Lynnda Lenzen‘s dog Ringo is smiling for a reason. Ringo, like all dogs, lives for FUN, and participating in TCOTC classes and events offers plenty of opportunities for that. In fact, fun is a core value of TCOTC, and we do our best to encourage and incorporate it into all our activities.
The poster in our front entryway (pictured left) features Ringo in the midst of a flyball competition. According to Lynnda, Ringo never has a bad day. “He wakes up cheerful and goes to bed cheerful.”
Ringo, a 10-year-old field-bred English Cocker Spaniel, is Lynnda’s 11th competition dog. In addition to flyball, Lynnda and her dogs have been involved in agility, hunting, obedience, rally, TEAM, tracking, dock diving, tricks, and conditioning.
Obviously Lynnda’s dogs aren’t the only ones who like to have fun! Lynnda has been a member of TCOTC since 1990, when she adopted her first Dalmatian, Pongo, and began obedience classes. The next year Pongo and Lynnda joined the club’s flyball team, the TCOTC High Spirits (a fitting name given the rigors of the sport). Seeing her first dog’s love of flyball meant that Lynnda loved flyball, too, so she’s continued to participate with Ringo and all her dogs.
In case you aren’t familiar with flyball, here’s some background. In flyball, there are two lanes of four low jumps with a start and finish line as well as a flyball “box” at the end of each lane. It’s a team sport where 4-dog teams race against each other side by side relay style to retrieve a ball and finish without faults. (Speed matters in this sport, so if you have a dog who runs like a rocket and likes to retrieve a ball, this might just be the thing for you.) Dogs must also return to their handlers when called, which isn’t a minor detail with all the barking and shouting going on. Lynnda reports that flyball practice is “great for canine fitness and for seeing friends (both human and canine)!”
The TCOTC High Spirits team is committed to supporting dogs of all breeds and abilities and to enhancing the training of dogs in a way that is safe for dogs and their handlers. The High Spirits practice most Sunday evenings at the club. Lynnda has experienced that flyball teammates often form friendships outside of the arena too. Although Lynnda has enjoyed training and competing with Ringo, she has also benefitted from what her other dogs have taught her. Lynnda reports that she has learned from “many classes, seminars, books, and online learning” as well. This education lead to Lynnda and Ringo recently earning Ringo’s Versatile Companion Dog 1 from AKC.
When interviewed for this article, Ringo offered this reminder: “Go out and have some fun with your dog. WOOF!”