05 May 2010

Blind Cross-the gateway move that you were warned about that leads to the hardcore stuff, part two, the ending part.

So, where we left off yesterday, there was a conundrum, a quandary, a moral dilemma, about an issue that goes to the core of agility training. When one has followed a system ever so carefully and patiently, trying to be consistent in every way, does one decide one day, to just throw caution to the wind, shake one's hair as if in a shampoo commercial about dandruff where there is no dandruff, only shiny model hair, and just go for it?

It was exactly like in the cartoons where there is a little angel floating over one shoulder, and a little devil with a really big head wearing only underpants and carrying a pointy spear floating over the other. And they are arguing amongst themselves which makes you swish your hand in the air like there are mosquitoes but it's just that you're swishing at invisible cartoon characters and then people start moving away and pretty soon, you're just sitting there. Alone. Batting away.

So to just be all, screw it, and try the stupid blind cross just for the heck of it. Or, be a good follower of GDHS and never, ever do a blind cross. Which one was it gonna be?

I know for a fact, had I been running Hobbes or Gustavo, no way no blind cross. It would hurt Hobbes's feelings and make him sad, I suspect it would send Gustavo into complete meltdown brain explosion of confusion. Complete consistency in training is made for dogs like Gustavo. At least for now.

But this run was with Otterpop. Otterpop, although running crappy the last 2 weekends, is actually my soulmate of dog agility. We enjoy wearing matching t-shirts and charm bracelets that say so. When we practice, we know exactly what the other one is going to do, and she does everything I ever ask. When we practice, she runs like lightening, does gambles from 100 miles away, breathtaking moments of awe. She is the biggest champion of the universe, practicing. We win World Team Events every week on the practice field.

At the dog show, she can also be drubby, slubby, hinky, mediocre, judge stink eye Otterpop. A heartbreaking reality of my life.

But Otterpop would get it if I tried the blind cross. I don't think a blind cross would undo anything because our brains can plug in together by our super long hair braids and flying flourescent fairy feathery flower things which isn't sex, it is brain plugs, people. I could try the blind cross with her even if it means Mrs. Greg Derrett will not join me for cocktails at the tiki room.

So this was my plan.

Here is the part that would sound much better if I had an ending that was more glamorous. Like this run is actually not a stupid old Masters Pairs class on a soccer field in Prunedale. Which we like to call Prunetucky and I don't have to empty all the garbage cans immediately following. Like if this run was actually on an irrigated polo field on a desert plain in Marfa, Texas and Tommy Lee Jones had commissioned all the dog agility super stars to come and run for one million dollars and we were wearing custom designed costumes sewn by magical elves employed by Rodarte. And instead of trophies, the million dollar prize money was presented to you in a Ralph Lauren Airstream trailer. For keeps.

And the ending was going to be super happy yet meaningful like when Precious storms out of Mariah Carey the lame social worker's office with both of her kids to go and have a better life. Yellow brick road, all followed, neatly tied up with a bow. Also the nurse was played by Lenny Kravitz. Does he do dog agility yet?

So here's what happened for real.

Otterpop runs off the start line, slow, does a jump, shambles to a limpy shuffle, and stops in front of the spread jump. She is done. Over. Soon to be on 3 legs. She looks at me, all, "Ow. Ow. Ow." I slam on my brakes, pick her up, and excuse ourselves to Judge Karen.

"Is Otterpop OK?" she calls out.

I just nod and carry her off the field. Poor Otterpop. She doesn't even mind being carried. Usually, you don't carry Otterpop. She's not one of those carrying type of little dogs.

We never even got to that tunnel. My heart broke in two. Otterpop had one run too many, had tried to tell me this earlier, and this was it. Could not go on and jump over that spread.

We never even got to try it.

Bummer, man.

It was a cold, hard ending. Sort of like Daniel Day Lewis writhing around, carrying on about milkshake drinking, then bludgeoning the other guy to death by bowling pin. Harsh, dude.

So the moral of this story? Was Otterpop struck down by an underpants wearing devil due to my mental transgression from WWGDD? Or did Jesus tell Otterpop to start limping just in the nick of time to save me from *Tivo LOST Spoiler Alert from last night* moving to John Locke's side of the island, thus saving me from death by submarine sinking when the backpack bomb goes off?

I guess we'll never find out.

But there's always a next time.


brittany said...

...you made me cry.

Oh, Otterpop.

tundrah said...

I was about to post the same thing as Brittany.

I hope she's okay. :(

Amy Carlson said...

Ack!! My violet root gave way..........Otterpop??

team small dog said...

Addendum, Otterpop is ok.

This is what Otterpop's hinky leg does sometimes. She was sore that night, no longer lame by morning, although I don't let her run to test it. She has a crappy joint, a loose patella, and a frayed cruciate and when the perfect storm unites after running or jumping or frisbee, the leg doesn't work. It's like she's dragging a club along.

She'll get a week or so of rest, maybe longer, and we go back to the cycle. Shampoo, rinse, repeat.

brittany said...

Amy- you could have joined me on the daisy root. There was plenty for both of us!

TSD: I'm glad to hear she's okay, but... OTTERPOP!!!!

Elf said...

I saw you carry otterpop off and say something about her being done for the weekend. I didn't realize there had been such dramatic tension preceding the event. Apparently she isn't into dramatic tension. A little deus ex otterpop inserted into the climax of the story.

Wayyyyy back in the early days of agility (meaning around when I started, which isn't really the beginning, but it feels like it to me), certain trainers who now adhere strictly to your boyfriend greg's system, brought over dave blackguard (artistic license involved here) from england and then everyone in the entire northern california universe was doing dozens of rear crosses on every course for about three trials and then everyone except Cindy G decided they were bad and stopped. I'm not sure I could even do one now if I *wanted* to.

Anyway, I handled it with a front cross and it was a piece of cake, but then, I just sent tika through the tire to the tunnel and bipped past the weaves to the front cross position and there we were. Piece of cake.

tsroxx said...

Man, those loose patellas can really ruin a run. My rented dog, Dexter, suffers from the same deal. It sucks.
Would you have been able to run on the outside of the tunnel? It's a trick that judges (like me) throw in because people don't think of doing it. If your dog had a strong line to the frame, being stuck behind the curve of the tunnel wouldn't be all that bad.

Elf said...

I'm butting in because I did actually look at going behind the tunnel. But it was harder to get there than the front cross, and the line to the Aframe wasn't really that good IMHO.

You can download a PDF with all of Sunday's Masters maps, including the aforementioned pairs relay map, here: http://www.bayteam.org/catalogs/10MayUSDAA/Maps_MasSun.pdf

Elf said...

Oh, yeah, plus going around the back side there was that possible off-course jump.