Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

This weekend there was a dog agility trial at the Petaluma Fairgrounds, a mere 45-minute drive from here.  I'd planned to go say HI! to all our friends.  The weather was great.  I'd planned to run Riff and Keeper in the exercise area, and then just hang out, and watch all the marvelous dogs run.  It was a good plan - a very fun plan.

But we never did get up and go. 

Sometimes leaving the house is a huge effort. 

I'm not sure why.

Part of me worried about handling the dogs at the trial.  Both of them get excited and start pulling on their leashes.  They're big BCs, and incredibly strong.  I worried about my back.  Sometimes I put "hardware" on my dogs - Sensation harnesses, slip leads, etc.  Which they often ignore, at agility fields.  I've even tried being a "Pez" dispenser - constantly rewarding good leash behavior with treats.  It started out fine, but didn't last long.  You can't bribe a working BC with a treat, when all they want to do is work.  I have a prong collar that I can use when my back is particularly tweaky.  ...  ...  .... 

Lately, at practice, we haven't been using a leash at all.  We enjoy "no leash."   

OR I could've gone to the trial without the dogs. ...  ....  Hardly!  My dogs are great, and I would've missed them terribly.  They just get excited.
But - let's face it - they're not very well leash-trained.

In any case, we never did leave the neighborhood this weekend.  Any running the dogs got was in the backyard.  They love to play in our backyard.  We've come up with some terrific games. 

But, you know, it's just not the same as agility.

I fell so far into the doldrums this weekend that I ignored the laundry, and the vacuuming.  I did not visit my friends at the trial, did not go shopping for a mother-of-the-groom dress, did not even go to the fair with my sweet husband (who brought home some nice photos).  I rode my recumbent exercise bike.  Watched fast agility dogs on Facebook and YouTube.  Watched the slow Giants lose baseball games on TV.  Buried my head in books.  

The books were okay.  Not great.

And I forgot to sign up for Monday practice time!  The doldrums stretched from Friday afternoon all the way through yesterday.  Were these my "Dog Days of Summer"?


So.  Thinking about Now.  Riff and I have an agility class this afternoon.  HALLELUJAH! 

We have company arriving on Friday, and they will stay all weekend.  Cat people.  But fun cat people!  (Unfortunately, we won't be able to squeeze in any practice time on Friday.) We'll take our friends to a great restaurant, a winery, and maybe the air show....  Then there will be a bridal shower on Sunday.  I'll find a really cool present for the bride, wear something totally comfortable, and it will be FUN.  Right?     

Right. Definitely. For sure!
Except for the part about leaving the dogs at home.

Never fear!
The following week will be GOLDEN!!!  

I've asked for field time on both Monday and Friday. 
We'll practice a lot. 
Riff is entered in an AKC trial that weekend.
The trial will be right here in Santa Rosa!



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