Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jade FG40K

We attended a flyball tournament over the past weekend with the crew. While a variety of issues kept me from fully enjoying myself as much as I usually do at these events, the dogs had a good time and did well, and that is what was important. Plus, Jade received his plaque for earning 40,000 points in flyball, a feat he accomplished back in September.

Jade is our first dog, and the one who started all the craziness. He was so full of energy and eager to learn, and we were having a blast finding new things to do with him. We signed up for a 6-week flyball class at a local dog training club, taught by our current team captain. At the end of 6 weeks, Jade had already learned the basics, so the instructor invited him to a team practice. After only two more practices, Jade ran in his first tournament!

Jade was 2 years old already when he started flyball, but has still been able to reach the 40K mark and is currently the 15th-highest point scoring Lab in NAFA. In his prime, Jade was running an average of 4.1 seconds, with his best times being 3.9 seconds (I think he did that twice). He has been a valuable addition to our club's Mix team over the years, and helped them be runners-up in the Multibreed Division in our NAFA Region last year.

Jade turned 9 in the fall, and it seems that his stamina just isn't quite what it used to be (though he still has more energy than many dogs half his age). On the second days of tournaments when he would start to get tired, he began dropping his ball more and more. So, we are now running him part-time and sharing spots with other dogs, which is working out well. It is keeping him happy and active, and not setting him up to make mistakes.

It is a little bittersweet putting the new plaque on the wall. I don't expect we will earn another 10K in his career, so this will probably be the last title he earns. It is an impressive one though, and I am proud of all he's accomplished and feel fortunate to still have more days ahead of us on the racing lanes together.

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