26 April 2010

A report from the trenches of Northern California USDAA.

Every dog show I attend, it becomes clearer and clearer to me that we will never be invited to be on any fancy world agility teams. It's sort of like the profound disappointment that settles in halfway through a rockumentary about any band you were obsessed with in your 20's, in which the members are grown up and have become mediocre or dead or hack magicians working the suburban birthday party circuit. The answer is, just because that's the way, for some people, things turn out.

Still we certainly have a good time and strive to be the best that we can be. And wish that we could burn as bright as Joe Strummer did, but since he's dead and we're not, we party on like it's 1999. And bravely man the gate for classes like Master's Pairs and face the music head on. And know that yes, once again, it is possible to step on the line in Gamblers and hear the whistle of bummerness blow in your ear.

Otterpop had a crummy weekend. She had some Q's, she won her Steeplechase, but I pulled her from most of her runs both afternoons after seeing her gimp along on Saturday. I am worried about her. When the dog that can be so fast and accurate looks miserable and trudgy in the ring again, it's a mistake to ask her to run. I will rest her this week, and see if she is back again to run next weekend. I suspect not after how she looked yesterday.

Gustavo had his ups and his downs. He did have 2 runs where I couldn't ask for anything more, an actual Standard Q and a Jumpers Q with what I recall now as being flawless runs. He loves running jumpers, where there aren't weave poles or contacts that make him stop and pause. He had some low moments, veering off course to run underneath the score table, missed pole entries, his now signature off course tunnels. I guess being a better trainer and a better handler are the only things I can do to help him. But I'm not really sure, with him, how much he cares.

Ruby always comes with us, and sleeps away the day in their pen, which was set under trees and really not a bad way to spend the day. There were a couple frisbee breaks for her and she's used to this.

Hobbes had a sore foot and after a couple not right runs, he was pulled from Saturday's classes. But he came back looking sound and ready to go Sunday, and had some super runs. I worried about him, on Saturday. But Sunday he was back, and since we all understand he does not lay down on the table anymore, we're all good. We had a good time together anyways. And a great time in Grand Prix and Jumpers.

This thing is the most spitfire, hellfire, rubber burning bad ass of a little dog I have ever seen. Her name is Zuma. She belongs to my agility pal Wendy, ace handler of blazing fast border collies, who thought she would get a nice little old lady small dog. Ha! When she starts trialing, watch out. Take cover. Run away and hide, but then peek out carefully and watch. We thought she would be a nice girlfriend for Gustavo but he is terrified of her. Talk about small fast kick yer ass.


tundrah said...

Sorry to hear about Otterpop. I however -love- the tire swing pic. And the hairy eyeball she is giving you...

Elf said...

It is frustrating, at the very least, when your best most reliable dog is sore and you don't always know why, or even if you do. It was great to see your smiling face this weekend, though--you talk about being grumpy but you always make me cheerful!

Unknown said...

I'm sorry Otterpop was sore this weekend.

I hope Zuma doesn't make Gustavo feel any less macho because to tell you the truth she scares me too...all 6.4 pounds of her!!!

See you at Bay Team!!!