Monday, August 22, 2011

NOTRA debut

We have been wanted to get Pax to either a race or lure coursing for awhile now. We got him for flyball primarily and potentially agility with an occasional lure coursing or oval track race. I am always interested in trying new performance events and the oval track appeals to me because we don't have to do any additional training other than keep him in good physical condition.

We went to Jo Sowards home in Goldendale, WA on Friday night. Everyone was extremely welcoming and helpful and got us set up to do a qualifying run. Pax ran once by himself without the box and once with one of Jo's whippets. He did great in both and qualified easily.

In the race there were 4 programs. Pax was in 2nd place twice and 3rd place twice, giving him 10 points. He was very keen and had tons of desire, but tending to take wide turns and stay toward the outside of the track. He also wasn't happy with the box on his first race. He ended up placing 18th out of 32 dogs, which we expected and were happy with.

We are planning to take him to another even in Roy, WA on Oct 1-2nd. Hopefully after that we will try Lure Coursing, which may be more of his forte.

Also I found this video of Pax's FASTEST time last weekend.

Our upcoming schedule:

9/17-18 NAFA tournament - Longview, WA
9/24-25 UFLI tournament - Gridley, CA
11/25-27 NADAC agility Argus Ranch

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Victoria Tournament & Kennel Names

We just got back from an extended flyball weekend + family vacation in Victoria.

The dogs had a blast on the beach, including running up a steep sand hill for a ball and then cooling off in the water after.

In the days leading up to the tournament we went to 3 flyball practices and one agility practice! Pax has a pretty bad ball dropping issue, so we wanted to work on it a lot before his debut without burning him out. We did some short practices and really focused on ball holding and passing. We ended up not needing to worry about passing luckily.

It was a small tournament with few teams seeded in the 16 second range. On Saturday of the tournament Indigo & Goose ran with Skye & Remy from JCJ and Havoc and Reckless from Total Anarchy. We were able to run the fastest lineup 3 times and ran a 15.90 in the first race of the day. We didn't get there again because we pushed it pretty hard. Also on Saturday Indigo and Pax ran in singles. Indigo got first place with a 3.853 and Pax was in second with a 3.853, making him tied for the 8th fastest whippet of all time in UFLI singles.

On Sunday we lost Reckless and got Topo, a 7" height dog. Our fastest time was 16.3 with that lineup. Goose and Pax ran singles, coming in first and second places respectively. Goose shocked us all by running a 3.740, making him the fastest border collie in singles so far this year and the 22nd fastest dog of all breeds for all time. Pretty amazing for a dog that we got at 1.5 years without any flyball related training as a pup. Good boy! Our teams won division 1 both days.

I'm very happy with how our dogs did and very grateful to Total Anarchy for letting us borrow their dogs, so that we could debut Pax just in singles and keep him successful.

Photos are here:

We are considering breeding dogs in the future and hoping that Pax will be used for breeding. We think he is a great representation of his breed and it would be a shame not to carry on his amazing traits. Indigo & Goose are spayed and neutered, only because we weren't planning on breeding our dogs when we got them. Anyway, with we decided that it's time to pick a kennel name for our dogs and potential future breeding that we might do. We picked Spectrum Kennel and will start a website soon. More updates about this in the future...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

be careful with your dogs in the summer!

Death on the trail

It was one of the saddest experiences imaginable. A man was running up the mountain trail, looking through the brush on each side, screaming over and over again, "JACK" "JACK." His bike could be seen in the distance further down, tossed to one side and abandoned as the man retraced his path, searching.

I stopped my bike and asked if there had been an accident. The man started crying and sobbed, "My dog...I can't find my dog. He was right behind me." He continued running back up the trail, yelling his dog's name. I turned around and followed in case help was needed. As the man ran out of sight where the trail curved, there was an agonized scream, "Nooo! Jack, NOOO!"

Around the curve, I saw my help wouldn't be necessary. Jack was past any help. His body lay in his owner's arms, the tongue lolling from his open mouth. His eyes were open, but glazed. His beautiful long furred coat still gleamed in the hot afternoon sun. He had run after his beloved master's bike until he could run no more. He ran himself to death.

It's something that happens more often than most people know. A training run or bike ride can be much more fun when your pooch comes with you. But when it's the hottest part of summer, running for more than three or four miles can be deadly for a dog. Canines can fatally overheat quickly, resulting in organ failure or heat stroke.

When humans overheat, they can cool off by sweating, drinking or being splashed with water. But dogs only sweat through the pads on their feet, a very small area in relation to body mass. They only release heat by panting, but if the dog is also breathing hard because of exertion, that limits their ability to use panting to cool down - and panting also dehydrates the animal. A dog will dangerously overheat before a human even feels uncomfortable - and there's an even more tragic aspect to it. If a canine's internal body temperature reaches 107, it will not cool back down. The dog will die. Nothing can be done to save it.

There are symptoms to watch for if you take your dog with you on outdoor training sessions, but first, some common sense precautions: If it's over 90 degrees outside, don't subject your dog to more than a few minutes at a time of strenuous exercise. Always carry water for your dog on a hot day, as well as one of those lightweight collapsible fabric dog bowls that will allow your pet to drink from it; don't count on being able to pour enough water into a dehydrated dog's mouth from a bottle. Stop and rest often, and stay alert for symptoms of overheating in your best furry friend.

Those symptoms include trouble with balance - an overheated dog may lose coordination. It will start to slow down and seem confused, unable to obey if you give a command. The signs may be subtle at first - a lurching step here and there - but be on the lookout for it.

As the overheating gets worse, the tongue will hang further out of the mouth than usual, and it will be curled at the end and widened. If the tongue starts turning red, it's a very serious sign that the dog's internal temperature has reached the danger point. The dog will start panting hard, and there may be a frantic thirst.

If you take your dog outside with you when it's hot, always pay extra attention, so that you both return home, tired, but alive.

Wina Sturgeon is the editor of the online magazine Adventure Sports Weekly ( For the latest in training and workout information, go to: