Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Preparing for Monroe Trial

It's Monday, I leave on Wednesday for 5 days in Monroe, and I'm not the least nervous about my packing.  This makes me nervous!

Perhaps I've finally got the drill down, or have I just gone blank?  Let's see. 
  • Monday I pack my gear, charge all batteries, make ice.
  • Tuesday I pack the dog's gear, trial paperwork, maps, shop for food, confirm hotel reservations, etc. 
  • Wednesday I pack the car, gas up, check tires, etc. 
  • Thursday I pack the coolers and take off.
Only this time I'm leaving on Wednesday, a day early, the car is in the shop til Tuesday afternoon, the A/C is out in the den so I'm waiting for the repair man instead of packing.  I've got to get everything done in 2 days.  Still, no nerves.

It may be because now I keep all my equipment gathered in one place.  To wit, I've simply commandeered the dining room table, the first flat space I come across when entering the house, and that's where I keep everything "dog".  It's an eyesore, but absent a convenient closet to store everything, I gave up appearances for convenience for 2011, and that was a major step forward in organizing this dog agility obsession of mine. John hasn't complained.

Still, I've got a hint of a toothache so I should be nervous about that.  And, I got a really bad charlie horse last week, which flared up tonight at practice, so bad I couldn't run either dog.  So I'm hobbling off to the doctor tomorrow to see what to do about a "sports injury", and call the dentist for some antibiotics and pain killers to see me thru the weekend.  For some reason, I'm not even upset about all that.  I should be in tears.

Since I couldn't get in my last planned practice tonight, I asked Sandy R. (who runs both her dogs in the same classes as I run mine), to try and run Maxie.  You always hear people say "Oh, my dog won't run for anyone else!", but from watching Sandy's videos in the past, I already knew we use mostly the same handling signals, and I surmised Maxie would run with anybody carrying his treats around.  And so he did!   He ran very well for her and much faster than he does for me.  It was a joy to watch.  Sandy came back breathless and amazed at Maxie's speed!  In exchange for running Maxie for me, I gave her my next turn to run Tango, her daschund.  Maxie and Tango usually vie for placement at local trials in the 8" class, but now we both see Maxie can easily outrun Tango.  The sad fact is, Sandy can outrun me!  Looks like it's true, then . . . . . the dog keeps pace with the handler.

After that success with Maxie, I asked her to try running Lucky at 20" on the other course.  I had her tug with Lucky a few minutes, then run with Lucky's tug toy in her hand, and they both zipped around like they had been running together forever.  That, too, was a joy to watch.  Lucky ran fast and sure (it was cool and breezy out).  Sandy says "STOP"  where I say "HALT",  she says JUMP where I say OVER, she says A-FRAME where I say UP, but it didn't matter to either dog.  They understood exactly what to do based on the body language and hearing any kind of "oink" coming from their handler.

Oh well, enough of this musing, I really must go serve dinner, kick back and watch Twilight Zone with my sweetheart, and put a hot pad on my calf.  I'll think about packin' tamarraw!

Upwards and onward!

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