29 May 2012

Dog agility memorialization of an invisible, unsung hero, the dog agility spouses.

You know who gets forgotten a lot? Besides all those who gave up their lives for the USA, even if actually they were giving up their lives for misguided policies of occupations of foreign lands and got shipped off to a country far away to kill innocent people and then died in a horrible, unspeakable manner before being forgotten about?

Dog agility widows and widowers, that's who. Those proud men and women who spend their weekends and evenings and afternoons and mornings not doing dog agility.

Sure, you see some dog agility wives and husbands at dog agility. There's your dog agility Power Couples, who both run dogs and are around each other 24/7. They frequently live in an RV together, along with a pack of dogs, and they say nice things to each other in public and maybe sometimes boss each other around. Rarely, but occasionally, they breed. More likely they breed dogs instead.

Breed the dogs to other dogs, that's what I meant. Pick up your mind out of the gutter.

Think of the wealth of junior handlers we'd have if the power couples would actually breed to each other. This is just how it goes, probably power couples are too busy with their dogs to, you know. Hopefully, power couples enjoy each other's company and live in harmony in their RV's.

If the power couples don't both run dogs, the spouse is usually there to video or run the gate full time or drag equipment around or run a score table or fix motorhome problems and be awesome and cheerful. Or maybe stays home sometimes to mow expansive agility fields. Right on, power couples, is all I can say.

You might think there might be more of these than there are at dog agility. But there are many single people at dog agility as well. For ladies seeking other ladies, no shortage of single ladies out there in dog agility land. And gentlemen seeking single ladies, hubba hubba hubba, a PLETHORA. But for men seeking other men, and women seeking unhitched men, pretty much no go. Hence the small amount of power couples.

So what happens, a lot of the time, is that there is the dog agility widow or widower left at home. It may be hard to believe, but there are husbands and wives out there, who, when it comes to dog agility know only a couple things. One is, how to set the alarm clock for 4:30am on Sunday mornings and not even wake up when it goes off. And the other is, that no matter how much time, sneakers, yard space and money dog agility uses up, it is probably going to use up even more than that.

Their relationship to the dogs may be along the lines of "Stay Stay STAY STAY STAY! GODDAMN IT, Why don't they STAY for me?" and "SHUT THE F%#K UP OTTERPOP!"

Likely, the thought of even pointing at a tunnel and saying, "Tunnel!" and having the dog run through it is stupid beyond belief. However, they might have their own interests that are equally arcane, such as screaming at fellows on tv costumed in floppy white pants and vintage orange jerseys wiggling their butts and waving large sticks to hit a fast ball for other guys to catch and dash about a diamond, that are even more curious, and hold their tongues.

They probably enjoy feeding dogs pancakes, quiet dogs relaxing outside in the sun during gardening, and fetching. Dogs who play a wiley game of not fetching with them, then fetching and doing a whole trick show for the dog agility spouse, perhaps grow tiring, yet amusing on occasion. Agility equipment in the driveway and garage becomes part of the landscape. They know not to throw away anything made of pvc.

And they spend a lot of time alone.

Because there's class. There's dog shows. There's practice time. There's special seminars. There's parties and dinners and dog walks and writing about dogs and reading about dogs and photoshoots of dogs and studying videos in the computer. Dog agility is very time consuming.

And who is going to buy the toilet paper and the milk and load the dishwasher and wash the towels and pull the weeds?

Dog agility husbands and wives, that's who. At our house, if it wasn't for my husband, who please don't ever call Mr. Team Small Dog, ever, ever, ever, or say that you saw him on the internet, we never run out of toilet paper. And always have clean towels. And many delicious meals from the taqueria are served to me on late nights home. If I am grumbling about not enough money for agility class, my dog agility husband has been known to slip me some bills to pay. He has nodded knowingly when I come home after a particularly crappy day at the dog show, and always manages a "Yay" when I come home with word of some exceptional runs. Dog tattoos are a-ok with him. And he would never, ever forget to make a pancake for the dogs.

My dog agility husband may decline my many offers to come and try some dog agility. Because, touche, I decline his many offers to go and listen to, shudder, jazz at jazz clubs. We can agree to disagree on these topics. Just like he won't turn Led Zeppelin off the radio when we're in the car together and I will sit through dub step electronica. We find common ground at our favorite bar that also serves crepes, plays indie bands and doesn't start shows too late. And we both sure do like walking around in the forest with a pack of little dogs running donuts around us and usually not jumping off of cliffs.

He may be invisible to the dog agility community, but he is always there at home when we get back. Well, unless he's at work. Or mountain biking. Or at a baseball game. Or a jazz show. Or gone out to hear real music. Or had to go to the store because I forgot to buy milk and bread and bananas. But he is an unsung hero of the agility world, and today we take a moment to think about how lucky we are, and say, Thanks.


Elf said...

Great, great post. I don't know how all those dog-agility widow/widowers do it. They are truly unsung heroes.

Anonymous said...

L, this is BY FAR the MOST AWESOME-EST post you have ever done. And I know that's saying a lot.

but it made me laugh and cry for 100 reasons.

Thanks. A ton. Seriously.

Brenna said...

I love this! Very well said.

AgilityFoot said...

Nice post, Laura.

Meghan said...

My DAH ran his (he's two years old now can we still call him a) puppy in their first agility trial a couple of weeks ago. They did well and had fun. I may have to learn to cook. And mow. And buy TP.

Anonymous said...

Love this! I lost my DAH (a big brawny retired firefighter) in 1999 and I still miss him (and his cooking!). He never came to our trials but he never failed to ask how it went and took special photos to his usual "watering hole" to show to his bar room buddies. He was VERY proud of "his" Sooty dog. They are, for sure, very special people and deserve a trophy made of empty beer cans and giant rosette made out of Pendleton wool plaid or patched together of old worn out dog agility t-shirts. I'll be sending this on to some ladies with DAHs deserving of the honor.

Thank you
Virginia in Texas

Celeste said...