a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Power Paws Camp Day 3

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Power Paws Camp Day 3

SUMMARY: Mostly crosses of various types.

My cartload of gear stands ready next to my faithful dog-hauling vehicular unit.
Sharon Freilich providing feedback on one of our session-mate's runs.
Our group huddled under a canopy ringside.
Jim Basic doing his workerly work.
Nancy Gyes instructor one of her more hirsute students in International Handling Patterns.
One of our session-mates taking notes.
Another of our session-mates taking notes. Note the artist way I photographed over their shoulders to show both them and their notes. Don't we all look studious?
One of our session-mates (and Thursday morning classmates), Tracy and her Golden, Cal.
During Nancy's session, she had everyone simultaneously go stand in their chosen lead-out positions before discussing the run. There was much jostling for position, but it was also interesting to see how spread out some of the choices were.
If I were to buy another t-shirt, it would probably be this one. Front says Run Fast, Run Clean, Run Groovy. How cool is that? (Available from CleanRun.com.)
Again, a look across the field with rows of trees converging to the horizon.
A typical page of my course handout booklet after a session. Perhaps I'll be able to decipher it later when I look at it again, or perhaps not. But it helps cement the ideas into my tired brain.
Thai Chicken wrap lunch. Mmm. But enough for dinner, too.
Friends at lunchtime--Bobbie, Ken, Lisa, and (finally a picture of) me. Sorry it's not that great a photo of Bobbie.
Sandy Rogers discusses the graceful aspects of front crosses.
The peanut gallery for Sandy's ring.
Most of my drive home looks something like this. Plenty of buildings, but also lots of landscaping, mostly green from the winter but not everything. Nothing really noteworthy, especially in the rain. Sort of monocromatic.
Then, all of a sudden, surrounded by Fremont industrial parks, a brilliant swath of glowing yellow alongside the freeway. Wild mustard, I believe.

Don't have time to type much this evening, but will upload a ton of photos. I don't know why most of my interesting photos of instructors don't show their faces, but what can ya do?

This morning looked like it would be mostly sunny but on the colder side again. The fair weather held out until lunch break at around 1:30, when a blast of cold air arrived and with it the threat of rain. Fortunately that held off, just spitting occasionally, until we were done for the day. They're predicting a ton of rain for tonight and tomorrow morning, though, so I'm hoping that the field won't be underwater or a giant mud pit on the morrow. I've already done my soaking-wet agility weekend for this spring, thank you very much.

This morning we started with Nancy Gyes, whose topic was supposed to be International Handling Issues, but we ended up doing mostly basic types of crosses and weaves--our group is mostly babydogs, around 2 years of age, although I think that Boost and I are in many ways the least advanced of the crowd. Boost did weaves fine early on, but when we got to some harder entrances, she couldn't get in correctly or stay in correctly. Nancy did a brief correcting exercise with just us right after the end of the session, and then we had no more weaves for the day, so that was that.

Second session was with Sharon Freilich, again talking about crosses. (We're getting a lot of crosses this camp.) She had lots of individual advice for people as well.

Somewhere in there a couple of us were talking to Nancy about the down-sized, more relaxed Camp and how useful it was, and it's not clear how often they're going to be doing Camp again. WIth the proliferation of seminars and other camps, and now the 4-day Haute TRACS the weekend before, a lot of their participants have been drained off or sated or just can't afford the 2 weeks off, and while they barely broke even last year, this year is way down. I hope they can find a less expensive site (hard in the bay area) and can still manage to do it. It really provides a great service to the agility community.

Instead of having a catering company come in as they did for the giant camps of the past, they're just bringing in box lunches, but very nice ones. First day I had roast beef on some fancy roll with salad, fruit, big cookie; yesterday was hummus salad and pita bread with fruit and a brownie, and today was Thai Wrap with lemon bar and fruit and salad. Anyway, tasty, and a nice chance to sit down, even if only briefly.

Jim Basic taught a workshop on Thursday but otherwise isn't teaching; instead, is being the camp Main Facilities Guy, which means that he's getting speakers working and hauling fencing and equipment around and dropping in and schmoozing at any session he feels like, which I think he's enjoying immensely.

Our last session of the day--each ran 2 and a half hours yesterday and today--was with Sandy Rogers. Lots of very helpful info on front crosses, double front crosses, converting those into serpentines, and clarifying the whys of Greg Derrett's system. Really, it's becoming clearer that Serpentines are the handling phenomena of the latter half of the decade. Everyone who's anyone seems to be doing them and mastering them in the most interesting and unusual situations. It does seem to me that we've been doing more and more edge cases of serpentines in class the last year or so. And they can really make a course run fast--IF you and your dog have the skills for some of those interesting maneuvers. Yeah, I'll try to put up a couple of examples later next week along with everything else. :-)

I got a couple of nice compliments on Boost yesterday and today, in slightly indirect manners. Yesterday, one of the other people in our group said that she'll be wanting a new border collie in a year or two and is starting to look for a possible breeder, and she really likes the looks of Boost and wanted to know more about the breeder and how to contact them. Today, Sandy said that Boost looks a lot like Tala (Boost's mom) when she runs, which I've noticed more and more (although because I'm more familiar with my baby, my version is "I've noticed more and more how Tala runs like Boost" :-) ). And running like Tala is no backhanded compliment. I'm pleased.

Boost did not get nearly as tired today, so Tika didn't get much of a chance to be out of her crate, so she was pretty much bouncing off the walls at the end of the day. Will have to do *something* more with her tomorrow.

My knee is not at its happiest. Not helped yesterday by being launched into while I was holding a 60-pound Golden's toy. My dogs do that too often, and it hurts when they do it, but this was a good one. Plus it's not been at its best anyway. It's been anti-inflammatoried and iced and shortly I'll be taking it to bed, which is where the rest of me wants to be ASAP. Soon as the photos are done uploading.


  1. Why are you DRIVING and PHOTOGRAPHING simultaneously??? Be CAREFUL....we need you around for your BLOG! (tee hee)


  2. I know, I shouldn't do it at all. What I do is set up the camera before I start driving and it's in my lap. Then when I get to what I want to photograph, I make sure that the road is straight where I am and that there is no one next to me on either side, and then while still looking at the road, I sort of hold it up with one hand in the direction I want and snap 2 or 3 pictures and hope that one of them turns out, because I don't want to take my eyes off the road to line up the lens.

    I don't do it very often, believe me. But thanks for the well wishes!


  3. Thanks for the interesting posts about camp. I've always wanted to go to the Power Paws camp but for obvious reasons, it never happened.
    I've been to almost all of the Clean Run Camps because they were only 3 hours away.
    I enjoy camps because you get to see a lot of different trainers in a short space of time.

  4. Renegade wants to apologize for bumping your knee! He wanted to give it big kisses to make it better, but I suggested that he should just keep his distance from you and that would be more appreciated!