Posted by: jility | November 27, 2010

The Butt Crack of Dawn & Widows in the Tunnel

With every breath, white billowy steam shot into the bone chilling morning air. An extremely rare thick layer of frost covered the Southern California ground and the Stinkmobile sputtered and coughed as it struggled to warm its cold hating diesel engine. The temperature gauge read an uncharacteristic 25 degrees but it felt and looked a lot colder than that. Was I really in California or had I been teleported to a faraway place in the North?

 I trudged up the hill to open the gates while Mel turned the Extortion around and headed up the driveway towards me.  It was the butt crack of dawn and still dark and we were an hour and fifteen minutes to the north from the trial. My plan was not to trial until next year but Mel couldn’t stand to wait. The dogs had 6 weeks off from all agility with no training or trialing at all so they were fresh and ready to run. We had kept them in good shape during that time but nothing on or near agility equipment. They were all very excited to run again! I wanted to sleep in.

It was just after 6 as we slowly drove down the long rutty dirt road towards civilization. Even though we live in the country, we are only a few minutes to some of the greatest shopping you could ever want. I love our winter stomping grounds! We are very fortunate to have found this place and for Mel to have a daughter who had the foresight to buy it! Lucky us!

The first day of the trial Charisse and I picked up our 8th double Q towards MACH 2 and more than enough points for that title. Mel had some lovely runs but no double Qs. Today, our second day of trials, I picked double Q number 9 and about 30 more MACH points. Charisse is running very well in spite of my handling and slow fat arse. With all the distance and verbals I have to use, it seems to take my dogs about four years to really understand my funky body language and lack of body control. We are only at the 4 year mark but Charisse is 8 years old. We started late. She was 3 years old when I started to train her and 4 by the time we got into the ring. Then I broke my knee and had the two surgeries which set us back a couple of years but now we seem to be getting it together. How she understands my flailing and stumbling around the course is beyond me but she does. She tries so very hard and I adore her.

Charisse’s Jumper Run 11/27/10

Charisse’s Standard Run 11/27/10

I managed to remember to hook up my leash today! Nobody had to remind me either! Had I not been reminded yesterday, only GOD knows what might have happened! I sure appreciate it that somebody took the time to notice we were leashless and point it out to me! What if I had marched into the ring sans leash? No double Q for YOU BABY!

I love trialing in the San Diego area! Stacy Winkler and her incredible students are all so wonderful and supportive! They know how to make you feel at home down here. They are always finding a reason to put on parties at the trials and this weekend was no exception.

The trial was a one judge trial and we were done running by 10 AM! I LOVE this schedule! Mel spent the afternoon ridding the tunnel we had left here for the summer of black widow spiders and her eggs. There were a bunch of sucked dry male spiders inside and literally hundreds of egg sacs! Mel said he was very glad he was not a male black widow (there is an oxymoron in there someplace) and went on about how sorry he felt for them.

Mel has had some kick ass runs so far this weekend. MeMe, although struggling with contacts at the moment, is running beautifully in JWW. MeMe ran an incredible 5.8 yards per second in JWW this morning! Hard to believe she only has one hip!

Crushie had a kick ass winning standard run. She ran an amazing 5.2 yards per second in STANDARD with stopped contacts!

So yesterday I was told that it is OK to work contacts at trials as long as you don’t use the real equipment! I always thought that was illegal but, according to the new Director of Agility at AKC, it is perfectly legal! So, everyone who has been sneaking around working contacts on the equipment trailer ramps, stairs or curbs, stand tall! No need to hide! I now carry a letter I was given from Carrie DeYoung stating so (thanks Jean :).


  1. You go girl!

  2. Felt like I was there.
    wow…. you and Charrise are kicking butt !
    great to watch.
    Had HKblog withdrawal fro awhile.

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