24 January 2009

Total Cheap-o Agility.

So maybe some of you are feeling the economy hit. Even if you're not laid off, for every person that gets laid off, some of us that aren't laid off sort of get laid off. The trickle down. Maybe people who can't afford to ride horses anymore should all come out and take dog agility lessons on Wednesday night? Trickle, trickle, trickle.

In the meantime.

We cut back, we cut out, chop, chop, chop. We make choices. What do you do when John Doe and Exene and the Knitters are playing at a tiny club early on a Sunday evening for old people but charging $20? Augh. The choices. Having a personality which makes me hate shopping helps, but somehow there is still much money needed every month for stuff. Repeat after me. No new tattoos. Trickle, trickle, trickle from Madoff to Silicon Valley to Horse Trainers to Tattoo Artists. It's just freaky times right now. Where talking about the economy is the new weather chit chat.

Dog agility? I think I was already doing on the cheap, pretty much. But we are tightening all the hatches big time right now, so I have to make agility even cheaper. No money costing hobbies for me. Let's pinch agility pennies here.

Pinch One: Lessons. I have had to cut out my once-ish monthly, to sort of every other month, to sort of no lessons with Jim. Does this affect our agility skills? Yes. Bummer, man. Just have to try harder when we practice, and be better observer and learn a lot by watching others. I am staring at YOU, super world champion. Am lucky to still be able to run my dogs in Rob's class on Wednesday nights when I teach, which is good practice but a busy group run through is not the same thing as an intensive lesson. Sorry mad skilz of Gustavo.

Teaching my own class definitely makes taking a class possible, so am grateful for Wednesday nights. I may not the best agility teacher in the world, but my students seem to like it and end up ok, hopefully not scarring them in any way and I make sure everybody has a good time. I would say my teaching style is Greg Derrett Lite Except with New Names for Things In a Screechy Way. Dumbo Ride Arm. Stop In The Name of Love Hand. Need to keep recruiting more new people to agility, to keep our classes nice and full! We have other teachers like Rob and Dee who are actually highly knowledgeable and did you know I was going to be doing a sales pitch here?

Pinch Two: Practicing. Am super lucky to rent my friend's field to practice on and use her fabulous stuff, but have had to make some cutbacks here little bit due to the renting part involves money. What's a girl to do? Basically let the dogs run amuck in the forest and the beach. Lazy and free. Helping agility? Uh, makes them fast but not sure how much good focus and training skills we build out there in nature, actually let's call it unbuilding. Oops. Use the contact trainer in the driveway! There is that old tried and true method called lug the crap to the park on day off. Augh. Very cheap though and tones yer arms.

Pinch Three: Trials. So just going to one day of multi day trials, a good start. Yes, I have fewer Q's than you but well, it's the journey right? Slower to get a lot of letters to go in front of each dog's name. I also enter fewer classes on that one day. Haven't been entering everybody in everything. Three dogs x full day of entries = holy cow. So Ruby, just a couple things. Gustavo, a couple things. Otterpop, maybe a few more than anyone else. Harder to get our letters? Yep, but again, journey, kittens. Think of the motel fees you save. Haven't started sleeping in the car yet. Just not going to go there. Occassionally splurge for that one night in Motel 6. Usually just drive in the dark a lot.

Most trials, have important yet time consuming jobs that you can do to earn some free entries. Do I do these? No. Should I? Yeah, but hard to do in one day and also the stress of running multiple dogs and working every second would make me hate trialing, thus what are we talking about here? Kudos to the hard job workers and you have cheaper entries! I am more of a volunteer worker at the gate or running around setting bars out there. Doesn't pay anything, but I like to help but I like to like agility too. But a hard job is a good thing to do and get a free entry. For you.

Pinch Four: Training books, videos, dvd's? Ha. Never really spent anything on this pinch, so there, money very saved! If you like reading books and watching dvd's to educate yourself then you are a better and smarter person than me. Not hard to do. And, if you are a member of a dog club, maybe they have a library. Bayteam and Smart do. You can borrow a lot of training stuff there. Which I have, and tried to watch dog training dvd's except they generally made me want to rip my eyeballs from my skull. So saving lots of money here!

Pinch Five: Buying dog crap. I don't buy much for my dogs. They get teensy scraps of string cheese from Trader Joe's. Big pack that lasts weeks, $2.99. Have a bunch of crates that I've collected over the years, and they enjoy old saddle pads as beds. Those flying squirrel frisbees work surprisingly well even as a scrap of plastic tube and orange tattered dirt fabric. And yeah. They are teensy, tiny dogs. Eat less, tear up stuff less, smaller stuff. Thanks dogs, for not growing beyond 14lbs. Really people. They are dogs. Do we follow the Clean Run chatter? Do we need all these dog accessories? I know. Trickle, trickle, trickle. But my dogs just gonna play with a damn pinecone.

Pinch Six: Barter, trade, and sell. You buy my drawings, I go to dog show. Buy some shirts, you are stimulating my economy. Once I'm stimulated, maybe I stimulate yours. Trickle, trickle, trickle.


Anonymous said...

And if Arnie settles this budget in a POSITIVE way for schools, maybe I can join your Wednesday class with Kacie and make a little trickle come your way. She needs more classes and a good instructor like you. Trickle, trickle....

Anonymous said...

ANd I'll remember to always bring tissues so I can mop up after my allergies and my front crosses won't be late.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

You teach a Stop In the Name of Love hand in your class? Man, I wish I could take agility from you. Our instructor does the Throw Them Into The Deep End of the Pool and Yell at Them For Having No Clue What To Do Method of instruction. Yeesh.

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