a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Hot and then Hot Again, and Burning Some Rubber

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hot and then Hot Again, and Burning Some Rubber

SUMMARY: Here's our heat spell; hope it's gone soon. Plus new contact surfaces.
The heat that has chewed on the eastern half of the country for so many months has spit them out and come looking for new prey--and here we are. We in California may have been commenting on the unseasonably cool temperatures all summer--great for hiking and dog activities--but now we are obsessed with our mini-heat wave (yesterday and today, predicted to be gone by tomorrow, thank dogs!).

Last weekend the temps barely moved into the 80s in my area (high 20s C). Yesterday--well--my back porch around 3:00:

(That's  41.9 C outside on the porch, 27.6 C inside the house.)

We were scheduled for class last night at 7:30 in the east foothills. This is what Santa Clara Valley temps looked like at 5:00 on Weather Underground. Note there's only one temp reading in the whole area below 100, and that's 96 up in the hills. See that 106 in the upper right? That's in the vicinity of class. High-temp records for this date dropped left and right.

We also had a Spare The Air Day yesterday. I felt it in my throat and chest. Wasn't going to go to class even if they held it--but they DID hold it, and I couldn't resist the call "Come try our new rubberized dogwalk!"

Yes, the future is here! Bay Team and SMART now have completely rubberized their agility equipment: Aframes, dogwalks, teeters, tables, and chute floors, thanks to an incredible amount of work by several Bay Team members over the last couple of months.  (And, after hearing all the stories, I'm also convinced that buying an already-rubberized contacts is the way to go, unless you really have no money and hundreds of hours of free time. Dunno what to do if, like me, you've got neither. Ah, well.)

We had the rubberized tables and chutes at the July trials. Nice!

The dogwalk is pretty amazing--so quiet when the dogs run across it. And the color in the rubber is so good that, from a distance, you can't differentiate it from a regular dogwalk.  The one last night still has "slats" going up and down--in this case, they're part of the rubber skin. Dogs should be able to go much faster, more securely, over these contacts.

Our main concern: What happens to dogs who get used to the better grip (particularly on the dogwalk) and then suddenly encounter an unrubberized one; will they be LESS safe trying to get on it and run across it?

For sure, though, it puts an end to those exciting sliding contact finishes. Drat.

OK, though, I'm sold; I may have sneered at rubberized surfaces originally, but now I'm convinced they're good. Didn't think to take a photo, but I'll try to remember this weekend.

And it should be  a good weekend--now they're saying that temps will drop into the 70s (low 20s C) or even lower in Prunedale. What a weird week!


  1. Oh boy, that *is* hot! We get temperatures in the 40s, but only when the "humidex" gets factored in. A true, all-on-its-own 42 degrees? Oye.

    I hope rubber contacts come to my area too. They sound wonderful and I'm sure it would help Walter feel steadier on the dogwalk -- that is, except when he goes back to a non-rubberized one. Oh well.

  2. I'm hoping/guessing that at some point rubber will become the norm. Going to be an adjustment period for some dogs in the meantime though.