a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Funny, What One Remembers (Or Not)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Funny, What One Remembers (Or Not)

SUMMARY: Big Qs in (my) history.

I guess some things DO get to be old hat after a while. Especially as agility has been around longer and longer, and there are more and more trials where people can earn Qs, and as I earn more and more titles at higher levels with more dogs.

I can remember so clearly when Jake earned his MAD, landing on the table at the end of the gamble (who uses tables for gambles any more in USDAA? gone!). I floated for days. People I barely knew rushed over to give me hugs. A MAD was a huge deal back then--for me, because it was my first, and for everyone, because they still weren't all that common.

I remember most of the NADAC Standard run on which he earned his NATCH. I remember thinking that he'd been slow and wasn't sure whether he'd actually made time, so didn't even know whether to celebrate. And I remember that the people at the score table told me to go away and not bother them and shielded the score sheets with their bodies so I couldn't even look over their shoulders, and wouldn't even tell me what the Standard Course Time was so I could compare the run on my video. That's when I decided never to go back to that club's trials. That was up near Placerville, in a beautiful little park whose name I no longer recall. [video appears below, after some delay to think about it, apparently--from 2001. Starts out looking funky but it will display a course map and then our run:]

I also remember clearly the exact gamble on which he earned his ADCH. A gamble that I had been chasing up and down the state, driving hundreds of miles in a weekend to try to get, and I finally got it on a course I didn't walk, right here at one of our own trials on the soccer practice lawn at Cal State Hayward (before it became Cal State University, East Bay).

I remember where I finished Remington's NATCH--also a gamble--up in Eureka at a pleasant site, the only time I went to that trial, desperate for

I remember Tika's first-ever USDAA run, which was a Novice Jumpers run (back when there were Novice and Starters, depending on whether you'd ever titled with a dog before). I halfway remember the whole course. I remember that she was super-fast and knocked a single bar. Since that was back when only Standard was titling in Novice/Starters, Jumpers was time plus faults--and she *still* came in 2nd with the 5-fault bar penalty! That was in the covered arena at the horse park in City of Industry in southern California.

I remember where I finished Tika's ADCh, on a Snooker course at Nunes Agility Field in Turlock, watching Rachel Sanders and her dog once again do our course but much much faster, and thinking that once again we'd be one out of the SuperQs as we had been so often. But then, woo-hoo, turns out everyone else didn't do so well, so we came in (2nd to rachel) but picked up that final Super-Q. (Ah, ha, see the course map and read about it in this blog post ... videos below:)

But the things I DON'T remember these days are telling: Although I thought that Tika took forever to get her first Jumpers Q (ha! maybe 18 nonQs?), I have no recollection at all of where or when it finally came. I have no idea when or where I finished her ADCH-Silver, although I do know it was a Standard Q that she needed. I have no idea where or when or even what class it was when she finished her ADCH all over again in Performance--perhaps because it was coming so easily to us by then. F'rinstance, when she moved to performance, she started getting SuperQs in snooker more often than not. She stopped knocking bars pretty much and started Quing in almost everything all the time (sometimes seemed that way, anyway).

I don't even remember anything about the time, place, or circumstances of her more advanced titles, the bronze performance ADCh, the bronze lifetime, the silver lifetime, dang, not even the gold lifetime although that was only earlier this year! It's all just whipping by, pleasing me, but not with the emotional intensity needed to burn it into my memory banks.

I remember where Boost first earned a Masters Jumpers Q, after more than 40 attempts--at Dixon May Fairgrounds. It completed her MAD, but I was more excited about the simple fact of getting a Jumpers Q. I bought a cake the next day for everyone to share. But i don't remember WHEN it was or anything about the course itself.

Will I remember the course, time, and place of Boost's first-ever Super-Q this last weekend? It was so amazing to me to have finished that course clean, and then for it to be a Super-Q, too. At the moment, it's seared into my brain, but will it be in another year? Or two? or three? I think it might be--the emotional impact was huge. Of course only time will tell.

Meanwhile--thanks, susan P, for this gift of a photo (honoring our Super-Q) from the trial photographer Bamfoto (so typical, one ear inside out and the other flying!):


  1. The brain is such a strange thing ...
    Great picture :)

  2. Loved those videos! Such cool artifacts from your cultural past! ;-)

    Gorgeous photo too -- looks like a painting. Her eyes are spectacular.

    I have a terrible memory. That's half the reason I started my dog blog -- to be able to back and read over the things we did that I don't remember. I think the only title-ing course map that I can picture (well, the gamble part, anyway) was Walter's Masters Gamblers.