Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mayhem & hot air ballons

Last night, a friend and I met at a local park to train. The air temp was 92 and the heat index was 102. But really, what else did we have to do? Like Jill said, it was possibly the shortest training session ever. It was also one of the weirdest.

When I got to the park, a woman, two kids and very big yellow lab (running loose, of course) were walking around a field. No problem, I thought, and drove to the other end of the park. While I was setting up ring gates and jumps, I heard someone yelling, "Blue, come!"

You guessed it, here came the lab, running straight at me, woman and kids in hot pursuit. Thank doG Phoenix was still in his crate in C3PO.

"Blue! Come! Come! Blue, you hear me? You come! Come here! Blue! I said come! Right now! You come here right now! Come! Blue! Blue! Blue! Get over here! Now! Blue!"

Yeah, right, lady. I don't think that's gonna happen.

Not only did Blue not come, HE JUMPED INTO MY VAN!

The back hatch was open and it was still full of a few jumps, folded up crates, a lawn chair and some bundles of newspapers I would deliver to area stores the next day. But that didn't stop ol' Blue. He piled right in on top of it all.

Did I mention Phoenix was having an absolute ballistic bat sh*t meltdown in his crate?

Seriously, Mom, do I look like I would have a bat sh*t meltdown?

I started to walk around to help the woman get her dog out of my van but she'd already hauled him out and put his leash on. Then she walked away without apologizing or even making eye contact!

For just a minute I thought about telling her if she couldn't control her dog any better than that maybe she shouldn't let it run loose in public places but decided if she needed to have that fact pointed out to her, she was probably not going to be very receptive to constructive criticism.

Shortly after the psycho lab left, some guys in a pickup truck pulling a trailer drove past where we were training and disappeared over a little hill. I didn't see any dogs with them so figured all was good.

Before long, I could hear a whooshing, flapping noise and wondered, "Now what?"

Here's what:

And off they went, floating away on a lovely hot July night.

Now really, how often do you get to proof heeling and stays with someone launching a hot air balloon 50 yards away? And no, the balloon really didn't bother Phoenix. He was interested in it and we sat and watched it together for a little bit, but when I asked him to go back to work he was like okay, whatever. What a good boy.


  1. Hot air balloons are why I don't own very many nylon leashes. I made the mistake of taking a dog to a hot air balloon festival with the dog on a pretty colored leash. Ow. She didn't appreciate the sound of the burners and headed away from them at high velocity. Nylon leashes are only for walking dogs in the rain now. ;-)

  2. Too funny - I posted on FB this morning about a hot air balloon that landed behind our house last night. Rider thought he'd seen a UFO. He had this incredulous look on his face. (You know dogs can do that!) He just stared and stared at the window where he'd last seen it. Mesmerized, he was! :-) (How do you always have a camera handy when you need it???)

  3. I have a teeny-tiny little Canon Powershot that I usually have in my purse or dog bag. I LOVE it!

  4. Didn't apologize? What is the world coming to? Once when we were out walking an SUV pulled up-before the owner could catch him, the akita in the back jumped out when the owner opened the door and ran over and attacked Oreo. He was ok but I was freaked out. Did I mention this was in the parking lot at obedience class?

  5. I've had countless experiences with incompetent owners and untrained dogs, but a hot air balloon? I think that one takes the cake.

    Shame on that woman for having her out-of-control dog offleash and for allowing him to get as far as to your car. Rude, unsafe, horribly annoying!

    Nice blog. I have been looking for new training blogs to read.