Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Planning Ahead

No time like the present to completely book oneself for the entire future. Didn't I say I was going to do less dog stuff and have more of a Real Life?
  • June: Well, gang, there is absolutely no agility within 2-3 hours of here all month. What am I going to do? OK, thanks for asking; I'll tell you. There's a rattlesnake avoidance clinic mid-June. After Tika cornered a rattlesnake in the back yard last summer, I'm going to go ahead and sign her up, and probably the puppy, too. It's $65 per dog, so I think I'll skip signing up Jake, seeing as how he's elderly and the odds of him encountering a rattlesnake seem slimmer for the rest of his life than for the other dogs. The instructor is actually the one who handles the dogs and the rattlesnakes to instill the Fear of Rattle in the canids. What hurts is that they recommend doing this training every year to keep the dog's reactions fresh and correct.
  • July: Well, there are two agility trials within 2-3 hours of here. But one is the weekend before my sister's wedding (here in my back yard) and so I'm not yet decided whether I'll go--although it's just up in Sunnyvale, and some fellow addicts have said that they can just give me a ring when my rounds look like they're coming up and I can zip up there, walk & run the courses, and come home again. We'll see whether that's really practical.

    The second one is on the same weekend as a USDAA judging and course design clinic. I've wanted to take one of those for years and years and there have never been any here in this area since I think my first year of agility. Now it's right up at my instructors' place. Turns out it's also danged expensive *and* is thursday thru sunday, so I'll miss some work, *and* it means I wouldn't get to do any agility for July, either. But I sent in my check. There's still a chance that it could get canceled for lack of interest. (Lack of publicity is the real problem.)
  • August through October: Suddenly at least one agility trial, often two, every bloody weekend. To top it off, I've signed up for a puppy motivation seminar (see, not *specifically* for agility) on the first Monday and Tuesday of August (more days off work).
  • USDAA Nationals in November in Scottsdale: I traveled last year with an agility friend who was an absolute delight to travel with. Her current dog isn't a National Championship kind of competitor, certainly not at his age, but she loves to go and hang out with all of her friends. Last year she also helped me manage 2 dogs (this year it'll be 3, I guess) and we shared hotel rooms and meals and we talked talked talked. I just asked whether she'd be interested in doing it again, and she is! So I'm set for November.
  • August 2006: Let's see, Boost will be 18 months on July 31 next year, so if she's ready, she can start competing!

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