18 November 2009

Getting ready for the Sylvia Trkman seminar by regressing into an insecure, hair wadded diva.

My friend Rob took this at the last USDAA trial we were at. Like a couple weeks ago. Not in the '70's. Has that fadey, expired kodachrome vibe to it that makes me think of levi's cords and macrame plant holders and owls with giant cartoon eyes. I think the photo is lovely, though. Far more lovely than my soccer shoes and baggy shorts from the Target sale rack and slumpy posture and messy hair wad and rope tied onto little dog. Is very much not working for me. Whatever happened to my quest for cuteness and style in dog agility? Kittens? Have we somehow moved off track here? This is what my world has come to?

And also, perhaps of equal import, where is my dog looking? Certainly not gazing up into my eyes but off into the distance where there could be cats. Tunnels. Border collies. Snacks. This makes me pause for thought. In a week and a half, I'm taking a seminar with agility luminary and dog trick trainer Sylvia Trkman. She of the fewer vowels than we're used to, but who makes up for lack of vowels with amazingness in dog training. This is like the agility equivalent of going to lunch with Axl Rose. Momentous occassion. Will happen rain or shine. Something new and completely different.

I looked at the email offering up some details this evening, and perused the names of the others on the list. This is the magic of email, if you're going to a party and you're all, Who ELSE is going to be there? The email tells all. And it's certainly almost all people I know. Hi, some of you! But a leaning towards people who go to places like Europe to win in dog shows. Who win the biggest, shiniest awards at the USDAA Nationals. We'll all be seminaring with togetherness.

I joined this seminar with Otterpop in mind. And I would like to run her in it as much as possible. But I think it would be really interesting to run Gustavo in it as well. It's called Masters Handling. He's a little bit in Masters. Where I attempt to handle him. Except when I look at the party invite cheat sheet list and read those names, my first thought is, uh, they all have really TRAINED dogs. And how humbling would it be to run Gustavo, a dog who beautifully illustrates all my shortcomings as a trainer?

Oh, this is the part where you are all, Ha HA! Yeessss! Because now, that would be a Really Good Story.


OBay Shelties said...

I am looking forward to your post all about the Sylvia seminar! :-) She is very kind; you will be fine!

Alaska said...

Uno: Sylvia is going to LOVE Gustavo. He is her kind of dog. You can't deprive her of the pleasure of meeting him.

Dos: Recall that Sylvia has endless mountains to explore with her dogs, so she does have a slight advantage over your situation, what with evil park rangers and wildfires and the like hemming you in. I think that pretty much explains any slight differences there might be between her dogs and yours, don't you?

Tres: You are in the seminar. That puts you ahead, way ahead, of all the rest of us whose names do not appear on that email list. Go forth and feel entitled. We heathens will be anxiously awaiting such blog drippings as come our way afterwards.

team small dog said...

She does look very nice!

Running Otterpop makes me look competent and I like I've trained my dog. Gustavo, who I've trained on millions more hours, makes me look like a crazy beginner who just started agility foundation class except with contacts. Miraculously. If the teeter totter isn't evil.


And I worry, when I get asked that question with Gustavo, Does he know any tricks? The same exact question I just asked a bunch of new students...

Otterpop (and Ruby) know buckets of tricks. They are good circus dogs. If you just ask Otterpop to do a trick, she'll run thru a repetoire of 6 or so until you tell her which one or throw her toy. She's funny.

Gustavo though...oh my. We try. In the last week, I've been teaching Otterpop this dumb little routine that gets more and more complicated and she runs backwards thru my legs and flips around and starts hopping backwards and it's funny and we just keep adding on to it. Ruby has started offering craziness such as running around and picking up every object she can get her teeth on and flinging them around which entertains me to no end and I'm calling her new trick because apparently I shaped this. During Gustavo's turns, we've just accomplished he can put both of his front feet on a shoe. And then go run off and look for cats. And forget how to do it the next time we try. That's it. He knows like 4 lame tricks.

Ego of a frumpy diva.

Lisa B. said...

Doing the seminar with Gustavo might be just what you need to end up looking all pro with him like you do with Otterpop! Who cares what the others think of you? Besides, your blog is LIGHT YEARS BETTER than any of their blogs ;-)

Amy Carlson said...

Waaaaaaaa..........I am SO envious! You are on the LIST! OMG, OMG, OMG.

I once was on a list like that. I felt really special. She even said my dog was really good. That was two years ago. It drives me still. He has learned one new trick since then. But, he's still really good.

Waaaaaaaaaaaa............I am SO envious! You are on the LIST. OMG, OMG, OMG.

She is VERY nice and brushed her hair one morning! She looked like you that morning.

I am not able to see her this year when she comes East. Darnit.........

Alaska said...

Take Gustavo. Leave Ego.

Here are some Sylvia quotes to inspire you:

"I find well behaved dogs like my BC a little boring and prefer psycho dogs like La."

"Bu is always behaved, Lo is mostly behaved and La is never behaved.:) And I guess you can guess that La is my favourite."

What about when you’re training your other dogs, are they allowed to bark and be crazy?

"Yes. They go nuts when I train with one of them and the other two are in a car."

So. Aren't you going to the seminar to learn how to teach tricks to Gustavo, not show off the dog you already know how to teach tricks to?

Take the dog you want to take. I'm just trying to help you see if from a different angle. And of course I only know Gustavo through the internet, so what do I know anyway?

I know that I'd love to meet him. That I do know.

team small dog said...

Hey it is like she is describing my dogs! This is also good because I have this little uh, barking and loud screaming issue when the other dogs are having their turns.

Yes, it's a Masters Handling seminar. I can't go to the Tricks class a different day. I guess it's the idea of being the least masterful one in the group. Character building.

Anonymous said...

They is at least one other handler at the seminar FAR less experienced handler than you. With a boring dog.

team small dog said...

I will be the only one with ADCh-less dogs though!

I have a big hangup about those 4 stupid letters.

Amy Carlson said...

I'll prolly never have an ADCh dog. My dogs will prolly only ever get an APD. Three weenie, whimpy, lowly, sorry little letters. Still, Sylvia said my dog was good! She knows when they are good. And Gustavo she will know, even if he just screams and sees dead people.

She will be kind, you'll see. She will LOVE Gustavo! And like Alaska says, I KNOW because I know you on the internet! And do the ADCh people have heathens anxiously awaiting Gu blog drippings?

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you had a hang-up about those stupid 4 letters. Were you thinking about that when you heroically rescued each, er, *interesting* member of the Team? When I rescued my dog (who is just barely an ADCh) I had specified "no project dogs." Sylvia will think you are the best dog trainer there, is my prediction.

team small dog said...

Nah, I definitely wasn't thinking in terms of agility or ADCh's when I picked out my dogs. Ruby was feral. Otterpop I only kept because she was too evil to rehome and she wouldn't have been able to stay alive. Gustavo I got because he was too hyper for a "normal pet home" and I just thought he was so cute.

I just think I should be able to train them all good enough to get an ADCh. Ruby likely would have finished hers if she didn't go lame. Otterpop i KNOW she can do it someday if she doesn't stay lame. Gustavo, I dunno. I think if I was a good enough dog trainer, I could DO IT! My dogs are the best dogs in the world and champions and I think the best dogs should have ADCh's so I need to be a better trainer!

team small dog said...

Ha ha! I just read the last part...I am pretty sure NO ONE would mistake me for the best dog trainer in that crowd! Maybe I could win the best hair award?

While I was typing that Gustavo ran out of the room with an ugg boot and tried to shred the already shredded toe.

Elf said...

I will be at the master handling day with Boost. Boost, who has attempted 36 Masters Jumpers courses and has not Qed on a single one. You might guess that we don't have our ADCH, either.

Boost might know more than 4 tricks, but we're only auditing the tricks days. So I can pretend that she knows more than that.

maryvw said...

So the seminar is going to be so much fun because all of us cool people are going to be there. And my dog knows no tricks - none - Altho I make my students teach tricks - but obviously I don't show them because I don't know how. Haha - that is really funny and bizarre. Bette does have her ADCH but partly due to the fact that I beg Rob M to walk me thru each and every course to show me how to handle it. What a saint that man is. Luckily I see he will be there Monday!!