I still read everyone's posts here on LJ. And blogger isn't always easier than LJ. In fact, blogger's iPhone app might be worse to use. Grr. Why can't this be easier? Why can't apps just work like I want them to?
Saying good bye to LJ. I'll still probably read posts from the folks I've started to get know through here, just can't take the garbled text and the pictures that sometimes show up, sometimes don't. Please click and check out the new look.
I just wanted to give a little shout out to my Portland, OR LJ friends. The short version of the story is that despite some doggie injury related drama, my room mate and I are driving to Cynosports. Yup, CT to CA and back again. My room mate's mom is flying out to meet us there, then driving home with us. Since we're out on the west coast already, we are going to take a very scenic northern route home to do some sight seeing in Montana and such. One of our stops is going to be in Portland to check out some English Shepherd puppies for a friend. It will probably be brief, because we are also trying to get to Seattle to meet with some friends of mine from Vancouver. But the point is, we will BE there! Probably late Monday into Tuesday morning, leaving CA right after Cynosports is done.
Past few months, LJ seems to keep changing it's look willy nilly. I can't see people's photos half the time. And forget the stupid iPhone app. Can't actually scroll through a feed any more. Nope, have to open each and every post one by one. And still, I can see the OTHER half of people's photos. So if I want to see all the photos posted on a particular day, I have to open the feed on both my phone and my computer. It's really making me avoid checking in, and when I don't check in much, I don't have the desire to say much. Any body else finding the changes are the opposite of helpful? Any suggestions for a new journal site? Because I may seriously be moving on...
I wound up having a really great time. I told myself with all the drama I've had with USDAA in the past, and with this being the worst of all, if I didn't have a good time at this trial, I would give up on USDAA altogether. Instead what I got was a taste of what I wish all trials (regardless of venue) were like. People just really getting along. No bashing other venues, mostly because everybody was staying too busy and totally focused (probably because of the heightened pressure with it being a Regional event, and for most folks out here a mini National).
Kraft's last minute team did not Q. Kraft didn't really hold up his end of the bargain, E'ing in both jumpers and standard, and having a baby dog melt down in gamblers. His snooker run was quite solid for a baby dog, making it all the way to 7 in the closing, but heading for the finish jump instead of the third jump of #7 combo. His team mates did both E in standard, so we were in good company on that one, but if we had been just a little stronger in gamblers and jumpers, we probably would have made it. Ah well. Our relay run was TO DIE FOR though, third place on that alone, so quite the redemption run, since we had nothing to lose and were able to really go for it. Kraft REALLY likes relay now, holy crap! Never would have thought a dog who doesn't really like other dogs and tends to worry about having to be in close proximity to them would LIKE that environment, but he did. No finals for him but I still think he did a damn nice job for a baby dog, picking up his very first GP Q on Friday. I'm going to send him with Mary to a trial one weekend that I have to work to see if she can get one more with him for Cynosports, but it won't really matter if he doesn't.
Spy's team did Q. I really really liked the little Pap we were teamed with. He reminded me of what you would get if you mixed all the best parts of Spy, Marron, and Shiver (my room mate's Pomeranian) together. I don't even like Paps, but Cedric was cool. They did not have any ribbons or awards for the non-placing but qualifying teams, so we borrowed some ribbons just to take a photo on the podium. I think we were sixth. She got a bye in PGP but despite going clean with no real bobbles except a slightly wide turn before the A-frame in PSJ did not get a bye.
Marron was such a happy little super star. Love love love her. She got everything I needed her to get Friday and Saturday, the two PSJ legs and the one PGP leg she needed to qualify for Cynosports, and made finals for both on Sunday. On her PGP finals run, she was called for a teeter fly off (a call I agreed with) but I was so freaking pleased with her run overall. So when they were handing out the awards, I got Spy's ribbon (8th I think) then left to go collect Kraft for a starters run in another ring and just as I reached the door, they announced Marron in 4th. I turned around, kind of in shock, stuttering about how I thought she had a teeter call and someone explained that the judge went to the score table after the class was all over, pointed at me and asked for my card back to reverse her call. How cool is that? But they could have told me lol. Marron loves "singing" while people are clapping and cheering, and she would have loved to attend the award giving ceremony but since I didn't think she Q'd, I didn't bring her, only Spy. Then in PSJ, ugh! Such a heartbreaker, I saw her going behind me out of my right eye, so I know I didn't turn my head, but watching the video, I was turning my whole body towards the tunnel opening so I can see how that would have looked like a blind cross. I just giggled and smiled at her when she came out of the tunnel. I didn't care that she went off course, her eyes were still shining with love for the game and gosh that is so precious to me right now.
So now the fun starts, planning a trip to California in October. Since I'm taking all three dogs, it makes more sense to drive than fly. Mary and I will drive out together, splitting gas and hotel the whole way, but it's still such a huge undertaking. Kraft will get to run in Steeplechase and Biathlon, Grand Prix if he manages another Q in the two trials left in August. Spy and Marron are both qualified in PVP, and PSJ, and have byes to the semis for PGP. Spy is going to run with Mary's Cattle Dog, Bug. We're thinking a "private eye" themed name, but haven't come up with anything yet. Still haven't found a partner for Marron since most people from out this way aren't going, but it's still early.
Phew! Laying in the hotel trying to sleep. But on the way to the trial a friend messaged me to tell me Kraft was teamed with her and a friend who had lost their third. Yay! I knew she had lost a team mate but didn't know the heights of the remaining dogs. Huge wave of relief swept over me. It's a way better team than I dared hope for. Both abilities and general attitude of the team members. So excited. Obviously since I can hardly sleep.
Why does having agility goals make me feel guilty? Minutes after my last post my manager texts me and tells me my coworker's wife had her baby last night so he'll be out for at least two weeks, and could I pick up any of his shifts. This is the coworker that swapped shifts with me so I could go to regionals. So it isn't a big deal that we swapped, it's no different having to cover a Wednesday or a Friday shift. What is making me feel guilty is that I can't cover any of his other shifts because I'm going to Regionals. If I hadn't decided I wanted to go, I would have been available to work. I feel bad no matter what I do. Last year I felt lonely and like I was a sore sport for not going (let aside that I kinda wanted to go) and this year I feel like a slacker at work because I gave in to my wants and am going. And already was feeling down about going because of the team falling apart. But I really don't want to lose all the entry money I already paid for three dogs, just because one dog can't run one event (a big event but still, there are lots more runs on the weekend). And I can't help out the following weekend because I already signed up for a Daisy Peel seminar, and a (sort of) private lesson. I could pull out of both of those, but I don't want to. Ugh. I love what I do, despite the fact that I vent about it here every now and then. It's a rewarding career. But it interferes with my beloved hobby so much as well. I have guilt no matter which one I put over the other.
One of Kraft's team mates for regionals got injured Saturday so they pulled from team, not wanting to do five runs the first day and blow the whole weekend but rather save the dog for the one or two runs on Saturday/Sunday that they can pull if the dog looks sore. Totally understandable. Then our other team mate decided that since the team was already broken up, she didn't want to make the trip with an older retired dog of hers that isn't doing well, the BIG decision coming up soon for him and she didn't want to be away from home if it happened to be this weekend that they needed to let him go. Also totally understandable. But I'm left without a team at the very last minute. Since entries are closed, I am left to hope and pray that there's a team we will fit on. Sigh. I know teams get broken up, and the rules state that the trial secretary should do their best to make teams from those dogs available, and she even posted on the regional FB page that people with extra dogs that weren't entered but who would be willing to do so should be on stand by because they might be needed. But that doesn't stop me from having thoughts of what if there just isn't a team for us? What exactly does "do their best" entail? I'm not really part of the "in" crowd of USDAA folks around here. The TS doesn't know me from any one. She doesn't know that I am probably going to Cynosport with this dog and could use a team Q. Getting a team Q won't make the decision of whether I go or not, it will be more of a money decision. But still, the vast majority of people aren't even considering going. But not being part of the crowd, I'm not really going to be top of the list of candidates if she has to make a tough decision of who gets to be on what team. I'm a prime candidate to be left out. He's an odd height dog so that makes it tougher to start with. I hate that at this point it isn't really even up to luck or my efforts or anything that I can start asking around for team mates. It's completely Val's decision, and I just don't like leaving it up to someone that I have no idea what her opinion is of me, or who she might favor over me. I went and made all these arrangements for work, was actually worried about Spy's team mate who is recovering from disc surgery. And now it's Kraft who doesn't have a team. Something is just trying to tell me not to run team with him. Last time I tried to get a team I came up completely empty too. I hate having to have something to prove. I hate feeling like every time I go out with him I have to do well so that eventually we will prove worthy of a team. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. It's silly to cry over agility but I am. And I don't think it's the agility that's making me cry. I can take his RDW misses, his baby dog moments, his epic failures and be disappointed, but overall see them as part of the journey. It's the fear of rejection that's truly got me down. It's like high school all over again and high school was not a happy time for me.