06 May 2013

Monday practice day, once again, another blip on the time space continuum.

I looked back in time, and the last time we came in last place in team was last year in Turlock. I used the power of time travel to see that Gustavo was a very good boy, but had just started being afraid of the teeter totter again. And that Otterpop's team came in third place.

The circle of life. Sort of like how the Sex Pistols were being played as grocery store music this evening. Stick that hakuna matata where the sun don't shine.

Before we went into the forest today, we practiced for a while, just did some drills and played around. Nothing fancy, nothing specific, just checking to see that the weave pole paranoia was gone and all fun systems go. I needed a reminder. There were wild, deliriously joyful teeter totters.

Our forest walk went the same way. No specific plan, and we ended up walking in there for a couple hours. Took a different path, just walked wherever it led us. Everybody, especially Ruby, was happy just to run.

When we practiced, me and Gustavo remembered that he can do agility. And that he likes it a whole lot. We just mess up so bad at trials. So bad. We can mess up practicing too, but it just doesn't seem so tragic when it happens on the practice field, where I can whip out a ratty old stuffed squirrel dragging on a string. I know shit happens to everybody sometimes, but our dog show disasters have an awful lot of drama and flair, and happen an awful whole lot.

But you know, we had just as much fun on our forest walk as we did on the practice field. This has been the mystery of my lifetime in agility. So many maybes, that don't answer why.

Sort of like how the Sex Pistols ended up as grocery store music.

There's lots of things in life like that. Some people are good at taking a Why, and finding answers that don't have maybes. That are whole sentences, that answer in specific instructions and articulate reasons.

Some people might not be so good at finding answers. Some people, we ask Why, then we end up walking all the way down to the trestle bridge at the bottom of the hill. Wasn't where we intended to go. Didn't go there because I set out that way. Sorta lost, but not really. Worked out just fine. Maybe not everyone is supposed to have goals or success. Did Johnny Rotten ever think I'd hear him in the produce section, picking up some bananas? Maybe that's what my agility vision quest is supposed to be. I won't even try to find a why to answer that.

And, you know. Nothin' wrong with hearing the Sex Pistols in the grocery store. Sorry about that, Sid Vicious. I'm happy that I made it this far.


Cairns Vet  said...

Nice pictures of your pet dog. You're fortunate to have a lovely companion. Cairns Vet

paul said...

Much love to Gustavo.
Thank you for loving your dog and incorporating him into your life. Loved looking at all the photos of your little dog, I am always so happy to see people that love and take care of their pets. He looked so happy!
bless you - Whirly Dog Supplies, http://www.whirlydogsupplies.com

Tammy Moody said...

Silvia once said the results will come when you learn enough. I trust Silvia and it seems like a pretty good answer to me.

Johnny Rotten said "I'm no one's lap dog, you can't put me on a leash." But you can play him in the supermarket.

It is really hard to have goals when you are teamed up with a dog as your partner. Honestly, I think all this goal stuff is over-rated anyway. Heidi says mental management and goal setting comes down to eating well, exercise, and getting enough sleep, I think that sums it up.

I want to walk in your woods.

team small dog said...

Silvia is like Yoda.

I'm not even allowed to write the words "mental management" here, I get friendly cease and desist emails from the nice people that own them.

Uh oh. Just wrote them.

You would like our woods! I am trying to learn a new path to the river! It is sort of hard to find. I will though, someday.

Anonymous said...

Understand the weirdness! Was somewhere ordinary doing boring shopping, and E.C. and the Attractions "Pump It Up" was the Muzak of the moment. It's somewhat odd to be one of those people now, but I suppose the alternative is worse.
What's next: Dead Kennedys become the new Lawrence Welk?

-Chris O. the not so annonymous bush dog poster

Anonymous said...

Amazing work Laura. I can't even get my pooch to walk on a leash. The poles especially fun & I can watch this in my phone!

Elf said...

Next time i move, i will definitely move where I can walk to the woods or the hills or the beach or all of the above. I love all your posts about when you and the dogs are just out there doing that. Makes me happy vicariously.

Anonymous said...

So, I spent the weekend at the tryouts, supporting a friend and watching mental collapses up close and personal. Good teams, good people, questioning whether or not they were good enough to be there, because of one mistake on really hard courses. I really should have told this story to a few of them...

Many years ago, when the Dixon 4 day event was HUGE and Greg Louganis still did agility, I was hanging out ringside with him. A nice, clearly starstruck guy, did a couple laps around us, before working up the courage to say, "Greg, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
"What did it take to win the Olympic Gold medal?"
"Which one?"
After some laughing and eye rolling, I really miss Greg... He said something that I have taken with me, told friends, told students, probably have told random people at the grocery store.
"Forgiveness. Letting go of a mistake the moment it happens and moving on to what needs to be done next."

Now, there was also a time when I asked Greg, "so, you're clearly an amazing competitor, what's up with the agility?" Yes, I was teasing him, so unlike me, but if there was ever an agility competitor that had a proven history of an amazing mental game, Greg would be it. His response, "There's a dog involved."

team small dog said...

Wow, Mia! A very awesome, Yoda like story. I like it very much.

Once I was at a trial with Greg Louganis and we were out on a big warmup field, he was warming up his JRT and I had Ruby out there to play ball. Ruby started running big circles around everywhere and then ran straight up to his dog.

I called her and she didn't come back. I was appalled.

His dog just sat there in a sit, and he was looking at it.

Ruby was still tearing around, totally out of control around the big field, I think we had not been trialing or training for a very long time. His dog just sat there in his stay.

She finally came back to me.


After a long time of full on running amuck in feral terrier style.

Greg gave me this LOOK.

Oh man. It was quite a look.

Then I was afraid to ever talk to him ever.

The end.

My story is very unYoda like. I will remember your story instead.

Elf said...

Can I tell another yoda-like story? Because it helped me a lot many years ago and sometimes does still help me. I was having a terrible time Qing with my dog. In fact, often wasn't. I think it's when I missed the walkthrough for a gamblers course because I was still inexperienced and didn't really know what was going on and I really really wanted the gamble and didn't get it and I was sitting there crying. I don't remember any more why Nancy Gyes started talking to me, but when I moaned about being incompetent in agility, she said that she felt like that very often, that all these people who were coming to her for classes would someday realize that she was a fraud and didn't know what she was doing, because she felt so often that she was just faking it. It amazed me to hear that from her, and it did help to settle me a bit. I wonder whether she still feels that way after multiple national championships and international wins and being the world team coach. But anyway--I like both stories about greg and I'm amazed Laura that you're not best friends with Greg because you can talk to anyone and you're so driven and I think it would've been a great friendship. This from the outside from someone who's been too terrified ever to talk to Greg because I worshiped his Olympic successes and it was like trying to talk intelligently to Superman. But he's always been very nice in the few cases where I had to speak to him because of scoring things or whatever. I think I'm rambling. Again.