08 May 2016
Top Ten Things about the FCI AKC World Team Tryouts
10. Driving to the site of the tryouts, through the soulless, semi-abandoned office park corridor peppered with great fields that had been once paved over old fruit orchards, now covered in scotch broom and neck high foxtail plants caused a general feeling hopelessness and malaise to wash over me before reaching the sports complex.
9. The sports complex where they were held, called Silver Creek Sports Complex, had no creeks anywhere near that I could see, just massive blocks of smoked glass buildings surrounded by huge carparks and a freeway, where presumably pieces and bits of technology are manufactured or dreamed into reality by exhausted employees who would rather be somewhere else.
8. The creek may still exist somewhere but if it does, it must live underneath the copious amounts of asphalt to create the circuitous streets, that mimic in a probably non-ironic way, the circuitry on chips that power up computers or cause them to know what your fingers are doing as they glide across the track pad or double click Photoshop or something unknowable like that.
7. The Silver Creek Sports Complex is an expansive, outdated shopping mall sized behemoth housing a sports bar, fast food enterprise, row of pinball machines, ice hockey rink, two faux turf soccer fields, some kind of colorful, inflatable playground equipment, many restrooms, and sad, dim, fluorescent bulb lit rooms where children hold temperature controlled birthday celebrations with crinkly, mylar ballon masking the cold gray walls and attempting to bring joy and cheer to the wan indoor pallor.
6. Coffee is available for purchase from the sports bar where fake creamer is available in tiny, single use disposable cups.
5. Upon questioning if tips are appropriate for a $1.75 cup of coffee, since it's being served by a bartender at a bar where giant television sets are suspended as if by angel wings from the ceiling, the bartender quietly shrugs, and offers, "Up to you," and turns his eyes skyward again to one of the several floating screens.
4. The judge from Spain may have never gotten to eat his lunch, he had ordered the pesto tortellini with chicken, and the restaurant staff, who perhaps had difficulty discerning his accent, presented him with a chicken sandwich and fries, and the medium dogs were about to begin running.
3. Two judges were needed in every standard run so that one could be stationed near the up contact on the dogwalk and one could be stationed on the down contact of the dogwalk and create a judge sandwich for each dog who ran through their laser eyed gauntlet.
3. Going to an agility trial and not working or running is actually quite a nice thing to do on a Sunday when many of your agility friends and colleagues who are wearing casual regular clothes, not agility sporting attire also attend and sit together on bleachers, drinking coffee and talking about, what else, agility.
2. Seeing so many of your friends who are accomplished agility trainers and handlers negotiate crazy hard courses with their dogs and go nearly clean except with the occasional bar or weird contact thing or regular old missed contact or off course tunnel or off course jump or missed pole entrance is very exciting, except for when you wish for them that their run had been clean, damnit, the cleanest and fastest and had not an error because you tried to think only fast and clean thoughts for them on their run, you tried, and you realized for some that your brain waves used in such a way to your best ability, was a futile attempt, but that you still found their runs, quite amazing, even with an error here and there.
1. Seeing so many of your friends actually go fast and clean on crazy hard courses, because they train and practice so hard and have amazing dogs and their amazing dogs love them and they love their amazing dogs and the hard work, which does not go unnoticed, pays off and causes winning or, at least, close to winning.
by team small dog at 9:41 PM