a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Scary Cars, Scary Tires, Scary Mulch, Scary Kaiser, Scary Agility

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Scary Cars, Scary Tires, Scary Mulch, Scary Kaiser, Scary Agility

SUMMARY: In which Ellen's flat tire is repaired, Ellen's almost-flat dog remains 3D, Boost announces another menace, and physical therapy is slow.

Scary Cars

Wednesday night, before Tika's class, I intended to load her into the car and stop at the grocery store to pick up some scrumptious goodies to share with our classmates in honor of her new JM and TM-Bronze titles. I let her into the garage, goodies on my mind, drinks and dog treats and keys in my hands, shut the other dogs in the house, and simultaneously hit the lightswitch--except I didn't hit the lightswitch, I hit the garage door opener, and in the second that it took me to realize what I had done, I turned to see Tika squeeze full-speed beneath the door.

Let us summarize by saying that the results involved lots of running and yelling on my part, lots of running and ignoring on Tika's part, dashing across a busy street to check out a dog (scaring the owner half to death, I'm sure), and then deciding to dash back to me right in front of an oncoming car--who was fortunately paying attention and not speeding and was able to stop a mere few feet before hitting my dog, scaring me half to death as I screamed "Nooooooo!", and of course even running I still wasn't nearly close enough to have stopped the car if I had needed to.

By the time we got to the store, all I could do was cry; I had no stomach for goodies. So that'll have to wait for this week. Meanwhile, I've been practicing (again) calling Tika at least a couple of dozen times a day. Nancy had suggested "100 times a day," but I don't know when I'd call her 100 times a day. I don't want her sitting under my desk waiting for goodies all day. So only when we're out and about in the yard.

Haven't gotten back to where she'll call off a squirrel (we had gotten there at one point about a year ago), and when I had an opportunity to call her off of sheep and llamas while practicing agility, it failed completely.


Scary Tires

Noticed that my front left tire was almost flat for the 3rd time. First time I pumped it up figuring it was a fluke. Second time I pumped it up figuring it was, um, another fluke. But this time I conceded that I had some kind of leak and took it on in to the tire shop. They found a nail. Pressure was below 20 PSI. That thing could've just disintegrated under me on the freeway. I try to remember to check my tires by eyeball when I get gas, but this apparently started leaking a bit too quickly. Fortunately it's all better now. I hope.

Scary Mulch

I keep thinking that Boost is over her "something scary is menacing us" fear of things out of place, but no. The other afternoon (not twilight, when everything apparently starts looking spooky), she started the alert barking. I headed out into the yard and saw that she was alerting on the big pond/waterfall hole in the ground in the corner of the yard. I approached cautiously, but Tika and Jake just bounded gleefully past as if nothing was amiss, so I figured it couldn't be a hidden cat or rat again.

I have wood chip mulch in many parts of my yard, including a strip of ground along the back side of the pond. Apparently someone had skidded or dashed around in the mulch in an unusual fashion, spewing enough wood-chips into the pond to make a roughly 12-inch-by-18-inch dark brown floating mat on the surface of the pond. Something different in the yard! Scary! I got out the pool scoop, scooped some to show her, and she skedaddled backwards about as fast as a BC can skeedaddle backwards. So I dumped it out on the patio and went on to cleaning out the rest, and she was brave enough to edge ever closer and finally take a sniff and decide it was nothing dire, then all was right with the world.

Scary Kaiser

They don't have enough physical therapists. Got an appointment today, 2 weeks earlier than scheduled, by calling every day and asking for cancellations. But I've managed to end up with a PT who works only Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Thursdays are my busy day. So although she wants me to have 2 appoinments/week for the next couple of weeks, what I got was one at the end of the month and two in mid-October. And she doesn't even want to think about my shoulders and knee yet. Crap.

Scary Agility

Wellllll entered Boost in all the Starters classes for this coming weekend, and all starters AND grand prix and steeplechase for next weekend. But I know we need so much work, especially after class last week. So I rented Power Paws field for an hour Saturday morning and went up to practice Gambling and Snooker with Tika (mostly got in practice chasing her down after she went after the sheep and llamas, but did get some tough gamble work in) and to give Jake a chance to do some agility (we're obviously out of practice but he seemed to have fun) and to practice doing sequences with Boost. Well, we did get some sequences in, but discovered that I still have a major issue with lateral or angled lead-outs, with rear crosses, with the timing of my front crosses, with skipping weave poles--why do I think it's a good idea to enter boost in competition? I'm rapidly tlaking myself out of running her, although boy that'll waste a whole ton of entry fees, since we're now well past the closing date.

Oh, well, we'll see...

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