23 March 2009

Diary of a Dog Show

Sunday morning, 3:30am
My super punctual alarm clock in my brain goes off. Unfortunately it is SO super punctual that it is one hour early.

I am just awake now so I get up early before the real alarm goes off because what the hell. It is super windy and stormy outside so since I have to drive all the way to Santa Rosa might as well leave early so I can drive nice and slow since all my timing of how fast I can get to dog show places is based on flat out, manic speeding.

I let the dogs outside and only 2 dogs come back inside. One dog is doing insane monkeybarkscream outside for the enjoyment of my once sleeping neighbors and clearly has some kind of animal in his sights.

The monkeybarkscreams are now coming from not in the yard but down the block. FYI, I have a nice fence that no dog has ever jumped over. But I am pretty sure this is what happened since when I was hissing so whisper soft yet pissed off at him to stop screaming and come in I could see him frantically boinging up and down trying to get whatever critter he was trying to get at.

Have you ever had to stand in the pouring rain, nicely trying to get your dog to come back in from the neighbor's yard, when that dog is totally sure now he is in super big trouble and wants to stay in the neighbor's yard and also is where CAT is? Before you have drunk any coffee? Have you? HAVE YOU? Do I just have totally bad dogs? And the neighbor's light switches on?

We are on the road. With unmatching socks on and let me just tell you now. I have not wiped my frown upside down. It is very frowny and I am saying bad words under my breath and I am wet.

I have all these super profound thoughts and good ideas yet cannot jot them down due to the driving fast on freeway in the dark on wet roads issue. They are promptly all lost as soon as I pull into the fairgrounds.

We are having a nice walk under not raining sky when there is a super loud gunshot noise from the air and Ruby goes into complete and utter fireworks mode. Crap. Poor Ruby. Why does everything have to happen to Ruby?

All 3 dogs have done their first run! All nice and prompt and they all kind of run one after another. Let's see. How do I describe their runs? Let's see if this is a good description. At 9am on Sunday, I decide I will quit agility and perhaps even starting now and just drive home and I will become an artist again and just spend all my time in my garage painting deers and so forth like I used to before I started all this dog training nonsense.

Perhaps we backtrack.

Otterpop is acting bizarre and bratty when we play frisbee and won't bring it back and is just being a dirty old switch. Hag. She seems happy and excited besides that and is tugging ringside and all jazzed to go and as soon as we step across that magic colorful tape strung between fence posts into the magical land known as The Ring, she just shuts down and I do like 3 obstacles and am like screw this, Otterpop. This is not fun for either of us and you can just go sit in the car. The dog likes agility everywhere and playing and barking and having fun EVERYwhere except in this ring at this moment and I am just like fuggit.

Ruby has a run and it is kind of all over the place, although she does seem sound and not crashing through all the jumps or refusing the a-frame or poles which is the red flag but we have about a zillion off courses and a backjump and just mayhem. Her timing is weird, that makes my timing weird which turns my handling to a puddle of melting poop. I mean, I am like, shaking my head and wondering how it got to and that just makes it worse and it's just a really bad run.

Gustavo goes out and just starts screaming around this course like he has been shot out of a bazooka, and weave poles? Hello, goodbye aloha adios and he is screaming off to the tunnel and you are supposed to do a table to stop the clock but he is gone like a flash out of the ring at the end instead and what just happened?

NQ stands for Not Quitting agility. Also No Q. But at least now we're not quitting and skulking around making new wrinkles. Although I break all these CPE rules because really, CPE is sort of retarded and I just don't know the rules that well. Such as in the class Fullhouse, it is not just getting a million points like gamblers with Otterpop who is running ok-fine now, and there are certain obstacles such as jumps you need 3 of and oh well because I did a bunch of tunnels and poles and contacts. And Ruby does this one and I do actually do jumps with her however when you stop the clock by landing on the table in CPE, if your dog skids off of it because it's like 4" high, DON'T put your dog back on in their down which is an automatic reflex, because you will be disqualified. The judge taps me on the shoulder and calls me "Miss" to tell me this in sort of a pissy, passive aggressive way. Oh hell, CPE. I didn't mean to! And Gustavo goes screaming around his standard run but the poles are off the a-frame and they are just not happening. There are only 6 of them, and he is blowing by and blowing in and then they are done and you know what, I just moved on rather than make a thing. But good startline and contacts and everything else.

I run leashes for an hour and am impressed by Karey and Katrina's ability to time, scribe and nonstop chitchat running commentary the whole time. Also I notice hardly any dogs can get into those 6 poles off that a-frame at this level. Also I see the cutest dog in the world which is a border collie and a wirey, scruffy terrier and has an awesome handler and too bad she isn't my best friend and can help me train my dogs.

I learn a lot about motorhomes and allergies and how everyone is like, yeah bummer about those weave poles, bummer about weird ring psychological phobia issues but doesn't have any like instant, fast magical ways to fix those things in the next 5 minutes.

Gustavo has another super run but that has an off course, surprise, tunnel. No more weave poles in any of his courses. Otterpop has 2 mediocre runs, Colors and this other one, Wildcard, which is sort of like colors but different. They're sort of uninspiring to run but I am trying my hardest, and Otterpop is just so so. Pops out of some weave poles. So not Otterpop. She is just having a really off day. And this is CPE with the nice, space allowing judges. Ruby gets one of her stupid Colors Q's though on this 9 obstacle course. It takes like 10 seconds to run. She actually likes stuff like that and zips around.

Last frisbee game of the day because Gustavo had a really good run. Yeah, there were no poles. And it was one of those dumb short ones. But it was a really good run. I used a really long leadout and picked the option that seems hardest for him. He handles it beautifully. He just needs like a whole day of classes to take the edge off. And since Otterpop is being weird and hoarding the frisbee, him and Ruby are yucking it up with a tree branch and it's nice for them to play while Fatty just lays there and chews the corner of her frisbee off, giving stink eye to everybody. Not sure what claw scraped up her craw today but hopefully Seether goes back in it's box soon.

We are outta there. I didn't help pack the trailers because I am a bitch. I never checked anyone's Q's and stuff. But I do know Ruby should have gotten one on that Colors. Everyone had some Q's I guess but most of the runs, really, pretty flawed.

Lumpy Father Serra points out to me, Go the Coast Route, so we turn down and take the scenic ocean way home. Driving from Santa Rosa, wow. Beautiful landscape everywhere, was clear in San Francisco and beautiful and one of those we are so lucky to live here moments the whole drive. Also there was no traffic which helps make you feel all warm and fuzzy over our insane property taxed landscape.

As soon as Gustavo can somehow see oceans and beaches out of his crate window, monkeyscreaming ensues. I find that I can quell it by singing along with the O Brother Where Art Though soundtrack using a lot of hillbilly inflection.

He stops so I quick find a beach I can take him to for a reward for being quiet. There's one, a nice steep path down a pullout I've never been to. A passel of German tourists explain to me in sign language and their english and my german that I have to use a rope to scale the cliff. My german consists of english with what are hopefully not obscene hand gestures. Back up to the car we go. I should mention I'm wearing clogs and it's muddy.

Davenport Landing Beach. Gustavo being good, let all the dogs out there to run. They run promptly up to a group of pot smoking hobo picnickers and try to eat their picnic. I am able to divert them and throw sticks for a while and they have a good run.

We are Home.


Anonymous said...

It's funny how TSD can make a day that might *seem* to any sane person like a Q-A day, actually seem to *you* and many others (you know who you are) like a totally NQ-A day you are really sorry you missed. (Perhaps a career change to PR person for AIG, Laura?)

I did clean the refrigerator as responsibly planned on a non-agility weekend now that I am very rationally only going to USDAA trials in the area this year, thus alienating all my ASCA friends [sic]. I'll admit it felt good to take *all* the shelves out and scrape away months-old dessicated vegetable matter left over from when we subscribed to Two Small Farms and sometimes got kind of frightening produce that got sort of pushed back to where no one looks in the refrigerator. Anyway, I felt good about that clean refrigerator--until I read about the adventures of the team and about K&K's, yes, miraculous, multi-tasking abilities, and *especially* when I saw that trailer with the colostomy bag. Can we go with you next time?

vici whisner said...

Thanks for making the mondane exciting. I LOVE the trailer pick!

4am, dog barking, won't come back, neighbors yard, lights turn on, been there...makes me want to become a non dog person (for about 10 minutes).

Elf said...

I can't believe you did this! Did you see me sitting in my chair scribbling time-stamped notes all weekend on my purple pad?! Except I ended up with 6 pages so I'm going to have to do a little editing--

team small dog said...

I didn't have a pen so my items were all mentally time stamped! But at least I remembered to bring a camera. Since I was busy chasing Gustavo down the street instead of packing stuff to leave I forgot stuff like a pen. So I am admitting now. Maybe the times are not totally accurate of when stuff happened but all events are! The Germans really wanted me to climb down the cliff on a rope with 3 small dogs. Or else they were saying to not do it.

That trailer was pulled by a car exactly like mine! But the colostomy bag disturbing enough that maybe I see that I do not need a cute trailer of my own. If cute trailer owner comes on this website, maybe they can provide info as to what comes out side of trailer in a hose into a plastic bag. I am nearly an expert now after learning much about them on Sunday but apparently there are many things I do not know.

Anonymous said...

The colostomy bag is for dishwater or what is known as "gray water". Not to gross. If you get a trailer that is self contained, all the gray and black water are in holding tanks that need to be dumped at rv dump stations. We've had two trailers... Mr. Krusty and Mr. Notsokrusty:) I love staying on site!