OUR TEAM FOUNDERS
Greta Kaplan is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and one of the Portland Tail Blazers' co-founders, began playing flyball in 2000. Greta taught our beginning flyball classes and was the team captain for many years. Her miniature Aussie Nickel FDH (Flyball Dog Halfway) decided it was not his sport during his first tournament, the first NAFA-sponsored tournament back in 2000, in Del Mar, California. It should be noted that he earned 9 NAFA points in his brief career, 11 points short of his first title. However, Greta's luck improved with Cedi, a red-tricolored Aussie, who earned the Flyball Master Champion title in 2006, and nearly made it to ONYX before she was forced to retire because of health issues. Border Collie Mellie earned her ONYX in 2013 and has retired from flyball. Nano the Borderjack, now in retirement after an injury, achieved the Flyball Master Champion level in 2014. Greta left the Tail Blazers in 2015. She will be pursuing nose work with Mellie and Barley, a Border Collie/Great Pyranees mix that she adopted after fostering for many months.
Carol Helfer was a sports and rehabilitation veterinarian who co-founded PTB along with Greta. Carol's first flyball dog was Danya Von Tamar, a member of Oregon's first flyball team and the first Oregon dog to achieve the ONYX title, in 2006. Danya also achieved Iron Dog status in 2007, having earned at least one NAFA point in ten consecutive racing years. Her second flyball dog was the diminutive Spam, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who had a region-wide fan club, and earned her ONYX in 2008. Carol's Hotshot, was a Borderstaffy known for his rock-solid reliability in the lanes. He achieved his ONYX in 2010. Carol's last flyball dog was Pixel the Barbarian, who had just started racing before Carol's tragic death in 2014. Pixel was adopted by a teammate and continues to race with us in Carol's memory.