13 April 2009

Cheap Trick Demolition Derby and what falls in between.

You know, usually I don't lose my temper about stuff my dogs do. I chalk it up to bad dog training and really fast squirrels and try to move on. But sometimes, sometimes, Otterpop makes me so crazy my brain explodes. Usually because her brain has just exploded. And then I had this Easter Sunday Religous Epiphony. It's payback. Otterpop is payback. The baby Jesus up in heaven, of Easter bonnets and bunnies and people not in league with the devil spending the day in church, on their knees, repenting, decided that Otterpop is payback for everything I ever did to my parents to make their brains explode.

"Ha HA," Says the baby Jesus, in whatever language he speaks, sitting up there in heaven in a giant sea shell, big pink polyester bunny ears perched up on his head. "We give HER, an Otterpop."

We drove up to Dixon Sunday morning, dark o'clock. Stopped and picked up a carpool buddy in San Jose and yacked her ear off, jacked up on 3 big cups of coffee. Sorry Derede. The way I am at 5am not how I am usually during working hours. Got to the dog show for the last day. Everyone else staggering around like zombies, already shown 3 whole long days in the rain and wind. Big dog show, 4 rings stretched out across a fairground grassland, with everyone running in all the rings. Usually at the same time. It's one of those shows. As I frolick out of the car in the sun, I see lots of my friends sort of dragging around and bags under their eyes and seems like I just walked into Michael Jackson's Thriller dance. If the dancers are mostly over age 40 ladies and gentlemen in fleece and spandex and slightly muddy pants, trotting as only zombies can, back and forth from Ring 2 to 4 to 3 to 1.

I know. Boring, boring, boring. Because you really wanted to know that indeed, Gustavo did weave poles. And contacts. And startline stays. And no blind crosses. First pole attempt was a drive-by, second attempt drive-by, then he saw them and flew in and Aloha, poles. Although they were at the almost end of the course and the sheer joy of the moment shook my body as if spirt posessed and sakes alive, if I didn't throw him in an off course tunnel at the very end. So no Standard Q for him.

After his run, super tall Kevin with the super fast border collies told me it looked like I was running him so careful to direct every move he made(I was) and just let loose! Run him hard! He's a man! He can do it.

Since I'll take advice from basically anyone that offers it, I tried that on his next run. I ran him hard and we ran so hard I saw the a-frame but he didn't and he ran right around it. Twice. Oops. And didn't get the last jump of a pretty darn easy gamble because of, what I think the technical term is, "Handler Nearly Falling Down on the Line due to Total and Complete Spaz Attack."

After that run, my friend Vici comes over and says, "He's just is watching you, running, and not looking where he's going." Yeah, like not even looking at the giant blue and yellow plywood behemouth right in front of your face. Crud. So much for just letting loose. So we just have a lot of bugs to work out. Keep throwing that advice out, bad or good, I'll try anything with him. He's not in a class very often, so if you're a good handler and you tell me it would help to run him wearing evening wear and a tiara, I'll try it.

He did march around in pairs for the first time, nice and tired, and picked up a Q there. We ran with our friend Vici and her super amazing black and white starters sheltie and Gustavo just acted like it's totally normal for him to stay in a down and act calm while a super fast black and white dog runs around the agility course. Where that came from, I dunno. The last run of the day thing helped a lot. Maybe he's semi trained and I just forget. But totally used good, non border collie chasing manners out there.

Ruby, had an ok day. A couple bar crashes. Refused the a-frame in her first class and hit a bar, and I just ran her again. I don't think she was lame. Just weirdo. But I never know. Ran her in Standard later on, no problem at the a-frame, but one HARD crash with a bar, then a drive-by at the teeter, took a moment to sniff around then finished up. Lame or just weirdo? i can't tell. She was running fast. Wanted to get out there, just like she used to. Just crashy. And weirdo. She's a mystery to me. I always say that. I don't care. She's my super good citizen among dogs. If she is weirdo at agility, then fine. Be weirdo. She can have a Rimadyl when we get home and lay in her bed with a chewie.

Otterpop. To her credit, had a fast and honest pairs run, with a questionable yet legal teeter, but her partner had some kind of mishap out there so I don't think we Q'ed. An ok Gamblers, with a totally do-able gamble, where I didn't hear the buzzer go off and sort of floundered a couple extra obstacles KNOWING the buzz should have buzzed, then finally gave the judge this sort of LOOK, and she was like, yep, that was yer buzzer. Like 5 minutes ago. Crap. Maybe now that I need glasses I can't hear either. Sent her in across the line way too late and that's how it goes. Being the easiest Master's Gamble in like a year. Later a couple people told me that the quiet buzzer problem had been happening. So don't have to go to the hearing aid store this morning. Although do need another pair of glasses.

Standard though, brain explosion. For us both. A lot of confusion at the gate, changing of orders, no one really knew when anyone was running. This is a tough show like that. Hard to make it so everyone doesn't all run at the same time, but also have to keep things running. I had a little dog assembly line to run Otterpop, Ruby, and Hobbes one right after each other and was late because also had to run Gustavo in a far, far away ring at the same time. So got to that gate, they told me Ruby would be up. Ran to wake her up from her nap under the trees. Brought her to the gate, someone said, "That's Otterpop, right?"

Augh. Run back get her. Hand Ruby off to the first taker that would take her. This is not protocall according to Otterpop. Not at all. Otterpop needs things by the book. Never, ever, ever break protocall. Or else. Protocall is that everyone waits their turn in the x-pen. Always. And this breach involves Ruby over there, getting fed treats by our nice friend Mardi, and Otterpop sees this, and I see it.

The Black Cloud. Seether. Ugly Genie has popped the bottle. She goes to the dark side. Right as she walks in the ring.

Stink eye, hackles, ears alert, and everything about her tiny little meatloaf shaped body says, "My brain is starting to Explode."

I know what I should have done. Excused her then and there, fix the dark side, don't worry about agility when the Seether is out. Don't let the brain actually explode.

But I don't.

My brain explosion is all, Dog Agility! Must Run the Dog Agility! Even if it's with SEETHER!

And then her brain explosion tells her RUN!

However, not run dog agility but run out of the ring to GET Ruby. At least does not go GET Ruby, but must monitor her and not do agility when there is monitoring to be done and we are doing things not according to The Way Otterpop Likes them Done. I capture her, I'm already super late to the ring, judge is cranky. I have PAID for this run, I am doing my best here, but I am not keeping things rolling along and Otterpop is Seether and that's just how that run ended. At the beginning.

I am livid. With Otterpop. Who is evil, but also can't help it if she can't deal with things not in the protocall. Rain man. I think I stomp my feet and curse the day Otterpop is born. Am not thanking baby Jesus for bringing her into my life and am wishing she was a Cadbury Creme Egg instead. Maybe I say some bad words and Otterpop's name is sort of wedged in there with them. Which you are not supposed to do at dog agility, only when they run away to eat piles of Burger King trash in the field. Start juggling dogs again, she ends up with someone else, I find Ruby, somehow pass off dogs so Ruby and Hobbes can do their runs. Hobbes got a Q, at least, and that was Ruby's big crash run. Otterpop unseethes on her own, and then I have become Seether because I am the dog trainer and shouldn't I be training my dog's brain to NOT explode instead of just letting it happen?

Um, so actually was sort of a fun dog show. Even though I whinge and complain and used a potty mouth. And also we got home really early and Gary made us blueberry pancakes.


Elf said...

I've been trying for years to put my finger on what it is that people look like during the first walk-through of the day, and ta-da! you nailed it. Thriller. Who'd a thunk it?

Muttsandaklutz said...

The Thriller reference was hilarious!

I totally sympathize with you about Gustavo's offcourse tunnel. One of my dogs has weave issues so if it's a clean run up to the weaves and he weaves all the way through to the end, I end up in a state of shock, completely useless for the next five seconds. Which means we're in deep doo-doo if there's any kind of actual handling required at that point...

Anonymous said...

now super tall kevin has to defend himself: (by creating reasonable doubt :) )

"I ran him hard and we ran so hard I saw the a-frame but he didn't and he ran right around it."

It looked to me like Goo saw the aframe both times, but consciously decided against taking it.

Has that happened before? Maybe he knew it would slow him down, in terms of staying with you if you're going fast?
Maybe try to replicate it. Are you normally behind more when he gets to the aframe? is it the same whether you're ahead or behind? Can you call him over the aframe standing on far side?

I thought both runs I saw looked pretty good. Be like Ashley and Luka. Channel that!

team small dog said...

Hello Super Tall Kevin!

Hmm. Vici thought it looked like he was just watching me. Kevin thinks it looked like he saw it and just decided to just run around it. Rob was like, how come he did that?

I dunno! It's not something he does on a normal basis so that's a good idea to try and see if I can make it happen again. This week will be a-frame experiment week. Vici took a video so I will study this and report back.

Trial and error.

Yes, we want to be just like Ashley and Luka! We have been trying to channel them for years!

Alaska said...

I can't decide which I like better: the image of Laura as Ashley; or the image of Gustavo as Luka. Oh wait, maybe it's Laura as Luka and Gustavo as Ashley...yes, that must be it.

Elayne said...

I'm trying to get my head around the fact that Cheap Trick are still doing concerts.

team small dog said...

Right! Even Gustavo doing weave poles pales in comparison to Cheap Trick at the Dixon Fairgrounds. One day the grass for dogs, one day for Cheap Trick. I wonder if they are old and fat and need hearing aids and reading glasses and still sing Mommy's Allright?