23 February 2009

You knew we would go to the dog show.


I realized that the gnarled, twisty branches on all the blowing trees you see in Elk Grove are the same ones in the Headless Horseman stories. Like horrible, bony fingers lifting up to snatch bats and babies out of swampy gray air and stuff them down into muddy, soupy squirrel holes where things with teeth live who eat babies and bats. Even the palm trees sprouting up every few acres have an eerie twist towards the gray, just to make sure you get it. You are not by the beach anymore. This is land where the tornado could whip across any time, and throw us all across 100 miles of field. This is hard land. Not for sissies. This is land for someone who packs their own booze in an army canteen, smokes Marlboro reds outside the motorhome, and not afraid to get their hands good and dirty.


I set the alarm for 4:30am and I did wake up and drag the dogs into the car and drive out there. Packed nothing but a sandwich, some pop tarts, some dog string cheese, and a parka. Seems like we escorted the storm right to the muddy parking lot of the old rodeo building, and goretex shoes? Ha HA! I spit buckets of brown oozy water on your, goretex. Nothing holds the rains back and spent the day with wet dogs and and wet car and wet legs and wet toes. Wet with a layer of mud coating everything.


Ruby, spent the day snoozing away in her crate. Really doesn't seem to mind not having a turn. Although Ruby's not exactly an open book. Never know quite what that one is thinking. So she could mind, and just shows you by taking a nap. It definitely makes me sad to not run Ruby. Especially at the CPE, because she still aspires towards Miss Fried Okra County Fair. She used to shine at CPE like a sparkling red rock, and now just wants to take a nap. Get well, Ruby, a little bit well. Just to run a little.


Otterpop, shone like a sharp, rusty piece of old tin can, ready and waiting to slice your foot open yet shiney and glinty at the same time. She doesn't like one of the rings in the rodeo building. Never has. A little darker, a little smaller and closed in. And today had a guy in a hoody always behind her to tote her leash across the ring. Hoody guys, pretty much at the bottom of her shit list, in any situation. Somehow she managed and did just fine. But loves the other ring and speeds along at a winnng clip. Had some pretty good runs in the bad ring, had some outstanding runs in the good ring. Although in her Standard run, did the weirdest thing. Was so fast, so confident, so happy, and then runs into a jump on a turn with her chest instead of actually jumping it, knocking the bars, backing up out of the mess and then rejumping it from a standstill. Never seen that one before. Everything OK, Otterpop? In case you were wondering, somehow that equals 10 faults. Not sure how he figured out how to score it, sweet nice judge who is possibly nearsighted on his contact judging. Not that any of MY dogs' were in question, but worked lot of hours in that ring watching contact hitting. But, also keeps his distance from the contacts and so Otterpop happy to have him as her judge.


Gustavo. Hmm. CPE courses at his level, pretty much designed so that even a rabid monkey with brain damage would not fail them. So he had a nice jumpers run, with one hella wide turn, an outstanding jackpot run, with some more wide turns, yet a stunning teeter, yet really crappy weave poles. Ouch. Plenty of points and no problem hitting the gamble though. His dreaded colors run, we picked the Blue Cones, and I set him up, led out past 2 jumps, and he bounced off his startline all on his lonesome. Ouch. This just broke my heart, but whatcha gonna do? Bummer man, and you are not doing that run. Baffled, took him back to the car, and honestly, my heart breaking and cracking the whole way there. Hated to pull him, but you Just. Can't. Do. That. On his last run, a Standard course designed so that blind one-legged rabid monkeys with brain damage could get around safely, I started with him so as not to have the startline debacle rear it's ugly head again, which seemed to confuse him and he ran for a second to the moustached gate guy in the cowboy hat, yellow slicker, with galoshes worn over tights, who announced his name in a booming voice that Gustavo loved, then ran back to me and off he went.


So the dogs were fine, got in some good practice, but wasn't an outstanding day. More of a David Bowie day on the way home in the rain. We were all damp and muddy, and dogs had a whole day of sit in the car except for when they came out to run. Drive in the car, sit in the car, then drive in the car. And drive in the car even more if there is a landslide on Highway 17. Gustavo, who never sleeps, just stares at me from behind my seat. Had enough of car, poor running dog. I at least worked in the building and had many people come up and introduce themselves and tell me the life histories of their dogs. I believe having a Gustavo who is happy to jump up his muddy paws on anyone, most unsubtle ice breaker you could have. I know about your dog now, with his perfect structure. I know about your dog with floppy ears who came from Mexico on Alaska Airlines. I know about your dog who only plays with her toy at home and growls like the dickens. I know a lot about your dogs. I saw some things that make my curdle boil. Some sad, sad handling making for sad, sad dogs. The lady who doesn't want any dogs outside the ring to look at her dog when she's on the startline. Border collie owners, please divert your staring border collie's eyes. A plethora of tiny, hairy pomeranians, who run like the wind on legs the size of chewed up gum wads. Dogs of all shapes and sizes, tough enough to brave the storm and make it home in time for Oscars.

4 comments:

Mary Schultz said...

I just love it when you get all poetical on us.

team small dog said...

Dog agility just makes me gushspeak in prose-ish words. Like I almost described Otterpop slamming into that jump with her chest like a a stripper coming in for a bad pole landing but I was hungry and fixed a bagel instead.

Elf said...

I love a good morning laugh, especially when it's followed up with another one in the comments. When I type "t" into my browser address bar, team small dog fills in automatically and here I am. More addictive than Facebook.

BTW, I read this morning that it was a tree down across 3 lanes of Hwy 17 yesterday. Fun.

And, in closing, I see that my "word verification" word is opopacks. I'll take that to heart.

team small dog said...

Aha, a tree. Yes, when I finally inched by there were many wet people with chainsaws out there. It took me almost one hour from Los Gatos to just past the reservoir. I was not gushspeaking any proseness then. Just trying to drown out the monkey scream Gustavo speak that started at the beginning of traffic jam with Guns and Roses. And wishing I brought extra pop tarts.