I’ve been on the road for some sort of dog-related activity (trials, matches, lessons, group training, road trip to visit mom - yes, in my family that’s a dog-related activity) for the last 15 Saturdays in a row, going back to the first weekend in August.
I’m not sure what compelled me to get out my planner and count backwards to discover that. I guess when the opportunity arose for me to have a Saturday AT HOME I was befuddled. How did this happen? Stay home? On a Saturday? That ain’t right.
Not to worry. Phoenix and I are going to a match in Des Moines tomorrow, keeping our string of dog-activity-related Saturdays in tact a while longer.
When a friend e-mailed the match info, I admit to thinking, “Thanks but no thanks. We’re done showing for awhile. Let’s sit this one out.”
Then I looked at the calendar. It is November. The weather Saturday is forecast to be dry, clear and relatively warm. How long do ya think that’s gonna last?
I couldn’t NOT go. Yeah, it’s another three-plus hours on the road but it’s probably the last time for the next four moths that I’ll be able to jump into R2 with the dogs and hit the highway without the threat of snow, ice, freezing rain, windchills, blizzard warnings and pursuit by the Abominable Snowman.
If I made plans to go to a match in January, then we got 10 inches of snow and howling winds, I know I’d be beating myself over the head, thinking, “Why didn’t you go to that match back in November when it was warm and sunny, you freaking idiot? Your dog will NEVER get better if you just sit at home on your lazy butt.”
Yeah, my conscience gets downright nasty at times. She’s great with the guilt trip.
If I want to realize the goals I’ve set for Phoenix in 2012, we need to take advantage of every training opportunity that comes our way in the months before we head back into the ring.
Which is why I’m getting up at 5:15 on a Saturday morning and playing dodge-the-deer all the way to Des Moines — so I can work my dog in a new site, reinforce the good stuff, take note of the not-so-good-stuff and adjust my plan for what we need to work on this winter.
Time flies. Pretty soon, so will the snow. Training nights at the club building and weekend group sessions with friends will be dependent on weather and there will probably be plenty of disappointing “better stay home” nights while the roads turn to skating rinks.
I'll have some "home" weekends before long to bake cookies, clean house, wrap presents and do all kinds of fun Christmas stuff. But tomorrow, it’s one last glorious hurrah for autumn sunshine and warmth on the open road.