a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Thanks, Thanks, and More Thanks

Monday, July 25, 2011

Thanks, Thanks, and More Thanks

SUMMARY: So many people who made this trial a success.
I posted this to my club, but want to spread the word a bit more.

And everyone else cooperated with each other. What a great group of people to work with and compete with!

Before I crawl off to sleep for a hundred years, I wanted to thank a whole lot of people who helped to make this weekend a success. I got lots of nice comments from people about how good the trial was, how nice we all are, and how bay team always does great trials.

I know this is long, but I wanted to say it all, so people can appreciate how much goes into making a trial work.
  • First and foremost, my co-chair, Mary Marquez, in only her second time co-chairing, who easily did more than half the chairing work before and during the trial AND took on responsibility for judges' travel, judges' hospitality, and vendor management. I'd be a whole lot more tired if it weren't for her and her can-do attitude. 
  • Also, Secretary Donna Sprouse who reminded us of many things that we'd have otherwise forgotten, did a lot of work that I had expected that we'd have to do without even being asked, AND took on the job of RV chief, and kept her sense of humor through the process of learning how bay team does things vs. NAF/VAST and the oddities of the site. And volunteered to arrange for us to borrow NAF's teeter for the weekend.
  • Karey Krauter, at always, was the endless font of knowledge, experience, and money (via the bay team checking & charge accounts) who was indispensable in helping us make sure the right things happened, worked full time at the trial, drove to turlock before the trial to pick up a teeter for us, drove to san jose during the trial to pick up two tunnels for us, and probably a whole lot more that I'm not thinking of.
  • Katrina Parkinson, as always, was a tireless worker, took on score table work as well as her usual half-equipment-manager, set-up and tear-down management, substitute course builder, Ubercart stocker beforehand, and I don't know what all, as well as volunteering her valuable skills as a Registered Vet Tech with no recompense.
  • Paulette Czech let me talk her into being Volunteer Coordinator when all she really wanted to do was crew chief, which we turned into a new job of not only scheduling workers in advance, but also serving as mentor, assistant, advice-giver, and errand runner for our actual crew chiefs and for me and Mary as well, and she worked her legs off, kept a great attitude, and was much appreciated by all of us.
  • Our crew chiefs Lloya French, Loni Cummings, Milli Conover, and Carol Bowers, our wonderful crew chiefs, who kept the rings staffed (a challenging job indeed with SO many groups to run and such small groups, too), filled in themselves where needed, offered advice when we needed to make scheduling decisions, and never said a cross word about anything. How about those white boards filling up so nicely on Sunday! (photos: Loni, Lloyda, Carol, and Milli--I wish I'd gotten better photos)

  • Our score table czars Diane Blackman and Katrina Parkinson kept the scribe sheets filled out and flowing to the computer through 7 different classes, 5 different levels, 6 different heights, and 3 different programs, AND trained new people on how to do it at the same time, without their brains or tempers ever exploding. (Diane photo here; Katrina above)
  • Gwen Jones did a fabulous job as our grounds chief; I think she had a grin on her face every time I saw her. Before and during the trial, at every request from us, she went right to work to get it done, handled all the trash and restroom issues herself, and even made an extra trip midday to get more, er, restroom supplies when we ran low.
  • Her significant other, Dustin Kerwin, served as chief course builder in one ring and apprentice equipment chief before and during the trial--the two of them are made for each other, as he also looked like he was the happiest man on earth even when working his buns off to get our rings built, equipment moved, and all the rest of it.
  • Terri Prince, our other chief course builder, came in from New York at 2:30 in the morning Saturday morning and yet was still up and at 'em and working her own buns off to get course changes done quickly and cheerfully, and both she and Dustin helped in each other's rings to make things go even faster.
  • Joni Grace let us talk her into being the food and worker hospitality person for her first time ever (I believe); she plunged right in, enlisted her son's/grandson's boy scout Troop 41 to do breakfasts and lunches as a fundraiser and to earn merit badges, made sure there were treats at the score tables, answered our endless questions about what was happening and what we thought we should do, and always kept a cheery demeanor.
  • Mardee Jang ran an amazing raffle on a shoestring budget and, as always, made the raffle area look like a high-end tropical resort, a truly fun place to hang out, and she and husband Raymond set the whole thing up, managed it, made sure workers got their tickets in, AND also worked THEIR buns off doing other jobs all weekend, again without ever blinking an eyelid at the workload. Plus they let us borrow their tunnels at no charge.
  • Paulette Czech and Lisa Maynard also were talked into splitting the Awards job, one day each, and as first timers, they plunged into it all, made sure the awards were counted before and after, and seemed to enjoy the process. (Lisa in pink)
  • Nancy Ketrick decided she wanted to learn to do the CPE secretary computer software and spent most of the weekend at the computers helping Donna get things done.
  • Maggie Guthrie, as PASA's representative, came out on friday and made extra trips to give us access to the dogwalk and teeter that we rented, and also brought the good news that PASA had decided not to charge us rent after all--thanks to you and PASA, what great friends!

And almost all of these people were also running dogs! What I remember most all weekend is how many smiles and grins I saw from all these people, over and over.

We had a nice turnout on full-time workers, too; these people gave up entire days of their weekend to work without running a dog and helped us to make the trial run beautifully efficiently--I don't have the full list and I apologize for not knowing all the names--so I'll have to list them all tomorrow when I get the list of names. Linda Knowles came down for half a day and worked so she could schmooze with other agility people and declined to take even a small certificate for it.

And THANK YOU to All the other club members and competitors who filled in the white board with their names and so set poles, ran leashes, ran scribe sheets, helped build courses, ran errands for me when I looked around and grabbed someone passing by, and all the rest.

I hope I haven't forgotten anyone--you were all superb this weekend!

Thank you all again for a great weekend.


  1. That's wonderful Ellen, that you had such a great crew! I bet they all had fun too! But my goodness what a lot of work to coordinate all that!

  2. Mostly I had to coordinate the people and they did the large part of the work. At the trial, I kept wandering around feeling useless.

  3. This was easily one of the most relaxed (at least on the surface) trials I have ever been to. I love CPE- the courses, the judges, and how much less pressure there is than at a USDAA trial. Perfect atmosphere for baby dogs and participants who want to help out & take part. Thanks Bay Team for keeping CPE in the South Bay! Great job all!
    Maggie Guthrie

  4. I'll second the thanks for a south bay CPE trial!

    Great job, Ellen and crew. Tons of fun this weekend.

    And, hey, dusty fun is OK by me! (my cam stayed in the car, though)

  5. This was my first time traveling to the bay area for a trial. I must say that I was very impressed with how well this club pulled off a 2 ring trial. You accommodated conflicts with grace, were appreciative of volunteers, and promoted a supportive and enjoyable environment all weekend. Thank you for all that you did to make a very long trip totally worth it for me!

  6. Wow... that is a LOT of work! What a wonderful thing to have so many good attitudes and smiles to get through it all with. I've helped my agility club put on fun matches, but that entails only a wee fraction of all that's involved in a trial and even *that* feels like a lot of work sometimes.

    Great job!