Friday, August 22, 2008

We're going to the Nationals! And I'm doing Speed Retrieve!

Boy, oh boy, oh boy!! Team Fire and Ice is going to the Nationals....the big finale of the dock diving seasion....the crowning championship event! This is quite an honor as not everyone can go.

In order to be qualified to go to the Nationals, a dog must have a National title. No problem here. Spud got his Senior Title back at Columbus, and I got my Senior Title in West Virginia.

Well, guess what! My mom just found out that not only am I qualified for Big Air at the Nationals, I am also qualified for Speed Retrieve!! Yippeeeeeee! I love Speed Retrieve. That's my favorite event out of all the dock diving events! In order to qualify, I needed three runs (scores) in National Speed Retrieves. And I got two scores in Columbus and one in West Virginia. So I'm qualified.

What is Speed Retrieve, you ask? Well, let me explain.

First of all, they hang a Dead Fowl Trainer or DFT (I just call it a duck) at the far end of the pool.

Then my mom takes me to the end of the dock and shows me that DFT. In my opinion, this step is unnecessary. Believe me, I can find that duck without anyone's help!! But it makes her feel good to do this, so I play along with her.

After she's satisfied I've seen that DFT, she takes me back to the starting line which is about halfway down the dock. I want to get that duck, but she keeps holding me back. She always takes my front paws and puts them in this white stripe that she calls the "starting line." I wish she would just leave my paws alone! And she starts getting me all excited about that duck. "Do you want that duck, Sally?" or "Gonna get that duck, Sally?" Well, of course I am!! Why in the world does she keep asking me that!!!!!! Silly mom!

My mom keeps looking at some lights down just over that duck. The lights are yellow and green. When the yellow comes on, she gets REAL excited. Me, too. I almost can't stand it any longer. I want that duck soooooooo bad! When that light turns green, she finally lets me go. All I can think about is getting that duck!

I start running as fast as I can. I keep low to the ground (dock) and keep my eyes only on that duck. I want that duck so bad. I can hear my mom yelling behind me, "Go, Sally, go! Get that duck, girl!" Although she really doesn't need to yell like that, it does make me go faster. Also, about now, the crowd is yelling and screaming. I am so hyped up. I'm using every muscle in my body to go as fast as I can.

In just a couple of seconds, I'm at the end of the dock and flying off into the water. I can still hear my mom yelling even louder now. I can hear the crowd cheering. And I never, ever take my eyes off that duck. I can't get there fast enough. At that moment, that duck is the most important thing in my life. As I splash into the water, my back legs start kicking and my front paws start swimming to get me to that duck!

I get closer and closer. In just a few more seconds, I'm close enough to open my mouth. That duck is MINE!!!!!

"Say your prayers, duck, you're goin' down!"

And the duck is down!!!! Everyone is clapping and cheering. I'm so pumped as I turn around to swim back to the ramp. My mom meets me at the top of the ramp and always tells me what a good girl I am and acts so proud! It makes me feel good.

The whole Speed Retrieve takes me a little over 7 seconds. The really good dogs can do it in under 7 seconds. And a few can even do it in under 6 seconds! WOW!! How do they do that???

So I probably won't place in Speed Retrieve at the Nationals, because all those "under 7 seconds" dogs will be there competing. But I don't care. My mom and I both consider it an honor just to be there competing with those super Speed Retrievers.

Stay tuned for more updates about our upcoming trip to the Nationals. And keep your fingers crossed for Spud and me!

See you on the dock...
The Fire in Team Fire and Ice
Dixie Dock Dogs

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