21 March 2008

Time Management for the well oiled dog agility team-a primer.

Lest I led you to believe the other day that I live a life of leisure, having all the time in the world to chase pitbulls down the street with boards, and run around after rangers like a paparazzi obsessed with their assault rifles, I thought I should take you behind the scenes to the life that is Team Small Dog. A well oiled machine. Maybe the kind that is weirdly oiled with perhaps the wrong kind of oil. But it is the oil that is like the weak spit activated paste that holds the dog agility team together to make dog agility function as super as it does for my team. Otterpop who barks at judges. Ruby who knocks rails. Gustavo who just runs fast yet screams like a monkey and plots escape from the xpen. Someday maybe could be a whole DAM team! Damn Team will be their name.

So you should probably know I have a horse business and I do not have my own ranch. Someday, you will hear THAT whole story. I believe it is actually called writing a book to tell that story. But I currently lease a very nice, large horse ranch that is 45 minutes away from my house to run my training program at. In case you are worried, I am a way better horse and rider trainer than dog agility trainer. Lots better. Dog agility is more hobby that the accountant has figured out how to write off for me. Actually, I do love teaching it too. But I have a little, teensy ways to go with that whole career.

So to get me and the dogs out of the house to work, is the whole oily part. Typically I am gone away from my house, and Timmy, from early in the morning til night time. And now with the whole armed Rangers in the park wanting to ticket me scenario, I need to get the dogs out to run either real early or to the beach on the way. And same thing on the way home. And if it is an especially good day, I could even go to practice with the dogs on the way to work. That part has to be the very oiliest machine of them all. So, come with me on a short tutorial of good time management tips that maybe can make Your Life As Smooth and Oily as mine.

Coffee is important. Actually, is the most important part. If there is no coffee, there is no team small dog. Getting out of the door is not even a remote possibility.

This is where the magic happens. That has to happen like early before running away from rangers, but after the first round of coffee. The magic used to happen in a special room called an office but that was before Roofers and Rain and No Time to Replaster. You all like it that the magic happens every morning, right? Time management, baby.

Packing a lunch. If it is a typical day, my husband brought us home pizza to eat for dinner at like 10pm or whatever ungodly hour we usually eat dinner at. And it makes a super lunch.

We also have weird food items in the house due to the no grocery shopping issue. My dad sent me a giant box of grapefruit hand picked from his tree! I have the nicest dad ever! I eat a lot of grapefruit right now! And the dogs can eat the string cheese which is a good thing to buy TONS of at Trader Joes. I ALWAYS make sure to at least buy stuff for the dogs. I am nice like that.

OK. Lunch packed. Time for dog pills for our Timmy.

Where is Timmy? Here's these ones. They are always milling about and howling and causing trouble but Timmy tends to wander and he could be anywhere, including stuck in a corner in a closet. Or under piece of furniture. Never, ever, lose Timmy.

Found him. Give him pills. He had a nice shuffle around the block and he is ready for his day as a stay at home dog. Don't worry. My husband works like 5 minutes away and comes to visit him at lunch. He is nice like that. I do worry horribly about Timmy every day and I hate leaving him alone so much but he is too old and demented to come to work.

Next phase begins known as looking for the keys. Every day we do this. Sometimes looking for Timmy at the same time if I've lost him again in the backyard.

In a door. Bad place to leave keys.

Dogs need to get in the car.

Get in the crate now Otterpop!

Mayhem in the car ensues as everyone is trying to get in everyone's crates and it is like Crate Games Susan Garrett! In my car and I just want to leave and they are jumping into crates like mayhem!

Have keys. Have lunch. Timmy secured. Cannot get down driveway because I have forgotten it is garbage day. It is just a tiny driveway and most of it is filled with weave poles. Which we did not have time to practice this morning, due to all of the above.

This kind of day, I need my special ipod soothing music. Like a playlist that is a mixture of Christmas songs by Andy Williams and Willy Nelson songs about cowboys. Works better than X or old David Bowie even for smoothing crinky nerves. Thank you for always being there for me, Ipod. Not like our new friend Bluetooth that needs to be recharged.

We finally made it out. I even had time to practice with the dogs. I did manage to forget all their leashes and they had to be tied up with dog toys and random pieces of string. We don't have down stays by two thirds of the team if one third of the team is practicing. We just do tying to the fence. But I didn't pack a piece of fruit. I forgot to email a lot of people and didn't pay any bills or register my truck yet or plaster my office. I have a backup of paperwork. But I did some crazy fast running super lowered a-frames with Gustavo and some fast little sequences based on turning Tight! with the other ones. And made it to work not too late although maybe forgot to pull someone's stitches and call someone's mom back. So actually. My time management might need a little improvement. Because we need time to practice those weave poles next time. Priorities.


Anonymous said...

Awesome... a day in the life of TSD. Thanks for making me smile... and reminding me my car smells like dogs, dirt, wet towels, sneakers and old Taco Bell ;)

Elayne said...

I love it when my husband gets in the car and sez, 'This car smells like dogs'. The hell you say. Mine has the added aroma of wet swimsuits/towels and maybe wetsuits if it's summer. Plus the bag of hot dog treats that somehow gets under the seat that I forget about until the smell. Then there was that bag of poop I forgot about.

The door is also my husband's favorite place to keep the keys.

Elf said...

Your blog is SO educational. But, oh, man, you have stolen my thunder! I have been videotaping A Day At Taj MuttHall (but I am doing it across various days because I keep forgetting to turn it on at crucial points). Maybe next week I'll finish it and post it. I'm sure it won't be nearly as entertaining. "Here we are waking up. Here we are going downstairs. Here we are going into the back yard." "Here we are by the back of the house." I'll have to work on my storyline.


Anonymous said...

Hey L: do you need BT headset that charges in car??? I hadn't thought of that...we can fix that! Tash

Urban Smoothie Read said...

u juz remind me why no one in the right mind would wanna sit in my car...

its plaque with doggie odour, fur, rotten treats, n dirt stained cushion and nose-stained window...plus some scratches on the door...

Anonymous said...

You are my favorite Crazy Lady Agility Person!