05 May 2013
Dusty, hot winds blowing stuff around so everything ends up kind of messy, and hopefully not on fire.
Gustavo is a really cute little dog. He likes to run fast in straight lines and sit on your lap. He doesn't bark a lot, so when he does it means something important. Usually, DUDE! HOLY SHIT! His favorite thing this weekend was the cold breeze from an ancient AC unit, mounted on the wall of the motel.
The motel we stay in when we visit Turlock doesn't try to be something it's not. It's most recent fresh look makeover, maybe 1978. The rooms are big and not too dirty, no tweaker's ever screamed outside my window there, no hooker's ever slipped a note under the door. Big trucks full of chickens sometimes park for the night on the dusty road to nowhere outside the back fence, and a diner that serves cocktails all night is just around the corner.
Our weekend was far from perfect, and while there were fiasco runs throughout, there were also some speedy runs with Q's and turns, and a couple wins. His massive meltdown in a 95 degree Grand Prix run, where he spun mystifying donuts inside one end of a shady tunnel, balanced out a brave teeter totter and stellar dogwalk contacts and turns the rest of the weekend. His recent paranoia of weave poles didn't seem so bad when he stuck with our snooker plan all the way to the end.
For everything bad, there was something else good we could see.
The motel we stay at in Turlock has a broken internet, and a door latch that didn't stick tight. As motels go, you have to kind of get the vintage paneling and linens to be ok staying there. It doesn't pretend to be anything else, and a $50 room comes with a tiny refrigerator and 2 rolls of toilet paper. When the sun goes down, you can see the dusty red glow out the window, over the tops of the trees.
My friends Wendy and Carlos, both great handlers with awesome, fast dogs, shared E's with me in Standard and Relay, and I believe our team ended up last. We've come in last in DAM Team before, didn't bug me this weekend. I think we all tried to run with no expectations, except to do the best job we could. I let some things E on purpose, just didn't have the heart to dive in and damage control a couple of refusals, just wanted to keep on going, and move on in an efficient fashion.
Gustavo was also miserable in the freak heatwave, I will never make him run in heat like that again. He's no Otterpop, who just doesn't care, hot or cold, rain or ice, she's like that honey badger eating snakes. Otterpop and Honey Badger don't care. Otterpop sat around and barked and played frisbee and took baths in the little pool and rolled in the dirt. Otterpop didn't care about anything. She had no runs, and she liked the dusty winds that blew through the second day, tearing up people's tents.
Gustavo is trying to do this with me. He loves agility, he loves running fast and following my lead. I know that he wants to do the right thing. But sometimes he gets confused or scared, and something in him shorts out. Maybe I screwed up his training, maybe he needs me to be a better handler, maybe he really is brain damaged, maybe he just desperately wants somebody's bag of genuine meat he can't have. There are lots of maybes to go along with all his why's. It's important for me to not try to make him into something he's not, not to try to shove his amoeba shaped peg into a square hole. Just to let him be his own self, even if that means a change in how we do the things we like to do.
by team small dog at 8:22 PM