a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: USDAA Nationals Day 0

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

USDAA Nationals Day 0

Backfill: Nov 29Arrived at Westworld midafternoon. Found our crating spot in the back corner of the crating "tent" (you wish you had a tent like this for camping! You'd have to reserve the whole campground and bring it in on half a dozen flatbed trucks!).

The tent provides shelter but sound carries and reverberates like nothing I've ever seen. One dog barking fills the entire building so that it's challenging to carry on a conversation--and naturally there is usually more than one barking dog. Noise-sensitive dogs are quivering and quaking and their owners are taking them out of the building to find somewhere else to crate them. Fortunately the weather is nice, somewhat cool, so that crating in a ventilated vehicle is a possibility. Those who have RVs are crating there, even though the walk is considerably longer.

Over the weekend, I'm guessing that fewer than half of the spots that people paid $45 for actually are used. We hardly ever saw most of our neighbors. It's not a fun spot in which to hang out and chat over the day's successes, share photos and snacks, and be generally comradely.

I set up my little purple-and-teal area. Jackie has proven to be an absolute delight to have along on this trip. She manages Jake when we're out walking the dogs; she helps carry and organize and set up and keep things on track and fetch and all that sort of stuff. It's nice being a member of a club in which you can make friends like this.

My dogs are OK, I think. Jake's mostly deaf so it apparently doesn't bother him at all. Tika hardly puts her head down to sleep for a couple of days, but some of that might be that she's not getting much exercise on top of having been in the car for 2 days straight. (Eventually she does nap off and on. No apparent signs of stress at all.)

We get our check-in bag with a t-shirt, a pin (huh--I have my '00 pin but not one for '01; wonder whether I ever got one and, if so, what happened to it?) featuring our favorite overused trite southwestern icon: Kokopelli.

We check in to our hotel--a decent suite with fridge and microwave--and attempt to make the 15-minute drive back to the site for the annual awards dinner, which takes us well over half an hour between construction on the road we try to take (discover later that there's a faster back way), awful commuter traffic, and missing the nifty shortcut to Westworld that everyone else apparently knew about.

Dinner is excellent, there was plenty of food, and lots of awards for Bay Teamers. We are not in bed early that night.

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