Thursday, September 29, 2005

You Don't Wanna Know

I came down with some nasty bug on Monday the details of which nobody wants to know, believe me, so I'll spare you all. I did manage a quick agility practice Monday night with Lola and she did just awesome. We had a few stoppages at the top of the A-frame to sightsee but otherwise she had near perfect contacts and was listening to me perfectly on a tricky jumpers course. She didn't run off ONCE to check out the rabbits along the agility field's fence line which has been an ongoing problem. I think I was most pleased with that because it shows she was really focused on me and the agility stuff and thus not stressed out and looking for something else to do. The focus on motivation over the past couple of weeks finally seems to be paying off. Cody had an equally successful training session last Friday. Both dogs seem really keen and ready to go. If I can just get my health up, the trial this weekend has a good chance of going well, at least as far as their stress levels go.

That's a big if though. I've missed 2 days of work and though I'm back today, things seem a bit iffy. When my coworker saw me today she had a concerned look on her face and said, 'Geez, you look thin & sickly'. Not exactly the pep talk I needed to hear. I don't want to drive down to Colorado Springs (an hour and 45 minutes) and get stranded down there with 2 dogs and a ton of crap because I'm too dizzy & nauseous to drive home.

I really wanted to post some vacation pics., I've got some nice ones and I took some more over the weekend of the aspens changing color in the high country. Unfortunately I probably won't get to that until after the trial. For now, every moment not at work is going to be spent passed out on the couch so I can fight off this bug before Sat.

Obviously all tri training is on hold until I'm better. I cancelled my last apointment with my orthopedist because I'm feeling pretty good and I don't think there's much else she can do for me at this point. I think I'm going to have to find time to start back with the yoga and at least pick up the lunges, squats and core work the PT had me doing. It's SO boring though, I'd rather go play outside.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Won't You Come On Down To My Rescue?

I almost had Jonny talked into a third dog the other day. We stopped in at the shelter so I could sign up for the Doggie Dash and of course we had to go look at the dogs. The Boulder Humane Society has a very high adoption rate, they haven't euthanized an 'adoptable' dog in 9 years (though they do euthanize animals they deem 'unadoptable') so I don't have a problem anymore with going to the shelter and not coming home with somebody. The shelter was full of animals and people, probably because they had just gotten in a shipment of Hurricane Katrina victims. The dogs were out for people to meet but they could not be adopted out for another month so that their owners could get a chance to be reunited (though how someone relocated to Texas is supposed to find their dog in Boulder on top of everything else they have to deal with is beyond me). You could put a hold on a dog though and there was a lovely 3 month old rat terrier/chihauhau mix that we both really liked. I really want a small dog to add to the crew but Jonny thinks one more dog will be too much. He really really liked her though and if I'd pushed him I probably could have gotten him to agree. But on the way home he started getting panicky, claiming I would come home from work one day to find him curled up in a corner in the fetal position because all the dogs had ganged up on him. He was so freaked out and felt so bad about leaving the little one at the shelter that I thought it unfair to push the point.

On the plus side it seems that lots of people have been snatching up the shelter's 'regular' dogs which means the shelter has more room to take in Katrina evacuees and less dogs in the rescue system in general. One more disturbing facet of the whole Katrina fiasco was how well organized the animal rescue community was compared to the Feds. They were some of the first responders in New Orleans and had whole rescue shelters with crates, vets, supplies etc. set up in safe places well in advance of the storm. These groups receive no govt. funding and work soley on donations and volunteerism. Sad that our own government can't muster the same kind of compassion for it's own people.

Anyway, on a lighter note, I've started back with some semblance of a 'training' schedule for both triathlon and agility. My stupid stunt with the 5k notwithstanding, I'm up to running a mile comfortably and 1 1/2 miles not so comfortably. I spent the last week hiking in the mountains (Crested Butte, Ouray and Telluride) with hikes varying from 2-4 hours so I had a pretty strenuous week. Finishing it off with a 5k was not my brightest move ever but I really wanted to go out and support the shelter and feel like I had some kind of return to normalcy since Lola and I have done this race several years in a row now. I told myself I'd walk the last mile or so but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. We finished in 31:48 which has got to be a personal worst even for duathlon 5k's but I finished and I don't think I did any serious harm except for some weirdness with my right knee which was already brought on by the hiking.

I've got an agility trial in a week and a half so I'm back to training with both dogs. Last night I noticed I was running much better and was actually able to keep up a bit so I'm hopeful this trial will go much better than the others. Both dogs still seem to be having some stress issues, esp. at the start line so we're focusing on motivation more than handling or obstacle performance but I am throwing a little bit in here and there so we don't loose that in the process. I think much of the problem has to do with my poor timing and weird running so hopefully as I get better physically the dogs' emotional conditions will improve. Either that or I need to find a doggie sports shrink.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Cause for Paws Doggie Dash 5k

I knew I was doing something special today when Chicken Boy gave me only part of my breakfast. Usually that means I'm going for a ride in the car to play with the jumps and tunnels in some big park somewhere or maybe up high in the mountains to chase tree rats. But early this morning Chicken Boy took Cody somewhere and left me with Tennis Ball Girl who was just lying around on her ass. I wasn't happy about this and started to mope. After a while I got really fed up and told Tennis Ball Girl to get a move on. Well, that lit a fire under her ass and suddenly she was running from room to room, throwing clothes around and looking for things in a very disorganzied manner. If only she'd calmed down and remembered to use her nose to find whatever she was looking for she would have been fine. Honestly, it's a good thing she doesn't have an important job like herding sheep or sniffing out bombs because she'd be a total disaster. Anyway, she continued in her chaos, running around with the foaming stick hanging out of her mouth, rubbing creamy stuff on her arms and gathering up piles of useless crap into a plastic bag. Finally she put on her special shoes which meant we were going for a run, though I couldn't understand why it was such a big fuss this morning.

We got in the car which probably meant we were going to chase tree rats in the mountains but pretty soon we were going the wrong way. I got out of the car and there were lots of other dogs but no jumps or tunnels so I was a little confused but finally I remembered where we were-the crazy race place. The last two times when the days started getting shorter and cooler we came to this place and ran a big race with lots of other dogs and humans. The other times we had a lot of waiting around before the race and I had plenty of time for the porta potties but this time we ran out of the car with Tennis Ball Girl in a near panic and started the race right away. It's o.k. for her, she has indoor plumbing. I just hoped I wouldn't have a code brown.

I'm pretty competitive and fast but Tennis Ball Girl doesn't quite understand the concept of a race. She lags behind me, taking her sweet time and letting all the slower, couch potato dogs get way in front of me. I pull as hard as I can but this boat just won't go any faster. Last time we weren't too far behind but today we're going even slower and we're way at the back. No PR for me today, that's for sure. We run up and down a bunch of streets that all look the same with big ugly buildings and not enough grass or tree rats. Finally we get to stop and I have a nice roll around on my back in the nice cool grass. Tennis Ball Girl has looked better and it's a slooooooow walk back to the car. I don't mind though since it gives me a chance for some more roll arounds and I can relive the race with the other dogs who just finished.

After some water at the car we go to the place where I first met Tennis Ball Girl but we don't go inside. There's lots of other tired dogs and humans there but I feel like I've only had a warm up and I'm pretty excited. There are rows of tables with humans behind them who will give you lots of treats if you look real cute and bat your eyes the right way. By now I really know how to work the crowd. Tennis Ball Girl goes into conniptions because some of the humans give me lots and lots of big cookies and I gobble them all down before she can do anything about it. Mmmm mmm, I love the post race grub. There are huge trays full of pancakes but Tennis Ball Girl takes only two. I swear, opposable thumbs are wasted on the wrong species. She gives me just one measly piece, how stingy can you get. But it's wonderful, full of greasy butter and sweet sticky syrup. I never get stuff like this at home.

One of the tables has a huge stack of tennis balls-lovely, fuzzy, bouncy tennis balls. The sight of them makes me crazy and I jump on the table spitting drool everywhere while trying to get at them. To be honest, I think I might have a problem. I thought I could stop anytime but after that display I'm starting to wonder. Tennis Ball Girl turns red, takes only ONE (a nice pink one though), and apologizes for me.

Next it's on to the massage tables for a bit of pampering but hey, I deserve it. I'm not too sure I trust this woman but Tennis Ball Girl assures me she's reputable and specializes in doggie sports massage so I relax and let her do her thing. Tennis Ball Girl tries to talk her into a massage but she shoos her away and calls the next dog over. She's so embarrassing, I can't take her anywhere.

After chatting with some of my neighbor friends and working the crowd for a few more treats I decide I've had enough and it's time to go. Tennis Ball Girl looks like she'll sleep well tonight and probably won't need a second walk. On the way to the car I spot one of those blonde airhead dogs lying in a doggie pool. How undignified and unhygenic! Somehow the humans think this is cute and he's getting lots of attention. I can't believe those stupid humans are so easily amused.

Once I got home I told Cody all about the great time he missed but he just ignored me and tried to suck up to Tennis Ball Girl. He's so whipped. I wasn't really all that tired but I thought a post race nap would be good for recovery.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Department of Homeland Security My Ass!!!

Where the fuck is FEMA?!!! Where the fuck is the president?!!! I've always felt the Dept. of Homeland Security was a sick sad joke who's sole purpose was to waste taxpayer's money while denying us our civil rights but doesn't anyone even want to try to prove me wrong? With all the money we spend on politicians is it too much too ask to have some competent, compassionate, intelligent leadership in this country? Why do we have the technology, money and resources to send useless shit into space, create high tech weapons and blow the crap out of third world countries but somehow we can't do something as simple as get food and water to dying, suffering people in our own country? Am I the only one, aside from all the stranded, suffering, dying people, who thinks this is Fucked Up with a capital F U??!!

Sorry, but after watching the horror of recent events unfold on t.v. last night I just can't stomach going on about my self-indulgent, pointless hobbies at the moment. Back to my regularly scheduled drivel next week.

Let the light in
Before we say goodbye
Give us something to believe in

We're not begging
For too much I don't think
Just one last salute before we sink
-Alkaline Trio