04 May 2009

Everything, it's broken.

There's this guy that works at Trader Joe's. He's usually the only check out guy when they first open in the morning, which is the only time I can deal with the irritation called grocery shopping. He's oldish. Wears his pants tight and white and pulled up way past his waist. Hair looks like he stuck a finger in a socket, but it might just be self permed or maybe the fiasco when curly hair is whisper thin and not at all healthy. Leathery old skin and a throaty old voice, and man oh man, is the guy addled. Starts rambling on instead of checking out the food, and one of those food commenters, so will tell you a tail about your cereal or how much he likes tangerines and then that gets him off on a tangent about the cops or local politics that just sounds a little bit off. Leans in a little bit too close, over the cash register, starts throaty loud whispering about aliens and counterfit bills, but not in a good way, if you know what I mean.

i guess it's good he's got a job. Because he seems like a little bit on the verge of living under a black trash bag under the levee out back of their parking lot. Hollering throaty voiced politics out to anyone that will listen.

The other Trader Joe's workers, all tatto'ed and horn rimmed glasses and skater shoes, make fun of him under their breaths. Call him mean old names. No one likes him.

He's broken. The guy maybe can't help it, had a little too much '60's or who knows. But it's just how he's ended up.

Stuff breaks. And if you don't fix it right, ends up like the Trader Joe's guy. Or worse.

Like my blog. Broken. I won't tell you about the hoops I just jumped through to so I could give you this important information about a fried hair, croaking, tight pant high waisted wackadoodle. Blogger fixers, help me! Please make my blog work!

Or Gustavo. My brave and fast future champion, he got broken. Started last weekend, wasn't sure what was happening, seemed ok all week, and this weekend, yeah. He's broken. What used to be the best thing ever, running with him at his crazy speed, hoping he'd go through his poles and hit his contacts, turned into him having a panic attack just setting foot in the dog show ring. Dunno what did it. I thought it started when his ass got slammed with the teeter. But seems like so much more. Those blowing tarps that kept spooking him? Spending a couple days in an xpen right by a ring and staying wound up all that time? Hammering? Yammering? Watching a dog fight happen right in front of him? All those things implode into the final storm?

It was sad. Tried to just get him in the ring to do a couple easy things, then run out and play and he was fried. Nice start, couple obstacles then bolt for the score table and hide. And hide. He's hiding under a table. I just wanted to cry.

So he's going on vacation for a while. Not really sure exactly what broke, or why, but something in there snapped. I staged an intervention and he started agility rehab on Sunday and hopefully his brain mends.

Maybe they fix my blog thing too.


corinne said...

Your blog is the best! No fixing necessary.

Sorry about the broken Gustavo. Good luck with the rehab - I know how it is - scary stuff, shattered dreams, endless questions.

I will avoid early morning Trader Joe's guy!

Elf said...

Poor Gustavo! Poor TSD! If only dogs could talk. Or if only they could understand what we say to them.

vici whisner said...

I just want to point out what a LOVELY standard run you had with Hobbes on Sat. Your agility dreams may be on hold, but you are helping Rob reach his!

I know the most frustrating thing is not to know what is going on. Hopefully you can get to some fun matches and see whether you can recreate the stress. Once you can recreate it, you can fix it....at least that's what they tell me.


Susan Paulsen said...

We all love Gustavo. Don't forget your always invited to come over on a Thursday and see if that helps... anything to help the little guy.

team small dog said...

Thanks everybody!

He is working on his rehab right now, falling in love with the Big Pink driveway teeter. Instead of hiking in the forest yesterday, we took a hike of downtown with buses and homeless people and construction sites!

We will definitely make it out for a Thursday evening, Susan. Maybe not this week-want to try and get some people to come a little earlier on a Thurs so I could get there a bit earlier, but we will definitely come! Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm the one that sent you the link about the cowboy with the BC riding monkey tricks.

Anyway, I run three small dogs in agility...all three of them coming not fresh out of the can, as it were.

Great dogs, but have "histories". Unknown histories for the most part.

The middle one is the steadiest dog ever, the oldest was saved from being bait in the dog fights. The new one was from a show breeder where he had "fallen between the cracks". Didn't have a name, no training or handling for the first six months of his life.

He is kind of a combo of Otterpop and Gustavo. Gustavo on the quirky/cute side, Pop on the March hare crazy side.

Anyway...I've found a couple of truisms in dealing with my two little slices of canine insanity.

First..."things" don't just magically go away like they do on the Dog Whisperer. They don't just "get over it" and start acting like normal little agility super puppies. Working with these guys is a lifelong vocation. It gets better for awhile, and then, not so better. You just have to surf the ups and downs. And, don't worry what anyone else has to say about it.

Second...when there is "history" involved, you never know what little superficial experience might strike a taproot that hits deep. This happens. The best thing is to stay calm and detach yourself from the immediate situation.

Third...which means...give it a total rest. Worst thing you can possibly do is get all determined to go bronco busting on the problem. Time cures all wounds, and in these cases, this is especially true.

With my little warpos, the thing that has worked best is to totally not let them anywhere near "it" whatever "it" is for at least two weeks, and preferably a month.

Let the land lie fallow. Work on low level structure/confidence/control. Don't try to step it up. Just very simple puppy level stuff.

If you feel yourself becoming tense, just let the whole thing blow. OK, I'm not SG, but seriously, sometimes you gotta know when you've been whipped by something truly traumatic (at least in the dog's mind), and the best thing in that case is rest and recovery.

Anything else risks hammering in another nail, digging the hole deeper, you pick the metaphor.

Just love him, as in LUV him, and you'll get him back quicker than trying to "fix" a faceless, nameless problem.

If everything else carries on as usual, if you get the dog away from the situation for awhile, the memory will start to fade and heal. If you insist on trying to fix it, you will only end up training in a problem.

Sort of like "starve a cold, feed a fever"? Re-train the training glitch. Rest the emotional rift.

team small dog said...

I don't think I got your email, I think it might have been about Whiplash, my favorite monkey though? Try to resend and make sure it goes to laurah "Little a in a circle" plasticdisaster.com

Yes. I am backing way off with him. Going to institute some of the control unleashy stuff to rebuild focus and confidence again. I'm practicing in our low stress spot, business as usual, just doing ez fun stuff. Nothing brain taxing. But no trialing him for a while. Pulled him off his DAM team coming up. Backing everything up to where it worked so well, and seeing if we can figure out how to pick up there again.