23 February 2010

The face of a dog who didn't blow it, not once.

Do people still say pleased as punch? As in How'd ya like a nice Hawaiian Punch? I do like to say Modern Tiki Cocktails now, which has a more sophisticated ring to it. And I refrain from punching people in the face all the time. Anyways, pleased as in a good thing. When we practiced yesterday morning, up at forest agility, Gustavo not once tried to run off to where the deer were, not once ran off his dogwalk contact, not once breezed past a pole entry, not once checked out into another dimension. He was happy, I was happy, the deer were happy, it was one big happy fest.

Here is how the dogs celebrate a happy fest when they get home. Otterpop barks at the other dogs in their faces until they howl. And then they all sit there and howl, except Ruby who yips like a coyote between howls and Gustavo who can only monkey scream and I yell at them and usually just carry Otterpop out of the house and toss her out the back door I'm so happy.

Kathleen, our agility pal who owns beautiful Heart Dog Agility, left some numbered courses out and we decided, what the hell, let's course it. I decided. The dogs have zero say in what we practice, even Otterpop. Don't usually run courses when we practice, I usually have some kind of drilling mission to set that in my mind makes us better stronger faster, but the weather felt like spring and I had just eaten a huge plate of chilequiles and around we went. It is apparent that sometime this winter, my legs were replaced by someone else's sluggy, draggy stumps and I had to do keep reminding myself to run faster run faster run faster and ignore jiggling bits.

Ruby ran courses, I wish you could see how much she loves running up there. Even if she never sets foot on another dog show course, she sure does love practicing with tiny little jumps. Otterpop was her little machine self, and we had to keep working on the tricky green tunnel section, where she would just go blasting away into the wrong side if I wasn't quicker on the draw. You know that tricky little green tunnel corner section of the course? You got one of those? Although it's highly unlikely Otterpop and I will ever be on any dog agility teams where we wear Ralph Lauren designed track bottoms and matching beanies, and march into a big arena full of dancing indigenous peoples, waving a flag that says My Country Invaded Iraq and Is Responsible for WalMartesque Proliferations of Crap, we practice as if this is the case and work on correctly hitting the hard bits as fast as we can.

Gustavo though. Be still my achey breaky heart. I did bring him out on his 20' lead, which hopefully mortifies him, like if you made your kid wear a sign pinned to their sweater to school that says, "Bites", and he has to start by blasting in and out of his crate and doing something easy like some jumps and today, the table. Like actually laying down on it. Like I'm pretty sure he knows how to do spelling words with multiple syllables but he has to prove to me he can spell Go dog go before any real action starts. He starts out always shaking with the frenetic frenzies. I don't even try to get startlines until he's unwound a bit. Once unwound, he ran around like a champ, although his course had a lot of places where he had to come in to me and receive a generous prize donated by our sponsors. If Trader Joe's was my sponsor and gave me crates of their delicious string cheese every time I typed their name. Which they don't. Trader Joe's?

When he was done with each turn, he did get to go and peer into the woods and scurry around, but on the end of his rope. I so do love you, 20' rope. The dog at the end of that rope, keeps me from being at the end of mine.


Elf said...

I use the calendar program on my computer for plant watering. I mean, to remind me. It's scheduled so that every 10 days a little message and alarm pop up and says "Water houseplants!" And something similar for "Water outdoor pots!" I have successfully killed fewer plants this way, although the flaw in this plan is that I can keep telling the alarm to leave me alone for 1 more day, and if I do this for too many days in a row, well, plants still die. So I try to do as my computer tells me.

So glad that Gustavo is having a grand time and that matches with you having a grand time simultaneously. Must feel good!

team small dog said...

OK, just remind me next time it's time to water the plants. I put them all out on vacation today in the rain, perhaps by drowning I can turn them into zombies.

Elf said...

Hookay, the calendar popped up yesterday and said "water houseplants." I have successfully postponed it for more than a day, 2 hours at a time. Maybe tomorrow I will actually water them.

I saw a beautiful photo of succulents in pots against a gorgeous cinnamon colored wall and thought I should scan it and send it to you because it looks just like what I imagine your yard to look like, but now I'm not finding it. If I find it again, I definitely will.

Meanwhile I'm just hoping that none of my trees blow over or untrimmed branches smash through the upstairs windows. Big plants. Don't need water.

Double S said...

Laura Hartwick, Capt TSD, BBE (Best Blogger Ever):

Long and exhausting week, capped off by a birthday which means getting older and more tireder. Have no time to read TSD blog during week anymore :-( so day off #1 AM involves eating delicious birthday cupcake w/ delicious cup of coffee and reading delicious blog entries like this one. And the one after that. And the one after that.

Thank you for making my day :-)

team small dog said...

Happy Birthday! I wish I had a cupcake and a day off!