Monday, April 07, 2008

Today you are getting an advice column from someone that probably should not be giving advice.

Sometimes, I get actual emails that ask me questions. I do love answering questions! I am always concerned that anyone would actually want my advice. But here is a question today from Sarah:


OK Captain TSD:

I am writing b/c I need your help. In fact, we *all* need your help. Like a lot. I am a walking agility trial fashion faux pas. What Not To Wear here I come! Not seeing any inspiration at trials, that's for sure. Please blog your thoughts on this! I am 5'8", and an athletic horse girl (but not anorexic) I have lots going for me, but my agility look really sucks ass. Bad wind pants, dog t-shirt, etc. I want to be cool like you and TSD. What do you wear when you trial? I know you have your totally awesome red goretex shoes (but maybe you were being facetious about those?) Please be my role model!



Oh Sarah. And the *all* you talk about. I am very excited you called me cool but here is the problem. Number one, I am pretty sure the new cool word is not cool. But I am actually not sure what the new cool word is. I always say cool too. Just like saying Cowboy Up to someone who is whining is not cool because what the Cowboys actually say is Buck Up. I just learned this. Number two, I have the same exact problem as you and I am actually not cool and I wish I was. I have a whole bunch of friends that are cool. When I try to study their ways and figure out how I could be more like them, they have all told me the same thing. Dog agility is never going to be cool.

But Sarah. We see the coolness potential in dog agility, right? The fashion end of it is a big part of the whole uncoolness thing is my guess. I do worry someone would select me to be on What Not To Wear too. They are so mean, that Stacy and Clinton. And they would throw away my favorite shirt and make me buy an ugly jacket and skirts with seaming and wide legged trousers. So we just have to unlock the fashion mystery code ourselves.

Let's start with the footwear. I thought those red shoes were cool, too. And I laid out some major dollarage for them. Then people sort of pointed and giggled and I even found out they were possibly not even cool in England, where they were from. So they pass the function text but the reality of them on the feet sort of gives an overall impression of Not Cool. Maybe if they were combined with the right thing. Jeans from the Gap and a dirty polar fleece jacket probably equals Not the Right Thing. A red tennis dress with pockets and piping and a little black hoody thing over it? That is maybe the right thing! If you have nice knees.

Not nice knees equals no tennis dress or sporty little golfing shorts. Including the plaid ones. Because I thought that we could take some fashion Q's from tennis and golf. Ladies do this and it involves running but also looking nice. Wait. Do you run in golf? Maybe if you throw your beer bottle into the giant windmill and they come out to arrest you. There are those nice, big grassy fields in golfing and I am pretty sure I would run if I did golfing. I know my dogs like riding in little electric golf carts.

A lot of times I wear cargo capris or my black sporty pants with a stripe down the leg. They feel at least inoffensive to me, but not very cool. And then Carson I believe once said cargo capris are the devil's work.

Sporty Spice used to look nice in sporty pants but now she looks like this.

Here's a picture of me that was featured in Clean Run magazine a long time ago. I wish I could tell you I was the featured star of an article about my super star dogs, but it was some random article about pointing the right way and I was very surprised to see me in there. At least I was a good example of pointing and not a bad example of pointing. But I had a grass stain on my knee and very old jeans on. But that is one of my favorite shirts. And stripey caps are a good way to hide the gray. Because our demographic, let's face it, involves gray hairs starting to sprout on heads. If you are not there yet, you might be soon. But this is maybe not cool.

Here's a link to some really bad videos on youtube from the DAM team trial in December where I am wearing the all black look. That is black sporty pants and a black sweater and even a black striped hat I think. That look sort of evolved out of the cold weather. Also you can see Otterpop do a teeter bail in one of the videos! So this looks sort of inoffensive and warm but maybe not cool.

Um. Sarah. I feel like I'm not getting anywhere here maybe. I did see you mentioned a dog t-shirt. I think there is a lot of room for improvement in dog t-shirts. Gigantic cartoon dogs, and montages of 3 dogs of a certain breed with that breed's name written in a large script at chest level may not be a good fashion statement. Also wind pants. Are your dog trials in very windy places? If not, you might want to switch to something that is not a wind pant. In the cold, I also tend to just wear a good pair of jeans. Like not the ones from the Gap. Unless you are just so hot even those look good on you. Otherwise, you may have to upgrade to a more better tailored expensive pair.

Accessories? I have this unreasonable attachment to clogs. Possibly not cool. Can accessories override that? Don't underestimate the power of a good accessory. Large purses are in this season and super useful for either a bunch of stuff for dogs or even just shoving your smallest dog in if you want to go into a casino.

OK. To sum it up. I think that I have barely scratched on the surface here. I am pretty sure somewhere out there is someone WAY cooler than me with some good dog agility fashion tips for us. A little help please?


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Today we review all the stuff we find when unpacking cars from dog agility.

For us dog agility ladies, our cars are important pieces of our lives. Because we have a lot of stuff to fit into cars. Dogs. And the dog accessories that make our lives soft and cushy on the weekends at the dog shows.

So in my car, Product Placement 1999 Honda CR-V, I have to fit 3-4 dogs, and all their/our stuff if we are going on an agility outing. This may include, but is not limited to: sheets because I am a freak about motel beds, frisbees, jackets for cold days, a little fan for hot days, crates, water, food, shade cloth, xpen, chair, wheely cart to drag it all around on, a blanket for the dogs, sunscreen, soccer cleats, and The Canopy.

The canopy is what kind of ruined it all for me. When I started taking Ruby to agility trials, I just took her, some treats, and a fold up crate and snuck it under a tree or the canopy of anyone that would tolerate us. People are nice. Entirely too nice when you have a Ruby in a crate who used to growl at dogs that got anywhere near her crate. And me who is alternately anti-social or yacking your head off about a piece of property I am trying to buy. Nowadays, Ruby seems to just act invisible and never comes out of her crate until it's her turn. I still have borderline personality issues that may or may not make you want to hang out with me.

But as I started adding on dogs, I started adding on accessories. An xpen, so the dogs could have a little more space. A folding chair, that I use to put stuff on. Just like my non folding chairs at home. A cooler, so I could bring better treats and healthy vegetables to forget to eat and champagne for special events. A cover for the xpen in case one of the dogs is Gustavo who used to want to escape. Although has stopped escaping, thanks to the additional accessory of little clamps that make the cover even more jail-like. A giant purse to put stuff like the frisbees and soccer shoes and hat and extra shirts and snacks in.

So that didn't just fit under most people's canopies, who already had multiple border collies and xpens to fit. People still tried to squeeze me and my small dogs in, thanks Jim and Roxy! But I had to one day, get my own tent thing. You know them. How you spot Dog Agility Trial from the road. Just look for the sea of blue Product Placement EZ Ups and Quik Shades. Ugly, gangling, portable canopies that take up a lot of room in a car. That you breathe a sigh of relief when you have a good one that goes up and down in a flash. And you have your own hammer to pound the stakes in that keep it from blowing off into whatever cow pasture or garbage dump or Lowe's parking lot is next door to the dog agility. And then that whole ugly business needs hanging panels of shade to keep the dogs cool. Functional, but almost so gut burstingly, heinously, horribly ugly that anyone who Takes Design Seriously has almost quit dog agility over them. Right? Like you can barely go back to your tent to get a dog after gating or running or whatever because the blue tent top and hanging shade panels that make your dogs so cool almost make you fall down weeping right then and there.

And then, just to pound that nail down harder into the coffin, you need the Wheels to drag this repellant pile around which are also heavy and ugly and cost you money on your Product Placement Visa Card and take a lot of space in the car. It goes on and on. My set up is minimal, compared to a lot of people that bring little tables. Misting systems. Dog pools. Giant floor placemats to keep all feet from touching grass. Reclining astronaut chairs. I don't know what else. Mine used to all match at least, some crossover from my life as one of the horsey set and the world of horse show tackroom setups. All things were dark red but that just sort of faded away as dogs got added and I'm left with a visual that will someday get worked out, but for now leaves a blotch in the design of my life.


Monday, March 24, 2008

In this episode, we go to CPE on our own home turf.

I didn't even tell you we were going to a dog show on Easter. It was CPE. Low key. A fast drive away. Maybe you were eating chocolate. Maybe you were at some other Easter Dog show. Why are there dog shows on Easter? Sundays are just Sundays are just Sundays.

At CPE, I am not attached. I run better, because I just don't care. I believe I am sloppy sometimes, I chit chat outside the ring right before a run and I don't always focus so fierce. But I think I am not so uptight as at USDAA. I guess. I don't really FEEL uptight at USDAA, but I do feel like the competiton is So Good, all those World Teamie Types, and I always want to measure up, look ship shape. Like a big girl. CPE is sort of like you are wearing your jammies and ugg boots at Safeway, pushing the shopping cart around in the ice cream aisle and it's just ok to do that sometimes. There are no ugg boots and jammies at USDAA. Just matching track suits and Dita shoes all around.

Ruby, you were a star. I took any weave pole pressure off. I let you run right out of the ring in Standard after you did the poles so nice and just didn't want you to have to finish that course. I have no problem doing the sacrificial Q's in CPE. Sometimes just run out and party on, Garth. You did not hit any bars WHATSOEVER all weekend. And a couple runs you blew me away with your insane speed and border collie-esque styling. You were so DAMN fun to run that I thought, that's right. This is agility. This is the craziest, funnest thing you can do and this is why we do this. I think you got a bunch of Q's. I didn't ever check the scores. I just didn't care. I wanted you fast and clean and no pressure at poles and that's what we did and it worked. Your first class of the morning, Jackpot, was nuts and I could barely handle you but I ran out of the ring screaming for you to come over to the table to stop the clock because you were heading somewhere else, just insane to be on the course. I love that. It's bad agility, but I love it.

Otterpop you tried the hardest you have tried in a long time. You gave me 2 very, very fast runs. You had a couple slow ones with fast endings. But you never, ever thought about melting down and doing damage out there. You decided you would try hard to hold it together and hold it together you did. I was shocked in your Jackpot run at how fast you were, and made you easy, fun courses after that, screw the point value. Your snookers sucked speedwise, but you seemed surprised at my handling and went with it. I used a new technique called Feel The Love Otterpop. I thought, what if I was Otterpop. No one really likes her. She's mean, and she's funny looking. She is the weird kid at school that everyone hates and there's rumors about how her hair stinks and she has spiders in her underpants. I am her only friend and she will feel the love of dog agility with me. So I chatted it up with you on the course, against all things we know about Using Just the Facts, Ma'am. And it felt a little weird but I just kept you close every step and you decided that you would not commune with zombies and you had this one STELLAR teeter, in standard, and I just sat there with you laying there on the down contact, as it hit the ground, telling you how fabulous it was. People were like, um, that clock is ticking but I just wanted you to Feel the Love, Otterpop. And you just went Q, Q, Q for the love of it.

So yeah. It was Groovy. Feel the Love. No Pressure. Go for the Joy. It was like a hippie inspirational poster with a seagull. A saying you could engrave on a rock and give it to someone when you can't think of what to get them for Christmas. We can't always run like that. I hate seagulls and I hate those rocks. Someday it will click, Otterpop. I looked up Ruby's records and she is very close to a C-ATCH, the big championship of CPE. I think I am going to just put that folder up on a shelf and ignore it and look at it later so we can have these enjoyable CPE's of no pressure and just big fun. Like I should with USDAA. Someday. When I get the stick out of the butt of my matching track suit I guess.

Labels: ,

Monday, March 17, 2008

You say Madera, I say Near Fresno.

So you have been wondering, all weekend I know, how did Team Small Dog fare at the dog agility show in Madera? Was Super 8 Motel really 2 better than Motel 6? Would there be zombies, or even worse, race car noises there? And perhaps you also recalled, that Hobbes, super coolest border collie of the world, was needing only 1 little Q in Masters Standard to finish his Lifetime Achievement Platinum. Only the highest award in USDAA, only 500 Q's. And you remember that Hobbes is not my dog, I am just his stalker. His actual owner and dog Trainer, he got most of those 500. But that maybe it was going to be my job again to get that last Q, or to not. Or maybe you were just wondering about whether or not to have a momosa with your fried eggs instead of just boring old juice. And you know I brought champagne for just in case of the LAA Platinum actually occurring this time.

First of all. Madera used to be this rural country fairground, with trees and fields, and a giant car racing track next door. Now the directions to get there are drive through Los Banos where there are millions of crappy new tract houses built ready to be foreclosed on, drive to near Fresno, turn at Walmart, drive through the construction for more Walmarts and houses to foreclose, then there is a little grass and tree patch there where you can have a dog show. Our rural California ag lands are turning so wrong and make me want to cry and anguish what do we ALL NEED at Walmarts and their gazillion minions?

So. Are you wondering more about Hobbes or the small dogs? I suspected as much. OK. Here's how the 26" Masters Standard went down. It is my theory, being a bad dog trainer, that Hobbes's intelligence is so superior to mine that he sees the table when he's waiting for his turn, and decides to knock a bar before the table, does a nice down on it, and then sometimes gets run out of the ring for some chicken since he already has 5 faults and he did a nice table so give him a prize. Um, did I mention that Hobbes has this neurosis about the table? He may be perfect and I love him like a stalker should, but he has some idiosyncracies.

Rob already thinks I am nuts, so he just says, do whatever the hell will get him to go clean. Also he has been working hard on his jumping skills recently, since he is a good dog trainer and not reliant on voodoo and hair brained theories about the mind of the genius species border collie. But at this point, I have been dragging champagne around for a while and let's just get that Q. So I don't let him see the ring until it's his turn.

So he is going around and he has not hit a bar. I am like not saying a word since I am one of those calling over bar types. You know I have the only 12" dog that hits bars on a regular basis. Today included. He is getting the contacts. Everything is lovely. He gets on the table. And he does the thing. Hobbes you almost broke my heart right there, your favorite stalker, I take you on walks and let you play with rocks and cigarette butts and twigs. He just stands there staring at me. So all I can think of to do is slowly lower myself down staring into his eyes, down to my knees, using all my psychic abilities that I don't have but just trying to be all Amazing Kreskin like and levitate his standing up self into a down.

He does it. We finish. It's clean. Hooray for Hobbes and Rob on their biggest, hugest award you can get! I am proud to be a teensy part of it.

OK. So moving on. Next dog. Ruby, you were on fire. You were awesome. But you hit some bars and that cost us some Q's. And a refusal at the poles based on your personal neurosis/nemesis in Masters Standard (but thanks for an awesome table and no bars in there!). But aside from 2 bars and that pole moment, she ran better than she has in a while, and her jumpers, where of course, according to my custom, it was the LAST BAR, was just wonderful and fun and fast and I even was DEAD QUIET over every bar but you just had to throw that in there because you keep me honest and ADCh free.

My friend Otterpop. You blew me away with your FAST snookers run. And then, at the very end, in the closing 7 bit, I sent you in a contraband tunnel. But I was so proud of you and your maturity level and non paranoia! I thought, wow! She has turned over a new leaf! All our practice. And confidence building. I have become a good dog trainer! And then it was her turn for standard. And in she went, and over a bunch of stuff, doing allright, and into the poles. Where the judge happened to be standing. And Otterpop, she of poles I am actually Super Proud Of, looks at the judge harder and harder every pole until she pops out at 10, runs to the judge and barks in her face. And the judge looks at me, VERY STINK EYE, and says, "You are excused." You are thinking, oh, a starters dog. No. Otterpop is in masters. Yep.

Shamed. I was shamed. I picked her up, didn't say a word, marched her in my arms to the car and left her there. Until Jumpers, where she had a great, fast, lovely and smooth run and not a bobble or eyeball on the judge and there you go. But. I. Was. Shamed. A scarlet B pinned upon my breast for BADLY. BEHAVED. BARKER. BUTTHEAD.

Moving quickly on. Gustavo. I am very proud of us both. Me that I finally devised a way to keep you in the xpen with everyone and no more escaping ever. You that you stayed in the pen and were of course charming and well behaved every time you got to go hang out. Had I actually watched the whole DVD of Crate Games instead of drinking margaritas, this would of course not be an issue that he wants to escape whenever I run a dog. I have the Crate Games-esque Lite version of Puppy Rocket Launcher Pod I used to do with him to teach him to jump and go out to stuff, launching him to and from his crate on the agility field. But because of margaritas and short attention span of myself, he does not stay put in jail all by himself unless it involves a lid and clamps and such. Sorry dogs that you are in jail so much of the day but you kind of don't seem to mind.

And then we drove home into the wind. Oh, I had a medicore, bar hitting Steeplechase finals with Hobbes, probably won Rob enough money for a couple gallons of gas, but it's ok I guess. He has a Prius. And a LAA Platinum.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Timmy has to stay home though.

Well, here's a treat. Right after work today, we are taking a field trip to Madera, California. Madera. It is near Fresno. It is one of THOSE kind of drives. The kind where the getting up has to be REALLY early to drive there Sunday morning and I am just selecting turning it into a Fun Vacation. So, last night I packed up the car. Bought some snacks. And late this afternoon, me and the team will drive through the predicted thunderstorms to near Fresno. To the Super 8 Motel! This is sort of a luxury digs, not the normal Motel 6. We upgraded by 2.

I know. I am an anomaly in the dog agility world being a one day of trial go-er. I have a small business that is just a pain in the ass to leave on Saturdays. Can be a pain in the ass to ever leave it. It involves horses. And their people. And my control freak self. So while all of you pack up and drive to dog agility on Friday evening and spend a couple nights there, have 2 whole days (or, in the case of the mega trials, 4 whole days) to get your Q's and work out your bugs, I have one day. It's just how my dices roll.

Every so often I have orchestrated the mission that is taking a day off of work. And actually gone to a dog show on a Saturday. It was helpful to have an extra day, like 2 chances for Standard Q's! A day to work out the bugs that are the bar knocking and the zombies. Steeplechase! This is the big reason I orchestrate the mission, because Steeplechase is always on Saturday and how would I do Steeplechase otherwise? Or DAM team? Do you see the problems I wrestle with in my life? I am like the only person with no ADCh. Which now will be a Performance ADCh. Someday. Since we had to start over with Performance Q's and Still No Super Q's. Whine. Like when I was a kid and I was the ONLY girl with the Hot Wheels lunchbox. I KNOW I picked it out, Mom. It's the one I Had To Have. It is my own consequences and I should just shut up now.

And, on the shiney side, with multiple dogs, multiple days of dog showing every month would be really, ouch. The entries. The motel. Lots of you sleep in your cars, I know. And work full time at the trial doing hard jobs. I am not a car sleeper. Or a good and cheerful all day worker. More of gate person/pole setter for some lunch worker. I am more like the discount shopper of the dog agility. Working to make money on Saturday, instead of spending more money at the dog show and losing money at work, even my bonehead accounting skills can work out that one. So one day-er I am. And usually not a motel-er, but for Madera, I'm making the splurge. Fun! Vacation! Motel!

I will have Illinois to think about driving out there. Do you like Sufjan Stevens? He is making a cd of each of our nation's 50 states. I just put Illinoise in my ipod. It is sort of like Simon and Garfunkel if they had a giant marching band and orchestra and made a film score for a movie that was about history and maybe quasi religious butterflies. I think that is super suitable for driving to near Fresno in the rain on Saturday after work with 3 small dogs.

Labels: ,

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dreams of momosas and valet parking.

Yeah. I am practicing his weave poles wearing clogs and the layered look but not in a good way. It was that kind of day.

If this is Sunday, then I already left the house. At like 5am. To go to Elkgrove, California, for an exciting CPE trial in a covered horse arena in the middle of cow pastures near a prison. You were still asleep when I went through Stockton. Probably you were still asleep when I went creeping down their long dirt road into the facility, found a parking spot, jumped out of the car, walked a course, woke up a dog, did a run, woke up the other dog, did a run, and then probably kept repeating this all day until it was time to turn around and drive home the 2ish hours. Maybe more coming home because it's the same freeway everyone who goes snowboarding in Tahoe uses and we all like to leave at the same time to drive home. We plan it that way. Are you awake right now on Sunday morning? If you slept in, I bet we ran Standard and Fullhouse already. Do you feel tired for me? I don't even love CPE but I love the covered arena and we just need to go start our dog show season again somewhere so this is it.

Do you think we just leap in the car and go? Sort of. When that alarm goes off at 4:45, I am perfectly trained to leap out of bed and make coffee and grab dogs and brush teeth. I am fast as greased up pigs running from the bacon man. Because I have to drive through San Jose, head out east over Altamont Pass of Windmills Hells Angels Killed someone at a Rolling Stones Concert there during hippies, up 1-5 through Stockton and head east again towards prisons and cows. But we get really packed and set up the night before. What do you need to do to go to a dog show? A low maintenance, one day, not even taking a canopy because I am mean and just keeping my dogs likely in the car most of the time, minimalist dog show?

Pack up: xpen, shady cloth, frisbee, folding chair, folding crate. That'll contain those little monsters all day. Throw 'em in the car. Find the cooler. Clean clothes! Do not forget to wash some clothes you would like to be wearing all day at a dog show. I have very few at the moment I can actually squeeze into due to the previously alluded to Sees Candy fiascos at Christmas time. They are all in the wash right now. It might be hella cold up there in Elkgrove so I'm wearing jeans and many shirts (layered look!) and many jackets. I threw a bunch in the car already. It is important to get the clothes ready and leave them in the bathroom including your socks. Just trust me on that. Some people might have lucky socks or underwear. I don't have any lucky clothes. I just don't want to look like a frumpy old ranch lady is my goal. Did you hear that Tim Gunn?

Find some food. No food in the house. Go to the store. Main item we MUST have-some hot dogs! For the dogs as an award for going fast! Or in Otterpop's case, not having a paranoia barking attack in the ring. A hot dog to look forward to. Like I would look forward to pizza and ho ho cake. Which I do not bring because that's just too complicated. I take some apples and bananas and I'll make a sandwich the night before and some nice drinks and a bag of chips and I have my coffee stuff set out on the counter. There is usually not so good food at dog shows, so it is useful to pack your own healthy lunch is what I like to do.

The coffee thing is really key here. I am not legally allowed to drive if I have not had enough coffee. It even says so on my drivers license. So Elkgrove=2 Large Travel mugs full. This is after consuming one large cup as FAST AS I CAN whilst frantically grabbing items for leaving such as actual dog agility dogs before I am allowed to start the car. Do not start car and drive until ONE FULL CUP of coffee is drank is just a good rule of thumb if it is dark and you need to remember which freeway to take is a good rule of thumb to follow. Just trust me on that. Yes and all that coffee might make you have to go to the bathroom and then you have to deal with that when all you want to do is drive 80mph and listen to the ipod which now works in the CAR! Maybe it is possible to hold it. Is that too much information? You wanted to know about underwear the other day so I am just trying offer Detailed and Useful Information to you here.

Is the glamour of my lifestyle killing you here? Like you cannot STAND the glamour? Maybe you are getting ready to head out to Sunday brunch in West Hollywood with a somewhat washed up pop and country singing star at the place you always see people on tv and how little and teensy they are in real life eating a leaf for brucnh. Well good for you. I will dream of your momosa and you can wish you were me out there with a damn speedy and hot dog awarding clean run.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hello Timmy!

Say hello to Timmy this weekend if you see him. And Gustavo. They are both staying home together with Gary. Good luck Gary! Just me and the damn masters going on the sort of vacation to the cold Santa Rosa Fairgrounds with a Saturday night retreat at Motel 6. A life of glamour, is upon us. Fairgrounds. Motel 6. Dirt. 4am. Who woulda ever thunk it?


Thursday, December 13, 2007

It is sort of like a vacation, but in a bad way.

This weekend, we are going to Santa Rosa. We have to be there about 7am on Saturday morning. Which means, we get to leave my house in the dark at 4:30am on Saturday morning! And that night, we are staying at Motel 6 in Santa Rosa! This is going to be one swell weekend!

Why? Of course it's for a dog show. Why else do we venture further than Watsonville ever? Why do people give me weird looks when I tell them about these dog shows? You are giving me one right now. I see it. I see that chuckle and shake of your head and I know exactly what it means. That Laura. She is so wacky about these dog shows. Except for yours, dog agility person. You are nodding your head, thinking, yes, at least she doesn't have to drive all night and it's not in LA. Or Santa Barbara. Or Arizona. Santa Rosa? That's nuthin.

And, take THAT dog agility friend, mine is in a covered arena! So just in case it is raining, it will be dry and icey cold at my dog show. With floating dirt particles in the air and nowhere for a dog to stretch out in the sun or the grass.

This one is special, it's for Tournaments and DAM teams only. DAM team stands for dog agility masters. That would be Otterpop and Ruby, damn masters of agility. They are on teams, and if they screw up, their team members will come after me with sharp stakes and rakes and possibly kill me. Can you give my dogs a ride home if I'm dead? If we win, they possibly we will have our Team Q, which is a requirement to get the ADCh. If we got enough points. Yes, I am getting up at 4am to drive to a freezing cold covered arena for 2 days, canceling a day at work, to possibly get a requirement that helps me earn some letters!

You know how much I like to get paid to do stuff. Everyone assumes I must be getting paid to do this. Ah, I see you dog agility person, nodding your head and chuckling, that would be nice but it is a funny joke! Instead of paying so much money, someone would pay me some money. That is a funny joke to laugh at! I know, non dog agility person right now, you are scratching your head thinking, but Laura likes to get paid the money to buy things like ranches! Perhaps, just last night, she had to stay up late graphic designing something really, really stupid because someone said they would pay her some money! She has to ride those horses and teach those girls to ride 'em to get some money. But she pays money to show the dogs? What about when she won the big Steeplechase?

That's what I'm saying. Enough of that.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, November 26, 2007

One full gas tank and 2 travel mugs full.

The Rio Consumnes Prison at Sunset.

To get to where the dog shows are in Elk Grove, get up at 4:30am, drive past the freshly smashed deer on Highway 17 in the dark, go over Altamont Pass where the Hells Angels killed someone during a Rolling Stones concert during hippies, go through Stockton, turn where you can barely see the sign, pass the prison, hit a bird, make sure to turn after the little horse sign, drive REALLY REALLY slow down the driveway next to the cows, and you are there at 7am! Try not to stay up amost all night the night before because you were drinking margaritas at Palomar.

The big kudos today goes to Otterpop, who won Every Single One of her Good Sized Classes, and rightfully so. She was running like her frisbee was buzzing around in front of her. She was slamming contacts like a tubby little machine. She was racking up points like a, well, like a point racker. Their gamble equivalent in CPE was sort of oddball, and gave small dogs something like 50 seconds to rack up the points in a sort of snookery way and we found 60 points. Which is a heckuva lotta points for a shortie. We did an aggressive-ish Snookers and made it. (I did a HIGHLY aggressive Snooker with Ruby and got whistled off when she back jumped the last red jump in my attempted insanity of making it work. Thanks Tim Gunn.) Flew through Standard and all her other classes. This was the Otterpop I practice with! Thanks Otterpop!

Ruby was actually awesome, but so wild that we had errors every so often and didn't do as well. Even though it's CPE. She is challenging to handle when she's so, um, crazy. But she cracks me up because she is so happy to be out there and SO FAST! She did Q in almost everything, but also hit a couple bars, had the wild Snooker, and had one of those nutso Standard runs that just made me start cracking up at the end where the last error (there were a few others) was totally her and not me, because she was so wild and so far out (thanks all my gamblers practicing!) to the side and we had a wacky comedy run that had me running to the end cackling of the hysteria of it all. After stopping dead in my tracks, just standing there, in my nice rear cross position while she was like halfway across the ring because she wanted to be doing the non existent gamble 30 feet away. HELLO it is STANDARD Ruby!

So it was actually very fun, even if Ruby didn't win all her classes too. When she is like that, it is a good problem to have. Everyone was pretty cheerful there and no griping and freaking out and complaining. It is sort of a nicer crowd there I think. Not a bad way to spend a day. In Elk Grove. Where it's so flat. And we were treated to a stunning sunset over the prison yards on our drive out. One full gas tank from home.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, November 23, 2007

Does the unibomber shack have showers?

Now it's not Thanksgiving anymore, and I have to go to work. I am still real bent out of shape about the findings from the secret legal sellout dealings of the State Park and the Santa Cruz City Council (if you are even slightly interested, the pdf's of the paper trail of the lawyers are here on the Sellout Timeline) which basically mean that for the last 2 years, all the representatives of the City, including Mayor Emily Reilly, owner of Emily's Bakery which I'm done setting foot in even though it's the only muffins right on the way to work, have been looking all us people that just want to keep walking our dogs where we always have straight in the eye and LYING. Yep. Very simple. Just out and out lying to face lying.

Same deal with Coonerty, member of Bookshop Santa Cruz clan, a business I used to support completely and have forever and now, forget about it. Mr. support your local independent bookstore, don't shop the chains, we are good peoples here. Out and out lying for 2 years. Love the politics. It makes me feel all unibomber-shack-loving gun-toting-libertarian ghost-mountain-rider-Boulder Creek joining. Super groovy progressive government, all greenbelts and recycling and love for the homeless, looking people dead in the eye and LYING about what they've already put into motion, signed sealed and delivered.

Oops, sorry so ranty. So very bloggy!

Princess Diana. Thankful we own a house in a fine community such as ours and we can at least walk our dogs on leashes and enjoy the beach from a paved walkway at a distance! Thanks City and State!

Um, more bloggy fun news. Dog show this Sunday. In Elkgrove. Covered arena. Get up 4:30am. You know the drill. Thankful for dogs and family and a job and Team Small Dog.

Labels: , ,