Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lola's Secret Admirer And Other Mailborne Oddities

I opened the mailbox this morning and found a brand spanking new fuzzy green tennis ball at the very back of the box. This can only mean that Lola has a secret admirer since the way to Lola's heart surely involves brand spanking new fuzzy green tennis balls.

In other weirdness, a few weeks ago I received a ribbon in the mail from USDAA. It was a qualifying ribbon for the Perf. Grand Prix. I don't usually take ribbons anymore unless it's a big fancy rosette for one of the Tournament classes or a title ribbon for a special title (ie Cody's Perf. MAD) or we're at an out of state trial and I want to take a couple as souvenirs, I'm sure I wouldn't have taken the little strip ribbons for the Grand Prix Q. Did they figure it out and make me take one anyway? Or maybe the club didn't have any and they mailed them out after the fact to everybody. But why did they come from USDAA and not the club? And why did they fold it? If they think I want my ribbon so badly why would they ruin it by folding it?

In a separate envelope on the same day I received a bunch of USDAA title certificates that also had me scratching my head. First off was 'Performance Dog III' for Cody. What the heck is that for? I know there are a bunch of titles at the masters level that I have no idea about and can't keep straight but which one is this? Finally I figure out that it’s his ‘MAD’ only they don’t call it ‘MAD’ in Performance, it’s that other stupid and confusing name which doesn’t sound nearly as cool. I’m tempted to make up my own certificate suitable for framing for him but, eh, that’s too much work. I also got certificates for both dogs for P3 Jumpers titles but, um, Cody’s still a leg shy of his title. I keep impeccable records, I couldn’t possibly be wrong. So I went to the USDAA site to see about paying for the access to my records except they want 30 dollars. 30 dollars!!! I’m sorry, but that’s beyond outrageous. They want me to pay $30 just so I can make sure they’re doing their job and keeping track of my points, yeah, I don’t think so. So I pulled out my record book and oops it looks like Cody did earn all the legs, I simply wasn’t keeping mental track of it all. I should check my records before a trial to see if we have any titles on the line but, eh, I don’t care all that much now that I’m in masters. It mattered more at the lower levels where the titles meant moving up but now the titles don’t mean all that much I guess since there’s nowhere else to move up to. Just another piece of paper for me to have to keep track of.

On a completely unrelated note it looks like we will be having Regionals here in Denver after all. Last summer I was talking to a trial secretary about it and she said we would for sure have our own Regionals this year and every year since USDAA was going to create a different region for us from the one in Texas (usually we swap every other year with Texas). But a few weeks ago I noticed that our Regionals still wasn't listed on the USDAA website so I asked a club member about it and she said USDAA was dragging their feet about giving them the approval and was trying to make them have some big event with frisbee & dock diving, etc., similar to Nationals which of course they didn't want to do. It's a huge task just to put on Regionals, there's no way they could handle all that other stuff (and why should they? just to make USDAA a pile of money?). So I thought well this is actually good because now we'll have a regular trial where we can work towards our titles because usually when they have Regionals there's only one masters titling class all weekend. Plus I can save money not entering the tournament classes since there's no Regionals to try to qualify for or win byes for. But now there's a post on the Colorado agility list saying Regionals is a go so I guess they worked it out. Which is also good because even though there won't be but maybe one titling class it's fun to have a big trial and see the top handlers running their dogs. Except now I want to try to get Lola qualified for the Grand Prix (Cody's already got 2 GP Q's so he's good to go). There are 2 trials in May but will we be prepared enough to hope to Q? I may go to UT in June just 2 weeks before Regionals, we'll see. There's an ASCA trial the week before that so maybe I'll skip the 7 1/2 hour drive and go to that instead. It's at the same location that Regionals will be at and we can train in the ring (I think, maybe I'd better check on that) so we can work on contacts and it's only a 43 minute drive. But it would be fun to go to UT, everybody raves about what a great trial they put on and I've been wanting to go at least once and since I still won't be able to do much else as far as hiking, biking, tri training goes it would be a good time to go. Oh well, plenty of time to change my mind a million times between now and June.

6 comments:

  1. LoL...i thought they are being thoughtful to mail u the ribbon..

    but $30 juz to check the record!!! that's insane...

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  2. Roxanne11:29 AM

    I've been an all-day volunteer at that trial in recent years. It's a hot, long, hard day, but interesting too.

    Sadly, last year, a well-connected person here in CO was complaining openly about the volunteers.

    Since Lilly and I don't compete, not many people know who I am, so I guess that makes me invisible.

    I was sitting RIGHT there, as this person criticized the volunteers, including something I'd accidentally done.

    I'm new to this, so it was an honest mistake. There's a better way to give that feedback than holding court with your entourage to belittle others.

    So, I think I'll stay home this year.

    I'll give my time to people, clubs, venues that appreciate it.

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  3. I'm sorry you fell victim to that person. I have a fair idea who it probably was and I usually just ignore her when she starts going off about something. I promise you though that the majority of people in those clubs that put on Regionals and the competitors really really appreciate the volunteers. I've gone down to volunteer at Regionals in years I couldn't compete and was treated really well by those same clubs so don't let one or two cranky club members with no people skills get you down. Also some people don't handle stress well and take it out on others. It's no excuse at all for mistreating volunteers but explains their poor behavior so I wouldn't take it personally.

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  4. Oh, so THAT's why people were talking in class tonight about figuring out how to get a trip to Colorado in during July. Huh. Good for you guys.

    Performance titles--yeah, I wish they'd just call them by the same names (PMAD, PADCH, those aren't so bad!). I mean, everyone always does what you do, says, like, "Got my APD, that's the Performance ADCH"; "Got my PD3; that's the Performance MAD."

    And I've refused to pay USDAA $30, too. Annoyed me immensely when they started that. Oh, well. They own dog agility in the U.S. and we have sore knees. Who's got the right idea? ;-)

    -ellen

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  5. I pay the $30. I do feel a bit grumbly about the fact that I have to pay them to keep them honest, but ... I gotta keep them honest. It all started when I never got Lucy's AD certificate--this was more than 6 months after she earned it. So I coughed up the dough and discovered that her first Gamblers Q had disappeared, in fact thee was no record of her having even run the course. Since then it's been one error after another, and if I didn't pay the money I would have no idea when to e-mail Tev and get it fixed.

    As irksome as it is, I try to look at the $30 as more like a membership fee ... for better or worse USDAA is my favorite venue--if they didn't chatrge the $30 for records they'd get it some other way, like maybe making clubs pay a higher per-run fee or something.

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  6. Well, they already charge one of if not the highest per run fee of all the venues or that's what I've been told by trial secretaries. NADAC doesn't charge for your records and I don't think DOCNA does either. Plus you can check the results online on the DOCNA site right after the trial to make sure everything got recorded correctly. The fee I pay to run should cover the record keeping otherwise what am I paying them for? I think USDAA is by far the most money grubbing of all the venues, if you ever go to Nationals you'll see what I mean. I would pay a nominal fee, maybe $5 or something, but $30 is beyond ridiculous, at that point their just fleecing people.

    I guess I've been lucky, so far I've gotten all the title certificates I thought I've deserved (and then some). If I ever didn't get one I'd email the office and ask them to check my records for me, no way I'm paying that kind of money because they made a mistake.

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