25 February 2010

Once again, our friend Mary misses Dirt Nite.

My friend Mary never misses Dirt Nite. Except for last week, when her dog stepped on a chunk of glass, and this week, when her kid had to put on a fancy concert with songs he wrote for an orchestra and stuff at the University Concert Hall. Some times, life has other bits that aren't agility and that's the way it goes.

Hmmm. What did Mary miss?

We only set up a jumpers course because of the mud. So maybe that won't make Mary too sad, it was a night that was contact free. Except for a teeter totter. We didn't mind dragging that out of the trailer and up the muddy hill.

There was an oval shaped moon out and because of all the clouds of nights past, I had forgotten what it looked like at night when the plum trees make moon shadows across the pastures.

The following dogs were in attendance: Wings, Hobbes, Otterpop, Gustavo, Ella, Izzy, Trooper and Quest. Gustavo missed a couple of pole entries, a certain entry that we have practiced a thousand times and I thought was now problem free. Gustavo teaches me to stay open minded, clear headed and never say never.

I told Rob tonight how I was the dismal, pathetic student in a basic handling class with Laura (one of the other ones that isn't me). He found this amusing, and asked perhaps was I sure if really, there wasn't ANYONE more awful than I? I assured him not and please, we need to make me a better handler and I crossed early and late and frequently in the wrong place. And proceeded to do the same thing with Hobbes.

I drift across jumps, that's how I would put it. I'm a drifter. A driftin' drifter. Johnny Cash sings a song about my problem. So at least it's a documented, genuine country music issue. It's fixable by not lollygagging across the face of the jump and leisurely rotating, as if slowly turning towards someone selling pies from a wagon for only a dollar. Drifters, instead, must keep the dog on their line, whilst running to the exact place, and turning quickly there, at the moment of the commit. Drifters run as if in a dream, while good handlers run like normal people.

I feel better when I run Otterpop. Otterpop runs like a special machine that was built for my pocket, swiss engineering made with little pieces of chrome and alloys with gears that never grind, that whirs along at speed with never a bobble, leaving behind an airstream of gold leaf snowflake, glittering in the moon. In a hamster body. I ran Otterpop a lot last night, each time, I believe, not making the errors I make with Hobbes and the Goo. There is no drifting. There is just handling, and at the end, a frisbee.

I forgot to clean my dogs' feet after Dirt Nite. My friend Mary never forgets to do this. When we got home, and the dogs burst into the house, 3 sets of 4 paws, 12 various feet running scattered across my tiny floors, covered with mud. Many sets of footprints, each identifiable to a different dog, all equally coated in mud. Across the wood floors, across our worn out linoleum, so many footprints put down in a flash, a reminder of where we spent our evening.

1 comment:

Elf said...

If it makes you feel any better, I've been through 15 years of Nancy, Jim, and Rachel yelling "Move! Move! Move NOW! Get outa there! MOVE!!!!" and I'm still apparently not moving. Thank goodness for experienced dogs who have figured you out.