a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Closing on the end of an era--?

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Closing on the end of an era--?

SUMMARY: They're Just Big Chunks of Plastic, Right?

Previous posts on this topic:

As I related in Mat Matters, my dog mats... crating mats... canopy mats...   oh, right, agility mats... came to me through happenstance between 1997 and 2012.  Their two common features were:  purple. And agility.  I'd have preferred teal or blue with the purple, but, OK, purple.

After that post, my first two mats went into the trash, just too beat up.  The other two were good--one (purple and black) brand new then; the purple and white only a couple of years older, but its edge already fraying, which I never did get around to taping up.

Since (sigh, sob, sad, shoulders droop) 2014 they have been sitting on the same shelf in the garage where I kept them for the preceding 13 years. Sitting. Just sitting there. Waiting. Wanting to be out on a field somewhere, or on the dirt of an arena, or really anywhere.  Wanting matching dog crates resting on them, protecting them, dogs comfy inside them. Matching chairs. Matching leashes. Matching gear bags and toys.

Shocks me every time I realize how long it has been since I tried competing in agility.  "Just a temporary setback," I told myself.

Today, needed to tidy some garage shelves.

Had already gone thru boxes of paper/plastic plates, cups, and plasticware.
Notice a theme in colors even here?
I used to have a lot of parties and barbecues...

Dog gear that used to fit on a shelf and a half had gradually flowed from the initial shelf up and down and across. Same gear that used to fit! So, get to it. First thing, I grabbed the mats to pull them down-- and was showered with purple! (shock, startle, jump back) The purple and white literally disintegrating in my hands!

Holy crappola--is this actually a thing that happens?!

The mat. The frayed side/binding at the bottom from way back, but the crumbling purple is new...

The black and purple is fine. So, really, I guess the P&W was of cruddy quality from the beginning.  Spent 20 minutes taking the mat outside for a final photo, putting it into the trash, and then cleaning up piles and miles of scattered crumbling mini-to-micro plastic bits, on the shelves near the mats, on the floor under the mats, in a trail across the garage, in piles on the sidewalk where I spread it for photos, sweeping and vacuuming Purple.

I keep feeling the edge of my agility era creeping closer. I'm not yet ready to admit that I'm done. I might not be done--since I had been taking Zorro to class before my knee surgery followed by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic quarantine, with many cases in my county, not going to be one of the first to open much up quickly, either.  Don't know where it will all go. But--another mat gone. Another connection.

But, so--just mats. But with nearly 300 weekends of competition--which means likely 1000 days of competitions--plus seminars, and classes, and fun activities--  It's all part and parcel of Being An Agility Person.  So strange.

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