Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

I'm finally somewhat out of my post agility haze after 3 straight weeks of trialing. The weekend before last was in Pueblo, 2 1/4 hours away, and that one knocked me out the most partly because I was up at 4 am Sat. & Sun. morning and partly because it was in the mid to upper 90's both days. Poor Cody had a meltdown, not a single Q and I excused us from the ring after the 6th obstacle on Sunday during his standard run because it was clear he was completely unfocused and not having any fun. He hates the heat in general and doing agility was too much for him. Lola ran fairly well in the heat, barely missing Q's (and her titles) in snooker (popped out of the weaves at the last pole, missed a Q by one pt.-ARGH!) and Gamblers (did the gamble but blew her dogwalk contact-ARGH!). Had a nice standard run but refused to lay down on the table. She already has table issues and the dog right before us peed on the table. She stood there sniffing the wet spot and flat out refused to get on the table. Might have been the chemicals they used to clean the mess that were putting her off, who knows. She gleefully rolls around in dead frogs for crying out loud.

I took last Monday off to spend the day with an old friend who I haven't seen in 10 years or so. I had a 1 1/2 mile walk with Cody & Lola first thing in the morning then a 4 hour, 7-8 mile hike on the Mesa trail with my friend & Strummer. This was pretty stupid, esp. after a full weekend of running agility and considering the farthest I'd been walking since my surgery was around 1 1/4 hours in my neighborhood. I haven't been hiking on hills at all and the trail was fairly steep in some places. But it was such a nice day, I was so thrilled to be back on the trails and I sort of lost track of time/distance. We had a few rest stops, one when came across 2 border collies playing in the creek and I let Strummy loose to have a romp with them. Then we stopped at the turnaround point for a bit. Still, it was a lot and I had some fun with the ice packs when I got home. But a week later I'm not only fine, I went for my first 'run' yesterday and it went great. It was only 2 minutes running, 2 minutes walking for 8 minutes total but still, it was wonderful to be starting up again. Tomorrow I go again, same thing, yeeha! At this rate I should be up to a mile by, oh, September.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

She Was a Showgirl

We managed only one Q this weekend at the USDAA trial in Golden but it was a big one. Miss Lola and I managed to pull a first place Q out of our ass in the Performance Grand Prix, earning us a bye into the finals at Regionals (if you win the finals at Regionals, you get a bye into the finals at Nationals) AND qualifying us for Nationals. I was stunned and amazed at this, especially since Lo's been having such ring stress issues lately. But she was nice and solid at this trial and though we had no other Q's she was running really nicely. The Advanced courses were pretty tough this weekend and there were no Q's in my standard or gamblers classes so I didn't feel too bad about it. Lola managed to smoothly pull off a hard weave pole entry in the standard class and I was over the moon about that. She had a really nice standard run but refused to lie down on the table, an ongoing problem we're having. She laid down on the ground next to the table but refused to do it on the table, much to the amusement of the judge (needless to say, I was NOT amused). She also blew her A-frame contact in the Snooker closing, costing the Q there but had an otherwise nice run. So now I'm thinking I might go to USDAA Nationals in Phoenix this fall. Cody still has plenty of chances to qualify but even if he doesn't it might be worth it to go for just one dog.

Cody seemed a bit unhinged this weekend, running out of the ring during the Grand Prix and standard run, taking an off course obstacle on his way back in. He didn't seem all that stressed out outside of the ring so who knows what was going on in his fuzzy little brain. I took him to handling class with Sandy last night and he did great once Sandy taught me a few things. I'm a little worried he might be injured but so far he's showing no signs of lameness. That doesn't mean he's not injured but I can't justify using sedatives to knock him out for an ortho exam unless I have some more compelling evidence that he's physically injured. He's such a freaky dog I don't know what to do about him sometimes and I'm a terrible doggie hypochondriac.

Next week I'm going back to the pool. Really, I am. Seriously, no foolin'. I'm also going to do the test the PT gave me to see if I can start running. I had no problems at all at the trial so hopefully things are healed up. My knee is still stiff and sore when I try to straighten it all the way but it's doing well with walking and the agility running. I'm still getting some weird popping and cracking but it doesn't hurt like it did before the surgery and it's in a different place. Don't think I'll do any tri's this summer, I'm too out of shape and I'm too nervous about rushing the running once I start back up. If things go well I might consider a sprint in the fall, we'll see, but for now I think I'll devote the time to the dogs.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Too Much Fun

and not enough time. Had a NADAC trial last weekend, a USDAA trial tomorrow and another USDAA trial next weekend. Phew! Here's a link to some pictures from last weekend:


The trial went o.k., I was hoping for a few more Q's, those stupid NADAC courses are so easy yet somehow we managed to screw up every single standard run. Cody had some nice runs in Elite Jumpers, placing 2nd by a hair and 3rd with Q's. He also picked up a Q in Elite Tunnelers. Lola picked up 2 Q's in Novice Weavers, one of them blazing fast and good enough for 2nd place in a huge class of 26 dogs. She also picked up an Open Tunnelers Q but missed the second one at the last tunnel. Seems I got a little overexcited, rushed the entrance and sent her in the wrong end, doh. It would have been her title and qualified her for nationals in Tunnelers. Have to try to pick up that last Q somehow before the deadline.

I have a lot of contempt for the NADAC organization but the courses are fun for the dogs and in the end it's all agility so I continue to sign up for them. But I wonder if my bad attitude carries into the ring a bit and causes me to make silly mistakes. Must try to put aside my lack of respect for the venue and focus on the course.

On a completely unrelated note, when I was in Chicago driving past the Chicago Historical Society I was reminded of an old friend of mine who took me on a tour of odd places in Chicago before I left 15 years ago. This friend moved to Thailand and I haven't been in contact for nearly 10 years. I meant to try to look him up when I got home but got too busy. A week later I came into work and found an email from him. He'd somehow found me and is in Colorado for a few weeks! Too weird but very cool, we'll meet up in a week or so. In the meantime, blog entries might be sparse. Those agility trials knock me out and make me play catch up all week long. Oh well, who wants to be on their death bed looking back on their life and seeing only a clean house and nice yard anyway?