Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Primal instinct, or birds, birds, birds!

I'm sorry it's taken me a while to get this post up. My dad had some problems with his photos, and it took him a couple of days to get it straightened out. (Now, let's see if I can find any other excuses.)

But.....I'm home from my Field Training Seminar. Tired, but very happy. It was at a place called Pacesetter Training Kennel, and it was awesome!

It took me a few days to realize that the whole things wasn't a dream. Oh my, now I know what Labrador Retriever heaven is like. Birds everywhere...falling from the sky...ponds and mud...grassy fields...rolling hills. Yes...YES...YES!!!

At first, I wasn't too sure about those flappy little things on the ground. I had always retrieved objects...bumpers, balls, wubbas, dead fowl trainers. Live critters, however, were something I had just always chased, but never actually caught and retrieved. Oh, I'm talking about cats and squirrels...along with an occasional misdirected brother Labrador Retriever.

But at this training seminar they threw this live bird in front of me. I was like, "Oh my, now what do I do?" It was running around, all feathery and crazy-like.

I poked it with my nose, touched it with my paw.

One quick glance at my mom let me know that I was okay. There were no "Sally, NO, leave its" coming from her.

After a couple of minutes, the trainer came over and picked up the flapping pile of feathers and guess what she did. Put that thing in my mouth!! O-M-G! I couldn't believe it. I just stood there speechless. (Of course, how could I bark with a pile of wiggly feathers in my mouth.)

I continued to watch my mom. Was she going to come rescue me? Was she going to come scold me? I assumed she would be over there like a flash, "Sally, drop it," "Sally, what are you doing with that bird," "Sally, are you completely crazy?"

But there was not one word coming from her. She was actually smiling at me.

Then it happened. Somewhere deep inside my brain something clicked. No matter how many dictionaries or thesaurses I use, I can't describe the feeling. It was like, "This is what I was born for. This is why I'm here on this earth." Euphorically I retrieved those birds in the practice yard...over and over and over. Each one was better than the one before.

Yep, that's it. I was put on this earth to carry birds. My mom calls it my primal instinct. I don't care what you call it. I like it and want to do it some more.

There were other dogs there whose primal instinct also erupted. One Golden Retriever chased the birds around for a while before she finally realized she was supposed to pick them up. She was really funny!

So, once we all realized we were supposed to be carrying the birds around, we began retrieving the birds out in the fields. It was awesome! We went out in this big, grassy, green field with gently rolling hills. The bird boys (yes, that's exactly what they're called) took the birds way out in the field...about 100 yards or more. My mom and I would stand at something the trainer called the line.

After a few seconds, we would hear a loud "POW!" I think it was a gun firing, because I kept hearing the word "gun." But all I know is that when my mom said the word "watch," I knew to listen for that POW and look for a bird to fall out of the sky.

Oh, what a wonderful, exhilerating sight that was. Then my mom would release me with "Get it, girl," just like she does on the dock. And off I flew, like a shot out of a cannon.

The duck was always down in the tall grass. It was my job to find it...look for it, sniff it out. And then....back to my mom with it!

After the grassy fields, we went to an even better place to retrieve birds...a pond! As we drove up near that pond and I saw the water, I thought, "Geez, this seminar thing just keeps getting better and better."

But when I looked closer down the bank at the pond, I saw a big black thing. I didn't know what it was. It looked like some kind of a dog, but it was HUGE! The biggest dog I'd ever seen. And it didn't bark. It made some weird noise.

My mom called it a cow, but everyone else called it a bull. Once someone chased it away from the pond, we started retrieving the birds from the water. My, oh my, oh my. I could have done that all day long.

By the time we finished the pond work, we were ready to go home. Well, my mom was ready. I, on the other hand, wanted to stay and retrieve more and more.

My mom said that she is going to work with me some more so I can get my Junior Hunt Test title.

Wow! More birds! Bring 'em on!

See you on the dock (or in the field),
Sally, the Captain of Team 3 Dawg Flite
Proud member of Dixie Dock Dogs
Dixie Dock Dogs video

Friday, February 20, 2009

New adventure for Sally this weekend. Fun, Fun, Fun!

You'll never guess what I'm going to do this weekend. No, it's not dock diving, although it does involve water.

My mom and I are going on a field training seminar. Now, how cool is that! It's a hands-on...or paws-on...working 3-day seminar with Pacesetter Training Kennel. We'll work on things like marks on land and water, gun training, and get this....we'll get to work with real birds! Wow! I'm so excited, I'll never sleep tonight.

I've got my bag packed and ready to go. (And I won't be on the internet for three days either.)

Real birds. Real birds with feathers and all. My dear readers, I'm going to be a real retriever!!

My mom said she just wants me to learn this retriever stuff. She doesn't want to hunt with me....heck, she doesn't even own a gun and doesn't even like going out in the woods. My dad has been laughing at her going on the training seminar.

I heard them talking. It went something like this.

Dad: Now, Nancy (He calls her Nancy. What's wrong with "Mom?"), you realize you're going to be out in the field and woods for this seminar.

Mom: I know.

Dad: You'll probably get dirty.

Mom: (eyebrows raised) I know.

Dad: You might see bugs and critters.

Mom: (gulping) I know.

Dad: Snakes.

Mom: (gulping very hard) I know.

Dad: Okay, this I've got to see.

Dad, my money is with you. She's a weenie.

But I'm not! Birds, bugs, dirt, mud, water, snakes, and I come!

See you on the dock...or in the field,
Sally, the
Captain of Team 3 Dawg Flite
Proud member of Dixie Dock Dogs
Dixie Dock Dogs video

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hoppy is gonna be the death of me yet!

Thank goodness our crating area was way away from the dock area at the event in Charleston.

And here is the obligatory photo of my mom and dad standing in our tent. There we are in our crates.....Spud, Hoppy, and me.

Does anyone besides me think it's unfair that the humans get to walk all over the place completely unfettered during a dock diving event, but the dogs have to be crated? I mean, who is the most important here. Without the dogs, there would be no dock diving!

But I'll save all that for another post.

This post is about you-know-who. Hoppy! Yep, my mom let him up on the dock again. He isn't any closer to dock diving now than he was back in

I saw these photos on my dad's computer when he was editing them, so I'm going to show you exactly what that goofy Hoppy did. Just the thought of a member of Team 3 Dawg Flite acting like such of googball while he's supposed to be dock diving.....well, where is my Prozac?

Although I didn't hear him talking to my mom, I know what he was saying...or thinking. So I put captions with these photos. This, my dear readers, is my brother Hoppy.

"Hmmmm.....looks like water down there."

"Oh Mom, you brought my wubba. Cool!"

"Mom, you're not putting my wubba in the water, are you? Why?"

"Uh, Mom, I'll just whisper this in your ear so I won't
embarrass you. The wubba belongs home in the toy box,
not up here on the dock."

"Uh-oh, Mom, you have some syrup from breakfast on your chin.
Here let me just clean it off for you. You're welcome."

"Now see what you did. You put the wubba down there
in the water and you can't reach it. Ha-Ha-Ha!"
"Huh? You want me to do WHAT!"

"Anyone out there besides me think this woman is completely nuts?"

"I love you, Mom. I'll jump next time, I promise. But this time,
let's just have fun. Okay, Mom?"

Dear readers, anyone out there who worships any type diety, please pray for my brother, Hoppy. He needs all the help he can get.

I'm going to enter the witness protection program.

See you on the dock,
Sally, the Captain of Team 3 Dawg Flite
Proud member of Dixie Dock Dogs
Dixie Dock Dogs video

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beep, beep, beep, beep. Hot off the press from Charleston.

The DockDogs event in Charleston is over, and Team 3 Dawg Flite is finally home. Tired and worn out, but very happy! I've got a few various things on my little dog mind I want to share, things that came to me while in Charleston, but I'll save those for later posts. I'll make this post about our performance.

Fortunately, our dad is a professional sports photographer, so we have great photos to share with everyone. Unfortunately, he is also Spud's handler, so we have no photos of poor Spud. A friend took some shots of Spud, however, and she is going to share them with us....we hope.

Now, for the results:

Me (Sally):
1st place in Senior Division in Big Air wave
1st place in Speed Retrieve wave
Set personal best Speed Retrieve time of 6.91 seconds!
4th place in Speed Retrieve finals
Earned Speed Retrieve Turbo Title
Earned one leg towards Extreme Vertical Cadet Title

3rd place in Master Division in Big Air wave
Earned 3 more legs toward Big Air Master Title
8th place in Big Air Semi-Pro Finals

You wouldn't believe it. What a clown!

Now for the photos. These first ones are one of my Big Air waves. It is the wave where I jumped 19'8" and got 1st place in the Senior Division.

I really, really love going off that dock!

These next photos are from one of my Speed Retrieve runs. This is the one where I did a 6.91 run, which was a personal best for me. When I heard the announcer say "And Sally's time is 6 point," immediately, I knew I had set a new personal best. You see, I've tried and tried, but I've never been able to break 7 seconds. So when he started off saying "6 point, " I almost swallowed that duck! 6.91 seconds! YES!

My mom was so happy. She hugged and hugged me. She got all wet, but she still hugged me! I felt very proud. Here are the photos from that heat.


The only thing left is Extreme Vertical. I don't usually do EV. Why not? Wellllllll....I'm just not very good at it. The lowest height has always been 5' which....believe it or not....I've never been able to reach! (How pathetic!) But this year, they changed the rules to lower the starting height to 4'6" for little dogs and crappy-jumping big dogs like me. So, I asked my mom, "Please, please, please let me try EV just once more." She did, and I hit the 4'6" and then I hit the 4'8". Now, how 'bout that! The 4'8" jump was my best, however. I went out on 4'10".

And now....drum roll, please....the EV photos!

So, that's it, folks. My weekend at the SEWE in Charleston. I'll make separate posts for Spud's jumps and Hoppy's....uh, we say....appearance. (What a goofball!) So check back later.

See you on the dock,
Sally, the Captain of Team 3 Dawg Flite
Proud member of Dixie Dock Dogs
Dixie Dock Dogs video

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dock Diving in Charleston. Yippppeeeeee!

Just a short note to let y'all know Team 3 Dawg Flite is in Charleston, SC, this weekend at a DockDogs event. I'll make a post about the event and how we did later. I just want to make sure everyone knows where I am, 'cause I sure won't be blogging or surfing the net much this weekend!

Here are just a couple of photos from today. This is our tent and crating area.

See our cool banners. One is for Team 3 Dawg Flite and the other is for Dixie Dock Dogs. And those little red flags? Well, those are UGA flags. Remember, we live in Athens, Georgia, home of the University of Georgia Bulldogs. My mom and dad are big fans.

Now for the other photo. This is ME! Who else? This is one of my jumps from today.

My dad got the whole series of that jump. I'll post them later when I have more time. The splashdown from that jump is hilarious!

Gotta run now and get my rest so I can jump big tomorrow. Spud and Hoppy are already asleep, and I can hear my dad snoring over on the bed now. My mom is watching TV, so we all know she's not long in the world of awake.

Y'all keep your fingers crossed for me. I'll post again when I get home.

See you on the dock,
Sally, the
Captain of Team 3 Dawg Flite
Proud member of Dixie Dock Dogs
Dixie Dock Dogs video

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heck, I'll take any 'ole award (edited)

My up-and-coming dock diving buddy Chester has given me this award.

Here are the rules he sent with the award:

"When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to said person so everyone knows he or she is real. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have 7 friends. Show the 7 random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Weblog”. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon. List at least ten honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on! 7 friends first. I do have 7 friends, but I'm not sure if I have 7 friends who have blogs. Whoa. This is going to be more difficult than I though. So many of my blog friends already have this award! Hmmmm....let me see:

1. Martha
2. Golden Honey
3. Ruby Roo
4. Irie
5. Ladybug
6. Moose
7. Gucci

Whew! That was difficult. I had to go into my archives of comments to find 7 dogs that knew me (or had visited my blog) and had not already been given this award.

Now, let's see. Ten honest things about myself. Hmmmmm......

1. Although I'm a very active and energetic dog when dock diving, I'm a couch potato at home.
2. I once tried to jump out of our boat while at full speed and caused my mom a bad leg injury when she dove across the boat to save my life.
3. I'm scared of loud noises.
4. I think Hoppy's breath stinks.
5. I have an incontinence problem and have actually wet my mom and dad's bed before. (Meds have this under control now.)
6. My day care gave me a toy for my first birthday. I destroyed it within 1 minute (literally) after I got it home.
7. I secretly laugh at my mom when I see her step out of the shower. I'm sorry, mom!
8. Sometimes I pass gas and blame it on Hoppy or Spud.
9. I was the one getting into the bathroom waste basket a few months back, but I let the boys take the blame.
10. I obviously have trouble counting.

(I had to edit this to make 10 honest things about myself. I only had seven before. Oops!)

Okay. Done.

See you on the dock,
Sally, the Captain of Team 3 Dawg Flite
Proud member of Dixie Dock Dogs
Dixie Dock Dogs video