Monday, May 21, 2012

A New Chapter in San Diego

I'm moving from North Carolina to San Diego in three weeks.

A 16' x 8' x 8' POD is getting plunked into my driveway tomorrow, and if something doesn't fit in the POD or my van, it isn't going to California. Life is getting more complicated and much simpler at the same time. 

What does this have to do with flyball? Well, although I'm not moving to San Diego for anything flyball-related (I've fallen madly in love with a Crazy Dog Guy named Todd Murnan, and the kids and I are moving out there to join forces with him), some of my favorite flyball people, X Flyball, happen to be in San Diego. So I get to live in Southern California with the coolest guy in the world AND train with X and their friends on Lickety Splits. Thanks, universe!!

This is awesome for many reasons.

First, I get to play flyball with some long-time friends. My Border Staffy Punk will be reunited with his littermate, Seek, and my Border Collie Kraken will get to run with four of his Moy brothers and sisters on X. We are looking forward to running some cute family pairs or teams. 

Yes, we would like to play flyball, please.
Second, X Flyball kicks ass. They are GREAT trainers and even greater people. X's best time is 15.154 and they are skating on the edge of 14's. I can't wait to hang out with them and learn from them. I have two young Border Staffies, Fringe and Glock, that I want to train from scratch, so I have two training projects already lined up. 

And third, this whole situation has breathed new life into my flyball book project. I have decided to incorporate some of the cool new techniques I'll learn from X Flyball into my book before I publish it, and I've also decided to take back control of the book and publish it myself, in both eBook format and hardcopy (for those of you who actually like to hold real books in your hands). It WILL be published in 2012. (It has to be, I've already claimed some tax deductions on it ;)). 

Another benefit to flyball in San Diego is that I will be building really kickass recalls on our dogs, which should translate great to the disc dog arena. Todd is an avid disc dog competitor (he and his Belgian Malinois Bella won the 2009 Ashley Whippet World Championship, and they just joined the Purina Incredible Dog Team), and I've started to get into disc, too. (I really enjoy toss & catch, anyway...not sure when/if I'll ever be ready for freestyle, although my friend Laura Moretz just brought me a great new vest back from the Czech Republic, so that's one less excuse I have...). 

Dogs with really fast straight recalls have a big advantage in toss & catch events  that recall is often the difference between the handler getting out four throws or five in the one-minute time limit (six throws is pretty much unheard of, it would be fun to strive for!). And since toss & catch scores factor in so much to the overall score (30-50%), that one additional throw could be the difference between winning and losing the whole competition. 

Future of the blog

I am coming off a year-long hiatus from flyball. A quick check of the NAFA Database showed that the last time I was at a tournament was April 2011. Wow.

Sometimes a break is exactly what you need, though. I am totally out of the loop on flyball-related drama and I've spent a year playing disc with my dogs, disc golf with my honey, and hiking in the desert instead. I've made a lot of new friends in the process, and I've learned a lot more about training dogs from the disc dog world perspective. 

Now I'm excited about getting back into flyball and posting about my experiences on the West Coast. It's U-FLI country out there, which will be a change after many years of playing NAFA flyball up and down the East Coast. I'm going to learn a lot of cool new stuff. I look forward to sharing it with you guys. 
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