05 December 2012

Rainy day practicing in the back pasture including frogs.

Every time I wish upon a star, one of the things I wish for is a backyard. I live in the land of tiny, backyardless beach cottages. I wish for a living room, too. While we are very lucky to live here, and could never buy a house in our own neighborhood these days (ooooh, I sound like a creepy old wizened, wrinkly shovel wielding lady when I say that!) , I sure do wish we had a backyard.

I tried to buy my own ranch for a long time. This wasn't even for dogs. I figured there would be a little patch of grass somewhere on my ranch that I could set up dog stuff. That was the least of my worries. I just wanted to be a land owner, not a serf, so I could have a place for all the horses.

Guess what? I'm still a serf. That part isn't changing unless I win the lottery.

But yay! Right now, I have a tiny patch of land at my current serfdom where I have my agility stuff. Me and the dogs share the unfenced back pasture with deer, rabbits, turkeys, coyotes, cats, and moles. Probably other secret, hidden animals that stay in the bushes. For bonus points, there's a busy, country road is on the other side of the animal bushes. Most of the vehicles that drive by are dump trucks pulling flatbed trailers with tractors on top, driving at 55mph, and there's a blind curve.

I am like the only one on the road without my own dump truck.

The animals to dangerous road no fence ratio means that Otterpop gets to practice whenever she wants, and Gustavo usually practices recalls on a long piece of baling twine. Guess which dog is the one that I REALLY need to practice with?

Also, it's at work. How do your workdays usually go? Lots of time to run out and spin through a couple drills?

That's how my days go, too. But we try.

Most of my training has been done in other people's backyards. Kathleen has an amazing agility backyard where I go every Monday morning. And sometimes on the weekends. Jim and Nancy have a legendary agility front yard where I go every Tuesday night. I taught Gustavo a running dogwalk by stopping at another friend's backyard every single early morning before work for many months. He learned how to do weavepoles in my driveway and street.

If anyone invites us to practice, we are always there. We need a lot of practice. We love to practice. We sure wish we had a backyard. Sigh. In my best feeling sorry for my poor self sigh voice.

I'm a good practicer. If you came and practiced with me, I would have 27 drills for us to get through before we turned into pumpkins. We would practice each one with 7 handling variations and every time get the tightest turns at the highest speed on the most efficient lines. You could blaspheme the holy name of Robert Downey Jr. with me as we ketschker and blind and try dangerous stuff we learned on the internet. Watch my Daisy Peelness! Skinny Finnish blonde girlness! We would make bizarrely faraway gambles with inexplicable turns and ace them. If you were practicing with me and Otterpop.

Then we would work on Gustavo's recalls because he would still be on the baling twine. Maybe he wouldn't even look at me out there! Much What Would Nancy Gyes and Susan Garrett do in this situation practicing. I would close my eyes and channel my inner Silvia Trkman and look for his inner championness. We would go back to Greg Derrett consistency. And we would be reteaching his teeter totter. Which is inexplicably horrorized, and horribly broken as of last week. Yep. For mysterious reasons known only to him, that amazing, blazing teeter performance went away and now elicits a look of horror on his face any time he's near any teeter, even the ones in his own backyards.

If you practice with me and Gustavo, you would probably wander off, shaking your head.

And then you'd fall into the creek. Our practice spot is DANGEROUS like that. Wait for Otterpop to show you how to get back.

This is what we got. We clomp through pastures and through the creek, and are back to square one, How to Retrain a Broken Teeter Totter. While dragging a long piece of baling twine. Otterpop sits on a haybale and laughs.

Today was dog agility backyard training blog event day. I was almost too grumbly about being back at square one again with Gustavo to participate. Screw practice, he's supposed to run in a dog show this weekend. He was recently running super, winning Grand Prix and Steeplechase! Yay! Like a regular dog! Champion around the corner! Ha HA!

Except it's raining out again. And a rainy day at work means, No MONEY!

Oh. And also, maybe I find a little bit of time, we clomp out through the pastures, and go and work on that teeter totter. And looking at me in the presence of giant turkeys. I have lots of baling twine. There are plentiful frogs. And moles. And deer.

And off we go.


Elf said...

I would love to practice with you, because I'm not motiviated enough on my own to keep working on all that cool stuff. But I'd have to get motivated enough to go over the hill to santa cruz, but [repeat not motivated enough]. I hope you win the lottery soon. Because I would come and live at your ranch for sure.

Jenn said...

"I would have 27 drills for us to get through before we turned into pumpkins. We would practice each one with 7 handling variations and every time get the tightest turns at the highest speed on the most efficient lines."

I'm exhausted just reading this!

Ah, Gustavo. Turn it around, dude. You know you have it in you!

Therese Neilson said...

Can't you make a temporary pasture fencing while you are training them so it'll be safer and you'll have more privacy? Perhaps you could talk to the owner of the land if you can do that since it will only be for a short period of time.