In the flyball world, we often become close to members of other teams by interacting at tournaments, running in Open together, talking training details, or just seeing each other at every flyball event, be it a tournament or a local fun match. Flyball becomes a community that is much larger than just the individual or even the individual teams.
Recently, my local flyball community took a blow when a border collie named Mellie was injured playing disc at a local park. Mellie belongs to Greta Kaplan, who leads and trains the Portland Tailblazer's flyball team. Greta also does training work with reactive dogs or those with behavioral issues.
Mellie is a six year old border collie who is active not only in flyball and disc, but also in herding, obedience, rally, nosework, and other dog sports. Mellie always gives 110% in everything she does. She is a handful on the starting line in flyball, but she knows her job and gives every single heat everything she has, even at the end of the day on Sunday when even the most reliable dogs are getting tired and making mistakes.
Mellie helps her mom out around the house by picking up dropped objects (and greatly enjoys doing her work!), and also helps out the reactive dogs Greta works with on a daily basis by being the decoy dog, distraction dog, and meet and greet dog. Mellie loves going to work with her mom, and happily jumps into the car every time.
Mellie is Greta's heart dog- Greta, who gives her heart to every dog she puts so much time and effort into training and rehabilitating. Mellie always gets along with everyone, and is always there. She loves to rest her chin on Greta's shoulder in bed, and will give a little hop to help her mom pick her up.
But now, Mellie has a full cruciate ligament rupture as well as an unstable knee joint. She had surgery to repair both of these problems, including an older surgical method used to stabilize the knee joint with, basically, fishing line strung through. Mellie is doing good post surgery, doing regular rehab exercises including twice-a-week under water treadmill (thanks to the very generous support of a sports rehab vet who is also a part of our flyball community).
Greta has set up a Chip-In, which you may have noticed displayed on the side bar of my blog for the past couple of weeks. Many very generous people have donated to help pay for Mellie's surgery, but the full amount has not yet been raised. If you don't have the ability to donate, I hope you have been able to just read this post about an incredible dog, and that it helps you appreciate not only those incredible dogs in your own household, but those owned by your community as well, be they family, friends, or dog sports competitors that you see most every weekend.
Mellie in action on the big screen at a Portland Trailblazer's half time show
If you do have the means and desire to donate, you can do so either on the sidebar or using the link below. And know that you are not only helping out Mellie and her mom Greta, but an entire community of dog lovers who would have been much worse off without this amazing team in action.