a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Haute TRACS, Here We Come!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Haute TRACS, Here We Come!

SUMMARY: Gearing up for the four-day extravaganza.
Just One Week: That's it, folks, it's 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, and in exactly 6 days, 18 hours, and 30 minutes, I'll be dragging myself out of bed and starting the 2-hour drive to Dixon for the combined Haute Dawgs/TRACS trial. (Actually two trials, just one is thursday/friday and the next is saturday/sunday. Clever, huh?)

Confirmations: I've already gotten email confirming my entries (nearly a month ago, for once I didn't wait until the last minute!)--yeah, 22 runs each dog. Yow.

Both of my DAM teams have names: Tika and border collie Brenn are teaming up yet again, for the I-dunno-what-th time, as "Here We Go Again." The wild and crazy Boost is teaming with the wild and crazy border collie Beadle and the amazingly solid and reliable big old aussie (jumps 26") Chaps as "The BBC" (Boost/Beadle/Chaps--well, what can ya do.)

Statistics: We already have access to the statistics for the weekend--thank YOU again statistics hog Karey!-- like these:


The most common dog name is Maddie (4 dogs).
The most common human names are Dave, Kathy, and Linda (4 each).
132 of the 305 dogs entered are Border Collies. The next-most common breeds are Sheltie (30), Australian Shepherd (22), and Mixed Breed (20--including hand-counting the special breed names that many of us invent to sound more exotic, like Greater Hüber Hound or Zimbabwe Retriever--I mean, who knows whether those are more real than, say, the Danish Swedish Farm Dog (1) or the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (0)?)).

We already know what classes are running in approximately what order, and which groups we're running with (to optimize ring time and minimize conflicts). Detailed running orders will be up this weekend or early next week.

Camping and Friends! And today, actually, the first thing arrived that made me start to get excited about going and about being there: The layout of camping/RV assignments. I'm in spot #66, not far from the rings, not far from the restrooms (for those middle-of-the-night forays), and the huge empty space in the lower right is just the beginning of a ginormous field in which the dogs can run free.

And I'm excited because, in looking at this, all the memories come flooding back of hanging out with friends, talking and laughing the the field while our dogs run, meeting others around the edges of the competition as we walk with or without our dogs, potluck gatherings in the evening, lounging in our chairs around the ring and chit-chatting, enjoying the sun and the sky and the fresh air and each other.

Yeah, all the social stuff!  But I don't think I could go to a trial and spend the weekend there just to be social without competing. And I do like running with my dogs, no doubt about that. It's just SO MUCH TIME out of my life. (I know, you've heard it all before.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Tonight I've got agility class, and next Tuesday night, and that's it--once again I have squandered my months of from agility to fix--er--what issues again? Wait, aren't my dogs perfect? We don't need no stinkin' training? Monday night I'm joining Karey and a couple of other people to assemble 3,846 scribe sheets.  Wednesday I'll have to pack.

This weekend I'll have to deal with *everything* (chores & errands & whatever) that needs to get done for the next month, because it's my last weekend agility-free until mid-May. Then, three weekends off, I think, except my sister and spousal unit have bought a house (almost) and we think they're going to be doing some massive painting and destruction and construction and packing and moving and I owe them big time, so guess what I'll be doing THEN, then 2 weekends gone to Arizona for wedding and vacation...

Back to the usual future: Ah, well, busy busy busy, and that's the end of my relaxed, getting-back-to-normal weekends for a long time. I'll be gone for the one trial in June that I normally go to, so 3 weekends off in June, not too bad. Three! (local) trials in July. Then three weekends in a row off in August before *4* weekends in a row of trials I'd like to attend, but I already know that that's two many in a row so will skip at least one of those.

Then maybe one each in October, November, and December.  It feels sort of like I'm cutting back, but when I count them all up for the year, I'm still at 15 trials--maybe only 13 or 14. That wouldn't be a bad number, but it sure still cuts into my "real life." Well, then. One step at a time. And maybe someday I'll work on those bar-knocking, contact-leaping agility dogs of mine.


  1. Hey! I'm really glad to hear you're not only looking forward to it but even excited about it. Sure sounds like one big fun agility extravaganza. And yeah the social aspect is huge isn't it? Probably 99% of my facebook friends and real life friends I've met because of agility/other dogsports.

  2. Camping with the dogs sounds wonderful! Also all the agility stuff, but the camping would be my favorite! Have fun and good luck!

  3. Your post makes me so miss agility and so realize that there is life beyond it. Being WOAD (without agility dog) was a really tough thing for me initially. I really missed the social aspect of it... But now that I'm almost a year into it, it's amazing how my life has filled in around it. I will admit K9 Nosework has helped fill the gap I needed to have a training goal for Ren, but it's much less time intensive and not a "trial every weekend" kind of thing. I do hope to have another agility dog again and enjoy the social aspect of agility, but I do struggle with if I want it to be a full 3 out of 4 weekends a month kind of commitment next time around or not.... Luckily I have lots of time to decide.

  4. I'd miss the social aspect of it if I weren't doing it. And I miss the chance to run my dogs. But weekend competitions, even once in a while are SUCH a commitment. I can see why some people do AKC even at the price: Show up at 9:00 a.m. (because there are small local shows), run a couple runs, and be home by 1 or 2. But I wouldn't drive 2 hours to do that--I'd want my competition opportunities to equal more than my driving time. So, 4 hours of driving, more than 4 hours of competition, and there goes an entire day. I've really liked my couple of months off this time around. In the past, it wasn't like that so much--I missed the competition.