05 September 2010

We could have been contenders-A Team Small Dog update from Day 2 of the Southwest USDAA Regionals!

So there's this little thing called Steeplechase Finals where a big crowd gathers round the ring and watches all the finalists run. There's also this thing called you should really get gas before your tank is empty at 6am on the way to the dog show and you didn't and then you're going home from the dog show and you are freaking out you are going to run out of gas on a road where you just saw a pitbull fight that moved it's way out into traffic before the guys dragged them off to the side of the road.

Both of these, we like to call Epic Failure.

Alls well that ends well. In my rearview mirror, I could see the boys had the dogs separated and seemed to be getting away with one of them, leaving the other to guard his driveway or whatever it is that he was doing in the first place. The dog show is in a town called Prunedale. This is how it goes in Prunedale. And we made it to the gas station, right in the nick of time. And Otterpop's Steeplechase run didn't mean to go awry, she just did this weird stopping on the brakes thing out of the poles, I worried she had hurt her leg, she started back up and I was rattled and then kablam. Stupid off course tunnel in a very basic discrimination. She finished up speedy and I got in all those front crosses. There were lovely and stunning moments.

I thought she was running great. We were both a little stressed out. You know like yesterday I said it didn't seem as festive this year? Today had festive. It had PEOPLE. People are out there watching you and cheering and I suppose they're supposed to be cheering for us, but Otterpop hates people to look at her in general, and I hate to look like a neanderthal footed rookie in the presence of top handlers and between us, meltdown waiting to happen.

Would you like to know who did win? Lots of my friends! I know Rob and Wings won 26", Diana and Cassidy won 22", and Ashley and Luka won 16". A very fast papillon named Masher won the 12" and I was too stressed out to figure out who won in the performance division and then bid a hasty, shamed retreat to go play frisbee with the dogs after our run when they were announcing the prizes.

On a brighter note, Otterpop won Masters Standard and Grand Prix and I think got a second in Gamblers. I think she may have earned some kind of Standard bronze thing with that Q. I don't know. I just want her stupid ADCh. She did apply her curse to yet another pairs partner, and had a beautiful run but cursed her partner into an E. Otterpop just ran great all day. There were a lot of runs for Otterpop and I was very, very proud of her and she didn't seem like anything was hurting her.

Also our friend Susan brought some kind of dog crack. I attribute Otterpop's cheery mood to that and the fact that she's on anti-imflammatories and that we are finally becoming the consistent team that we practice so hard at being.

Hobbes had a great Grand Prix run, he was all perked up and ended up with a second or third in Grand Prix. I forgot to check but I was very proud of him. He has been feeling a little depressed I think. He needed to perk up. And some of that special dog crack. It's organic.

Gustavo had one of those days. He is running so well in general, but we just don't have it together as a team yet. He got the gamble, but blind crossed me in our opening and negated the gamble with a contraband jump. Popped out at the last pole in an otherwise stunning Standard. Stranded me in the middle of a tunnel vortex in his pairs, just circling me and going over and over in and out of a green tunnel at 100mph because the weave pole entry was eluding him. We have things to work on.

I think he needs to nap. The other dogs, you stick them in their xpen and they're out until you wake them up or a boxer is walking by. For some reason, Otterpop has developed some kind of new THING for boxers walking by her xpen. I have no idea. Gustavo though, either sits at full alert, trying to stare out the prison walls, or barks.

Maybe tomorow, naptime in the car.

I used to feel like such a fish out of water at dog shows. Now I'm talking about naptime for a dog in the car. Something is seriously wrong with my life. And I can't wait to go back for one more day.


Debbie in SoCal said...

The guy you don't know in the last picture is Naci Berkoz. He can run backwards faster than most people run forwards. Great handler and great dogs. And Masher, the Pap, is handled by a woman named Daneen Fox. She's in one of your course-walking pics wearing camo pants. Sounds like your weekend overall was great. Otterpop rocked it!

team small dog said...

We met Daneen today-Masher is the dad of my friend Wendy's dog Zuma! We love having these shows where great handlers come from all over that we don't usually get to see.