20 April 2014
Easter dog show, the one that had the sadness.
Not Gustavo. Grifter, my big dog friend.
We were at a dog show all weekend. Which started with some sadness. A very nice lady that we all know around here never showed up in the morning. She isn't someone who wouldn't just show up. So two of her friends went to her house, broke in, and found her there, deceased. A really horrible shock. They took her dog, and the rest of the weekend we thought about her. She was a friendly nice lady who loved her little papillon and took photos of everybody running their dogs.
It was like a brushfire, the way the word spread through the show. It spread to me during the walk through for snooker, and I spread it to another friend who had the same reaction as me.
You drop your jaw, your eyes bug out and you say, "What? WHAT? WHAT?"
Because you can't believe what you're hearing. Because right then you don't hear anything right. Then you are in shock. And there's no more figuring out your snooker walk through. Because your mind is stuck on What. You have to go sit down because you will hear ringing in your ears. Somebody you knew is gone and not no way ever coming back. Just like that.
We thought about her a lot. And we still did some dog agility.
Sort of. Gustavo could not do even a speck of agility on Saturday. Not a bit. He could run to the sides of the rings, look around, come to a grinding halt to stare up at the trees. He didn't run a single run because something was wrong. I'm not sure what. I hope he wasn't sad for poor Lisa. She always had a kind word for him. She kept her own little dog in a fuzzy blanket on a chair whenever she ran the gate and made sure he wore a sweater when it got chilly. Don't take nobody for granted. Because they could just be gone tomorrow.
Historically speaking, Gustavo has always had problems at this place, Manzanita Park where we hold our Regional. It's not his favorite place. He is 7 years old. He has history now. I like it there though, so I try to show him that nothing there will kill him. Not the tarps or trees or tents or anything he can see that I can't. We just look for new ways of doing things. He is my dog and I am accountable for him and I can say with certainty that there is always a different thing to try.
I ran Otterpop in a gamblers and this made her very happy, to have a turn and collect a Q for her collection. Grifter won his jumpers and picked up a Steeplechase Q for Nationals. Running him wasn't a train wreck, so that made me happy. And we went for margaritas at the end of the day. It was a day that needed a margarita.
On Easter Sunday, Gustavo said he was cool to run. I don't know why. He just decides the perimeter is decontaminated from invisibles and off he goes. I went along with it but didn't push it by actually trying to finish any runs until jumpers. Where he had a real nice run. The rest of the day we just looped around and he did some speedy dogwalks and a crazy fast perfect teeter and got rewarded for running fast and running with me and then we called it a day. Why can he be like that one day and not the other? This is his special secret. He's only predictable in his unpredictability. I am used to it, and I keep teaching him to be the best Gustavo that he can. What he does with this knowledge is up to him. I will probably run him in our strange, erratic fashion, until the day we die. Which I hope is not for a long, long time.
Grifter won Steeplechase but he had a bar and and a backside on a frontside in Grand Prix. I think we will get it together eventually. He is big and fast and I get embarrassed for screaming LIE DOWN at him in lieu of perfect contacts. But it's nice to get out there and run when Gustavo feels like he can't. I am very lucky to have a big dog to run again. I am lucky to have any dog to run, especially a Gustavo. I remembered a lot this weekend how lucky we all are to have each other. I hope you remember, too.
by team small dog at 8:09 PM