14 May 2008

Otterpop has saved the day.

So I had to decide today, what do I do? Do I just go to work all normal like Timmy is fine and dandy? I sort of have to. Work is work. Gary comes home at lunch and checks in on him, but I work 45 minutes from home. How about leaving early to practice agility on the way? Is that allowed? Doesn't really seem fair. He seems to want me around all the time and that keeps him hanging on. I'm going, I'm not going. I'm hemming, I'm hawing. OK. Life goes on. I leave early enough to practice some dogwalks with Gustavo at least.

Since it feels sort of dirgey and Adams Family at my house, we just haven't much felt like doing agility. It's really never been Timmy's thing, except for the treats part and the barking. Which is fine, Ruby's on rest time, Otterpop is Otterpop, but Gustavo. Our little Gustavo. This is what we know of Gustavo. I don't know why anything he does surprises me. Gustavo is just pants cut from some weirdo cloth that I forget every time the pockets are down at the cuffs and there is no zipper and you need to slip them on over your head. He is why we must try to practice. He NEEDS to practice everything a lot of times. Really a lot. And, to add frying fish to the frying pan, a friend was watching him the other day on the dogwalk, and noticed this little cute foot thing training flaw that I've created. If he flies down to the bottom and misses the nose touch, he slams on the brakes and backs up his back feet to get back on the board. Which technically, is an E. Not a cute thing to do with his hairy little feet at all. This was all me though, not him. I've gone and done it. Screwed up another dog.

So out we go, stop at the field and just gonna do a couple things. Left Timmy with some dog treats on the floor and hope he just falls asleep til the end of the day. I guess I don't really feel that into it, but I KNOW we have to fix that dogwalk before I am the laughing stock of the dog trainers for having such a sucky contact. I teach agility, for crissakes. The teacher cannot have messed up contacts. The teacher has to figure out how to train a Gustavo. Enough is enough. So, with a big sigh, I drag myself out to warm him up over some jumps, and he looks at me like I am a daisy or perhaps a carnation in a scenic yet boring way, and trots over somewhere and finds a gopher hole and just sticks his long, pointy nose in. Him, of usually weirdo antics, and monkey screaming and a million and one tunnels, is like, not today.

OK. Someone here must feel like doing agility. Maybe I don't, maybe he doesn't. But we always have Otterpop. Who sees me coming over and starts leaping around at the end of her rope like that thing at the Boardwalk that flies around in a circle and causes barfing no matter what. Flinging and flying and barking and bouncing. She sees I have the FRISBEE and just is crazy to do something. Anything. I see a little distance sequence of jumps for her, and with my morose, funeral director personality, can just stand there with a dour expression and stick my arm out and direct her through it no problem. "Jump," I quietly sigh with a roll of my eyes, like this is so meaningless in the big picture of old, sick dogs and earthquakes in China. "Tire," sounds kind of exasperated but off she goes. Hey, that's pretty funny. I can just stand there and barely speak and stick my arm out and Otterpop still loves agility. Let me go stand WAY over there and see if she'll still do this little sequence of 5 things. Out to a jump, jump, jump, turn away from me to the tire, serpentine back thru the jumps and I am WAY over there. Maybe I have upgraded to shouting by now and don't sound like I am bored out of my skull doing this dumb, meaningless thing of making the dog jump over some plastic sticks.

It's pretty fun. Otterpop cracks me up. She just cares about going super fast and doing all the stuff and getting her frisbee. Life is so simple. Which makes me feel like running and so let's see if I add the weave poles and run into it can I get that turn away from me from WAY over here, and I do and goddamn Otterpop, you are just cracking me up. She runs around with her frisbee and it is the giant frisbee someone gave us and she has to drag it over stuff because you know when she goes and gets it she has to come back over some jumps because she just has to.

I feel better. I go get Gustavo again and have him do some TEETERS which are his THING and he loves slamming down that teeter as fast as he can and he makes some monkey noises and then we do some dogwalks and I am VERY careful about what I am marking, not marking, and clicking, and where I am treating and the contact is looking better all ready so we do some poles and he is flying again and I run him through the little distance sequence although not with any distance because we have no mad distance skillz with jumps. His jump skills are weak. We don't have jumping at home. We have poles and contact trainer and you can tell. The teeter, I think I just made a big huge deal about that and he is a freak for it. And then he is going crazy for his frisbee, which he is totally clueless about actually fetching, he just tugs on it with his gnarled little teeth and tugs some more and then I am rolling around on the grass and Ruby is barking over there with Otterpop and now we are all having a grand time.

By the time we were done, everybody was in a good mood. Everybody just wanted to stay there and do agility and instead we went to work but we were in a nice mood when we got there because everyone was fast and crazy just how I like them (I even let Ruby jump some stuff very low and straight in a grid, she seemed fine and dandy doing that) and life didn't seem so crappy after all. Dogs just do that sometimes.


Simba said...

ain't that the truth!


Elf said...

Whew! What a relief! The number of times that my dogs have saved my day--or more--way outnumbers the times they've completely ruined it, not necessarily through any faults of their own. Which is why, despite having fantasies about a fur-free house and nice yard with delicate flowering plants, I will probably always have dogs.