The Usual Suspects

Flyball Club

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OC Winter Games
Irvine, CA
January 15 & 16, 2011

As the tournament drew nearer the concerns about the weather began to dissipate and it became evident that we were going to have good racing conditions.

Now all we need to worry about is how will Rodeo do (will he get flagged for trapping the ball or will he run around the jump), What about Rally, is he going to take another run for the hills as he did last year or maybe he will decide to just lay down and take a nap.  And what about the 3 dogs we have never meet, will they get along with our dogs and will we have problems passing/running with them and what about their handlers, will they be nice or not?

As morning broke on Saturday and we started setting up camp for the weekend. We were 1st joined by Janet and her dogs Marcus and Annie. Janet seems very nice and knowledgeable about flyball and Marcus who will be running with us is a great Schnauzer with an awesome temperament and seems to get along with everyone.

Soon afterward we were joined by Crystal and her dog Pallo and again another good fit for our club as Crystal was wonderful to sit around with all weekend and talk dogs. Pallo is a super height dog, even if he does change heights as often as a chameleon changes colors 9 inches worked great for the dogs.

Then came Karen and Taz and with them came the rest of Bay Racers and they were all wonderful dog people and a great help.

So now we were set, the dogs (Savvy, Rally, Rodeo, Marcus, Pallo and Taz) were all ready to get racing.  We started off with a lineup of Rally, Taz, Pallo and Rodeo and all the dogs and handlers ran well, Rodeo completing clean runs even though the judge had to check the box to verify he actually triggered it before getting his ball.  He had very clean runs. Rally was so excited to be the start dog that he couldn't wait to take off. A couple of times he pulled out a bit early just from excitement.

As the day wore on the dogs just seemed to get better and while we were not without error, we had a lot of clean runs from all the dogs and some excellent racing. 

The team came in 5th place on Saturday and we were all very excited.

Sunday proved to be another good day, Pallo ran his fastest time ever of 5.0. Rodeo had the save of the day when his ball got away from him and he ran about 3 feet to the side to get it then ran back to make it over all 4 of his jumps. Savvy, Marcus and Taz were the rocks of the team being very consistent both days and Rally starting 2 races on Saturday, then starting 3 races on Sunday, including the final race of the day with trying to run away and still very excited to be out there racing.  All the dogs performed above and beyond all our expectations and everyone is very proud of our team as we took 4th place on Sunday.

In addition to the dogs we had a lot of other things to brag about: Nancy box loading both days and teaching other members how to box load, Peter out there every race ball shagging and doing whatever was needed to help out, including box loading for Bay Racers.  P.S. Peter is the only member of The Usual Suspects to receive an award which he got for being the box loader for Bay Racers.

We can't forget Jeff who was keeping stats all day, along with learning how to do pass calling, John and Ed for making sure the box was in on time for all the races and of course taking pictures and videos, Sara, Judy, Karen and Kim who were out there helping out where ever they could be to help, Marjie helping with handling the dogs and pass calling and of course we cannot forget her debut with running Savvy on Sunday.

Other "people" highlights, Kim winning the “guess the # of balls” game, our club will not be worrying about having tennis balls for a long time to come. The chili that Marjie made for Saturday's pot luck was outstanding and everything that everyone brought to go with the chili especially the beans and ribs that Judy brought, not to mention her booze soaked cake, the salad from Peter and Debbie, all the snacks for the table, of which there was more than enough to go around.

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 Nancy warming up Fia


This is NOT steeling


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