Friday, June 10, 2011

Black and white

Or, technically, I guess, its grey-scale, since it is black, white, and many shades of grey.

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I took a trip with my sister and cousin to visit my dad over on the coast, which meant a great opportunity to get some beach pictures. With how overcast it was though, I found that I liked most of the pictures better in black and white than in color.

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I did get a number of them that I loved.

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I'm so sad I cut off part of Koira in this one, since I love how they are coordinated with the jumping through the water.

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I can't decide if I like this one:

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Or this one:

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better. Which do you prefer? Its the same picture, just edited slightly different.

Koira swam some, even though the water was freezing. She books it back to shore though if the waves get too big. Pallo doesn't even like getting his feet wet with the waves, even though he will now wade in rivers and even sometimes swim in still water.

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We rushed back from the beach in time to head up to flyball practice (of which, you may have realized, I rarely have any pictures). With my wrist still hurting a good bit, I had my cousin help out by running Pallo, saving most of my energy for running Koira myself, since she does not run well for other people.

Pallo was running good, though slower for my cousin than he normally is for me. I'm not sure if he was tired from the beach or she wasn't calling him loud enough/wasn't exciting enough/he couldn't find her as easily, or some combination of those. He was holding his ball really well though, with no early drops and only a few close to the line. We ran him with a box jump in, so his turns were excellent. Next time we will try a couple times without the prop and see how his turns are holding up.

Koira ran really well for me. We were working specifically on ball dropping, and saw a lot of improvement. Most of Koira's dropping is at the box, when she fumbles the ball during her turn (though she is fumbling at the box less and less). Sometimes, though, she randomly spits the ball out after 2-3 jumps on the way back.

Since Koira loves her tug a ton, but loves coming back to me a lot too, I used her toy drive to help motivate her to bring her ball all the way back. In her first set of five runs, she fumbled at the box twice and dropped early for no reason once, (receiving no tug toy at all for any of those runs, but getting verbal praise for the one partial return).

On her second set of five, she did much better, running clean all five heats. She was running alone in her lane, with a single other dog running with her in the other lane. Even when crossed on once, she stayed on her tug really nicely. And, since we have a tournament coming up, we timed all of the dogs at practice to make sure our seed times (the time you submit for each team for a tournament which determines what division the team races in) were pretty accurate. Its important to not be too far off, because if you "break out" of your division (run faster than a set time, normally 1 second faster than the fastest seed time in the division) you forfeit the race.

Anyhow, enough of the technical mumbo jumbo. We timed each of the dogs, and Koira timed in with her fastest runs being in the 5.4 second range. She slowed down to 5.7 seconds in her second set of five because she got tired. Sure, one would think that Koira should be able to run faster than Pallo, but a lot more goes into a flyball time than just the dog's basic ability to turn on the speed.

Koira's main issue is that she runs veeeery slowly to the box since she doesn't like running away from me, then returns quickly. Eventually, the whole sequence should happen faster and faster, but for now, she mostly double strides all the way down to the box, then single strides all the way back. Simply speeding up on the way down, which should happen naturally with practice, will probably bring her times down into the 4 second range. In addition, a dog's time is affected by how smooth/fast/snappy their turn is at the box. Koira's turn is okay, but nothing super impressive. I'm not going to mess with it any more though. Passing is the other factor that weighs in on a dog's speed, but wasn't in play for this timing, since Koira was running alone.

I think, if she runs clean at all in this upcoming tournament, I will be very, very proud of her. In fact, if she obliges by running at all, clean or not, I think I will be pretty darn happy. Right now, she has sat in the NAFA database with 7 points for a year and a half. It would be super awesome to add something to that.

Anyway, the weekend is upon us, so everyone go out and enjoy. And don't forget about the Saturday Pet Blog Hop.


  1. Love your new header pic:)

    It's interesting how B/W changes a whole lot about a photo. I rarely think of trying it though! I like the photo of Koira whole best. And I love the top photo of Pallo:)

    Glad to read that all your hard work with Koira is paying off and I hope she keeps improving and can run in the tournament with you.

  2. Nice beach pics!! Looks like a good time was had by all.

    Wyatt and Stanzie

  3. i think all the pictures are beautiful, black and white and also the color.
    yuki :)

  4. Hi Y'all,

    Stop by tomorrow and pick up your Inspiration Award!

    Hawk aka BrownDog