Mochi is a rescue from the San Diego Humane Society. I fell in love with her the minute I saw her – the only dog that was jumping around on top of couches and dying for any attention. I adopted her when she was around 4 months as a playmate for her older brother Buster. We began taking her to agility classes where we met Brian/Joanne. They scouted Mochi as a flyball dog after seeing her run “zoomies” around the agility field. When she began her flyball career, she brought her crazy zoom runs with her. She started every practice jumping over practice gates and running around the field. Finally after much practice, she’s now one of the calmest dogs on the team and can actually stay on the flyball course with just a few zoomies left.

by Amber Chou


River is one of those border collies that does everything full throttle. A super easy dog to train, he took to flyball immediately. As much drive as he has, he is also a wonderful pet and friend to kids. River is a very competitive dog with extremely high drive who loves to have a job. You don’t want to be in the way when he is coming down the lanes because he has a job to do (just a bulldozer!).


In Hurricane Utah on October 27th and 28th we had our best days ever. We came in 1st and 2nd place on that Saturday. Bullet Dogs came in first place with Zippy, Dylan, Herbie, Cody, Slash and Archer. Cyclones placed second with Vegas, Ryker, Chloe, Kirin, Molly and Pooky.

All the dogs got dressed up for the Halloween Costume Contest too. We had fun but didn’t win the contest this time. The winning dogs had some very elaborate and intricate costumes but our costumes weren’t bad for a last minute effort.

On Sunday, Bullet Dogs placed third. They were extremely close to second place, but were barely edged out. The most exciting fact though, was they broke our record again. Our previous 19.2 second record was broken with an 18.99 second run. It was the first time ever our team broke into the 18’s. Not only did we set a new record but we also had two perfect starts with Joanne and Mimi. Joanne had a perfect with Vegas and Mimi had a perfect start with Ryker.

We all had a great time, and realized the long drive was worth all our winning moments!

We only raced one day at Dogtoberfest in Ramona, Saturday October 6th, but it was one of our best days ever. Our Bullet Dog Team was on fire with Zippy, Dylan, Cody, Herbie, Slash and Archer.







We were in preparation for our farthest trip ever to Hurricane Utah. We knew that the Utah tournament was only three weeks away, so we wanted to work out all the bugs.

The bugs were gone when Bullet Dogs came in First Place and broke our record with a 19.2 second run.

Indie says, “Go Ballistic!”

Our two other teams, Cyclones and the Jets, did very well too. Both The Cyclones and The Jets came in third place but were very close to second. As Amber K. put it, “We were smokin hot!” It was an outstanding day for Ballistic Racers with great wins, good food, and a new team record.

by Brian and Joanne Matsumoto

The Ballistic Racers Flyball Team got off to a slow start on Saturday, September 1st.  It was quite hot, and with a few things going wrong it was a challenging day. The bright spot was Max making his debut with his owner Mark. Max had several clean runs as the team and crowd cheered him on. After the teams had some ball dropping issues, false starts, and other problems, we quickly regained our focus and composure to get things under control. It was too late for us to place at the end of the day, but now we had our strategy for Sunday.
On Sunday, September 2nd, we were back to our normal status,  running clean races, winning and losing a few as usual. Sunday was much busier than Saturday though, since we were running three teams. The weather was much cooler however, with a nice cloud cover which hovered around throughout the day. Our Cyclone team kept running clean which really paid off for a second place win. Vegas, Cody, Mochi, Kirin, Indie, and Max brought home the second place win. Several times the Cyclones were behind, but because one of the dogs on the other team had to re-run, Cyclones came out ahead. It was great to have some fresh dogs on Sunday to liven up the mix and really get things moving along quickly. Archer made good gains and ran many clean races. Many dogs got new titles and Mochi ran her fastest race ever, a  5.6! As usual, we ate well and were exhausted by the end of the weekend but happy with ourselves and our great comeback.

All photos below, taken by Clark Kranz, Agile Dogs Photography

by Brian Matsumoto

Some flyball dogs are well suited for two or more sports, not just one. On our team alone, we have several dogs who do agility, lure coursing, and dock diving as well as flyball. The key issue here is to know the capability of your dog since every dog is different. Some canines adapt well to flyball, while others are great at agility. Still others have no problem doing both. Determine what sport your dog is good at, and then concentrate on that particular sport. Once your dog has some sports experience, you can move on to other sports. Your pet is smarter than you think. They will know the difference between the various sports and adjust to each venue. If your dog looks like he is not having fun, then he needs to try something else. Usually you can find a sport which suits your dog and you will like as well.
Our dog Zippy loves to play flyball and do agility. He is an excellent swimmer, and could probably do other dog sports if we had time. When doing multiple dog sports, it’s usually the handler’s availability which limits the number of sports the dog can do. Zippy lives for flyball and enjoys giving the opposing start dog a “run for his money”. In agility he anticipates the course and runs at full speed. You can see his enjoyment in the following Petco Commercial, as he leaps over the hurdles and whips through the weave poles. In agility he combines the speed and jumping ability he has learned in flyball with his natural ability to make sharp turns and quick decisions. Zippy loves the challenge and speed of both flyball and agility.


Whatever sport or sports you choose, get out there with your dog and enjoy your time together. High energy dogs will find their own fun and it might be your sofa, cabinet door, or favorite recliner. Dog sports are some of the most rewarding fun you can have with your pooch so get started today!

This month’s article is by Maja Wichtowski of Tsavo’s Canine Rehabilitation & Fitness Center, Inc.  A graduate of Cornell University, Maja has 18 years of extensive experience in Western Veterinary Medicine. Her diverse background includes oncology, orthopedics, internal medicine, dentistry, emergency/critical care, general practice and canine rehabilitation.

We inquired about the most common canine injury, the CCL-Cranial Cruciate Ligament. Regardless if your dog is a sport athlete in Flyball, agility, herding, frisbee, playing at the dog park or a weekend exercise hound it is important to seek medical care with any injury. Maja provides an overview of treatment options for the dog owner when injury unexpectedly occurs.

Maja may be contacted at: Tsavo’s Canine Rehabilitation & Fitness Center, Inc.
Phone 619 846 9531

CCL- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury

by Maja Wichtowski

So your dog tore their CCL, now what?

For most, our 4-legged kid’s favorite game is playing ball. All is good until suddenly you hear a scream and your dog returns 3-legged.  Is surgery always necessary? What if my dog cannot undergo anesthesia? Is rehabilitation always necessary? We hope to clarify your options.


Typical x-ray of a cruciate tear

Go to Your Vet

If you dog does suddenly become lame, it is imperative that you get them to your veterinarian immediately. Your vet can determine the cause for the lameness. If it is a CCL(cranial cruciate ligament) injury, and it is left untreated, joint degeneration progresses quickly and full recovery becomes less likely. The longer your dog overcompensates with the opposite leg, the more likely that the CCL in that leg will also rupture. Then you have a dog that can’t walk at all!


Basic structures of the knee

Treatment Options


If your dog has completely ruptured their CCL, surgery is probably your best bet for a quick recovery and long-term stability. The orthopedic surgeon will determine which surgery is ideal based on your dog’s age, breed, weight, and activity level. The two most popular surgeries are the TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) and the TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement). They both stabilize the joint by changing the joint’s anatomy, and involve the use of titanium implants. There is also Extracapsular Stabilization, which is the least invasive, but usually only used in dogs under 50lbs.





Immediately following surgery, a combination of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory), joint supplements, and physical rehabilitation are essential to ensure your pet recovers quickly.   Full recovery commonly takes 6-20 weeks, and is dependent on the type of surgery performed, the age and weight of your dog, and how vigilant you are with post-op care.

Non-Surgical Alternatives

If your dog is lucky to have only suffered a partial CCL rupture, or if they are compromised in some way (health or age) that prohibits anesthesia, here are a few options that are available. A custom knee brace is an essential component to recovery if your dog is not undergoing surgery. It will provide stability and allow them to utilize the limb without further damaging the joint. Once you have a brace, stem-cell regenerative therapy or prolotherapy, and physical rehabilitation are the way to go.

Stem Cell Regenerative Therapy requires a minor surgery to harvest the stem cells from your dog’s fat, as well as a repeat anesthesia to inject the harvested and processed cells into the knee the following visit. This therapy uses the same mechanism the body uses to repair itself; with the cells transforming into any kind of cell that is needed.  Restricted activity, physical rehabilitation, and brace support, are key post-injection for the best results.

Prolotherapy also uses your dog’s healing mechanism to treat the injury.  In this procedure, a solution is injected into the knee directly, causing an inflammatory response which in turn starts the healing process.  Your dog will need to be sedated for this procedure, which is usually repeated monthly for 4-6 injections.  Post-injection protocol is the same as with stem cell therapy.

The Bottom Line

I hope that we were able to give you a good core understanding of your choices of treatment should your dog ever suffer from this kind of injury.  Regardless which route of treatment you and your veterinarian decide on, the benefits of post-op physical rehabilitation shouldn’t be understated.  The sooner you start, the sooner your dog can be back on their feet enjoying life pain free.  Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any further questions.

Maja Wichtowski, RVT, CCRT

Tsavo’s Canine Rehabilitation & Fitness Center, Inc.