a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Catching Up

Friday, May 02, 2008

Catching Up

SUMMARY: Hiking around Stanford, Tika's status, Bay Team trials.

Wednesday evening I went for the usual 5-ish mile hike with the Sierra Club group, this time on relatively level surfaces in and around the Stanford campus in Palo Alto. There are miles of trail-like walkways lacing through the neighborhoods and campus in that area. A lovely walk, especially in the spring with rose gardens in profuse bloom. But I didn't take many photos, one of my friend's house before the hike, with her wisteria and many roses in bloom. (She lives just a couple of blocks from where the Sierra Club group was meeting, so she and her BCs Bump and Styx joined us.)

We walked out to Lake Lagunita on the campus, which currently has water in it (seems to me that it doesn't always) and arrived right at sunset, which probably would have made for some nice photos if (a) I had taken a good camera and (b) I hadn't been, as usual, rushing so as not to fall behind. As it was, we jogged a block afterwards to catch up after I took the time to snap half a dozen shots.

An experiment that didn't turn out quite the way I had hoped. But something to play with in the future.

The highlight of the hike was the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden, just below the lake, at the corner of Santa Teresa and Lomita. Amazing sculptures by New Guinean artists carved here at Stanford of wood and stone and nestled among the trees as if they had grown there. Enchanting, but far too dark for my camera; the flash just washed out the details. I'll have to get back there sometime in better light.

One of my fellow hikers took a ton of photos all along our hike that she has made available for viewing.

Tika's status

Tika was in full form yesterday all day with no aspirin. I didn't try keeping her locked up, and she was charging around the yard after squirrels or whatever with no signs of soreness, and bouncing straight in the air again at mealtime. I ran her for one very short jumpers-with-weaves run in class last night at a lower height, and she was very fast with no signs of problems going over the jumps or making the turns, and begging for more, but I didn't want to push it.

I think I'm going to scratch her from a couple of runs a day so that she's scheduled for only 3 a day instead of 5; guess I'd better do that now.

Boost's weaves

Boost can make some very difficult weave entries, as we proved again in class last night. That's because they force her to slow and collect herself, while straight-on, full-blast, she just doesn't slow enough to get around the 2nd pole after making the entry, or just skips the first pole. I amused myself last Sunday, in Pairs Relay, when I told my partner that Boost was having trouble making weave entries so could I please have the 90-degree approach rather than the straight-on, simple approach--which she made easily.

I just don't have room in my yard to do that with 12-pole weaves, and she doesn't seem to do it with 6-polers! Dang dog.

Bay Team trials

The Bay Team gung-ho folks are insane. We had a trial in January, one in March, one this weekend, a 3-dayer in early July, another one in late July, our 3-day Regional in September, and another in December. Here's what I've just learned: We're going to offer Strategic Pairs at our December trial. It's been a long time! Will tell more later.

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