25 June 2012

The team is a little bit untethered at the moment. Truck.

Otterpop cares more about riding in the truck than agility. My truck, your truck, any truck. Anyone shows up in a truck, she climbs in and waits for them to drive her somewhere. She parks herself outside our truck, which I only drive sometimes, and I have to drag her to her diesel powered car. Screw German engineering. Truck.

You know what Otterpop would like to tell everyone today? Very simple. "TRUCK"

Gustavo is Gustavo. The other day I had to go rescue him, he was stuck, shaking like a leaf and barking his head off at a rock. He still does this. I don't think there's ammonia in his brain anymore, I think his brain just does this.

Ruby is very happy. Ruby is a happy dog.

Our agility goals are unglued. I think of the word C H A M P I O N in my mind and it is a smoky, watercolor word. Ed Ruscha drew it big, letters the size of HOLLYWOODLAND, then erased it and all I can see is the rough edges where the lines were formerly drawn.

There are loads of dog shows coming up but we are untethered so they are fluttering off, along with pollen and bees' wings and Axl Rose's do-rag. Otterpop is a leader in top ten points for standard and gamblers. She also just needs to hang in there a bit longer for her LAA Bronze. Stupid pairs. Titles, a social construct to culturally mediate agility skilz. Higher titles seem like a dumb goal to me, but goals are what tether us to forward momentum. She is such a champ at 5-4-3-2-1-GO on the table that not entering anything at all might leave us shriveled up in an alley somewhere, damp around the edges and not so fresh, not quite dead but not quite living.

And we do like gamblers. Doing a gamble for Otterpop is like driving around in a truck. The bigger and uglier the out, the harder the turn, I see her mind wheels screaming, "Mutha Truckah IN THE TRUCK!" and out she goes to stomp out the problem. She screams through like a fury, she is Bigfoot and she is smashing the little trucks, she is the Muthah of all Monstah Trucks and She will Decimate all those she can pummel and smash and grind into truck paste.

If only Otterpop got it, that competing is just as good as Truck. As meaningful as Truck. Higher goals more lofty than Truck.

This is where my training failed. It's very simple. I wanted a champion but instead, we got Truck.

Gustavo's constitution, on the other hand, is delicate and fluted, a Victorian paper cutout, and he wafts so carefully through space and time. And sometimes into the road. He is running super, when we practice, and when we go to class. Fades out here and there but then is is HERE! And there's a light flickering in his tunnel! But his competitive life, for now and maybe always, will begin and end in jumpers. Gustavo barks at rocks.

We haven't given up. We are together, facing reality and reality has rocks and trucks.

I am hearing from all sides, You need to get a puppy. Even my husband warily concedes, You probably need to get a puppy.

I look around the house. Where do we put a puppy in less than 800 square feet of 2 humans and 3 dogs and 60 hour work weeks that bring home very sad little recessional paychecks? And what if the mythical puppy had eyes like Ruby and Gustavo's deformed liver and misaligned brain with Otterpop's personality disorder and fancied peeing in the house?

C H A M P I O N.

T R U C K.

U N T E T H E R E D.


Terry A said...

the right dog, the right time, it's bound to happen some time. leave yourself open and you'll know when the baby dog for you comes along.

Unknown said...

Hmmm,I see you're still thinking about Tom Cruise (aka Axl Rose) Maybe you did like the movie and just don't want to admit it??????

Anonymous said...

funny you should mention tether. i've had a song in my head lately that talks about lack of a tether. i think it's a pretty song, sad and pretty. i like to listen to it when i am feeling untethered. i tried to share it on fb, but i am pretty much sharing illiterate.
if you want to hear it, it's on my space. the audreys, come on in, from between last night and us.

Jenn said...

Just wait. That puppy will find you.

That's how it's always happened around here, anyway.

shawn said...

The first time I saw the puppy that became mine, I started crying... corny, I know, but no other puppy made me cry. When it's right, you'll know, 800 sq ft or not!

vici whisner said...

Life is a crap shoot. Sometimes the numbers come up, and sometimes they don't. It is the problem with a dog sport where you need your dog to be able to perform. If they don't, you must get another...but you keep the ones that don't perform because they are family members and vital to every other aspect of your life.

Some people are able to have one agility dog. Very lucky people. I'm on my 4th dog and finally got one that actually likes it. But anything can happen.

For you, you need dogs that fit with your life style. Dogs that can go from hanging at the ranch to running at the beach to doing amazing things on the agility field to hanging in a small home to getting along with other dogs. What you don't need is "management" for the long run. It is possible to do. But requires "management" to begin with that can take a year until life is less complicated.

Comes down to, do I feel lucky?

Whatever you decide, you know your agility family will help you. BTW, I just met the most AWESOME 4month old JRT last night. email me if you are interested.

Liz said...

I agree. Your puppy (dog?) will appear when the time is right, probably when you're not really ready. You'll know him/her when you see them, and there will be no shadows of doubts at all around. Maybe some knowing that youre crazy for wanting another one, but you'll do it anyway. I did, and it was one of the best decisions Ive ever made. :)

team small dog said...

Every dog I've ever had was always somewhat of a surprise, I didn't go out searching for any of them. They all plopped into my life.

It will be a good long while til we add a dog I think. I think my lifestyle would have to change signifigantly to add another!

I will pass on the JRT puppy Vici! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

There's room for more... you do have a five stall barn:)

JRT's rock! I missed my son's badly enough I adopted one of my own. He found me on FaceBook of all things!

Elf said...

I sort of go through the same thing--I like my dog home life now, don't want to add another into the mix, but I don't really have a good agiilty dog team at the moment, so am I done with agility when Tika retires or not? The right dog that makes me ache to take her/him home hasn't happened yet. And I also wonder, what if he blows off contacts like Tika does? Knocks bars & runs past jumps like Boost does? Is overly sensitive like Remington was? Just not quite fast enough to ever place like Jake was? Or some other disappointment? Such gambles we take!