New Year

According to JaYoBaCa, there’s a serious lack of fun times going on here. However, according to client dogs, there’s a serious amount of fun going on.
Although 2016 started with incredible shiny and sparkly joyousness ….

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… it has since disintegrated into pretty much boring and mundane. At least according to JaYoBaCa.

Youke earned his second championship title over the weekend. C-ATCH 2 to be precise. Yup, he’s absolutely thrilled.

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Okay, well he was pretty happy when he got it. Because I was thrilled when he got it. We got to do a nice silly happy dance around some jumps ‘cuz that’s what you do in agility when something big happens. Oh, there’s cheering and clapping, and usually someone’s barking. I heard and saw none of it. I only saw the most best little spotty dog in the world that I adore so much that sometimes I think I can’t breath from the crush of the weight of my love for him.

Camm and Brady were pretty awesome too. In fact, the entire weekend was super special. I really don’t think I’ve had such a successful weekend in terms of performance and in terms of liking how I handled courses with my dogs since October 2014.

Everything was just consistently good. I have my relationship therapist to thank for much of this confidence. We worked a short and tricky sequence with Brady a couple of weeks ago that actually turned up in this past weekend’s jumpers course. I saw it, felt the confidence rise and then just killed it. And not just once, but with all three dogs.

I told her about it and thanked her for teaching me those mad skills. Mostly I think she’s just glad that all that trying to knock stuff into my head finally worked. To some extent.

But mostly the dogs thought the snow, and playing Ball between runs was super fun.

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Good thing I was feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, because it was brutally cold all weekend. Cold as in my nipples got chapped kinda cold. Yes, that’s a thing and it can happen.

While the weekend was a blast, the week leading up to it was crazy insane busy and slightly stressful. I probably felt great because I essentially slept all day New Year’s Eve and much of New Year’s Day.

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Youke is also a champ at napping with me. Really, there’s nothing this dog can’t do.

 

The two weeks that encompassed Christmas and New Year’s were full of dog walking and pet vacation visits – all good for my newly launched business, and hikes with my own dogs, including a couple of nice long ones. This time of year, especially since I’ve returned to earning money to pay my mortgage and for premium dog food and agility entry fees, the limits of daylight mean I can get the dogs out for an hour or two at the most, most of the time. Therefore it was really nice to stretch our legs and go for some nice long jaunts.

And my new crates for The Living Room on Wheels arrived. It was good they arrived on a day that wasn’t raining. It was bad for the dogs because I’d designated the day as a hiking day, but took the window of opportunity instead to put together my new crates.

Three hours later I had my new crates put together and inside the spacious confines of The Living Room on Wheels. Then it was dark. Sad day for the puppies.

So I bought the highly rated and expensive Gunner crates because they were allegedly fairly easy to construct. I deliberately chose not to purchase the Variocage kennel once I watched the video on how to put them together and saw that the average time to construct them is 45 minutes, allegedly. I know myself and my skill set and realized that was an average and someone (me) would be on the outermost point of that spectrum. After watching the video for the Gunner kennels, I figured I had a good shot.

First off, let me say that I was super impressed that I not only own several different types of screwdrivers, but apparently also an Allen wrench set. I did not know about this latter. I found it while searching for the screwdriver I needed. What a win for me!

And that was pretty much the extent of the joy of putting together those things. I spent three hours in 40-degree weather on my deck – at least it was sunny – crawling around inside large plastic boxes and continually lifting, then rolling said boxes.

At least crate number two took half the time to put together as crate number one.

The issue wasn’t the putting together part, that was really actually fairly easy. It was the properly fitting together part and lining up the holes part then inserting the various bolts and screws without losing those pieces underneath my deck part that was hard.

I think I did a fairly decent job. One has a door that rattles a tiny bit and they’re not supposed to, but they seem really solid. I’m tempted to take that one apart and do it over. Just not right away.

After all that, I then had to carry the kennels down the stairs of my deck, onto the slope of my driveway and lift, against the gravity of the driveway slope, up and into the Living Room on Wheels. They weigh close to 50 pounds apiece.

Good thing I possess superhuman strength.

Then I had to nap for nearly two days.

Despite observing a deflating tire on The LRoW New Year’s Eve, I slept. On New Year’s Day, it looked more deflated. Since nothing was open, and I was convinced I had a slow leak, I instead opted to deck out The LRoW and strap down the new crates.

The LRoW is now adorned with crates, as well as a large dog bed and blankets for the front seats for when we arrive at agility destinations. I figure that Youke and Camm will still desire to curl up in the front seats between runs and playing with Ball and Brady can stretch out on the bed, as can Jasmine when she joins us on road trips.

Since I now have a second vehicle, I’ve also realized that I had to outfit it with all the necessary equipment – leashes, balls, poop bags, reading glasses, spare towels, tug toys, etc. –  so I don’t have to switch back and forth. While that was easily done due to the plethora of dog-related stuff, and extra reading glasses, that I possess, I still had to think about things that I just automatically take for granted. Plus, I had to arrange it. That’s how I spent the first day of 2016.

I thought The LRoW would be making its maiden voyage to this weekend’s trial, but I decided not to risk a possible flat. Besides, the smaller interior of the Jeep holds the heat of three dogs a lot better and I figured they’d stay warmer in the smaller vehicle.

Found out today that nothing, thankfully, is wrong with any of the tires on The LRoW, they just all had terribly low air pressure. Whew.

So now, life is back to normal. A new normal. A normal that will likely morph several times as the next 12 months unfold. I’m excited about developing my business, and a tad bit nervous. Luckily, mostly excited as so far it’s progressing faster and better than I had anticipated.

And while I deliberately decided to embark upon a path that allows me time with my dogs, I’m still gone for several hours a day. This is new for JaYoBaCa. I informed them today that it still beats being gone for 12 hours a day due to working at an office job downtown and dealing with a hellacious commute. Plus, when I do get back home I reach for a Ball or tug toy instead of an alcoholic beverage.

Dogs don’t care. They just want to have fun.

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