a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: On the Road Again again again...

Friday, February 03, 2006

On the Road Again again again...

Well, we're off for another USDAA weekend. And then--nothing until March. Not because there's nothing available...we could be doing tons of agility...but because I'm trying to cut expenses AND spend more time at home and/or doing other stuff. We'll see whether we can avoid going stir crazy for five whole weeks. Argh. By that time, Boost could be doing weaving poles and contacts!

--Or not.

I'm still working the 2-pole entry but refining it. I've added two additional poles right next to the first 2 poles (so they function as one pole) but am realizing that I've been tossing the toy too far out in front to get a really excellent wrap, so I'm trying to work the arc around the entry and tossing the toy right beyond the 2nd pole rather than way beyond the 2nd pole. I'm working her on my right and left, standing and running (me, I mean), trying to vary the distance a bit. At the moment, our maximum distance is around 10 feet and we haven't gotten beyond a direct parallel line leading into the weaves--and at that point her accuracy drops way down, so I have to back up a little in the arc around the entrance and work that way just a little more slowly.

I just reread Susan Garrett's Foundation Training workbook (a collection of articles and handouts, really, but assembled by Susan & Co for sale) articles on 2-by-2 weaves. I'd like to jump right now into moving the 2nd set of poles six inches out but I think I want to work that entry a bit more.

This weekend

will be Jake's first without any entries--since last January, that is, which is where he rebelled about not having any classes to run. We'll see whether he's more relaxed about it having done only one or 2 a day since then.

Tika has six, count them, six, runs on Saturay: one of everything normal plus a Steeplechase qualifier. I'd like to get the Steeplechase Q under my belt so I know we're qualified for Nationals in that, then I have to worry only about Dog Agility Masters Team.

Only four runs on Sunday, plus Round 2 of the Steeplechase if she makes it.

But the weekend includes two Snookers, so if we could get another Super-Q this weekend (mantra to self: Don't get cocky. Don't get cocky.), that would be our Snooker Master title. And two Gamblers, also, AND two Jumpers and of course we desperately need any of those that we can get.

Have I been running Tika through her jumping drills? Noooooo. Have I been practicing gambling? Nooooo. Gail Mahood is running a gamblers practice up in Woodside this afternoon and I'm invited, but I have so much to do (like--work to pay the bills) including packing the car that the 45-minute drive one-way is a bit daunting, and it'll probably be in ugly commute traffic on the way home. I'd really like to go, though.

Camping out

I'm so tired of setting up the whole tent thing for me and the dogs. Lay out the ground cloth. Unroll the tent, insert poles, set it up, stake it down, add rain fly, stake it down. Haul in the air mattress, put batteries in the pump and get it going. Unload ensulite pads for me and for the dogs and lay them out. Lay out dog beds and arrange space for boost's crate (yup, even in the tent; I'm trying to be consistent). Haul in my clothing duffel. Top off the air mattress with the manual air pump. Disassemble pumps & store them. Haul in the mattress pad, sheets, pillow, down comforter (I decided a while back that I slept better with it made up like a bed than in my mummy bag, and often warmer, too), make up bed. Dig out tent light, insert batteries, attach it. Then, the next morning--do it all in reverse.

I finally landed a thought that had been burbling around in my head for a while--I'm going to try sleeping in my van this weekend. With all but 3 seats removed lately, there's plenty of room for me to stretch out behind the driver's seat towards the back of the van. Minivans don't have a *lot* of room, though--everything not involved in sleeping will have to come out or be neatly stashed, as opposed to the usual jumble of inbetween-unpacking-and-repacking stuff. I'm not entirely sure how the dogs will fit. There's plenty of room for one good-sized dog--say, Tika--next to my legs behind Jake's seat. Jake could probably sleep on that seat, although that means he has to curl up and can't stretch out at all. Maybe I can juryrig something by wedging stuff between him and the front passenger seat. All I can figure is that the Boost will have to sleep on the floor of the front passenger side (or on the seats if she wants, I suppose). No room for a crate, for sure.

We'll see how this works--not sure yet whether I'm going to go back to the down mummy bag or plan on wrapping myself with the down comforter. Guess I'd better decide soon.

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