The Rainbow Bridge

Current Flyball Dogs                                       Dogs In Training                                         Retired Flyball Dogs

 Rainbow Bridge 




Australian Cattle Dog

April 7, 2005 - May 25, 2012

ONYX - 24,574 Points


Caynaa was an active, ball crazy, Blue Heeler born on April 7, 2005. She was the runt of the litter but had the biggest personality! Caynaa found her way into flyball when her mom went searching for her a job to release all that heeler energy. By using Google to search "Cattle Dog, Fast, Tennis Ball" a whole new world was opened! Caynaa had a little trouble realizing that just because the ball wasn't moving at the end of the lane, didn't mean she couldn't run for it! And when she discovered she was racing another dog in the other lane, the competition was on! Caynaa ran her first tournament in September 2007 and earned her first two titles. In the following years, she greatly improved, becoming a consistent, dependable start dog as well as one of the teams speed dogs running a fastest time of 4.2 seconds. Although she was very good at her job, she was a typical Cattle Dog and new quirks developed all the time! Dominant little thing thought it was all about her!

In May 2012, a series of unfortunate events took Caynaa way too soon.  As the family was preparing for a week long vacation, we noticed a strange lump on her neck.  We took her straight to the vet where we were assured it was a simple tissue seperation due to rough play with her ACD brother.  The vet told us it was no concern and to continue with our plans.  Three days later, our pet sitter called to say the pain meds were not working and she seemed worse.  He took her to the vet.  Over the next three days, Caynaa saw four vets, had two surgeries, and consulted with a specialist - all while we were out of town.  I spent my whole 'vacation' on the phone asking every question, but all anyone would tell me is "not yet."  By Friday - almost a week - 40% of Caynaa's skin had melted off.  We rushed home. The specialist discussed our options with us, but in the end we decided we would not put her through anymore.   No living creature, especially a dog as vibrant as Caynaa, should live like that.  It was the right decision.  Although we will never know exactly what happened, after discussion with venom specialist, the bite of a diamondback rattlesnake is the best guess we have. 

At the time of her death, Caynaa was the #42 Australian Cattle Dog in NAFA.  We were a good team, and I have yet to find another flyball dog.  She was an amazing start dog, a consistant speed dog, and a dependable team dog.  She was also a killer frisbee player.  But above all, she was a true companion.  She was my heart dog and I still miss her everyday.



Australian Shepherd

April 11, 2001 - September 22, 2012

ONYX - 23,557 Points

No Dog stands in the way of MY ball!  

According to a family in South Carolina, Sydney was a barky, destructive dog - at least that is what the foster mom was told. The formula for this kind of perception is all too common: take a suburban family (maybe with small children), mix in a desire to have a pure bred dog that has papers, do not research the breeds that do well in a small enclosure, do not spend time focusing on training the dog, and viola! you have the conditions for a frustrated dog. Her owners left her to roam as she saw fit. We understand from her foster mom that Sydney wandered the streets and was “adopted” by kids at a nearby school but school officials worried about the liability. The family agreed to give Sydney up.

Sydney crossed our paths when the Aussie rescue folks advertised Sydney on a web bulletin board and we agreed to assess her at a Flyball tournament in Charlotte. In turn, the foster family assessed
us. She was already a year old when we agreed to adopt her. Sydney had lots of drive in Frisbee, flyball, and goose chasing. Give her a task to do and she would happily complete it – especially if it involved Frisbee, flyball, and geese.

One of the happiest days we experienced was the day Sydney received enough points to qualify for her Onyx; it was six years after we adopted Sydney, at the same venue where we first met and adopted her
and her foster mom was there to witness and celebrate with us.

Sydney lost a hard fought battle with cancer in September of 2012


ONYX MACH Blumont Kachina Crown Royal RN, TT, CGC

Doberman Pinscher

July 15, 1997 - Nov. 15, 2008 

ONYX - 23,863 Points 

 DPCA Agility Top 20 2003 and 2004

11th highest-Ranked Doberman in North American Flyball Association History

Ashley exemplified the ideal Doberman.  She guarded us, nurtured our Manchester Terrier  puppies, electrified the Flyball racing lane, and entertained Agility spectators with her enthusiasm.  On the non-competitive side, she was a Critter Camp favorite, an easy partner for the smallest child, and a gentle giant at nursing homes and special needs demos.  Although she had no concept of titles and awards, she gave us her all for the sheer joy of it and pleased us to perfection.

Ashley played Flyball with First in Flight for nearly nine years.  While not quite one of the original founders of the team, she WAS one of its earliest members.  She also earned a  number of AKC and NADAC agility titles, and frequently showed up on the AKC Agility TOP 20 Dobermans list.  But, Flyball was always her passion, and racing with the wind in her hair and a tennis ball in her teeth was her delight.  Her pleasant tempermant, speed and athletic honesty, and absolute consistency made her an ideal mentor and teacher for our less experienced dogs.  She never met a dog she didn't like!  She just kept going, and going, and going,...


Gracie of Windy Gap

Black Labrador Retriever


Onyx - 21,821 points

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.  



Jack Russel Terrier

May 1997 - Late 2009 

FG40K - 45,298 points

Patches, a smooth coated Jack Russell Terrier, was born in May 1997.  Chip surprised me with this little puppy in July of 1997, after our 15+ year old Tippy, my 1st dog, a black cock-a-poo died of Cushings Disease. Patches started training flyball in August 2000 when she was 3 years old, & went to our 1st competition in November 2000, the Turkey Trot in Franklin,VA. We started with Triad Dog Sports. TDS used to be based in Guilford County. She used to run full double time as a height dog - full time on regular & full time on multi-breed. TDS always needed height dogs. Patches was never the fastest small dog, but she always seems to really like playing the game. She did not start out as dependable as she is now. We've had our share of missing balls, missing jumps, and chasing dogs on the other team.  In the end, most of the errors are early passes due to handler error! Bad Susan.  We started playing with FIF in 2004 or 2005 after TDS disbanded.  In late 2009, Patches passed away following complications after an unfortunate trash eating incident.  We tried everything to avoid this outcome, but in the end, a difficult decision was made because it was what was best for Patches. 


 Sowagla Gold Willow


10 Years Old

FGDCh - 30,583 Points

 Sowagla Gold Willow, better known as Willow, was a fawn and white whippet, born June 16, 2000.  She first competed in flyball in September, 2002, and achieved her Onyx in January, 2007.  Following ACL surgery in April, 2009, she returned to competition in July and received her FGDCH in September, 2009.  Willow's personal best time was 4.4 seconds, but for most of her career she ran in the 4.7 - 5.0 second range.  In addition to flyball, she loved lure chasing.  In early 2010, Willow retired from flyball to focus on being a connoisseur of all things soft and  could often be found sleeping in her human's bed, under the covers!


 U-CD Hunt’s Double R Bold Ginni Rose, ASCA/AKC CDX, FM, AD, AX, NAJ, RS-O, JS-O, GV-N, EAC, NGC, OJC, NJC-V, CGC

Australian Shepherd

Jun 21, 1992-Nov 27, 2004

FM - 8,486 points

 Ginni was one of the founding members of the First in Flight flyball team. When she was about 4 years old, we attended a one-day seminar on the sport. She learned the complete pattern during the one-hour lunch break, attended her first tournament 3 months later earning her first points, and we were hooked from that moment forward. Of all the activities that we were active in, flyball was by far Ginni’s favorite. She was almost always the untiring start dog but could run any position and had endless enthusiasm for the game. But her greatest assets were that she could pass any dog and very rarely made mistakes. Her times ranged from high fours to mid fives, depending on her jump height. In her early days, she was many times our 14 inch height dog. Ginni played flyball for about 7 ½ years. She’s almost 10 in the flyball picture. She ran a few heats in her last tournament in January 2004 at the age of 11 ½. Still game and eager to play, and still turning in times in the 5.8 range. Not bad for an old dog with bad hips! She passed over the bridge 10 months later. Ginni was by far the most intelligent and intuitive dog I’ve ever owned. She had incredible heart and presence. She fit the old-type Australian Shepherd mold both physically and in temperament. She was intelligent, loyal and devoted, and fiercely protective of those she loved and her home. She was gentle or aggressive, as each situation warranted. She was a willing and eager partner and of all the titles that follow her name, the one that means the most is not mentioned. She was the beloved companion of the Hunt family and my heart dog. And I still miss her every day.



Golden Retriever Mix

12 years

FDCH-G - 2609 pts

 Henry was found on the side of the road a dirty, flea infested, wormy 6 week old puppy  in December of 1997.  A wonderful, lucky find!  Henry retired from flyball after coming home limping more than once from tournaments where he was only running half time. It's much harder for the big dogs. He took longer to train. I had to soak tennis balls in Chicken bouillon broth just to get Henry to pick up the balls. He did not realize that he was supposed to be a retriever!  He was afraid to leave my side. He would go over a jump or two and realize that I was still behind him and he would turn around and come back.Henry was definitely a Velcro clinger dog!  We used to practice having Henry go between me and someone else just to get treats to have him practice going away from me. He had one knee operated on in 2007, and it healed completely, but Henry more enjoyed staying home to keep Chip company on flyball weekends. They would watch tv and eat popcorn.  Henry crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully in his sleep in September of 2009.


 Spooktus FDCH, AD, OA, CGC

Australian Shepherd

Jun 9, 1992-Oct 20, 2004

FDCH - 619 Points

 Spooktus came to live with us at the age of three years old in 1995 and from day one fit into our family perfectly. She was planned to be my second agility dog, which I was very active in at the time. After the birth of my second son later that year, we began competing, and easily earned her novice and open titles in AKC agility. Then, in late 1996, Spook suffered acute kidney failure brought on by a bacterial infection of unknown origin. She wasn’t expected to survive. We came home from the vet with meds, IV’s, and very little hope, but lots of love and care, expecting the worst. Gratefully, she did recover. The road to complete recovery was long and took several years, and took it’s toll on the energy and drive of this already soft dog. In late 1999, I started her in flyball as a way to spend a little more time with her. She learned the pattern easily and earned her FDCH but never had much enthusiasm or drive for the game. She was retired in early 2001 to live the life she wanted, which was just to be a much loved family pet. She was a great dog; gentle and patient, comical at times, and always eager to please. She was an easy, content, and happy dog, and family companion is her greatest legacy.



Mixed Breed

12 Years

FGDCh - 37,959 Points

 Ripley was a 12yr old mixed breed female that ran flyball for almost 10 years. Although she slowed down slightly over the years she always loved flyball as much as when she first started playing. Ripley was very ball crazy and loved the competition of racing against another dog. Her ended her flyball career reaching the title of FGDCH.  She was a lot of fun to run (although my back was always a little sore after holding her back all weekend at tournaments)



Mixed Breed

11 years

FM -  7,354 points

Chase was a 12 year old mixed breed dog who retired from flyball in 2006.  He spent his retired days curled up on his big dog bed sleeping.  Chase began running flyball when he was 2 years old.  He loved the jumping and most of all, the people.  However, he wasn't crazy about the tennis ball.  It took me many months and lots of encouragement to get him to carry the ball all the way back to me.  Chase was never the most reliable or the fastest flyball dog on the team, but he was alawys a joy to watch.  He really believed that all the dogs and people were there just to see him, which made him very happy.  In one of the first tournaments he participated in, he went over two jumps and then stopped at the gates just in case anyone wanted to pet him!


Pincie Creek Viva la "Vida", FMCH, NJC, JS-N, GS-N, 


Australian Shepherd 

November 22, 1999 to January 15, 2014

FMCH - 17,748 Points

 Vida was born in November 1999 with the ball in her blood! To say she was obsessed would be an understatement, and although the tennis ball was her favorite, she would happily retrieve any kind of ball all day long, including basketballs, (which she learned to push and roll with her feet), footballs, baseballs, and softballs. Vida retired from flyball with 17,748 points and her FMCH. During her flyball career, Vida was a consistent, reliable performer with endless enthusiasm for the game she loved. She could run all day long and then some, pass any dog, and run any position, although start position was by far her favorite (patience and waiting not being one of her virtues). Because of her love of the game, flyball was our main focus for Vida, although she also earned some agility titles and a herding certification. Vida crossed the bridge in January 2014 at just over 14 years old. She lived an active and full life and her energy and presence is missed. Her intense love of the game will always leave a picture in my mind of Vida in the lanes, where she was happiest.




American Cocker Spaniel Mix

September 27, 1995 - May  12, 2014

10 Points 

Tasha CGC was an American Cocker Spaniel mix, born September 27, 1995.  Tasha started flyball very late in life, when she was about 14 or 15 years old.  She was able to learn the game, though and completed two full runs in tournament competition to earn herself 10 points.  After that, although she was no longer able to run flyball, in our minds she completed the FD, having completed several good runs in warmups and single dog racing in addition to those in competition. 



Australian Cattle Dog

~June 15, 2002

FM - 6,569 points 

Jackson was a white and black spotted Australian cattle dog, born approximately June 15, 2002. He was a rescue puppy, adopted via Petfinders at three months of age. While he was always happy to play flyball when we really need him, he was never particularly competitive and so ran infrequently, most often as back up. His times wereusually in the 6 second range and his most recent title is FM. What he really enjoyed, and was excellent at was helping train the new dogs both at home, and at the club.



Border Collie

March 4, 2004 -

FGDCh - 40,000+Points 

Iron Dog

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