Saturday, May 9, 2009
What are these people doing, you might ask. It's definitely something to do with dogs, right? Perhaps you haven't heard of this game called flyball, so here's a little background on the sport. Dog sports aren't for everyone--but you can find yourself involved if you happen to have an active herding dog in your life. These dogs love to have a job to do and they need activities, so people with border collies, shelties, aussies and other working breeds have come up with crazy, fun games that they can play with their dogs.
This is flyball, a dog relay race with people involved. The lane is set up: four jumps spaced 10 feet apart and a flyball box at the end.
The box is loaded with a tennis ball and the dogs run down the lane, over the jumps, trigger the box, catch the ball and then run back to the handler.
There are four dogs in the actual race, but here we're just training and practicing.
It's actually quite challenging to train the dogs for this sport because they are working a long distance away from you. They run down the 51 foot long lane, get the ball and return to the start-finish line by themselves. These dogs love the sport and love to learn. Now that we have light here in the evenings we practice flyball on Friday nights. This part of the practice focuses on getting the dogs to jump over the hurdles get the ball from the box. You can see that the people are as focused as the dogs. Don't say it--we already know we're crazy.
The craziest thing of all is that neither Harry nor I are at all athletic. We don't do sports, we don't follow sports, we never have. It's only because of the dogs that we head out to practice every week and we even take them to tournaments with our team--and have a great time.