17 November 2008

USDAA at Turlock, where the cows call home.

Turlock is a funny place, out there in the Central Valley. Full of leaning, damp rotting houses half eaten by trees growing around them. Huge cowlots and swamps with creepy mist and flat places every so often populated by towns and trees. A grove of palm trees, with a falling down barn, pasture horses out on on some dirt. Norteno musica blasting from a house party where the men have stiff black cowboy hats. Old, slow walking guys in rubber boots and coveralls, non ironic and faded trucker hats on their sweaty bald heads.

It's always a weird place to drive to, because on the map, if you could make a straight line from Santa Cruz kinda towards the east, you'd end up in Turlock. But there's no road that goes that way, due to geography and all, so you can drive South like you're driving to LA, then cut North, or drive North like you're driving to Sacramento and then cut South. Either way, takes the same time. Just a weird thing of Turlock. We drove there and back in a day, doing the full loop because that makes it way more exciting.

Running 4 dogs is the funnest thing ever. And very nice for exercising. Especially since 3 of them sitting in my car out in the parking lot not super near a ring. Am too lazy to bring the whole tent thingamajig and accessories. Global warming sent no rain and weirdo hot temperatures but since nearly Thanksgiving still cool enough to just let the dogs chill in their luxury vehicle. Which now has almost 160,000 miles and needs a new radiator and front brakes. I keep thinking of it as the new car. Not so new now. Running 4 dogs meant always in a ring, even though was such a small trial. Sorry my Turlock friends for not lifting very many working fingers. No working fingers. Set one bar somewhere in the day. Was it. Sorry!!! Sorry!!!

So how were the 4 dogs?

Gustavo did weave poles! And had his first run in his long trial history of 4 classes, of not getting a Q. No more Qstavo. In Gamblers. Following in the family footsteps. After a frenetic yet contact hitting and weave pole getting (after a couple of attempts since he was just blasting in too fast and missing the first pole) I sent him in the wrong end of the tunnel. A discrimination in Starters Gamblers! No going easy on the babies with this judge. I liked her courses though. Didn't have a chance. He was just flying like a rocket and just headed into the more convenient end without me up there to show him, since I'm standing behind the pink line. Thankfully, not like Master's Gamblers and not super far away. Got the rest of the gamble just fine though. Was super fast and focusing and did get poles! And a stellar and smoking fast jumpers run without a bobble. So he's moved up to Advanced Jumpers now without ever running a Standard or Snookers or Relay class. In time.

Otterpop had some great runs. A heartbreaking Snookers though, she was the only one in her group to hit all the opening 7's, was making super fast time, and knocked a bar down in the closing. For my dog agility friends, you know what that means. No Super Q. My non dog agility friends, we've been through this. Super Q way better than Super sized Mountain Dew at 7-11. This thing you must have, and can be hard to get. Once again, eluded us like how all my other friends have museum shows and galleries in New York. I sell little drawings for $5 on Etsy. We understand the elusive qualities of things we would like for our life. Was our good and fast Otterpop out there. Had a stink eye peek at the judge from on top of an a-frame at the end of the day, but just peeked then got back to business. Was a very low key, stand back kind of judge. Thanks Judge! I believe won her other classes! With those Q's that you just stack up towards stuff for the future. Not the ones we really want! Elusive.

Ruby had some great runs. Yet another Jumpers Q towards whatever award she's at in Performance when you collect a zillion of those. And yet another Snookers Q. No Super Q for her, because the 7 was poles and a tunnel and she is all about moderation on those poles. But still a great run. Before her last run, she started doing the weird panting she does before an erratic weirdo run. I don't know why, and I'm over trying to figure it out. She starts to pant. I go, "Oh boy. This is gonna be something." People are like, oh, she's hot. Nope. You see the panting, you could get ANYTHNG out there on the course. I still take her out, what the hell, she runs weirdo, and I just pull her off the course. Sore? Tired? Better party to be at? Been there done that? Who knows. Her team name for upcoming team trial is the Bi Polar Express. It's at Christmas time. Her teammate does similar weirdo things sometimes. Maybe they can form a support group. I love Ruby, whatever she decides to do is fine with me. I'm used to her mysterious ways.

Hobbes won his Steeplechase and Standard with me, was perfect with Rob in everything else all weekend. He loves running in Performance jumping 22" now, and a nice low table and lower a-frame. My non dog agility friends, Performance is like the new Black. The new 30. Used to be out of style, no one liked it, old dogs went there for an extra 2 seconds and lower bars. Now EVERYONE is doing it. Lots of awesome dogs in Performance. Ruby moved there a while ago. Hobbes is easing in now. He is happy. We are happy Hobbes is happy. Hobbes is happy to get a chunk of cheese and to go back to sleep. He got his 570th Q this weekend and is now 21st in all time Qing dogs! Hobbes is awesome. Gustavo is hoping to follow in his footsteps. Pretty big footsteps to fill.

And their sidekick. Little Black Beauty, slept in a crate and enjoyed the sunny day. Not a lot of fun for her. Had a playdate with another teensy agility dog that could be her more petite sister with an underbite. Listened to the sound of the freight train and freeway from the car. Was all hyper and nutso when we got home and where we all see cute, hyper chihuahua, I can see Otterpop just get all creepo and cruddy and not happy with her skin. I know I go back and forth on this. Otterpop was doing better, we were the Brady's again and Jan is no longer a teen hooker and Carol Brady invents the shag hair cut and Marcia is content to admire her perfect nose in the mirror. Saw the seether come rattling out though, had to intercept what I know was inteded to be an airstrike on Ruby. After weeks of happy, lovey, no stress dogs again and the way my dogs all used to be. After 2 Sundays of fun dog show, living together in their car crate. Super bummer ending to very fun weekend. All good, everyone happy again, but I don't like seeing this, I know it isn't right.

Isn't there anyone out there, just like me but without an Otterpop, that would love a Black Beauty? We love her. But something still not right with the dynamic and this back and forth thing, wearing me thin. Tough time out there for chihuahuas, thank you Paris Hilton. Rescues full of 'em. This is SUCH A GOOD ONE. Just something about her, hard on our family.


Elf said...

Gustavo was a blast to watch run. Like the wind. And like trying to run the wind in agility, hard to stay on top of, so fast. You guys'll get it, though. He is clearly a Loves Agility dog.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of trials...I hope your trial goes well tomorrow. I know you will make us all proud of you. Try not to channel Otterpop (no stink eye at judge).