Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Trouble Twins Take Loveland

Or, 'How to lose 10 pounds and take 10 years off your life in one weekend'.

(Photos are by the most awesome Ken Gee)

Despite keeping Lola's entry to 1-2 classes each day I still ended up running back and forth between the rings like a crazy person for most of the day.  The highlight of the madness was when during my run with Strummer in one ring the lady organizing the volunteers starts yelling at me in a not so nice voice over the loudspeaker for not showing up to work my job in the other ring even though I had informed someone of the conflict and been told it was no problem.  I'm working hard on my handling skills but I don't think I'm up to the level yet of being able to run Mister Speedy McCrazypants in one ring while setting jumps in another.  Maybe there are some NADAC distance handlers that are close to being able to pull that one off but so far my distance handling skills are not up to that level.  It all worked out in the end though and I didn't end up having to hold up any rings this year or miss any walk-thrus.  But I'm sure that between all the running around and then getting roped into leash running for Steeplechase at the end of the day that I must have worked off at least 10 lbs.  Well, maybe 1 lb anyway.  All I know for sure is that I could barely move Saturday night and was considering an ice bath which I only consider when the situation is dire.  I'm not sure how the people with zillions of dogs in all 3 levels manage it.

Lola started off the day with a nice opening in Gamblers but just as the horn blew she took the dogwalk going the wrong way and when I called her to me thinking she'd turn around and come back down the walk like she normally does she jumped off the walk from the middle of the flat top plank and took about 10 years off my life.  If you think I gave a rat's ass about the gamble after that you'd be sorely mistaken.  Once I assured myself I would not be needing a defibrillator I did attempt the gamble and though it was easy I wasn't positioned quite right and didn't have my heart in it so she didn't pull it off.  It was a shame too because it was such an easy gamble for her.

Her Standard run was nice but fell victim to a knocked bar which shook me up a bit because she rarely knocks bars and I was worried she'd hurt herself during her dogwalk fiasco but looking at the video she was moving pretty fast and nothing looked off so I think it was a fluke.  Joy was taping for me and afterwards she said she couldn't see why the bar came down either and she's good at spotting that sort of thing.  I think I pulled away from her laterally and maybe it distracted her a bit.  Also I was behind her at that point and maybe she wasn't sure where to go so she looked at me and took her attention off her jumping.

She got on the table no problem, all happy face and waggy tail but during the table count she lost it and sat up and started barking.  Maybe nervous about the judge, maybe nervous in general and wanted to get going, who knows.  I didn't argue the point because she's already got enough issues and she did get on the table happily enough.  I haven't been working enough duration during our table training so that's my fault, not hers.  This has been on purpose but now I think it's time to add it in.

I thought Sunday's run was a Q but the scribe sheet said otherwise and as I said before I suspect it was the up contact on the dogwalk.  It was the only time during the run that I took my eye off of her.  She got on the table no problem then hesitated a bit before laying down but she did lay down and hold it for the count so I was pleased with that.  Of course I don't have that run on tape.

Strum had a good trial, was mostly calm-for-him and focused with the exception of waiting his turn for his Snooker run.  I'm not sure what was setting him off but of all the classes to lose your head.  It was the only A-frame he missed all weekend and after missing the A-frame he sort of took off on his own taking an obstacle after a red that was the opposite direction of where we needed to go but I was able to call him to me and save the run somehow for a Q.  Gamblers had an easy gamble and he picked up a Q there. Did you know you can Q in Starters Pairs with an off course?  We had an off course but our partner was clean and we still Q'ed with 10 seconds to spare somehow.  Strum kept his head waiting his turn and I was able to get his leash of while my partner brought me the baton.

Jumpers was funny because during the walk-through this woman was freaking that she was going to get lost and I told her don't be ridiculous, once you're through the opening/tunnel/front cross it's just a big loop, no way you'll get lost and if you think you will then for sure you will so get that idea out of your head right now.  Then of course I proceed to come out of the front cross, see a sea of jumps ahead of me and forget which one starts the loop.  But refusals don't count in Starters so I regrouped and got us through no problem for a Q and 1st place even with the bobble.

Both Standard runs saw problems with the weaves, still need to put in some work on those.  He'd had no problem at class on Thursday with an unfamiliar set of poles and picked up some impressive entries, did the full set no problem.  I guess it's a matter of more practice.  Other than the weaves I think between his 2 runs he had one knocked bar, one missed dogwalk and a hop off the table but he got back on and held his stay.  Again, I've not been working on stay/duration with the table so need to practice more of that.  His nicer run was on Sunday but of course that's the one I don't have a tape of.  The person taping thought she'd turned the camera on but in fact she'd turned it off.  There's something funny with the camera because I've had that problem myself several times now at practice.  I'll have to play around with it and see what's up.  So I only have Saturday's run which was the first run of the trial for him and probably his worst run other than that crazy Snooker run.

Standard Runs for Strummer & Lola
USDAA-STRUMMER & LOLA-STANDARD RUNS from colliebrains on Vimeo.

Strummer's Pairs run

USDAA-APRIL 2010- STRUMMER, PAIRS from colliebrains on Vimeo.

Overall it was a fun trial.  The Border Collie rescue group that I do some volunteer work for was there and I got to chat with a few of the people that I usually only 'talk' to via email.  The last thing the dogs need is more dog toys but the rescue was selling those stupid squeaky rubber balls with the feet at a price way cheaper than what the store sells them for and Strummer loves those stupid things when he finds them at the training field so I thought I'd get him one and give some support to the rescue.  The one on display was a regular round ball with feet but the woman selling them told me I could have a different color so I asked for red.  I didn't notice right away but after playing with it with the dogs for a bit I noticed it had devil horns unlike the one on display.

I'm not sure if it had the horns when she gave it to me and she knew Strummer was a devil boy so that was the toy for him or if the thing sprouted horns after realizing it was going to be Strummy's toy.  And even though I bought it with Strummer in mind it turns out Lola is even more crazy for the stupid thing.  I think it's something about the texture of the rubber and the squeaking sound that sounds like small animals being tortured.

The other weird souvenir  that I cane home with came from the worker's raffle.  The woman running the raffle came up to me at some point during the day and said, 'Elayne, I don't think you heard your name called but you won a peanut', in a voice like I should be excited about this so I'm guessing it's not an actual peanut but I can't get my brain around what this could possibly mean.  Finally the fog clears a bit and I remember seeing some vendors selling those giant inflatable workout balls but they're for dogs and you could maybe say they kind of look like a peanut but really mine looks more like a maggot.  Sure enough this is what I've won and apparently these things are worth $79.

I'm not sure what is more disturbing, the fact that my husband came home from his bike ride on Sunday to find me in the garage using a 'plug in the cigarette lighter' air pump to blow up a giant inflatable maggot or the fact that he didn't even so much as bat an eyelash at me.  Here is something you need to know about these maggot balls if you decide to buy one-they take a freaking huge amount of air, especially if you have the gigantic jumbo size for your big pony dog.  Actually this thing is so big it probably could hold a pony.  Or it could if I could blow it up to its proper size but the thing is so huge it burned out the motor in the air pump.  They gave me a little hand pump for blowing up soccer balls in the bag with my maggot ball and this has got to be the most hilarious joke ever.  I took maggot ball to the chiropractor in the hopes that they'd have a proper air compressor since they have a bunch of the fit balls for people but it turns out they blow theirs up with a hand pump so they were no help and now I'm driving around town with a giant yellow rubber maggot in the back of my car in hopes of finding someone with a lot of hot air and I'm not at all sure how my life has come to this or what I'm going to do with said rubber maggot once I do get it properly inflated or perhaps most importantly of all where this monstrous thing is going to live in my little house.  Riddle me that Batman.

What, you mean you don't all drive around town with a giant rubber maggot in the back of your car?
What kind of crazy dog person are you?


  1. Ha, I have a silver egg ball that lives in our walk-in closet. Same one Clean Run sells in green or blue but got it much cheaper on Amazon. I would have loved to have won a peanut!

  2. I got Meeker an egg from CleanRun and the little hand pump did a great job inflating it... and I only have little scrawny computer programmer arms! :^) Meeker loves balancing on his - because there are cookies involved.

    Have fun!

  3. The maggot ball is huge, bigger than the egg, there's no way I can blow this thing up by hand. I did try but it was ridiculous. I have a regular human Fit Ball that I've blown up with a bicycle pump but there's no way this will work with the maggot ball, it's already killed the air mattress pump. I bought a cheapo inflator from Home Depot, we'll see how long it takes maggot ball to kill it.

  4. I read this post at work last week (been behind in my commenting, hence the delay) and I blame YOU for making me laugh out loud and my colleagues wondering what nonsense I was up to. That comment about someone running up to you all excited to tell you won a peanut. Hehehe. Totally got me giggling.

    Congrats though, it's a great prize! I bought an eggball recently and it wasn't cheap.

    Lola's looking fantastic. She was really flying in that Standard run, great weaves.

  5. I never thought I'd see the day where an agility video and Jawbreaker are combined together into one glorious package. Love it. Now I am inspired to figure out my iMovie so I can apply equally "un-agilty" tunes to my runs...

    And good luck with the maggot ball. I would not know where to begin with that one.

  6. Jawbreaker goes with just about anything I'd say. I even saw them play at a friend's wedding. Can't go wrong with Jawbreaker.

  7. Hahaha! Thank you for the laughs today!! Your post was hilarious :)

    -Kristin (

  8. I don't know why I didn't read this earlier. My excuse is that it Google Reader had told me that you had no posts, so I didn't go and look.

    Congrats on the maggot--even my exercise ball, when deflated, looks like it'll be about the size of a basketball,and if it weren't for the box that tellsme it's a 32" ball, i'd never have dared to inflate it that much. I did use the little manual foot pump that came with it and it worked ok.

    I've not had to worry about conflicts in so long because we've been using rotation groups forever. This weekend some of the classes didn't, and it was just chaos for me, spending all my time figuring out which of 3 rings my next run was going to be in and trying to avoid conflicts. I still missed 2 runs and had to make them reset poles (one I notified them, one I didn't). I remember all that stress and I didn't like it! After 4 days of that, I was *sure* I had lost 10 pounds, but no such luck. I couldn't keep track of my runs, but my poundage had no trouble keeping track of me.

    I love Starters with their generous times and faults. Sure, in starters an E isn't an E, it's 20 faults, so if you and your partner are really fast despite the off course, you can still sometimes get that Q. Heck, I've seen masters teams with 15 or 20 faults sometimes Q because they make up with speed. So congrats on keeping your head and getting a nice fast run in despite the offcourse.

  9. I love rotation groups. I think they did it for Regionals last year and/or the year before. Not sure it would work with only 2 rings but if there was a way I'd much prefer it.