Sunday, September 12, 2010

Back to normal

Finally had a normal day yesterday.  No more smoke and only an occasional helicopter rather than the constant barrage.  There were some tense moments on Thursday night when the winds kicked up and the neighborhood became choked with smoke yet again but they never reached the predicted 50 mph, got to maybe 25 mph, and only lasted 2 hours or so rather than all night.  By morning the fire crews had it 65% contained and the smoke in my neighborhood was gone.  It's still burning and will probably continue to do so for a while but I don't think it's going to get any bigger unless the winds kick up again which they aren't predicted to do.  People in the evacuated areas that weren't in the burn zone were allowed to go back to their houses.

Once they let the public into the burn zone I'll go in on my bike and take some photos.  Oddly enough I was planning on a ride through the area up to Gold Hill this past week even though I haven't ridden there in ages.  The route I take is mostly roads, paved and dirt, with a smaller portion on trails so I don't do it often since I'd rather ride on trails but I'm getting sick of all the driving I've been doing lately and it's nice to be able to go for a nice long ride out your back door.  I used to ride there all the time, I'll have to see if I can get some before/after photo comparisons if I happen to have photos of areas that were burned.

Finally got up to West Mag yesterday for some much needed biking.  It was nice to have some sense of normalcy and to get some exercise and breathe clean air again.  Couldn't do much this week because of the air quality. 

I did get Strummer out to the practice field on Friday to practice weave entries and 180 degree turns from contacts.  I'm trying to get this 100% on a verbal but I've been helping him out with body language for now.  I used both the dogwalk and A-frame and mixed it up with each rep, sometimes having him turn away, sometimes towards me, sometimes straight and by the end it seemed like he was getting it.  I had a practice with my friend with the high drive dogs on the morning of the fire before it started and he was making lots of mistakes so I think practicing with someone is far more productive since that's the dog I have at trials.  He was able to work through the excitement and finally get his weave entries and dogwalk turns.  His accuracy on performing the dogwalk correctly while excited is improving as well.  I rarely see leaping any more.  No other sort of proofing seems to work as well as having another high drive dog doing agility.  I'm hoping that if we keep at it he'll have more consistency and finally start getting those weave entries at trials.

DOCNA Champs are in less than 2 weeks and I wish I felt more prepared but it could be worse.  My training partner is out of town this week but I'm going to see if I can get someone else to train with me.  When I got the running order and saw how big the classes were I started regretting my decision to go.  I love participating when it's my turn, I had a great time at DOCNA Champs 2 years ago, but I hate all the waiting around.  I love small trials with small entries where I get a bunch of runs in then go home early.  I think I'm growing more impatient in my old age but aren't you supposed to get more patient?  Oh well, I'm sure I'll have fun once I get there.


  1. I hiked the South Vista yesterday and was surprised the skies were so clear.

    It's good that DOCNA Champs are bigger this year, it means the organization is getting popular. I get really bored at AKC trials with only two runs a day so I usually work the classes in between my runs.

    Hey, I'll train with you anytime! Just shoot me an email ;-)

  2. I'd love to train, I'll shoot you an email later.

    I'm not sure if DOCNA Champs are getting bigger, I just groaned when I saw how big the classes were compared to a regular trial. I heard they were bigger last year than the year before but I don't know about this year. Seems entries are down all the way around, esp. in USDAA. I know I've cut back, I didn't go to the USDAA trial last weekend and won't go to ACAT this Oct. Just can't afford it all.

  3. Glad to hear the fire didn't spread your way. And hey, way to go on figuring out the kind of distraction Strummer needs to help work through his stuff.