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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
A crowd gathered outside the Medfield Library to watch the Flying High Dogs group preform amidst a warm, sunny day on May 18. Parents brought picnic lunches and lawn chairs. Others sat on the perfectly placed lawn chairs and rocks. All were excited to see what tricks these dogs could do.
The dogs, for their part, were just as ready to show off their skills for the audience.
Before the show started, handler and trainer Mike Piazza brought out Bullet. At age ten, Bullet is the eldest member of the team. Those paying attention not only saw Bullet effortlessly catch Frisbee after Frisbee, but heard the sound of bells ringing through the air. A while ago, Bullet lost her eyesight after eye surgery for glaucoma.
Though she is technically retired from the show, Bullet enjoys chasing and jumping after Frisbees. When it came time to start the show, Piazza attempted to wrangle Bullet off of the field. “She’s running away because she knows,” laughed Piazza, just as he gathered the fluffy border collie into his arms. Despite being done with her act, Bullet was given a front row seat to the action.
Maui, a gray and white border collie, began the show. Piazza took a moment to ask his audience where they think the best place to a get a dog is. The kids of the audience were quiet for a second, giving the audience a moment to gather their thoughts. “A pet store?” one child offered.
“Not a pet store,” answered Piazza.
“My living room?” one young girl offered. The rest of the audience chuckled at the suggestion.
“Not the living room,” said Piazza.
“An animal shelter?” That was the correct answer, and the child was given a reward of throwing the Frisbee to Maui.
The second dog to come out was Mojo, a brown and white border collie. Mojo is the youngest member of the team, and also holds the title of best jumper on the squad. Piazza asked his audience another question. “All of my dogs have birthdays around what holiday in May?” He added that it may be a difficult one to guess.
“Not May Day.”
“Christmas!” one eager child suggested.
Finally, one child guessed correctly. “Cinco De Mayo!”
Piazza asked for some adults to help with the next segment of the show. For this, five volunteers, while holding Frisbees, were asked to spin around 15 times and then throw the Frisbee. If Mojo missed it, then the participants were to spin around five more times and throw it. This went on until Mojo caught a Frisbee from each participant.
Maui came back out after Mojo had finished his performance. “He’s going to do 21 back flips,” announced Piazza. In his hands were the 21 frisbees. “Usually we can only get to 15.” Maui crouched, ready to catch. “One… two… three… four,” the audience chanted, counting up as Maui made each catch. The audience cheered when he finally reached 21, excited for the dog’s achievement.
At the end of the show, the audience was invited to pet all of the dogs, who were just as excited at the prospect as the spectators themselves.
The Flying High Dogs show was a win for everyone, and surely inspired a few viewers to go home and teach their own dogs some new tricks.