15 December 2008

Why the leopard doesn't change it's stripes when the pot is calling a kettle black in the forest for the trees.

So the biggest highlight of our long weekend, visiting the dogs' best friend Cole down in Marin on Sunday night. He is short, same size as the small dogs. He is a very fast runner. He loves flashlights. Basically one of them. Cole spent the evening training them and feeding them about 20lbs of dogfood doing so. And running through the house for 2 hours. Dogs never wanted to leave. Want to go live with Cole now.

And on Saturday night, we all stayed in a Motel 6 that had 2 beds. With a moat between them. Filled with diseased indoor outdoor carpeting. Dual Bed Moat should be an agility obstacle some day, maybe NADAC has this one already? Because leaping back and forth between beds with tragically patterned bedspreads, never gets tiring. Kind of like a treadmill. You think dogs are tired from all day and into the night agility, but there is enough energy to leap back and forth and back and forth for hours. For 2 dogs. Ruby, sound asleep under the leaping.

So our long trial, various highlights and lowlights. Like Christina Aguilera's post partum hair. Lessons learned? One, Ruby and Otterpop love agility. They hate trials and the stress and strain holding together their personalities requires for extended periods of time. 2 days of dog show in tight quarters, only so much holding together they can do. Two, people that live in glass houses, not nice to throw rocks. Three, Gustavo is super cute until it's raining.

Let's observe.

Highlight-What a pleasant brisk and sunny Saturday!

Lowlight-Is this stuff ice? Are those my teeth chattering? Where are my fingers? Who is going to clean out the inside of my soaking wet and muddy car today?

Highlight-Nice covered place to park and let dogs sleep away the day in their comfortable car crates, instead of in the loud and freezing and cramped covered arena. Much exercise for me running to the arena and to the car, to the arena and to the car. Much like Motel 6 bed leaping game, except farther and wetter.

Lowlight-Ruby, first thing on Saturday morning, climbed out of her Susan Garrett Crate Games™ warm bed, dug through my purse, and ate a ziploc bag full of all their treats for the weekend. 2 days x 3 dogs worth of delicious treats.

Highlight-Seemed to make her pretty fast Saturday morning.

Lowlight-Sugary, carby treat high seemed to not keep working as the weekend wore on.

Highlight-Otterpop's Saturday Team events. She was fast and holding it together and the sun was out and she could spend some time out of the crowds running around on a big field. Which always helps keep her sane. Which helps her knock out speedy runs, getting lots of points. Always right up there in her placings.

Lowlight-No Team Q for Saturday. Teammates, various degrees of success. That's how it goes on Team. Mary did a fine job! Other teammate, some big weave pole issues, mainly that she couldn't do them, so some big E's there.

Highlight-Ruby's Saturday Team member. Ruby on a "Special" Team, for Special dogs. Her teammate Tazz, stayed consistent and steady and was a huge contributor to their Team Q. Thanks Tazz!

Lowlight-Ruby wasn't so much bad, we just didn't really have it together. She ran fine. Just a little erratic. 5 faulty. Some bars, some weirdnesses, when she was good, I would pull a bad handling thing causing a snooker issue. That kind of day. Nothing bad, just nothing great.

Highlight-Gustavo! Beautful jumpers run, beautiful Steeplechase. Incredible times, and just incredible to run with him. He was trying his absolute hardest, and gave those runs everything he had. Because he just loves it so much. Having a dog like him, who tries so hard, who runs so fast, and who is so sweet and kind, I can't believe how lucky I am to have found him. I will remember that I wrote that down next time he is screaming his head off at feral cats at work and border collies running in the ring.

Highlight yet Lowlight-In Steeplechase, fast a-frame to poles. He missed the entry, entered at the second pole, then flew through them. Usually in Steeplechase you would pull them out and restart the poles. He had plenty of time, he ended up with the fastest time of all the little dogs. But I just couldn't do it to him because I could tell he was trying his hardest to get in those poles and do a good job. So just went on and he didn't qualify for the finals. So was a letdown to not have all 3 of them in the finals. I really wanted him to make it there with them on his first time in Steeplechase. I know. He's a baby. I compare him to my friends' baby dogs who have super stars and that's a lot of pressure and expectation. Sorry Gustavo. You do your best and I am SO HAPPY with that.

Lowlight-Gustavo's Gamblers. Felt like the honeymoon, done. Oh my god. I think I may have a video of this. Broke start. Hit the contact but not in a trained way on the dogwalk. Freaked out at something at the end of the arena, spooked like a naughty pony, came running across the ring. Did do weave poles. Did get the gamble. Just felt like I was running a completely untrained dog around out there. He was really different in that arena and unfocused. Otterpop had problems out there too, which you will learn about. Don't know. If they were ponies, I would for sure say it was some tents selling stuff like dog sweaters and lamb livers and sweatshirts with poodles. Always get the horses. The dogs, I dunno what they're freaking out about. But definitely deer in the headlights moment with a bolt. Poor little buddy. Just wasn't a confident and beautiful run like his others have been.

Highlight-Ruby and Otterpop with their nice Steeplechase runs. Ruby, even with a bar, had a great time and made the finals. She loves Steeplechase Round 1. Otterpop, great speedy time! She loves Steeplechase Round 1. I wish there was Sunday Steeplechase more often because it's all of our favorite thing to run. So fast!

Lowlight-You know we are cursed in Steeplechase Finals. Unless I'm running Hobbes, who ran with his actual owner all weekend. I just gave him treats. Maybe was a highlight that Gustavo not exposed to the curse? Ruby, I just scratched. The pressure of 2 days of agility just seemed to have unraveled her. Pulled her out of Grand Prix already that day due to unspeakably bad flinging herself over jumps, sniffing dirt and refusing an a-frame. Steeplechase, was very end of the day. She didn't have to run. Let her sleep it off.

Otterpop. Oh boy. I can see her just losing it on Sunday. Raining. Can't be away from other dogs and the dreaded People Wearing Raincoats With Hoods EVERYWHERE. She is on edge all day. Weird things like slamming on brakes mid weave poles when at scary end of arena, deer in headlights. Big spooky moments. A judge barking moment, but in pairs so I didn't pull her because of poor innocent pairs partner. Most places, she kept it together and kept running which I know she does for me and only me when she's like that. Love of agility has worn thin by the stress of it all.

Before Steeplechase finals, she seemed a little manic and unglued. Not a good thing to have building up in an Otterpop.

But our agility friend is the judge! Wow! A plus, someone she knows out there in the ring. She needed something though, and it was a big truck speeding by the ring almost at the end of her run. Oh man. Off she goes, tearing across the ring towards the truck, barking her head off, just completely reverting back to Otterpop From the Side of the Road the Evil Truck Chaser dog. Reverting to her roots. Leopard doesn't change spots. Stress does that. At least didn't actually run out of ring to road and all the way to Eureka after the truck. I wasn't very sympathetic. I think yelled at her and marched her out of there. Not a nice moment for either of us.

So there you go. Some Q's, some not Q's. Some good runs, some bad runs. And one car full of wet and dirt and mud just sitting there in the driveway with my name on it.


vici whisner said...

Highlight: Watching Gustavo "goo" Harwick running courses with Joy.

Highlight: Getting that DAM Team "Q" outta the way...now if we want, we can go to Nationals.

Highlight: Getting back to the hotel and turning on the heat.

Laura P and I left early. It was nice to get home, but sad to miss a couple runs.

Thanks again Laura for being my team mate!

Anonymous said...

I saw Goo's Jumpers run and one other run this weekend. He looked so good!

He is so darn cute...I could just eat him with a spoon! If he ever goes missing, um, don't look in my van. Really, he won't be there. Yep, I'm sure he won't be there. Don't even bother looking...really....