06 April 2009

We realize, on a Sunday night, that we are failing miserably.

"Hey Otterpop, is dog agility the new black yet?"

The look says it all.

Not that I put any stock whatsoever in what a 14lb, demented little cattle dog chihuahua thing from hell thinks. Which is likely mostly about getting every tennis ball in the world as she knows it into her fat little posession and laying on top of them in a cool dirt hole. And bacon. And one day biting the blonde mailman with the creepy sunglasses. We all hate that guy though. I think he's in cahoots with the robot mailguy that lives down the block and always looks past me with a vacant gaze when I walk by his house. Which, can I just tell you, is repainted to look like an easter egg from some cartoon duck bad dream.

Not that I'm the kind of person that really thinks my dogs would have an answer to a question like that. I'm pragmatic. Dogs think about dog stuff. Like whether they can run fast enough to reach the carcass before SHE comes running up behind shrieking some crap about "Leave It."

I think about people stuff. Like whether these jeans make my ass look fat and why did I walk around all day with a black dirt smear on my cheek and is it wrong to think about ponies when the job loss rate rises another percentage point?

If dog agility was the new black, we'd be wearing Spring Fashions and handmade asymetrical cut jersey dresses from avant garde Dutch girls' Etsy stores.

It not being the new black, and somehow failing in my mission to draw all of you non agility friends into my agility lair of coolness and fun, somehow gone from bad to worse and yeah. Because not only do these jeans make my ass look fat, somehow they cultivated that mid-drift muffin roll thing between a faded shrinky shirt and weird sale rack waistband of non fitting and wool socks showing under rolled up cuffs and just wearing that now. Just wearing it.

And the socks. Wool. They don't even match. And they are Wool.

I mean really. I'm just wearing it.


Anonymous said...

wow. sounds like you are walking a fine line this morning. the one between i feel good about myself and total meltdown. and AGILITY. which we do "for the dogs." because it is so much FUN for them. even though most of them would be just as, if not more happy running free in the woods mountains beach (fill in your own habitat here.)
and yes, i have both kinds, the one that would kill to run agility with me and the one who does it as a favor to me. all this with the drug free high of how much a great run at a trial can do to improve our self image and the jeans don't look so tight and the roll around the middle? well it just goes away. poof. one good steeplechase rnd 2 run, and it's gone. back to super model flat tummy. ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration but you know what i mean.
that place on the fine line, one side dementors sucking all the joy out of you and on the other, nirvana.
but really, at the end of the day, it's only life. and dog agility. they go hand in hand, foot in mouth.
i'm not sure about the socks thing. i wear wool socks. even in the summer. are you knocking my socks?

Anonymous said...

I've gone down a similar thought stream myself. I think at one time I thought it was possible to convince other people in my life that this thing I was doing with the dogs in my life was somehow noble, yet undiscovered yet by the rest of the known universe.

But over time, I've found that most of the unitiated just still have that blank stare when you try to describe the personal triumphs, pains and joys of dog agility.

To them, it's just some kind of nonsensical way of spending way too much time and money chasing dogs around some silly obstacles.

First question always is, "Do you win any money doing this?"

First reason why anybody would ever do agility, right?

Not sure why winning money is the baseline acceptance factor. Why does no one ask that question when someone shares a love of golf, basketball, scrap booking or other life passion?

Somehow, because it involves "only" dogs, the sport becomes somehow sillier and less deserving, than say, if one were to substituted dogs for a bagful of expensive sticks and a tiny white ball.

I'm also an artist (well, writer) that "went to the dogs" in my own way, but one thing I do know from my former and cooler days.

You can't make anything "trendy".

It has to be discovered on its very own.

It has to rise through the froth and flotsam on its own power at the exactly right point in time. It appears with a certain clarity that causes people to see a kind of truth or undiluted purity in it.

On this count, you and I (and many others) are correct in what we see and feel and believe about the transcendent experience that can be a part of dog agility done right.

But...you can't force it.

It will or it won't. All on its own.

At that time maybe you will be seen as the Bauhaus of that age, and maybe we will all be like those old penniless jazz musicians of the early last century who now seem prescient and timeless.

Maybe there will be a time when the icons of dog agility become design motifs and inspiration for great art, as horses and their world so often have been.

But, I'm pretty for sure that time is not now.

For now, we can only believe our own understanding, and appreciate the veracity of our own experience.

Whatever else there, the truth of what we know about the essence of what we feel to be agility is there.

When you look at the old Jay Sisler videos recently posted on the S.G. blog, you can see that the joy and magic of working well with dogs is actually palpable and perceptable, even across the span of years.

Jay Sisler Part I

Jay Sisler Part II:


team small dog said...

If I'm going to be a penniless jazz musician, I want to be one wearing Jay Sisler's cowboy outfit. He is NOT wearing wool socks with that.

And I am SO going to try to teach my dogs to do a dancing dog twirl when I take off my hat. Holy smokes. He is my new hero.

Anonymous said...

as one of your non agility friends who shies away basically because I could never be cool enough. I would like to say that I love wool socks and wear them all the time. Some things that come from REI outlet sales are o.k.

regardless of agility blah blah blah (which I read like an addict) you are so the coolest. xo.