Lyra, a border collie mix, and her owner and handler Jean McCollister came from the U.S. to live in Slovenia, where they became pioneers in dog frisbee. Lyra was the first dog to compete in this sport for Slovenia at European championships and the World finals in the U.S. Jean introduced dog frisbee to other dog owners in Slovenia and soon the community grew into a society called Flipsi. Lyra won countless trophies, starting with two wins at her very first two competitions after a few weeks in the sport. She was a natural talent. Being the first, she became somewhat a celebrity, a guest in many TV shows and the subject of many magazine articles. She also appeared in a Milka chocolate commercial. All throughout her sports career, Lyra was among the best competitors in Europe, and at nine years of age in 2012, she continues to perform very very well. There’re not many dog frisbee competitions in Slovenia, so Jean must take Lyra abroad – to the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Hungary…
After bringing Lyra to Slovenia from the U.S., she also got two more dogs, Olivia and Bamm Bamm. They are all among the best competitors in Europe, regularily competing at European championships and qualifying for the World finals.
They live together in Brje near Kopriva, a village in the Karstic region of Slovenia. Jean tries to make a living as a translator, but doing it in a country that is falling apart economically where earning money is very hard, it is extremely difficult to support her activities in dog frisbee. Every European championship is a struggle, every World finals nearly impossible. Her champion dogs are the only ones representing Slovenia in the biggest competitions among the very best in the world, but getting there is always a challange, because the sport has very little support from funders in this country. (So if anyone wants to support her, here’s her website: http://jean.agility-slo.net/ )
This is a story about Lyra, a portrait of her as an athlete and as a dog. Documenting her tricks, but mostly detailing her amazing life and personality. She’s extremely smart, understands whole sentences, she even watches TV etc. She’s very attached to Jean’s neighbour Jana. She spends most of her time with her. But at the same time, it is a story about Jean and her other two dogs.
I documented Lyra’s life for just over a year. Thanks to Jean who let me in her life, the story is quite detailed. It was really fun to do.
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