Well, despite a lack of pictures from the weekend, I can no longer hold off on posting about our awesome trip to Canada for flyball. Instead, I will include pictures of Pallo from today, doing tricks.
Koira and Pallo both came along this time. Previously, Pallo has always been a bad eater when we travel, but I had the theory that he missed Koira rather than not liking traveling. This trip proved me right, as I had no need of the smelling canned dog food or any other tricks to get Pallo to eat his food. Of course, since his breakfast was a tender grass fed beef roast and lunch was whole flash frozen sardines, it might have just been the awesomeness of the food. Koira was her normal campaigning self, happy to eat, sleep, hand out, and be calm.
Saturday started out pretty rocky for us. Our first race went fine, but with a false start on every single heat and each person on the team taking turns doing early passes, it certainly could have been better. The second race of the day, Pallo's brain melted down. He started running down over two jumps, then stopping, looking confused, and running back to me. When I sent him again, he would do fine. This has long been a trick of Koira's, but Pallo has never once done it before, even in the early months of practicing.
After our five heats were over in the second race, I set to thinking about why he might be doing this and how to fix it. Then, I realized that the Open team we were running with is quiet. The dogs don't bark. And they aren't fluffy. Our team at home is loud, barky, and fluffy, and so was our Open team in California. I brought this up with the person in charge of lineups, who promised to put the two loudest and fluffiest dogs on the team in for the next heat, and also moved Pallo to anchor position (racing last, as opposed to third, where he was for the first two races). I also decided to pull out the big guns, switching from Pallo's little toy to the 5 foot fluffy tug. He is more likely to drop his ball when the tug is in play, but at that point, I just wanted a happy dog willing to do his job, and figured I could work with the ball dropping so long as he was happy.
Seems like that combination amped him up, and though he wasn't running the best in the world, he did run clean on the next race (except for my early pass, bad human). He also got his new fastest rerun time ever of 5.9 seconds, which is pretty good considering it includes his turnaround time.
The rest of the weekend went smoothly. My dog's brain came back, and he settled down and did his job, loving every minute of it. No new best times were set this weekend, though he did pull in plenty of times in the 5.1-5.3 second range over 9" jumps (his Personal Best of 5.0 was set over 8" jumps).
Saturday, Pallo raked in 499 points for the day, putting him over the 2,500 mark and earning him his Flyball Dog Champion Gold title. Sunday was an additional 475 points (roughly, I didn't count exactly on it) so he is over 3,000 total points at the one year mark for competing. From this point on, each title will take more and more points to achieve, meaning it may be awhile before a new title post comes about. For Pallo at least.
Green dog practice on Saturday afternoon did give me a bit of hope that Koira may be competing soon, though I am trying not to get my hopes up too much for the July tournament with her.
On the note of the pictures, Pallo is doing pretty good at a lot of his tricks, such as shake and other paw (for feet or hands), and roll over. He needs to learn spin, circle, and backup better. I am trying to talk my cousin into doing freestyle with him. I think he would be great at it.