Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Border Collies at the Fair: Disc-connected K9's (frisbee dogs) Connect at the Bangor State Fair!

Usually Rosie is the only Border Collie I see at the Bangor State Fair, but this year there was a very pleasant surprise to both Rosie and myself... there were frisbee dogs performing an exciting and acrobatic show! Down where the rabbit tent usually stands for the fair, this year the mean rabbit man. For the past 2 years I have been harrassed by the rabbit guy, following me around the tent and grumbling away about how dangerous my dog is...
My Rabbit man ramble... Who is the rabbit man??? (He watches over the rabbit tent which is a big party tent full of rabbit hutches lifted about four feet off the grass on sturdy built on 2x4 legs, and feels that every dog... including those vicious service dogs that come through every year are going to either rip the bunnies from their little cages or that the dogs will, from their very presence, scare the rabbits so much they will totally flip out in their cages and "break their little necks" as the rabbit guy put it. I have had rabbits and have seen them totally freaked with a dog on their tails in hot pursuit. They are not these weak and helpless creatures that break if a carnivor breathes near them. They are strong, fast and very agile. They can jump VERY HIGH! I have seen rabbits hopping and flipping all over the place, thumping off of every object he lands on with a dog right there chasing. Not once though have I seen a rabbit flip out and break it's neck. I hate to ruin the rabbit guy's bad day at the tent, but my dog could care less about a rabbit. She is curious, but has been around bunnies and will sniff them and then just go back to her business. The rabbit did the same. No broken necks.)
So, this year, an area was marked off for a great dog performance. Lawrence Frederick and Jodi Frederick of Jacksonville , Florida choreographed this leaping good time with a number of rescued dogs that had accompanied them to Maine for the show. Mr. Frederick performed with the dogs, one at a time as each dog had its own routine and worked at different levels. Flash, an adorable little freckled, petite, smooth-coated border collie who was mostly white with large black splotches on her back was the biggest performer of the show. Flash, also known as "The Frisbee Freak" (with theme song) is a 2006, 2007, 2008 World Finalist in frisbee and it showed. The other dogs I saw perform were: Harley Davidson (2007) World Finalist) a tall, lanky smooth-coat, Zorra (2008 World Finalist) a classic, petite, black and white smooth-coat, "Easy Rider", a predominantly white with a beautiful thick, shaggy coat, a rescue dog team member, and Bella, a brown and while Aussie and another rescue dog team member. If I missed anyone, I apologise. There were a different selection of three dogs every show I attended. All dogs ranged from experienced pros to "newbies", but each dog did an amazing job regardless of what level they were working from. Of course it doesn't hurt that Mr. Frederick himself is a champion frisbee twirler himself!
Rosie was a bit TOO excited to watch other dogs play frisbee without joining in, so we watched the first show up front at the rope and after the first throw, Rosie began to go nuts so I had to turn her around and get her to look and focus only on me for the rest of the performance. She did great for being such a distracted dog at the time, and I was happy she was able to pull it off. However, for the next 4 performances through out the week that I attended, I stood up on the hill and watched the shows. It wasn't perfect, but provided a neat perspective for photos and video clips. Rosie was better able to control her competitive athletic side that I do encourage at certain, more appropriate times. I bought 2 t-shirts and we got 3 frisbees from them and one miniature frisbee as well!
Awesome group... awesome show.
The Fredericks rescue, train, rehab and adopt out dogs which is how they get their canine talent.
Find out more about this great group of all stars at http://www.k9frisbee.com/.

Below: Zorra performs her routine...