07 July 2008

A couple of days at the USDAA.


Since I had paid a bucket of money, and orchestrated the mission control project known as making a Saturday off of work possible, I decided life goes on and just go to the dog show. So off we went, for 2 of the 3 days of the Bayteam USDAA Fourth of July Fiesta. Am glad I did. Lots of kind words from you all about my Timmy, and lots of people who know exactly the way you feel when you lose the best dog. And with my attitude of just enjoy the dogs because they won't be here forever.

So where do I begin? Since our theme this week has been heartbreak, can I tell you a new tale of heartbreak? Perhaps not scrawled with tattoo guns and thick needles, or a fiery cowboy brand seared across my heart, but maybe a Sharpie writing in medium bold strokes. The thick kind of Sharpie. Total tagger graf kind. Not a skinny sharpie, my friend Hobbes. Who was knocking out a stunning standard run, tight turns and speeding along when the rest of his day was maybe a little slow. And we came to the Table. The dreaded. The evil. And for the first time, Hobbes, with the beautiful tail and bellowing woof, brown gold lizard eyes and big chomping teeth, didn't even blow me a kiss. Not a peck on the cheek. Considered for a second, teaser, then stood there. Eyes staring straight at me, then diverted, and just said, No.

Not sure if he wants to break up, dear diary. I don't think it's someone else. I missed his next standard run from a holdup in the Gambler's ring with Otterpop, and a highly qualified ringer took my place and he just danced around up there like she was shooting a six gun at his toes. Is it him, not me? Is that what he would have told Rob had they gone to counseling? Old patterns hard to break and replicating themselves? I'm just the rebound person and I'll just have to accept groveling at his feet while they stand up straight on that table from now on if we don't break up? But I told him I loved him. We always have a great time on Wednesday nights, where he runs like rocket and flies into his table down in a heartbeat. I guess he just thinks it's some casual thing. Did I get too serious on him? He needs his space? I just can't deal with this right now, Hobbes.

And Ruby. Talk about couples counseling. She's my steady and true dog at home, watches me, listens to me, sets an example. With me on every walk. Plays and runs like the wind when we practice, and has been knocking out the stellar dogwalk contacts. So we had 2 runs that I loved, she loved, we both loved. Was like running a tiny bullet around. I have to be one of those screamy handlers with her and it just makes her fly faster. And I made an error at the very end of each that cost a Q, or in the snookers, a Super Q. A little handler screw up from my giddiness of a kick ass run. But it was ok. Because it's about the joy and the dog and the fun and I am trying to let go of ADCh envy. Learn to love the lifetime achievement points perhaps we rack up with useless, extra Q's in things.

But on some runs, we just disconnected. Is she trying to tell me something? She didn't seem sore, I think she was as sound as she gets. The weather, was nice. The running surface, within her realm of acceptable. But something just didn't click with us, ships passing in the night, and we had some weirdo runs with offbeat timing that threw me for a loop. A bar in the gamble. Dogwalk contact here, slow startline there. I went off course in the Grand Prix I was so rattled. A horrible jumpers.

I dunno, Ruby. I have never been quite able to figure you out. We got you through the fireworks and everything with our booming Classic Rock party in every room of the house fireworks night, we do that for you. I thought we were tight. I thought we were through this phase in our lives. The patterns repeat. What would they tell us in couples counseling? We need better communication skills, us both? I know there are tiny witches that talk to you in there, they tell you weirdo obsessive things, but I thought they weren't coming with us this weekend. Maybe they didn't, I offended you somewhere? Front crossed too close? Let Otterpop play with your chewie? I dunno, I dunno.

So, ok, anything nice happen at the trial? Maybe won a dog toy in the workers raffle? Got a good parking place? Got to the porta potty right after the suction truck sucked it clean and added fluffy new toilet paper?

Well, let me tell you about my Otterpop. I'm calling her Otterpop 4.0. I can't believe it's my Otterpop who couldn't be near a truck. Or a man. Or couldn't take a step without a frisbee glued into her mouth to keep her from going postal on all of the above. With a hair trigger temper and no self control. Otterpop 3.0 got over that stuff from Otterpop 2.0, but creepy creeped around the agility field, feeling naked maybe without her frisbee. And exposed to all the prying eyes that could shoot poison darts through her heart. Otterpop 4.0, maybe not the fastest 12" dog out there, but maybe not the slowest. Maybe starts off the start line a little shakey, scopes the venue for judges, zombies, you name it, then settles in, focuses, and makes up time best she can. Didn't put a foot wrong. Had some bobbles here and there, one ring had a scarier judge and a dreaded loudspeaker system actually attached to the judge so she could call out gamblers points which would have sent Otterpop 3.0 right into a tizzy then and there, but this Otterpop just trucked along, maybe didn't get the gamble, but still.

Did you hear me out there? About all I could ever exclaim was, "Otterpop I am So Proud of You!" Over and over, run after run. I am so not a screamer when I run Pop. More like a chatterer of words of love. She has to feel the love when she runs. Lots of Q's, her first super Q, second in the Grand Prix. Won a standard. Flew around the Steeplechase finals, even though Jack the sheltie beat her by a good chunk of seconds. But hello. Otterpop in Steeplechase Finals? Right? Yep, because it's Otterpop 4.0. Never got tired, always happy to go out and run. Maybe is like how you feel when you win a Pulitzer Prize. Your kid graduates medical school and moves to Africa to stop aids. David Lee Roth picks you out of the groupie lineup. Whichever. How I felt after every time Otterpop tried her hardest and told me she never wants to stop.

3 comments:

cedarfield said...

Whoo-hooo, Otterpop! You go, girlie!

Elayne said...

I'm glad you went to the trial, hard as it is life should indeed go on. We had to put our 17 year old cat down right before leaving for USDAA Nationals and the trip was a good distraction.

Your weekend sounds just like mine, some good stuff, some weird stuff and trouble with the table.

Elf said...

I saw a couple each of Ruby's and Otterpop's runs and Otterpop was certainly the show-stealer this weekend. Congrats, 'Pop!

-ellen