a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Agility Dogs Run Errands

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Agility Dogs Run Errands

SUMMARY: Visiting the credit union and the grocery store.

Holy Dachsbracke, boys and girls, it's Jan 8 already! We have a USDAA trial in just 2 weeks! And what have we done for agility practice to shape up all those Issues from last year? Have we done our bar-knocking drills? Reinvigorated our 2o2o contacts? Tuned up our serpentines? Honed our gamblers distance work? No no no!

I have been doing this Miserable Cold thing for a week and a half now, going up and down, now on the uphill I think--I hope--cough's still hanging in there, but mostly I can work around that. So we haven't had class since Dec 18; we'll have class tonight if it doesn't rain (iffy), and class next week, and then I'm out of town the entire 7 days before the trial, so there will be NO NO NO agility practice the entire week!

The trial is only 1 day, 5 Masters classes; should be interesting to see whether we can do ANYthing.

So, today, to get in the right mind-set for agility, we went to the shopping center. First, we dropped in on the credit union to deposit some money so that our entry fee check doesn't bounce. The shopping center's decor, intriguingly, includes a vinyard that wraps around the buildings, right next to the sidewalk on a busy street.

Actual California grapes grow there. I don't know what happens to them; apparently not all of them get picked even though they're right next to a busy thoroughfare. Here is what dried grapes look like on a winter grapevine. I know you wanted to know.

If I did not have easily bored dogs who need a change of scenery, I would never get a chance to walk around shopping centers and discover fascinating things like that! But fortunately my agility dogs take their inquisitive noses and me on brisk walks around the perimeters. Some of these centers are quite large. And there is SO much to analyze, out there in the natural wonderland that is shopping center landscaping.

Native grasses.

Groundcover all a-flower (love winter in California!)

Shrubberies surrounded by "winter color"--pansies, cyclamen, little--uh--purple flowers--

Pizza boxes (love winter in California!).

Ah, yes, it's the 8th of January, and this is what's springing to life at our very own shopping center:

Then the agility dogs give me a shopping list for the grocery store. Do I ever complain about having trouble maintaining my girlish figure? It is the shopping lists that the agility dogs write up for me. It is my theory that they are trying to ensure that I always have a desperate need to be physically active with them, and that's why these sorts of things end up in my kitchen.


  1. I'm thinking California winters are pretty good...compared to Michigan winters! I took pictures today too, will post to my blog tomorrow, we had a beautiful day, blue sky, fresh white snow...and it's snowing again tonight, just in time for my hour drive home. Sigh. Love your pictures, good luck with the agility trial!

  2. Nice tour of a shopping center!

    Now, about those grapes... Based on the color and shape of the leaves, I'm thinking that it's Vitis californica "Rogers Red" -- a variety that is usually understood to be CA native (tho' there are some who debate whether it's crossed with European species).

    Anyway, I have one in my south side-yard. Shelley loves them! I like them, too, but they're more seed than grape. :-) You, too could have one, but be prepared to prune, prune, prune!

  3. My guess is that a lot of the perennial plantings around this area of the shopping center are natives. Which is cool, too.

  4. Dawn--which is your blog? Sorry I don't always remember how to connect people's names to their dogs. :-)

  5. My blog is located at:

    it's not all dog...but Katie's in there a lot! :) Sorry Boost is still knocking bars..that must be frustrating. I take Katie to a beginning agility class again tomorrow We went to three lessons last Nov/Dec. She can't wait. All I have to do is say "school?" and she's all over me. I can't wait either. Unless we get the 7 inches of snow we're supposed to get tonight. Then I don't know if we'll make it. Ah...Michigan in winter.

  6. Wow, I wish we could be in California right now!! What beautiful weather!


  7. It is still pretty cold here. Maybe not compared to Michigan :-). Right above freezing this morning.