02 January 2009

A very nice way to get pesky dogs to sleep away the afternoon.

I had this old friend, you may remember, it's name was dog agility. Like some other old friends, whose names may also be Joel Warner or We are Buying a Ranch, it vanished away, like Oprah's size 6, into the night. Never to be heard from again. But not willing to let this one get away, last couple days we found some time to get out to the practice field before work. Slow days at work, this week of old year and new year sandwiched next to each other so close, like beer friends nestled together in their 6 pack, not realizing the significance a digit makes when it swaps up one, trade an 8 for a 9 and instantly, everything is shinier and brighter, promise looking you head on like that wrong way deer in the freeway that you are Just. About. To. Smash.

Didn't really know what to expect, as I was unlocking the rusty old gate. Can't even recall last time me and the dogs went out for a practice. Who would remember any skills and style and flair? Well, wasn't really that bad. A little bit of mayhem, everyone obsessed with a patch of the field that smelled like fresh ground tenderloin, but after that, we all had some fun. Although. A few weeks of not running around with multiple dogs 3-4 days a week, took it's toll. I knew right away. Felt this big sloshing gut, lumbering out of shape legs, barely slogging through the wet grass. The sheep across the pasture, could certainly hear my heavy, sweatin' with the oldies breathing, each time I swapped out a dog, ready to run through our loops again. Because what's better to practice, when you're so horribly out of shape, than long loopy sequences around the field perimeter where everyone could get flat out speed to everything out there? For me, times 3. These were days to just practice running and funning.

Gustavo, like our frizzy Richard Simmons, out there wall bouncing manic in a star spangled leotard, remembered poles, and remembered contacts. A feat that impressed me to no end. Had some trouble hitting entrances on poles, coming in at the second pole a few times, but really stayed in there and fast and confident and slowly erasing those months when I thought I could never teach this one how to swiggle through those plastic poles. He got the most run arounds the field, was on border collie setting and he never wanted a break. Just back through the sequence, back on that teeter, back through those poles. Wants those lady dogs to run him to the frisbee again and again and again. By the end of it, all my jackety work layers shed across the top of the fence, doubled over, palms on knees, sweat welling up in new folds across new fat places, realized dogs are just fine. They forgot nothing. Me on the other hand? Have some serious holiday cheer to undo.

Later on, we took a real quick run down to the beach to watch the sun drop for it's first time this year. Lots of tourists, lots of dogs, surfers, saxaphone player, and what looked like an ancient old commune on a field trip with their didgeridoo and rabbit fur vests. As we walked back through the nearly dark field, you know who showed up. You know it. I just had to share. I am so totally going to read Moby Dick, once and for all. White truck, white whale, maybe Melville has the answer for me. This time, we all dove into the willow thicket where the creepy men sleep. Clipped on leashes there. Poor Ruby appalled, she is the good dog and she knows that No Dogs Are Every Supposed to Go Here, and is the only dog that every obeys that rule. Sorry Ruby. Because I drug you through the thicket and ran for it this time. Ran for the street as fast as we could, and we made it. I think we're going to be in good shape in no time.


Anonymous said...

"...sweat welling up in new folds across new fat places..."

Ewww..Laura, I thought this was a family show.

Double S said...


I can relate to your newly-folded fleshiness... normal, udderly normal for this time of year. The 8 changing to the 9 should put your astrological house in order and help you to reorganize/restyle/reduce the folds. So that you can go from an origami crane to a smooth piece of paper. Go for more dog agility and ranger outrunning, and cut your grain intake by a quart or two. That's my plan anyway... my "diet Nazi" will be taking up residence on my shoulder Jan 5, 2009. Not sure what's worse, the folds or the german accent.

team small dog said...

I promise to not eat any more Trader Joe's chocolate covered pretzels. Starting really soon.