Which brings me to the point that, while I will always continue working Koira's box turn at practice, I will be running her in tournaments with whatever turn it is that she has. The whole hemangioma lump scare made me seriously evaluate what will bring me and my dog more pleasure, and running in tournaments is it.
Pallo ended up running like a rockstar- until he didn't. It seemed like every race or two races, he would have a heat where he would run part way up, come to an abrupt stop, and stare around like he had no idea where he was or what he was supposed to be doing. He always ran well on the rerun though. I honestly don't have much of an idea of what is going on with him. He doesn't appear to be in pain when he does it (head and tail stay up, he sometimes does it before even going over a jump). Chasing flies, lights flashing on the ring, hot weather, and him being bored are all on the table for reasons. We'll have to figure it out if we can.
Koira ran really well. Her turn pretty well fell apart into a somewhat sideways smash into the box. But I don't think the turn itself is super dangerous (though I doubt it is good for her body long term). Part of the problem was that since we were running Open, we were running on a box that had holes MUCH closer to the center of the box, which made her not have room for the turn we've been practicing for so long. I ended up having a really awesome person go grab my team's other box (we were only about 3 minutes away from our regular practice facility), which we ran on for the rest of the weekend, but the damage was pretty well done by the first few races on that box. Other than the box turns, though, Koira was running great. I am happy with how she did, and don't regret putting her in at all.
The tournament was really fun, like always. It was nice enough to be close to home and be able to sleep in my own bed each night. It was a bit farther of a drive than I would pick for a hotel if I was staying at an event- 45 minutes- but close enough to make it reasonable to stay at home. Our club was so busy running three teams that our crating area was almost always empty or close to empty. We had our usual spread of food (which is always the most impressive at a tournament), but no time to stand around snacking and chatting. But everyone knew where they were supposed to be and did a great job getting there, even when they were being rushed from one ring/team to the next. We did have a retirement party on Saturday for Raff, one of our team dogs who had to be retired due to a non-flyball related injury. Normally, we hold retirement parties for dogs at the last tournament they run in, but since we didn't know Raff was going to be seriously injured, we decided to do the retirement party at the tournament nearest to home, so that he could attend.
We are off to another flyball tournament this weekend. My team is hosting it as a one day tournament, and it is even closer to home for me (only 20 minutes!). So there will be yet more excitement on Saturday.
If you happen to be in the area, come on by the Linn County Fair tomorrow and stop by to check out the flyball!
PS. The box turn photos here are not from the tournament (which was indoors on mats). They are from a training session at the park on Wednesday.