Well, on Wednesday, the Fly is a whole year old! How time has flown eh?
I keep intending to write a huge blogpost about how we're doing, but in a way I'm glad I haven't. I have a huge downfall of overanalysing everything that I do with her and it makes me enjoy her less than I should be doing. For this reason I've stopped blogging and just gone back to loving spending the two days a week that I do have with her.
I have however come to agree with all of those blogposts/websites that tell you to film absolutely everything, and I do now. I must admit, the high quality of the iPhone video camera has made this a lot easier and the VideoPix app has given me awesome frame-by-frame analysis. It has also helped me a lot to know where I should be stood, when she runs best etc. I'd recommend anyone to film all the time, especially in flyball, even though you don't think you will see all that much....you really will if you start looking.
Fly has started her official training with the rest of the club now, and did her first session in the new year. I know she's behind a lot of those who have been doing full runs since they were 8months old, but that's not for me (or for Fly!)...each to their own. We have been doing recalls for the past few weeks, and I've kept the sessions really short. Most of our starters come out twice, but I've just been doing her once and calling it a day at that. This weekend we started introducing Kim doing a recall on the flat along the side to get her used to two lanes from the beginning; Fly has a bit of a chase drive. First time we tried this she did the four jumps and then ran to Kim/Maxine but came back, second time she came back to me but thought about going over to them. I'm pretty sure third time she'd have come straight back to me.
I'm hoping to introduce the ball with our new chute box at training in the next few sessions, as ideally I don't want her collecting the ball from the floor and getting herself into the incorrect stride pattern.
Fly is a real conundrum. At home she's crazy, and cuddly, and annoying and loveable. I have no other way to describe her other than causing utter chaos wherever she goes. Every time she sees you she greets you like she's not seen you in years, throwing her little whippety self straight at you and if you're lucky you'll get an "arhooo" - even if you've just left the room. She's on your knee as soon as sit down, and if she's priviliged enough to be upstairs then she's straight under the covers with her pokey face. She goes absolutely insane with her football, and she runs around the garden at 100mph (literally) which frustrates poor Poppy as she's an old lady now and just can't catch her. Finally, go help me when I do anything with Jet as all hell breaks loose as Fly will do ANYTHING to muscle in on the action, screaming banshee puppy has to go in her crate.
At training, Fly is coming out of herself and doesn't quite play the "shy, innocent" little puppy that she did at shows last year. She loves to be the centre of attention, rolling around on her back making her ridiculous noises and wriggling at everyone. Then, as above, if I'm running another dog then the "OH-EM-GEE!!" light switches on in her brain and we either have screaming or if we're in the car she wipes the windows with her little paws (literally for hours, I should really attach mits to her paws and hire her out). She is a strange little thing.
She is getting far more into her toys and loves her sheepskin tuggy. Whilst I know a lot of people say that dogs should only see balls at flyball, and that they shouldn't play with them away from training, I think that they should actually *like* them enough to want to go and get them (but like the tug more, obviously!). If our younger three are out on a walk, then Fly used to just chase Jet continuously and wherever Jet went then so did Fly. Over the last few weeks however if they are playing ball then Fly has started to go and retrieve it herself, rather than chase Jet...which is fab. We are still doing a fair bit of tuggy/ball work and she is doing nicely at exchanging.
I have said a lot of positive things here, because I want to focus on those. I have spent way too long whinging about how (just sometimes) it would have been with a different dog, but she is testing me as a trainer and making it really fun along the way. Thanks to those people that have listened to my moaning and sorted me out lol, they know who they are!