Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Set Up and Warm Up

Travis looks sweet, but in the mornings he is a jerk. He so looks forward to his morning meals and begins to whine early in anticipation. The alarm clock especially triggers the behavior. I think its almost to the point that he cannot physically stop himself...... its simply an annoying whistle with every breath he takes and I hate it. On work days, I get up at 4:30 AM and I simply do not have time to exercise him or wait for him to be quiet. Squirt bottles make no difference. It is just one of those things I have resolved to not solve. Now for the record, I will not give him food while he is crying... he does have to be quiet for at least minute. I can usually accomplish this at home by having him do sit or stand stays on the fireplace.... it sounds weird, but it makes him concentrate. Anyways, in CA with the 3 hour time change he was late in his schedule, but still very early for CA time ....... 3:45 AM. He'd start to fidget, wake me up, and then start to cry because I'm wake. I think I waited until about 5 AM to finally feed him.

I forgot to tell you yesterday, but I was so stoked to find chicken backs at a Ralph's Grocery store. Obviously, I cannot fly with raw food, so I figured I'd have to buy wings or leg quarters. However, it was great to find cheap raw food that Travis is used to eating everyday.

Anyways, once outside I find out that it is raining in Southern California where it doesn't rain. I, of course, didn't bring an umbrella or rain coat. The rain continued for the entire day. The big joke is that the big TV news story was "STORMWATCH". Can you believe that? A day of rain in Southern California calls for a storm watch. Too funny! :-)

Anna picked us up and took us to breakfast around 9 AM. We had planned to visit Lake Forest where I used to live, but due to the rain we decided that it did not sound fun. There was actually a regular onformation dog show (not yet the invitational) going on, so we decided to check that out.

All of the rings were carpeted blue and decorated with beautiful Christmas trees. Tons of vendors selling everything related to dogs surrounded the rings on every side.

At noon, agility competitors were allowed to set up. We had assigned crating and were allowed to make neighbor requests. This greatly simplified the process in comparison to past years.

I finally meet Helen Hamilton in person. She shows AKC greyhounds in conformation, agility, tracking, rally, and obedience. She and I have corresponded over the last year swapping agility and tracking advice. I so wish we didn't live 3,000 miles apart. She has put multiple TDX (tracking dog excellent) titles on greyhounds and I would love for her to help me with Katie's tracking and I would love to help her with agility.

Helen has a beautiful AKC greyhound named Lyric who has done very well in the conformation ring. When Helen heard that Travis was coming to CA, she quickly qualified Lyric for the greyhound conformation invitational, so she would be there to see Travis compete. She made us feel like stars :-).

Around 3 PM, AKC offered a FAST class. FAST is a new type of agility class that I've never competed in and I don't fully understand it. BUT it provided a wonderful opportunity for the agility folks to try out the mats, warm up their dogs, and practice on the competition obstacles. The best part was that with some limitations, you could pretty much design your own course. I mostly wanted to Travis to jump and weave since his main job is to do the weaves correctly and to keep bars up. So we started with 2 jumps to the weave poles. Travis missed the weave pole entrance skipping the first 2 poles. 2nd time in, he entered on the wrong side. Hmmmm.... this isn't normal. We continued with the course I had designed and when I came back around I decided to weave one more time and this time he nailed the entrance and weaved perfectly just before our time was up..... Good dog.

On Friday night, Anna, Anne, Helen, and I had dinner with Sheryl Bartel, her husband (Chris Mott, I think), and Kathy (Helen's golden retriever friend). Sheryl is a board member for the AKC greyhound parent club (Greyhound Club of America). I am currently trying to become a member so it was great to get to know one of the board members better. The board votes on the membership application and it helps if some of them actually know you.