25 May 2008

Securing your dog agility field with a solid fence-a primer.


After work today, I went to a fence building. To help build a fence to for my friend's new dog agility field where someday, the new mobile home park will be built and the fence will have to come down. Because Santa Cruz county is all about developing agricultural lands for things like tract houses and mobile home parks. People sell their properties that are used for things like horse ranches or apple farms or dog agility fields, and other people do stuff with them like build tract houses or tennis courts or mobile home parks. We know how this one goes. We will revisit the ranch searching era one of these days when I ready to have another good cry and tell you why I rent a ranch and don't own one. Or a dog agility field. Another story for another day. For a while though, this field will be my friend's fabulous new dog agility field. Because her old dog agility field is going to become a mobile home park so she moves to this one which will also become a mobile home park. Another story for another day.

The fence building people had been hard at work all day, when Team Small Dog was hard at work at actual work all day. So I showed up there conveniently late and most of the fence was actually already built yet many snacks and beverage remained. There were some dog agility ladies there, and some husbands, and everyone was helping to build a nice strong and tall fence to keep the dogs in and away from the busy road. Dog agility lady fence building sort of looked like this. One of the husbands, a talented fence builder, would work on the fence with my friend. Someone else would sit in the lawn chair with a pepsi. Someone would play with some dogs. Someone else would hold stuff for the fence building husband. Someone would put border collies away that were getting scared of the super loud Blue Angels airplanes from the Air Show flying over the field at one gazillion miles per hour scaring the dogs. The field is very convenient to a small airport for those dog agility people with their own small planes or for Blue Angels during the Big Air Show.

Over the field, on one side of the air, were Blue Angels! On one side of the air, fire dousing helicopters! Someone (possibly me) would watch the airplanes and say stuff like, "I don't feel like I'm helping very much but WOW look at those planes!" Because how often can you look at the sky and see helicopters swinging giant cloth buckets over a forest fire and on the other side of the sky Blue Angel airplanes flying in little bunches, looking like they are going to crash right into you and making this insane loud noise that makes you stick your hands flat on your ears and press in and go WOW! And then I would look at the sky and wave at them as if they could see me down on the future mobile home park / dog agility field waving at them driving their loud planes. The same way I've been waving at all the firefighters driving around in their truck convoys. I am like this total waver now which I am pretty sure I used to not be. Somehow, by the time I went home, after doing important jobs such as Turn on the Hose and Could You Find the Tape Measure and be a Small Dog Specialist and see if small dogs could get out of the fence through fence holes, there was a very nice large fence built around the new future dog agility field. Team Small Dog, always happy to put in a hard day's work in the name of dog agility.

3 comments:

Mary Schultz said...

Well, I am so sorry I missed the fence building event. The sitting in the chair drinking a pepsi job seemed right up my alley. I *should* have been there, but I had already paid for one day out of town going to the ASCA trial at Cayucos which sounded like a really beautiful and great location except that, surprise, Motel 6 costs double on holiday weekends.

the first Gamblers, I don’t even remember, except that I did something wrong, possibly from generalized mind fog from waking up at 4:15 a.m. This is the concept of "irony" that I could attempt to teach my students about, since the whole reason I drove to Morro Bay Saturday night and pay 2x what Motel 6 is supposed to cost (well, it is supposed to cost $6!!!!) was so I wouldn't have to get up at 4:15 a.m. like Team Small Dog does. We didn’t Q. Then, second Gamblers, sent Ariel to the middle of a tunnel (after I mis-cued which end to enter). She searches, (“Where’s the hole in the middle of this tunnel that you are indicating, Mary, I do not see it, though I am looking for it) then turns around and jumps the jump I have told her to do next, although it is no longer next, running straight into me. I fall on my ass.

But we 10-point Q’d in all 3 Regulars (so now we can be in the Elite group of dogs of which there are many much faster and who have much better handlers than Ariel), although we should have been eliminated in one of the Regular courses, since I had to hop over the bottom of the dog walk because I practically ran into the tunnel with Ariel trying to be sure she went out to get in. I think the judge was just grateful I didn't fall my middle-aged ass down again and crack my head open or something.

Last run was the only *really* clean run, but it was a really good, clean run, and I managed a nice front cross that was smooth enough that it did not draw an irritated bark from Ariel, so I drove home, happy.

Cayucos: nice place to drive to, but no place for ball-throwing, i.e., no off-leash. Big drawback for Ariel, to say the least.

So, sorry to have missed the SMART meeting and the fence-building, but timing is all, as we agility freaks know, and I did send my entry in before I heard about either thing. So that's my excuse.

team small dog said...

Cayucos is on my list of places I would move to if I had enough money to move! It is nearly a straight line to Bakersfield as the crow flies (not one of the reasons), but has always looked like a fine place for a ranch that would have access to the sea. And nuclear generators! Did you find Cayucos to be a fine place aside from ball throwing and Motel price jacking?

Mary Schultz said...

I had severe ranch envy the whole time. When we passed Harmony (pop. 18) I almost wept.