25 February 2008

Did I mention it was Muddy?

Our travels this weekend took us to a muddy, muddy, wet place named The CPE Trial in Elkgrove.

I thought you would like a glamorous, insider's view into the behind the scenes life of an agility competitor.

All our stuff is inside the car. Where it is not raining. This includes dogs and mud. Dog frisbees, dog coats, human coats, are all coated with mud. Coffee and things inside the cooler are exempt from the mud. Do you remember I got some new Red Shoes the other day? They are coated with mud but I am very happy to report to you that my actual feet, not coated with mud or even a tiny bit wet. So that was one part of the whole day that was not muddy. My feet.

The dogs had an enjoyable day sitting in cages in the car, staying out of the rain. They would go into it for occasional games of frisbee, or "warming up" for classes. Warming Up means:

Take a walk in some mud. Going in the mud. Getting muddy. Do a couple jumps. Have some treats. Run crazy fast. Pull the frisbee out of the mud. Pretend that you are doing this crazy fastness in the ring. Get a little more muddy.

Then the dogs would go in the ring, which was in a covered arena, yet still muddy, and be not super fast. In CPE, this is actually fast enough for Team Small Dog to win many of their classes. And even get Q's in all of them. Except for Otterpop's Jackpot Class, where the timer broke and the run got all screwed up and she was not allowed do-overs. Oh well. I am not sure why, and what the hell. I didn't really care. I kept looking at the judge, waiting for a time buzzer, the judge would look at me, I'd do another loop through the ring, look at the judge, she would look at me, no buzzer. I keep looking over. Hi Judge! Finally I look at the judge AGAIN after really a lot of extra seconds, and she says, Just go do the gamble. Um. OK. So we missed it because we were over in a weird spot to get into it. Such is life. Our gamblers curse is apparently back and now tied into my weird magnetic force field that screws up electronic timers. But there are worse things to worry about. Like piles of muddy laundry and why does Frances McDormand wear Martin Scorsese's old man glasses yet still manage to look kind of cool?

Otterpop was still scared of everything, however she did not have any barking paranoia attacks. This is in a metal building teeming with raincoated ax murderers and zombies disguised as raincoated agility ladies. She had running paranoia runs, where she was running, yet also implementing full radar for alleged slashers. She had a couple semi relaxed runs, and a couple with slow starts and speedy ends. I was proud of her because i felt like she was actually trying to hold it together. Thanks Otterpop! Maybe not full speed but you held it together and we just keep working this out.

Ruby was on cruise control mode. Not crazy, zany fast, but not slow. Just kind of having a pleasant time, in the mud. Which was a-ok with me. She seemed happy as a clam. She had a couple of moments near the weave poles of little moments, then was fine. None of her poles were horrible slow, but I can't say they were super fast. I tried to be relaxed and casual to the point that I gave her a couple refusals from sloppy, sloopy handling like a drunken bus driver, but that was sort of my mission of the day. See if the bus is broken, just needs an oil change, or is a happy bus. I would say normal and happy, and maybe next time I can rev her into top speed mode if she is still seeming a-ok after this.


We took our friend Mary and her dog Ariel. Ariel is actually not as giant as she looks here, but still had to squish into the back with all my caged dogs. This is what they look like at 4:45 in the morning! Surprise! This was one of their first trials and let's say the OWNED that Level 2 division. How many new handlers go out there and attack 3 7's in their Snookers Run?

Gustavo could have done without this trial. It was a bit much for him. Mud. Crowds. Loudness. A lot of sitting in the car. He didn't love it. He heard there were pancakes at home when he was sitting locked in a muddy cage. Thanks for sticking it out Gustavo! He saw Daniel Day Lewis on the Oscars last night and now he wants his ears pierced like that if he has to go to any more muddy, sitting in the car all day agility trials. Yeah. Only if you actually start bringing BACK that muddy frisbee instead of leaving it out in the mud.

3 comments:

Mary Schultz said...

Thanks for your tact, Team Small Dog! We may have attacked 3 7's in our Snooker run , but we did not exactly conquer, now, did we? In fact, it was the most embarrassing run ever! Thank god it was the second to the last run of the whole trial day (after being 55 years old and getting up at 4 a.m.). So maybe some people did not witness me crashing into Ariel (that was the highlight of the run). And the nice CPE judge came over and said that he would call it incidental contact. Because he felt so sorry for me. But it was just like the Olympics! With triumphs of victory and agonies of defeat! Well, it was a little different than the Olympics I guess because it was in the middle of a cowfield with much mud and cold and dogs barking and occasionally emitting blood-curdling shrieks (Laura did not exaggerate this) during Otterpop's runs. I'll admit that.

Thanks Team Small Dog for taking us! It was so fun! Even if right in the middle when my feet were wet and cold because I don't have lovely red shoes and my heart was pounding and my mouth was dry because it really is hard for my incipient-Alzheimer's brain to remember a Whole Course, and Ariel fell into a puddle and the water went up to her chest and then she was weighted down with a coat of mud on her underside, well I did sort of wonder, "HOW DID I GET HERE AND HOW DO I GET OUT???" But then I woke up this morning thinking, hmmm, I wonder if the Madera trial has closed yet.

Is it time for checking myself into the Agility Rehab?

Mary Schultz said...

Gustavo, I support you on the Daniel-Day earring style choice. Very cool. So you.

Elf said...

I am so glad I sat at home and did billable work. Saving up for the silver lamé ("lamay") suit with matching silver lamé shoes. I wonder whether they're mudproof? My dogs don't care if it's muddy, it's just me who cares. Muddy enough in my back yard. But I'm sure you had a grand time anyway; I wanted to do the Full House, but no, I was here at home. Dogs were bored. Bored herding dogs are a Bad Thing.

-ellen