Confession is good for the soul.
Yes. I — the bag lady — am also the same person who at one time had 18 crates and 2 dogs. Although I feel this is perfectly normal, rational behavior since we all know how easy it is to accumulate crates. You need one for the van, the house, the motel, the show-site and the training building, at a minimum. Multiply that by multiple dogs and it can add up in a hurry. That explains why one of the empty bedrooms at our house is called “the dog crate room.”
I DID downsize crates several years ago. But I held on to most of my sheltie-sized crates because you never know. If my next dog is not a 24 or 26” Belgian, I would hate to have to go out and buy all new crates again. I may be crazy but I’m not stupid.
And Molly, I know your dilemma. I am entirely too familiar with thirtyone.com. One of my co-workers is also a Thirty-one salesperson. She knows I have an addictive personality when it comes to cute and adorable bags. She casually drops catalogs on my desk and walks away. She is an enabler. I love her.
Leashes. I love leashes. I love leather. I love latigo leather, fancy braided leather, bridle leather . . . oh here we go again. The only thing that’s keeping me from going off the deep end on buying expensive, fancy leashes is Phoenix. Leashes tend to end up in Phoenix’s mouth in the course of training. His mouth is full of teeth and this frequently does not end well for the leash.
Dumbbells. Oh Graydogz, do not get me started. Dumbbell-collecting trumps crates, leashes and bags. I agonized over finding the right size of dumbbell for my shelties, then went through it all again with Jamie. It was nothing short of a freakin’ miracle that one of Jamie’s many rejects (which I had carefully squirreled away) fit Phoenix perfectly. I called up J&J and had them make me another one with those measurements immediately, knowing that this perfectly sized dumbbell would somehow get lost or destroyed. That was 4 years ago. We’re still using the same one and the back-up dumbbell is in safe keeping.
So, have I found the perfect dog bag? That's such a philosophical question. Does such an item exist? At one time, I had the perfect dog bag. I wore it out. The zippers jammed, the fabric frayed, it looked like it had been through the wars. When I tried to replace it, they no longer made that style any more. Story of my life - I like something, they quit making it.
My current dog bag is a microlite tote bag from LL Bean. It’s roomy, has excellent pocket distribution, good posture (doesn’t flop over when you set it down), nice long shoulder straps, is a dirt-resistant brown color and - this is so cool - has light blue interior lining so I can actually SEE what’s in the bag. I hate bags with black interiors. Sure, they don’t show dirt but I can never find anything unless it’s white. Which means I can always find Phoenix’s dumbbell and maybe an errant glove but nothing else.
In other news, we are apparently living in one of the seven rings of hell. We’re under an excessive heat warning until Saturday, when a “cool down” will bring temps below 90 and heat indices will only be in the mid to upper 90s, not the triple digit heat we’re looking at for the next 4 days. The humidity is stuck on "equatorial" with no change in sight.
I’ve switched training time to 6 a.m. and even at that, we only work for 10 minutes or less. Sometimes we train late in the evening, too, for 5 to 10 minutes. The heat is a blessing, in one respect, because it’s making me condense my training plans down to the very essence of what I want to achieve in a given session — no dawdling or messing around.
Since 98% of my training is done outdoors, I could use the heat as an excuse not to train but the National Weather Service is calling for above normal temps for the entire month and I don't want to take that much time off. Besides, Phoenix and I are making progress on using play to build focus and drive, plus an understanding of jackpots, and I don't want to lose that momentum.