05 May 2009

I want a monkey that can learn to ride a border collie and when this might be too much information.

There's this weird conversational style that people have at dog shows. Myself included. Totally guilty as charged. Doesn't happen at horse shows. I am thinking it might happen at those weird kid beauty pagents where they Jon Benet the toddlers up in tiaras and blue eyeshadow and they parade around in teensy little poufy dresses. Doing hoochie coochie tap dances and smiling these sinister, baby toothed, gum baring grins. Haven't had the pleasure of attending one of those, but on a hunch, I think that the conversational style might just be similar there.

Starts out innocuous enough. One lady walks up to another lady, and actually mens do this too, so no gender immunity here. Maybe they are wearing the same outfit. Am noticing the new thing in outfits seems to be a microfibery pant with big pockets and legs that may or may not come off with zippers. These may be usurping the sporty pants. And maybe if it is a day where the air is one wet drizzle, there are pastel colored rain parkas with hoods that envelop the heads like lovely little easter eggs so you can't really tell one lady from another. Few enough mens that you can generally figure out which one of them is which.

And one lady says, "How ARE you? How's your weekend?"

And the other lady says, "Well..." and thus begins a long story about how horribly crappy the weekend is starting with the jumpers course and the motel and then moving in depth into their contacts. Or how amazingly good it is, what with that Grand Prix win. Of which you are about to hear about, blow by blow. Or about dog diarrhea. Top three topics. Maybe move dog diarrhea into the number one spot. Because someone's dog always the trots and they are always gonna tell you all about it.

But what happens, is it's like a pandemic. I learned that word last week when we were gonna have one but didn't. Pigs all breathe a sigh of relief. Because they start telling you their topic then you start telling them back your topic, and before you know it, your mouth is all diarrhea about whatever dog agility item is like total obsession du jour. Maybe why the Facebook was so popular in dog agility, back in the day, because was all "Hi, I have an announcement!" and then everyone back atcha with "Hi, and I have an announcement." And then the announcements just kept piling up until my eyeballs started to hurt.

Wait, is the Facebook still popular? We've moved onto the next thing, right? We are all going to get monkeys and teach them to wear mariacchi suits and ride border collies, right?

Right now, just now, when I wrote that, there was an Otterpop standing in the doorway dog yelling at me. With a ball close at hand. When I dog yell back her something like, "Hi! Speak! Shut up! Otterpop! What???" she grabs her ball and stares. And then when I shut up from my rambling yelling of annoucements, she drops her ball and dog yells again. This repeats and repeats until I just send her to her dog bed. And I wonder why we talk like that.

Today, I bring you some Frequently Asked Questions from the last weekend. Then, next time you see me, and I haven't even met you yet and you are so nice and you didn't know I was going to scare the pants off you with some weird mouth diarrhea topic du jour until you back away slowly you won't be so surprised.

What's wrong with Otterpop?

She is mentally ill.

Hey, what is wrong with Otterpop? Why did she do that in Steeplechase?

Oh, you mean why did she get halfway across the beginning of the course, stop dead in her tracks, throw her head in the air, start shaking, and bolt for her xpen and start whining for Ruby? Uh, she is mentally ill.

Hey, why was Otterpop so FAST in that other class?

That's how Otterpop usually is when she is in her happy bubble. FAST. But did I mention she is mentally ill? So you see her slow a lot.

Is Otterpop a boy?


Is Otterpop old?


Seriously. What is wrong with Otterpop?

If I knew what was wrong with Otterpop, maybe she would be fixed better. I think she just has problems living life in a world that includes more than the 7 people of her special universe. On a bad day, just walking down the street can be a struggle for Otterpop. On a good day, she is super funny and a champion agility dog when no one is watching. A lot of things in my life revolve around trying to teach Otterpop how to live in the world along with the rest of us more happily. John Travolta, he bloomed out of the plastic bubble to become Saturday Night Fever disco dancing Champion! He did eventually degrade into a pudgy scientologist, but Saturday Night Fever blooms from bubbles sometimes. Sorry. Diarrhea tangent.

Is that Ruby or Otterpop?

Ruby has a stub for a tail. Otterpop has a tail. Tail is like a popsicle stick, Pop=popsicle. So easy to tell them apart. Also Ruby comes up to you and is your best friend. Otterpop is laying down behind me, really trying hard to not look at you because she is all, bubble, bubble, bubble.

Why are you running Hobbes?

Because Rob is crazy and a very nice person. Also because I bark at Hobbes and he will lay down on the table for me.

Are you nuts? Where did you get the idea for that completely bizarre startline in the really hard standard with the tunnel opening?

Yes. Clearly I am insane. My goal with Hobbes is to always run him clean and to win so that Rob keeps letting me run him because I love Hobbes. He is my surrogate border collie and he is one of my favorite dogs ever. Having an uncountable amount of faults in a class because I had some weird idea of a cool way to try something new is not my goal and also scares Rob that he has made a huge mistake. I pray this is not on video somewhere. Especially where I almost fall down laughing as I send him into the poles wrong. And then Hobbes does a beautiful table because I am laughing and shrieking. But I think it's fun to try new things. Even if it means sometimes I screw up horribly. Making a spectacle, in an unspectacular way.

Why aren't you running Gustavo?

I broke him.

Why aren't you running Ruby?

I don't know if she is sore today. I don't know if she feels like doing agility today. Ruby tries really hard to always do the right thing. Sometimes she wants to do agility really fast, and she crashes through jumps. Sometimes she just is not feeling the agility and does weird stuff out there, because I think she is trying to do the right thing, but witches are telling her otherwise. She's been very unpredictable for a long time and I just enter her in a one or two things and maybe it's good Ruby, maybe it's fast Ruby, maybe it's crash Ruby, maybe it's refusal Ruby. When she starts panting super fast before she goes into the ring, I know that the witches have made contact and good luck figuring that run out. Ruby used to win a lot. Now, I can't even remember last time she had a Q in something. See, there I go. Too much information!

Where do you get your dogs?

Either on the side of the road, from Juarez, Mexico, or pulled out of the shelter.

Can I have Gustavo?

Not for a million or a trillion dollars.


Elf said...

Oh, dang, "speak!" didn't work? Did you try really really hard to get her to speak on command? That's what I had to do to shut my dogs up when I give them the speak command. Stupid dogs. I think their brains are wired differently in ways that we can't even follow because they, like, go in and out of an alternate universe that we can't see and don't even know exists. One in which chairs move around on their own on the patio and therefore are extremely dangerous; where trees in the woods might look innocent but in the other universe sprout arms and start throwing apples at you, and are therefore dangerous and require barking at. A universe in which you can do nice jumping sequences only if you don't stick your contacts, but when you stick your contacts, you have to start running backwards and refusing jumps. Like that. I'd like an instruction book to that universe.

team small dog said...

I think the dogs probably all want an instruction book to our universe.

So they could chew up the cover and drag the rest of it outside into the mud.

Elf said...

Oh--I meant to mention that Albert Payson Terhune wrote a story about his pet monkey who, while smoking a pipe and riding on on of Terhune's collies, foiled a burglary. Thought I could find it on the web really quickly, but noooo-- Maybe i'll look it up sometime.

Anonymous said...

dude, this was *the greatest* post ever! You totally nailed the part when you ask someone "How are you?" and they launch into this long "OH MY GOD... YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN MY HOTEL... AND THEN FLUFFY FOUND AN OLD BANANA UNDER THE BED... AND THEN GOT SICK... AND THEN I HAD TO WALK THAT **JUMPERS** COURSE WHICH WAS HORRIBLE!!!!!" and then they ask you "How did your run go today?" and you answer "Oh, it was good!" and that prompts them into launching into this really long, boring schpeel where you're supposed to feel really bad for them because they drive a huge motorhome and never train their dogs so they didn't do all that well this weekend...

LOL! Laura you rock. I have Taco, and he's pretty much the useless cheerleader that poops and barks at my neighboors. That's okay though, I'll keep him :)