Saturday, September 06, 2008

Another DAM fine time

I'm waiting for Tropical Storm Hanna to pass so I can go do some more agility. Today's events were supposed to start at 8 a.m., but Hanna's center is passing almost exactly over the trial site (Teamworks in Youngsville, NC) right now (according to weather radar). So today's start has been delayed until 2 pm. Probably only the craziest agility nuts will bother to go. You know I'll be there.

Yesterday's DAM tournament was good. My team came in fourth out of ten teams, not necessarily because we did everything really well, but because a lot of people did worse. That's the cool thing about DAM tournaments: because it's scored on a curve (so to speak) your misfortunes on course need only be not quite as bad as other peoples'.

My biggest issue with Lucy was running in the sand ring. We had been scheduled to run the whole thing in the grass ring, but in an effort to get finished before the rains started they decided to alternate between the grass and the sand ring so they could build one course while another was being run. I hate the sand ring at Teamworks. It's not just because it seems to magnify the sun or that it always fills whatever shoes I'm wearing with sand, but because the edges are infested with mice. If I were to pick the one thing Lucy loves above all other things, it would be hunting (and perhaps killing) little critters such as mice. Whenever we're in the sand ring, Lucy gets this half-dazed look and seems to be barely paying attention to me. This is a big improvement over when we first started competing there, when she would just check out and run to the corner of the ring sniffing frantically. These days she knows that she's supposed to do agility, and she's a very good dog who wants to do the right thing, but I think the rodent smell is just too alluring to let her concentrate. So she gets this half-dazed look on her face and really doesn't seem to have her full attention on me. I can't help but think that she's battling that primal urge: "Must .... kill ... little ... critters ..." Or maybe I'm just projecting and it's something entirely different. But our runs in the sand, especially gamblers, are almost always far worse than on grass.

I keep saying that I'm not going to enter Teamworks trials on days when the Masters classes are on sand, but then I go and do it anyway. So today we will be in the sand rig again. I'm hoping that all the rain will dilute the rodent odor a bit and give me at least a fighting chance for a Gamblers Q.

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