a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Part 4 of Packing for an Agility Weekend, Then and Now

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Part 4 of Packing for an Agility Weekend, Then and Now

SUMMARY: Fourth in a series comparing my 1996 gear to my 2010 gear, and transitions between.

[Previous parts: Part 1, transportation and others.; Part 2, shade, crate covers, mat.; Part 3, clothing]

  • Then--
    • 1996: Short-legged beach chair because it was small & so I'd be sitting at the ground level with my dog.
    • 1998: Double-wide folding chair because at a trial, another friend had one, and Remington sat on the chair with her and snuggled.  However, he never did that with me on MY chair.
    • 2001: Folding chair with built-in foot rest. Because of my back injury at the time, I couldn't sit in the normal position.
    • 2004: Foot rest kept getting in the way. Couldn't find a purple chair, so bought a blue folding chair.
  • Now--In 2005, a single friend with 2 matching purple chairs generously traded one of her purple ones for my blue one.

Sleeping over:
  • Then--Tent. Ground cloth. Sleeping bag. Air mattress.
  • Now--Thick chaise lounge pad and down comforter in the back of MUTT MVR.

Dog beds and mats:
  • Then--Old beach towel.
  • Now--I have all of these, and use different ones depending on the circumstances:
    • Hand-made roll-up bed with ties, bought my first year for Remington from some ladies at a trial who made them as a fund-raiser.
    • Thick white furry mat with blue trim that I bought for Jake.
    • Purple faux fur (plush) mats that always stay in the wire crates in MUTT MVR.
    • Another purple plush mat usually used when sleeping in van.
    • Two ivory-colored plush mats, usually used in soft crates on cold or wet days.

Dog water and containers:
  • Then--Water carrier: Gallon tupperware cannister, because that's what I had; kept in the pantry between trials. Bowls: Water bowl from house went into car for weekends, then back into the house.
  • Now--Water carrier: Two one-gallon jugs with sturdy screw-on lids that pop open for pouring. Kept in MUTT MVR at all times. Bowls: Metal pails that clip into soft crates. Anti-spill one-piece bowls for wire crates in MUTT MVR. Two-part anti-spill bowl that also lives in MUTT MVR at all times for class or when dogs are loose in car. Folding bowls in suitcase for hotel use.

Dogfood and bowls:
  • Then--The first year, came home every night no matter what, so didn't have to take food. Next step: Food bowls from house went into car. Food was premeasured into individual labeled quart zip-lock bags for each dog and meal so I didn't have to take my measuring cups with me.
  • Now--Dedicated gear bag for food stuff, including metal bowls that always stay in that bag, measuring cups that always stay in that bag, and filled-up gallon  zip-lock bags.


  1. Do you still have that short-legged beach chair that was small & so you'd be sitting at the ground level with your dog? This is actually something I have been starting to keep my eyes open for, for exactly the same reason. Too funny.

  2. I do still have it! Maybe 2 or 3 of them, even. The other thing we used to use them for was Shakespeare Santa Cruz--plays performed outside in a redwood grove, and you could sit on a blanket on the ground or bring a beach chair like that. On a single income, I haven't managed to do that every season like I used to, but I keep hoping!

  3. This post reminds me of how much work and planning an agility trial requires...even before you go!

  4. It's amazing, isn't it? I allow 90 minutes to get the car ready/packed for an agility weekend; more if I'm staying overnight. Wish I could afford 2 vehicles so I could just leave more of it right there in the van and not drive it around all the time.