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!
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.