Some days I really wonder why we are doing this thing we call agility.
So last night was agility drop in night at the arena on the other side of the city... The unattached equipment trailer was still sitting in front of my house, because we had discovered that pulling it was literally pulling my van apart, so the hitch had been removed from my vehicle...
As drop in time grew closer I began to realize that the person who was tasked to come and pick up the equipment trailer and take the equipment to practice, was not going to be showing up. No answer on cell phone. Hmmmm. Scramble to look for another way to pull the trailer to practice. Found a vehicle, now to go out and hook it up. Starting to get chilly out. As I backed up the borrowed vehicle I realized that the trailer was too low for the hitch, no problem - it was already on a Jack. Hmmmmm. The person who had unhooked it had not left the handle of the jack so there was no way to actually jack it up. Have to find another jack. Time is ticking. Getting colder out.
Found another jack and after threw it under the hitch. Pieces of that jack were missing as well so I had to rig something together but after a couple of failed attempts I finally got it high enough to hook up. The block that it was sitting on was frozen solidly into the road in about an inch of ice (keeps thawing and freezing here) so I leave just it there.
Finally on the way! Sent Kirstin ahead in her little car to tell people that I was coming with the equipment. Got to the practice turnoff road. There was Kirstin in a snow bank. Some guy with a big rig had not given up enough road so Kirstin had pulled over a wee bit too much and got caught by the snow. I stopped to help her out, and blocked the road, so the two vehicles behind my couldn't get up the driveway eithor (subtle way of making people stop and help 🙂 ). We tried to push but it was sheet ice under two tires, and 4 feet of snow around the other two tires. Someone behind me offered to try to tow it out. So I got out of the way and continued to the arena to unload.
Unloaded, no problem, YEAH! Except that my cleats finally gave up the ghost and seperated right from my toe to my heel, so my snow covered feet (from trying to push out Kirstin's vehicle) were a wee bit chilly. The borrowed vehicle had some duct tape. YEAH! Tape up the shoes and ready to go. Still no Kirstin. Turned out the guy trying to pull her out had only gotten her deeper into the snow, which was now up to her hood. Found someone with a tractor and sent them out to pull her out. Now to go unhook the trailer so I could practice. Biting cold wind now. Yeah.
I get the trailer out of the arena and to the parking spot, only to realize that I have no block to put the jack on. Hmmmm. So I use the wooden yardage markers for around the agility field to put the jack on, and start jacking it up. It keeps catching on the hitch, and will not lift enough. So a couple of people get on the back and start to jump up and down to take the weight off the front. It works, it comes up enough to get off the hitch, and off the jack, and I realize that the whole trailer is heading downway fast toward my leg. I managed to just pull my leg out of the way as the trailer hitch crashed to the ground inches away. Hmmmm. Time to practice.
So, not much else can go wrong. Well, turns out they are changing out the heating system in the arena, so the biting cold of outside is also the biting cold of the arena. Great. There is a heated room in the entrance, so I hang out there, and take off my shoes for 15 minutes so I can feel my toes again. NOW time to practice! Hmmmm, looks like while I was unhooking the trailer the dogs got into all the treats, so I now have fat dogs and no treats. Awesome.
Borrow some treats and a frisbee. Havoc first. Try simple stuff because I am not in the mood at this point to get things wrong. We have been working on "tight" wraps, so I put two jumps side by side about 6 feet apart. Over one, back over two. Over one, back over two. Send over one "tight" and despite the potential for pattern training, and the closeness of the second jump, Havoc figures it out and comes between! YEAH!
Dart's turn, she is perfect as always.
End with Fysti. She is very frustrating at this stage of training, because she is loves to offer but hasn't figured out that it is a team sport, or what the heck I am doing out there with her. But, to push my training, I have her entered her in a trial next weekend; just a few runs because her weaves are still problematic. But tonight I decide to see what I have gotten myself into, and how bad the jumpers class is likely to be on the weekend. So I decide to work on some jumping sequences, and see whether I can get three sequencial obstacles. 🙂 Lo and behold the lightbulb goes on in Fysti's head and she suddenly realizes that what I am showing her is the path I want her to take! She jumps she turns, she pulls through, she does serps, she pulls off the wrong end of a tunnel and sends 20 feet into the right end. My little girl is growing UP! Yahoo! It might be a disaster next weekend, but I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel, and with some more time, some weaves and a decision about our contact performance expectations, I may have another agility dog! Good thing I entered her in Regionals in two months, time to get in some more training!
Suddenly all the other stuff is worth while, just to get to that agility practice and finally GET that agility connection with my dog.