Ground Hog Day Again

Posted on 11/05/09 14 Comments

Have you seen that classic movie with Bill Murray? Ground Hog Day. If you haven’t do yourself a favor and watch it. I love it! In the movie one day in Bill Murray’s life keeps repeating over and over (it is Ground Hog Day). Lately, it seems my life has been a bit like that as we have been packing and unpacking over and over. We have been in our new house for just over a week unpacking box after box. Today we pack the RV, getting ready to head out on our cross country trip to the USDAA Nationals. Our drive to Scottsdale, Az should take approximately 45 hours, John pretty much drives the entire way himself while I work on my computer. Hmmmm, I really don’t understand why he is making this trip under duress:).

Seriously, as a couple, there are somethings we don’t do well. One is me driving while John is a passenger. I am a good driver, drove almost 60,000 km a year as a pharmaceutical sales rep. I did that for about 15 years without a single incident behind the wheel. It doesn’t change the fact that John is less than comfortable with me behind as his driver and I am less than comfortable with him “coaching” me from the passenger’s seat. So he drives, I sit almost all the time. Works for me:)

Last year I gave John a break and flew to Scottsdale, this year with taking both Feature and Encore I decided it would be better to drive. By driving the (Canadian) dogs get a chance to acclimatize to the warmer climate as we make our way down south. At this time last year we had snow on the ground at home and couldn’t train outside for the last few weeks leading up to the US Nationals. The dogs and I left an early Canadian Winter, and one short flight later, we were hit with the 100 degree temperatures of Scottsdale, Arizone. Yuck! Luckily for us we have had great weather for training here the last few weeks. Despite being only 6-9 degrees Celsius, we have had some positively balmy days making it to 10-12!

The drawback of driving of course (aside from the obvious 5 day drive) is that the dogs are in crates for pretty much 5 days straight. I have been crating them for about 4 hours a day for the last week in preparation for the much longer stretches they will be faced when we are on the road. We have a route planned that has us driving for about 8 hour/day. Lynda will be following in her car  and we even managed to get one place lined up to stop and train in Tulsa, Ok (thanks again Sharon). Any of you out there close to hwy 40 anywhere near Amarillo Tx, Flagstaff or Winslow Az, that has agility equipment and that wants company for a few hours, just drop me a line and we can plan another extended stop to train!

July 1992. Terri Herman & Gilly, Susan Garrett & Shelby & Kim Duff & Roo make up; “The Three Witches & Three Bitches”  (we haven’t changed a bit have we ladies!)
July 1992. Terri Herman & Gilly, Susan Garrett & Shelby & Kim Duff & Roo make up; “The Three Witches & Three Bitches” (we haven’t changed a bit have we ladies!)

A very big bonus of driving is that all the dogs get to come with us. So even though Buzz and DeCaff are spectators they get to enjoy the trip as well. With DeCaff’s early retirement this year, it will be the first year since 1992, that I will not be running a mini dog at the USDAA Nationals. With the exception of 1997, (which I chose to skip due to the surface) I have not missed a USDAA Nationals in 18 years and have run at least one mini dog each year.  It is very sad for me to be out of the mini dog classes now. Although I love my Border Collies, I feel I am a mini dog owner at heart. I am sure I will be back in the mini division again at some point in the future. Until that time, best of luck to all of my mini dog friends, as they duke it out, without DeCaff and I, to see who is top dog in the USDAA this year.

Today I am grateful for each and every run I had with my three great minis (Shelby, Twister & DeCaff). It has been my honour to have such amazing teammates over the last 18 years.


  1. Eeva says:
    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 4:44am

    Good luck with your RV and trialing!

    Having possibly a change from small dogs to a bigger one ahead, would be interesting to know which kind of differencies you have experienced in training due to dog size only? When training obstacles, supporting behaviours (like targeting), groundwork etc.


  2. Laurie Graichen says:
    Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 1:42am

    Good luck in Scottsdale!

    Should your travels take you near the Charlotte North Carolina area you are more than welcome to stop by, let your dogs run in my 1/2 acre dog yard, and take advantange of my new climate-controlled, fully matted training building.


  3. Aleta Crosby says:
    Friday, November 6, 2009 at 11:18am

    Good luck to all!!
    While in Tulsa, will you be offering any private lessons?


  4. Jan V says:
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 11:54pm

    All the best to you and Lynda O. for safe travels and a fabulous National’s experience.

    Any info on live stream??

    – Jan & Brio


  5. Katie Oilschlager says:
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 11:41pm

    Have a safe trip and good luck to you and the girls at Nationals!!!


  6. Claire Duder says:
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 8:12pm

    I LOVE Groundhog Day! I have seen it at least 4 times… Bill Murray is really a comic genius.

    Goiod luck on the drive and at the Nationals, and don’t forget to pack the Slap Chop!


  7. Terry Hernab says:
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 7:04pm

    And I just got a new mini poodle puppy:-)


    • Susan says:
      Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 9:46pm

      How cool is THAT! Congrats Terry, will we see him/her at puppy camp in Dec?


  8. Lynda Orton-Hill says:
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 6:12pm

    PHEW – thanks KIM! Off to get the Carnivore’s out of the freezer! Knew I was forgetting – one thing – we can’t get at Wally/Target 🙂


  9. MJ says:
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 4:42pm

    Have a safe trip and good luck!


  10. Jessica says:
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 3:28pm

    If you are looking for a nice place to allow your pups to swim (either on your way there or back), here in Stillwater, OK we have several large lakes for swimming and some nice hiking trails, just to let you know. 🙂 We are right between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Have a safe trip and best of luck!!


  11. Jason says:
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 2:48pm

    Great picture! Back to the Future! Good Luck Feature and Encore!

    I do most of the driving in our family too. Not because I don’t trust Andrea driving. It’s just something I can contribute. Andrea does so much – that driving her on long trips is my pleasure 😉

    Heck I might even wash a dish or empty the little trash can in the side room now and then 😉 Yah I know – Super Husband – …is that the sound of barfing I hear?


  12. Kim Collins says:
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 2:38pm

    Have a great and safe trip you guys! Best of luck to you and Lynda O! Sylvie is going too so told her to video lots! Rob wishes we were going too:o( Oh well, another time maybe…

    Hugs to the girls! Don’t forget Encore’s cookies!!!!

    Kim and Rob and the gang in PG


  13. grittyagility says:
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 2:14pm

    I am 1.5 miles off of I-40 in Flagstaff, AZ. My agility field is dirt 100 x 80 foot with everything but a broad jump! The rest of the field is a fenced acre. There is access to the Coconino National Forest trails at the end of my street. It is a nice place to run the dogs. Let me know if you would like to stop, train or run dogs and I will email you directions. I can also email you a photo of my agility field. Safe travels 😉


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