Monday, May 05, 2008

TMAC 2008

Despite the fact that we haven't had the chance to play agility outside Murphy managed to pull off three good runs last weekend at the TMAC spring show in Westfield.

The open standard course was gorgeous on Saturday morning - I wish we had actually been able to run it (giggle). It had rained all night but the ground was pretty firm, it was chilly about 50 Murphy got to the startline and quivered - uh-oh - this is good - or it's REALLY bad. Well it was really bad! Murph took the first jump and proceeded to PARTY! Party like he'd just been released from a winter's stay in prison - ZOOM! Then he hit the one patch where there was fresh sand and it must have felt WONDERFUL on his toes because he tucked his tail and SPUN around in the wet dirt...I called him once to come back and he blissfully ignored me so I pulled him and fed his meatball to Teller (that did NOT make Murphy happy). I did take comfort in seeing a lot of open and even excellent dogs having happy feet on their first run too - and it was the first time outside for a lot of dogs that weekend.

The Open JWW course on Saturday was equally flowing, we had a blip or two and ran the course without any R's but we were 8 seconds over time which in open is the kiss of death - we could have swallowed 7 seconds and Q'd but that last second made all the difference...We came out of the ring partying thinking it was our OAJ title but it was not to be.

Sunday's standard course had some traps which we avoided (how about that) but Murphy would not get up on the table (reminds me a little bit of the Shel Silverstein poem (see below).

Sunday's jumpers was a mess - I didn't get where I needed to be in time to get out of Murphy's way so I ended up taking some strange lines that I really didn't want to take...net result we had two R's (both my fault) but managed to make time (go figure).

What I was really pleased about is that 3 out of 4 runs Murphy played with me, worked with me and genuinely enjoyed himself doing so (though I have NO Doubt that he enjoyed his "fraps" on Saturday morning as well). Weaves and entries have haunted us for a while now - when Murphy has to slow down he starts to think, and when he thinks he worries. So what would happen is he'd miss his entry because he was worried, he'd come back to start again usually get his weaves and despite any amount of cheerleading I did he'd pop out/give up and then melt down if I asked him to weave again. SO....at our last trial in the fall if he didn't get his entry we didn't go back. I let him weave wrong, I'd let him pop out and then just move on. No Q's but he was happier and more confident. This winter we worked a ton of weaves, weave-entries, he always got paid for his weaves. It paid off for the BOTC trial in April and it paid off at TMAC - and what I'm really pleased with is that he's getting his entries and he's getting faster and more confident. Sure, it's REALLY hard not to bring him back and fix it when it's the only R so far on course...but...it's in his best interest that I don't mess with him. Plus - it's working!


Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would not take the garbage out!
Shel Silverstein, 1974

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Would not take the garbage out!
She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans,
Candy the yams and spice the hams,
And though her daddy would scream and shout,
She simply would not take the garbage out.
And so it piled up to the ceilings:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas, rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the window and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans and tangerines,
Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . .
The garbage rolled on down the hall,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . .
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Globs of gooey bubble gum,
Cellophane from green baloney,
Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold french fried and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.
At last the garbage reached so high
That it finally touched the sky.
And all the neighbors moved away,
And none of her friends would come to play.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said,
"OK, I'll take the garbage out!"
But then, of course, it was too late. . .
The garbage reached across the state,
From New York to the Golden Gate.
And there, in the garbage she did hate,
Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
That I cannot now relate
Because the hour is much too late.
But children, remember Sarah Stout
And always take the garbage out!


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