On the Doing of Things

by Doranna

On the doing of things…

Sometimes life piles up so fast it’s hard to keep up–and it’s hard to remember why you’re doing what in the first place.

cb.bone..506I started this blog while listening to the grind of merry little hound teeth on a Nylabone, while the hound in question (Connery) happily sprawled over the world’s ugliest hotel carpet.

Not kidding. World’s UGLIEST.

We went to Colorado for one more try at Dart’s TDX title before the bitey snakes wake up and put an end to TDX tracking season.

Last weekend we went to an agility trial, where ConneryBeagle ran his first trial at his new post-MACH3 jump height of twelve instead of sixteen inches. He loved it to pieces and he ran for six of six, which means 3 QQs and 95 points toward a PACH (the preferred version of the MACH). That’s a weekend we’ll have a hard time repeating any time soon…if ever!

Dart Beagle ran in that trial too (and so did Chase Cardigan, the boy I guest-handle), and he hit a QQ on the first day and, um, tried real hard after that. Mostly.

Chase gave me a lot of back-talk, once gave me the paw, and ended the trial by earning his first excellent Q in a couple of trials.  All of which I can take with equanimity when I’ve got my Connery boy back in the line up.

dart.uglycarpet.491Before that, life was about finishing ALPHA ENTANGLED (the current contract book for the HQ paranormal line, Nocturne). And last week, it was about taxes. Turns out I’m already too late to get them to my accountant in time for April 15–surprise!  So hey…extension time, but I’m determined to get the doggone things done anyway, you know?

Anyway, back to the ugly carpet.

You know, you want a weekend like this to go perfectly. It’s a long drive to south Denver from our place, and it’s time and energy and money. I don’t travel well (understatement), so I feel a lot of pressure to make trips like this successful–especially when we add an extra hotel day so I can recover for the test and return drive home.

It did not go perfectly.

P1020568SMMWithin thirty-six hours, I got poisoned by hotel cleaning chemicals (Long-Term Lyme: Just Say No); frantically cleaned up after the dog who nearly midnight-horked at my ear; met an important long-distance Friend for the first time; went out with Friend to lay a motivational track in what turned into horizontally driving snow and a covered track…

…cleaned up (more) after the dog hork, ditched dinner plans due to exhaustion and logistics; tried to learn Windows 8 (also, Just Say No), and woke up on track day to discover mystery dog effluvia on the hotel pillow but HEY. We already had the cleaning supplies. Which was good, because then the other of us got sick.

(I swear, these are all firsts for us! We are not a traveling emissions club.)

On this foundation, off we went to the track, where we did not pass. Dart worked with great enthusiasm and accuracy until a certain point, when for no apparent reason he…well…he became stoned. “Whut am I doing again?”

I tend to think that he could address the tall grass, the remains of a dead deer and its coyote scat collection, the snow-soggy goose poo zone…even the swampy zone and the woods with actual TREES–but only for just so long.  And then…magically stoned dog!

This is very much a Dart thing. This boy lives with such intensity that sometimes he uses himself up.

Can you see it in his expression?  That is one stoned little dog.  DONE.

Can you see it in his expression?  DONE.

But nonetheless, it was something of an epiphany, and probably not a bad one at at that.

Because I think that these tracking tests aren’t something we pass.

They’re something we do.

Yes, it matters that we do or don’t pass along the way.  And the thrill of following a strong working dog through beautiful corners and rugged terrain can’t be overstated (and neither can the disappointment of watching that gestalt evaporate).

Immediately after the track.  Tell me this dog isn't stoned.

Immediately after the track. Tell me this dog isn’t stoned.

But in the meantime, we had an adventure. I’ve been to a new state, a new place. I saw new mountains. I experimented with new ways to organize the packing and the traveling. I cuddled with dogs, I hugged a new-old friend, and I spent time with my partner. I met new tracking folks, I saw some awesome tracking dogs at work, and Dart and I faced new things together.

What is this thing called "water"?

What is this thing called “water”?

We went and we did, and my world is a little bit bigger and maybe I’m a little bit wiser. And I think maybe that’s what these trials are all about.

You know what I mean?

(PS But can we have a do-over on driving eight hours home with the post-pukey dog funk, maybe? Please?

Starting the track.  Yep, there's a dog there somewhere.

After the first corner. Still hoping…

Now you see the dog...

Heading down the third leg, about to hit the wall.  Now you see the dog… (sort of)

Now you don't!  (Fourth leg, after the flunk.)

…Now you don’t! (Fourth leg, after the flunk.)

See that little dog?  He's about to find the GLOVE!

See that little smudge of a dog? He’s about to find the GLOVE!

At the glove, gearing down--tracklayer on one side, tracker friend on the other.

At the glove, gearing down–tracklayer on one side, tracker friend on the other.

In the end...we're still us!

In the end…we’re still us!

Piccies!  Some by Adrianne Middleton, some by me, some by the other of us.

About Doranna

My books are SF/F, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. My dogs are Beagles, my home is the Southwest, and the horse wants a cookie!
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13 Responses to On the Doing of Things

  1. Mona Karel says:

    Pukes in the middle of the night and toxic hotel cleaning had a lot to do with us getting the little motor home

    • Doranna says:

      Oh, I would love to have a wee little motor home for travel. Would make things so much easier with the lyme management!

  2. Adrianne says:

    Lovely post! It was so great to meet you! And it was fun tromping through the grass dropping things for Dart to find, and cheering you on. Hopefully next time Dart will keep his head screwed on straight.

    As for hotel rooms? I think Mona’s right. I want a camper top pickup. Something small, but reliably safe for me to travel in.

    • Doranna says:

      I love that there’s a pic of him sitting there in the middle of the field with his stoned face on.

      And yes. Something small, but safe.

  3. Morgan says:

    Yes, that is one stoned dog!

    • Doranna says:

      Like everything Dart does, he does it COMPLETELY.

  4. Suzan Morrow Farrell says:

    We have given up travel with 2 dogs and 2 cats plus sleepless nights in awful hotel rooms. I’ve looked at little motor homes but OH they are so pricey. I really enjoyed your post–and I think Dart really enjoyed getting stoned!! He’ll surprise you one day and just pass with flying colors.

    • Doranna says:

      I think you’re right–he will. All the understanding is there and he loves tracking with an intensity. I just need to do the right things along the way…

      Sounds like we need to pitch in on a community motor home!

  5. Marilyn says:

    I would dearly love to have a Class B motor home for traveling to events. There’s one small problem: I haven’t yet won the lottery, so I can afford one! (Nor am I likely to win, as I don’t buy tickets….) But if I could afford it, something like this…. http://www.pleasureway.com/plateau/

  6. Patty says:

    It sounds like it was an adventure for sure! On all fronts. Dart reminds me of LT…

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