 minutes away so I didn't have to set off at silly o-clock. I had to take the flyball box with me as Andy's van was broken so he was going by car, just taking the dogs that were running and didn't have room to take the other box. It had been forecast to be very cold so I had numerous layers on as I remember how cold it was there in October. We weren't in until the 2nd division so that gave plenty of time to exercise the dogs and fuel up on a sausage sandwich. I made a point of wearing my long Woof boots as the tournament is held in an indoor riding school and although the dogs run on turf, the school surface is this strange black rubbery type stuff and turns everything black. I was wearing white trainers last time I went and certainly learn't a valuable lesson about choosing footwear carefully lol. We were first in in our division and won the first two races. We lost the 3rd as Keston decided he didn't want to do the hurdles on the way back. We won one race and lost another in the afternoon and ended up coming 2nd in the division. Monty ran great again with no misbehaving. It was at Doncaster last time that he had Andy bellowing and chasing him off the box because he suddenly got a habit of spinning round and going back to the box for another ball. I managed to get 2 free hot chocolates from the food van and they had squirty cream on the top and were excellent. I also met Jakey Tripod, the 3 legged dog whose road to flyball dog I'm following on Facebook. He's a lovely boy and it was great to watch him racing.
The weather was quite nice during the day but the temps dropped quite a lot later on. I got volunteered to box load for Cheshire Set in Div 1, the last Div of the day as Katherine had to leave straight after our Division. We went back to the cars after the racing while the presentation started. The temperature had dropped so much that all the cars were frozen. I scraped the ice of the disco's windscreen before we went in for presentation. Afterwards I had to scrape it again as it had re-frozen! We all started our cars up and just sat for a while till they'd defrosted and de-fogged so we could actually see out the windows. Thankfully the drive home didn't take long and I didn't hit all the bloody traffic lights in Balby as usually happens.
So, Monty has another rosette on the cage and some more points and we had another good day. I think that was our last tournament until the New Year.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Yesterdays training

I didn't have the energy to compose and write this last night lol. It was our usual Sunday afternoon training session and again it was cold and muddy. The mud on the field is like clay and just sticks and clumps to everything. Storm was timed today and is doing about 5.3 seconds. Monty hasn't been timed for a while so we're not sure what times he's doing now. He certainly isn't doing 4.3 seconds so there's less than a second between Monty & Storm. Storm will probably be faster than Monty once he's done growing, developing and building fitness. Monty isn't the fastest dog and will only run on the secondary teams and never the main Rockets team. Monty doesn't care though, so long as he gets to go and get his ball he's happy. Only time will tell how Storm turns out but he's doing brilliantly so far and hopefully will continue to get better.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Poser pics take 2

Here's the second attempt at getting some pics of the boys. Someone had a silly moment and started rolling around, ending up upside down. Fortunately he's hairy enough that you can't see his bits lol.

Poser pic

I had a play about with the boys today to try and get some pics. I was mainly after pics of Storm as I have hundreds of pics of Monty but not many of Storm. Unfortunately they failed miserably because everytime he heard the camera go to take the pic he cocked his head to one side so he had a blurry head in them all...The above pic was the only success, if thats the right description. Monty is fine to photograph by himself but put Storm in as well and he sulks lol. I was waving a toy around for them but Monty refused to lift his head off the floor lol. Thankfully Storm cocked his head just before the pic was taken so it wasn't blurry this time. Monty was like 'I'm going to sulk cos Storm is in the pic as well and just to get my point across even more I'm going to stick my back leg out as well'.

Monday, 24 November 2008

How do you.....

Come up with a title for the post that you haven't used already? Unless I can manage to think of new titles I'm going to end up with hundreds of posts all titled 'Training today' or 'More training' lol.
Fortunately the snow didn't hit us (well a small amount during the night which had more or less gone by morning) and it was dry and sunny so training went ahead yesterday. We were a bit thin on the ground so there were no team runs, only individual runs. Storm did run at the same time as Yo-yo because she's having issues with running across onto the opposite lane to the other dog. Storm went in the netted lane and Yo-yo the other lane but she ran straight across to see Storm. Fortunately Storm will run out of netting so they were switched over so Yo-yo ran in the netting. They did quite a few runs and Storm never put a foot wrong. After he'd done quite a few runs I said enough as I didn't want him to get tired and start making mistakes. Monty only did a few runs same as the other team dogs, mainly to do box work. The football had finished by the time training was complete so all the dogs could be let out for a run and socialise. Its great to see loads of dogs all running around together having fun. Monty must have been skittled and hit the deck at some point as he had a big skid mark on his new coat and mud all over his nose and head. It must have been a tiring afternoon as Storm was shattered and was cabbaged nearly all night lol.

Friday, 21 November 2008

A few pics of the boys on their daily walk

We have this lake close to where I live and this is where the boys go for their daily afternoon walk. They love going round the lake and Monty loves to play in the water. Storm still insists on eating duck poo! Monty used to eat it when he was younger as well but grew out of it and doesn't bother with it anymore. They have a couple of friends who we often see there and they have a quick game of racy-chasy before going on our ways.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

More Training

It had been arranged to go and set up to practice at the park but on arriving there it was clear it wasn't going to happen. Everywhere is fenced off and there wasn't anywhere to park that wouldn't mean car and equipment miles away from each other. We decided to go and set up on a playing field near where I live. We parked at the side of the road and carried the equipment the short distance onto the field. The first 2 dogs did some runs and then I got Storm out. He only did a few runs same as the others and then Monty had a go. He only had a few runs as he doesn't need the practice as much as the others who have only been doing it a short time. Storm and the other two came out and did some more runs. Storm is funny, he lines himself up ready to go right next to my left leg. I kept taking a step backwards and he'd glance behind and see I'd moved and would back up so he was back alongside my leg. I also moved the netting away and gave him a few runs without it. Its great that I can bring one of the boxes home because it means I can do training while its dry as the unpredictable (well its highly predictable if you predict rain!) British weather means team training is often cancelled.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Box work at home

I brought one of the flyball boxes home with me on Sunday after the tournament. I had both dogs on it today for two short sessions each. Monty is a pain and will 4 paw turn on it when training at home and doing boxwork at team training but won't do it when he's racing.
Storm does great turns but only with the hurdle in front to encourage him to jump onto the box. He'll only do 2 paws if there's nothing in front of the box. The hurdle will always be in until he's actually in races so that he only ever does proper turns and doesn't practise 'bad box technique'. He's really quick on the box and is on-off like lightning. Monty was trying to dig for England through the window on the door while Storm was training lol.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Newark Indoor Tournament

Went down to Newark showground yesterday for the indoor tournament. The racing was held in the long wooden building and was run on rubber matting. Monty has run on rubber mat before at his first ever tournament back in March which was Markfield starters. I got some vetwrap and stop protectors for him as rubber mats aren't as kind to their feet as grass. We were in Div 1 bottom seed and weren't expecting to come anywhere as we were up against some very fast teams. All the dogs ran great and we certainly gave them a challenge but only managed to win 2 legs all day. We weren't annihilated though and the racing was close. The dogs don't care whether they win or not, all they care about it getting their balls/tuggies etc. I took Storm in for a look as he hasn't been to an indoor tournament like this in a small building before. He wasn't phased by the deafening racket of dogs barking and owners shouting at all. He did manage to get called a 'poncy show dog' by someone lol. In the afternoons racing I ran one of the dogs on one of Nat's (Bryning) teams as she had 2 teams in Div 1 and they had to race each other.
Monty was presented with his FDI award as well which was really nice.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Finally managed to train

We finally managed to have a training session today although it looked very doubtfull it would go ahead with the weather first thing this morning. It was only for the starter dogs today as the team dogs are racing tomorrow. I only took Storm as there wasn't much point taking Monty as well if he wasn't training. He would only have sat in the cage barking and winding himself up while the other dogs were running.
Storm is doing so well and is great to run. He waits quietly while its his turn rather than lurching about like Monty does. He also comes straight back to my side after his run so I don't have the hassle of catching him. He started off on the starter lane and ran with Roi & Charlie. There were no problems with any of these runs at all. We then moved across onto the other lane which wasn't netted. His first couple of runs were perfect and he did all the hurdles without running out. Then Simon joined on the end with Rosie. Rosie was after Storm and on the first run Simon let Rosie go too soon so Storm ran out and missed the last hurdle coming back. It was good that he did run out otherwise they would probably have collided over the hurdle. I then ran him on his own and the first two attempts he missed the first hurdle on the way down but came straight back when called before getting to the box. The 3rd attempt he did it properly. We then gave them 2 more runs with Simon giving Storm time to get through the start before letting Rosie go.
Storm doesn't want to start doing tighter change-overs while he's running out of netting. He needs to do them while he's in netting so he can't run out and can get used to the other dogs running at him. All in all he did really well and I'm looking forward to when he can start competing.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Training cancelled again

Was all geared up for training today as well. I hadn't heard from Andy so assumed that mean't training was going ahead. I went out to swap the cages over in the car and had got the first one in when Andy phoned. Training was happening but only for the starter dogs, Storm etc so I carried on sorting the cages. Got back inside and Andy phoned again to say it was cancelled as there would only have been himself and us so it wasn't worth it. We're hoping to get a training day in next Saturday as we're competing at Newark on the Sunday. I really hate winter, the lousy weather spoils everything. I'm wanting to be training Storm but not getting much chance with training sessions being cancelled due to the weather.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Monty & Fireworks

I allowed Monty outside last night just so I could get some footage of him enjoying the fireworks lol. He'd quite happily stay out all night doing this but I don't think it would impress the neighbours too much heh.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Weekend off

Today was supposed to be a training day but the weather mean't it had to be cancelled due to the training field being waterlogged. No flyball for the boys this weekend :(. Monty has had his fun and exitement for today though, charging round the garden barking at fireworks haha. Storm isn't impressed by them and doesn't want to go outside unless I go with him. He doesn't make a big deal out of it and start playing up when he hears them. He takes no notice but would rather not go outside by himself. All being well, training should resume next weekend, weather permitting.

Monday, 27 October 2008

What a weekend

It was our tournament this weekend. It was held in a marquee which was quite a novelty, an indoor tournament on grass, which everyone thought was great. I didn't have quite as early starts as some of our team members but they were still too early for my liking lol. The first job was to direct all the day parkers to their designated parking area. There was an hour or so's delay in starting as the light system decided not to work. Eventually they were sorted and racing got underway. The wind soon started picking up and duties involved making drinks for the ring parties, doing the paperwork and trying to stop everything blowing away in the gales. Two of the gazebo's got wrecked and had to be taken down and the stats tent had to have all its bars reinforced to stop it going the same way. The marquee was well pegged down and was unaffected by the gales so the racing was unaffected. The starters ring outside wasn't faring as well and to prevent any risk to person or dog, it was decided to abandon the racing. The mornings delay mean't everything was running well behind time and so the afternoons racing was run on 'best of 3, run all 3' basis to try and hurry things along. By the time I got home on Saturday night I was shattered and had some food and a drink and went to bed.
Sunday morning started off terrible as I fell back to sleep after the alarm went off and woke up 10 minutes before I needed to pick Toni up. It was literally, dive out of bed, straight into clothes, downstairs, let the dogs in and harness them up, get them in the car and put the foot down haha. Got there and helped with the setting up of another set of lights as Steve's lights from yesterday weren't playing ball lol. I was then frantically summoned to go help out the food van as he was stranded in the sodden ground from all the rain during the night. He unhitched his van and the food trailer was hitched to the disco and I towed it to where it needed to be. I had to tow it back off the field at the end of the day as well. Monty was racing today and between the racing I was doing ring party and drinks duty.
Monty ran great in his races and seems to have stopped the habit he got into of spinning round and going back to the box for another ball after the bellowings he got off Andy at Doncaster. Our team won both the mornings races and the first of the afternoons races. We lost the next race as Keston decided he didn't want to do the hurdles on the way back, Paddy span round and went back down for another go, and Barney & Monty got lights. We lost the last race as well as Barney got lights again. Little Sam did a great job of running Barney and he was only early by the tiniest of margins. Our team came 4th in the division so Monty got another rosette to put on the cage. At one point in the afternoon Storm decided he was going to try and gatecrash the racing but I just managed to catch him as he went into the marquee.
The racing finished bang on schedule and I helped with putting the light system away before presentation. Afterwards our team joined the Tyne Tailwaggers team in the pub for a few drinks (orange for me with me having to drive home).
The only negative thing to come out of the weekend is that it tired me out enough for me to succumb to the cold bug I'd been fighting off for the previous week so I'm now feeling quite poorly. The weekend's success more than makes up for it though.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Training today

Had our usual Sunday afternoon training session today. I had Storm out first. He's doing extremely well and did a few full runs in the netting. He does wonderful 4 paw turns on the box with the low hurdle in front. Storm came back out again after some of the other starter dogs did some training and was to have a go at running with Roi, one of Katherine's dogs and Jack, Stefan's dog. Storm ran second dog and had no problems at all with Roi returning and then Jack setting off. Sam decided to see how they'd do if the netting was moved away a little and all 3 dogs ran perfect. The netting was moved further away and again all 3 dogs ran great. They then switched over onto the other lane with no netting and Storm ran absolutely brilliant, I was so proud of my little man. There was one incident where Roi dropped his ball as he came back through the start and Storm grabbed it on his way to the box so when he got there he already had a ball so things went a bit pear shaped. He did return back over the hurdles though. Monty came out for a run a short time after. The other lane had been increased to 8 jumps and he did some runs with Nell, one of Val's dogs. Running over 8 hurdles is testing and soon tires them out. Storm has only had a few training sessions but has picked it up so quickly. He's only 7 month old so must take it steady as we don't want to burn him out before he's even entered his first competition.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

The point of all this

Well, I've decided to start this so I can record all our little escapades in the flyball world. I've been doing flyball with my dog Monty since January 2008. He ran in starter comps until he was old enough to run in open comps, his first being Doncaster Bellestars tournament at Cantley Park. It was certainly an interesting first open tournament with rain on the Saturday followed by unbelieveable winds on the Sunday.....oh, and the presence of Carol Thatcher lol. So, from here onwards, I will record all our doings on the flyball circuit.