a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Dogs. And Agility.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dogs. And Agility.

SUMMARY: Pix and Ponderings about dogs, agility, nonagility, travel, activities...

This started as a blog about me and my dogs in agility.  And it pretty much continued that way for over a decade, with forays into random realms.

But I hardly ever post here any more. Mean to, really I do. Because the secondary purpose was to be my diary, since I suck at keeping a written one, plus can't click to insert photos into paper!

And then when I do post, it's hardly ever about dogs.   So, here's a dog. Waiting for the neighbor's dog to come to the fence so they can bark ferociously at each other. What passes for entertainment in the dog world.

Not too many weekends ago, I went to my club's agility trial about 50-60 minutes from here. Nice freeway drive through less urbanified areas. At least, early in the morning.  I worked. Took a few photos.  My heart wasn't into either one. I think what finally did it for me was that there was a snooker course with an element in it that is one of the spectacular Ellen-and-Boost-fail-to-get-a-Super-Q near misses that just broke my heart.  I let too many things break my heart in agility, I think, but even telling myself here and now that that didn't matter and I'd do anything to have my little blue border collie back, it just kept hitting me.

And I'm not that interested in the courses now--I'm nowhere near competition ready in that I have no agility dogs, even if I were completely physically fit.  (Actually feeling pretty good these days, but quite out of condition.)

Agility people are still wonderful. Lots of friends there. Chatted with several. And then they'd need to go run their dogs, or walk their dogs, or take their dogs to the doggie masseuse (really, she's wonderful; Tika loved her).  More and more people running, every time I go to a trial, whom I don't know from Adam.  More and more known people with new dogs I've never met and know nothing about So many of the people I became friends with--and dogs, too-- by being in classes and seminars with them for long periods.

I haven't done agility trials or classes or seminars now for over 3 years, except for a  very few small attempts at class with each of the dogs. I know that Zorro would love it and would be very good at it. I just can't spark my own interest in working on it.  Doesn't he look like he's ready for something new and more exciting?

And then, with that last trial, I just didn't even want to go to the next couple in the same location, and now there's one right here locally this weekend and I'm not going there, either. Can't exactly say why; I had planned on it. But didn't.

Meanwhile, I've been going more and more places and doing more and more things as I get physically better and better-- all the interesting and different kinds of places and things that I used to do a lot of before I started agility--

  • Las Vegas and Grand Canyon in November, for a photo seminar and much more.  (I've posted almost none of the photos, but here are a couple.)
  • Yosemite in March, and lucked out in having snow fall on us, something I've wanted to happen for many many years but haven't had the spare weekends also for many years. (Almost no photos posted, but here are a couple.)
  • Walt Disney World in Florida in April. (almost nothing posted yet, but here are a couple of shots.)
  • Arizona in May (even though it was for a memorial, still we got around and did things.) 
  •  Later this summer, I'm going to Reno for the balloon races, something I've wanted to do since I first learned about them many many years ago. 
  • Later still, in the fall, I'll be going to Ouray, Colorado, for a photo workshop on fall colors in the Rockies, something I've almost done several times and then didn't for one reason or another.
  •  Tomorrow it's Big Sur: my sis and bro-in-law and I are going on an adventure--Driving there, taking the shuttle to the closed part of Highway 1, hiking over the brand-new trail around the damaged highway, then shuttle on the other side to Nepenthe, a restaurant that we like perched above the cliffs on the ocean, before it's too late and they finally replace the destroyed Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and the shuttle will no longer run and Big Sur will no longer be isolated from the rest of the world (at least, from the North--who knows how long until they find the missing Pacific Coast Highway south of there). Until the next Highway 1 disaster.

Had I been doing agility, I likely wouldn't have done any of these. So, it's tradeoffs. Always.

And the dogs have stayed home through everything. So, it's a different life.

I still mostly think of myself as an agility person. Hard not to, with 20 years of classes and competitions and seminars and trips and parties and clubs and all. And yet--I feel that I'm slowly going back to being just a Boring Pet Dog Owner.  And yet--I'm still not ready to let the Agility go.

And then--Retirement is looking more and more like it could actually happen. Sooner rather than later. How cool would that be? But what would it mean for what and where and when and how and who? Thought for EVER so long that I'd travel around, hiking, doing agility, and like that. But--now--who knows!

The future is wide open.


  1. Ouray is beautiful, one of my favorite places, especially in fall. You will like. If you have time you should check out Telluride as well. I'm not a huge fan of snooty ski towns but it's a beautiful place and amazing trails. And Lizard Head Wilderness area. My favorite part of the state. Can't wait to move and be day trips from Telluride.

    1. I'm traveling with 2 other people, so don't know what they'll be up for. I'd love to spend more time there while we're there. TBD. Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. Though come to think of it I haven't been out that way in 10 years or so, I'm sure it's changed but the mountains should still be awesome.

    1. Looking at photos & google maps, OUray's a small, small town and I can't imagine that it's going to be that much different from when you were last there. Telluride & Lizard Head, of course, I have no clue about.

  3. The best part about this post was your last line...the future is wide open. I'm excited that you're doing some photo challenges. I think I looked at that Colorado photo thingy too, or one like it for the fall. Didn't sign up, but have wanted to do something like that for a very long time.

    Agility...well...if you want to run Zoro, try it sometime. But if you really feel sad to be there, then let it go for now. There's probably something else he'd like to do just as much, as long as he's with you. Katie's thing turned out to be scent work and it's bad me because I haven't signed her up for another class, but she sure loved it. No running required of her or me!

    Retirement? It's awesome as long as you're ready for it financially and mentally. Maybe mentally is most important. Then the options are endless, sometimes too endless...but you'll work through it.

    I'm excited for you! (But yes I'd give a lot for you to get the Merle Girls back too...)

    1. I'd like to run Zorro. But he needs some, um, like, training. He can do tunnels! I am very ready for retirement mentally. Thought I was going to do it this summer, but there's still a lot on my list to get through. I have no concerns about keeping myself busy and entertained and active without commuting and doing someone else's work.

    2. I'm looking forward to your retirement too! It might mean more photos from cool places for me to be envious of. I'm pretty sure the grammar there is wrong, but I'm retired so I've become sloppy. Not every retired person gets like me, so don't be scared.

    3. Heh. I'm not too scared. Your grammar is fine anyway. I'm pretty sloppy on facebook and often even in emails, but, eh, I'm not paid to be nonsloppy there (darn it!).

  4. PS: When is your fall photo shoot thing? Looking forward to seeing those!