Agility Spaz

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Viva Goes West, Pt. I

Never having myself attended a national agility event, I used to find stories of agility friends packing weeks ahead of AKC Nationals, NADAC Championships, and the TDAA Petit Prix vaguely perplexing. No longer. With departure for the West Coast looming, the evening of November 28 found me staring into the clothes closet, not just for a few minutes but for what probably added up to a couple of hours. I think I was hoping the closet, or at least one of my sweaters, would turn into some sort of oracle, dispensing much-needed wisdom along with a list of forgotten items. Agility shoes? Check. Trial confirmation? Check. Dog food? Check. Dog food taped to exterior of travel crate for use in event of airline logistical emergency? Check. Tranquilizer for handler worrying about said possibility of airline logistical emergency? Hmm. Yes, I was packing for the 2007 AKC Agility Invitational in Long Beach, California, and Viva was flying cargo.

Water dish? Check. Health records? Check. Reward frisbie? Check. Back-up reward frisbie, in carry-on bag? Check. Exhibitor tickets? Brief moment of panic. Perhaps they're under this pile of papers. The AKC puts a great deal of faith in its exhibitors, mailing us tickets ahead of the event. Perhaps the tickets are under the pile of yet-to-be-packed SmartWool® socks and sports bras? Or under the course maps from last year's invitational? Boy, do I hope Viva's pinwheel training is adequate. Judging from the maps, last year's courses were from all the best neighborhoods in Pinwheel City. Good thing Clean Run ran a Nancy Gyes article on the "Go on!" command while Viva was in rehab. I read the article, thought, "Gee, we don't have anything like that," and started training on the flat using a traffic cone. Maybe those exhibitor tickets are under the water dish? Could they possibly be in the folder of important information for upcoming agility trials? Um - yes. That would be right where I put them when I received them in the mail from AKC two weeks ago. Stressed? Me? No, I'm emphatically not stressed about packing my stuff and my dog's for a cross-country trip on an airplane to a national agility event for which we only got to train for part of the year due to an injury since which time Viva hasn't qualified in an AKC Excellent round to date. Good thing my dog is calm. Yes. Calmly removing all of her objects from the duffle bag or carry-on in which I have placed them, because she has forgotten until just this moment how wonderful that particular bone/frisbie/Kong/leash is. So wonderful she must play with it right away. Viva's got her head on right. She has no need for oracles. Viva has a Kong, a bone, two frisbies, a Nancy Holmseth tug toy, and suspects there may be a small bag of Solid Gold Tiny Tots treats tucked inside one of the agility shoes in the carry-on bag. Viva is happy.

Me? I'm back to searching for wisdom among the sweaters in my closet. Any moment now, one of them will remind me that we're going to Long Beach to have fun.


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