Summer training issues

I personally love the heat. If I’m dripping with sweat, I’m happy. My dog…not so much. So, as nice as yesterday was, I knew if I took him to the park directly after work, we would have to take lots of breaks just so he didn’t over heat on me. I decided to wait until later in the evening to head out, and lets say I had some mixed results. I’m still debating whether I’m going to do it this way on the really sunny days or keep going to the park straight after work and go back to my lots of pauses tactic. Let’s look at the pros and cons:



  1. Oh my god why are there so many bugs? I live by the ocean, damn it, this isn’t supposed to be a problem. There’s even a light breeze, THERE SHOULD NOT BE THIS MANY BUGS.
  2. Our training session was briefly interrupted by the angriest shrew you ever met in your life. If shrews can swear, than this one was using everything it had.
  3. It was dark by the time I got my weave pole bases screwed into the increasingly hard ground. And apparently Mufaasa does not have night vision. Watching him run into the side of the tunnel was pretty funny the first couple of time, but it did get old eventually.
  4. I had to stumble out of the woefully under-lit park after dark, hoping no hoboes were hiding in the bushes, waiting to kill me, or steal my shoes, or my ghetto-tastic homemade pvc jumps (which I’m sure have a high street value).
  5. By the time I got home there wasn’t enough time to finish a beer before I went to bed. THIS IS A MAJOR ISSUE.


  1. Mufaasa was noticably more energetic and focused, and there was non of his going under the jumps nonsense that he’s been doing lately.
  2. Less people bringing they’re own dogs to zoom through our practice area (and by “our” I mean the city’s, since they’re the ones who own the park).
  3. I got to see the angriest shrew you ever met in your life. Thankfully Mufaasa isn’t the type of dog to try and eat any rodent like creature that comes by. He was trying to initiate play with it, but the shrew just wasn’t in the mood. It wasn’t really running, just chittering at him like he was talking to some young whipper-snapper trespassing on the his lawn (which, actually, is sort of what happened).
  4. I got to eat supper before we trained, which is much more fun than finishing your session feeling like your stomach is going to tear its way out through your belly button and head to the nearest diner without you.
Hopefully most of the cons can be resolved with figuring out our timing. I was planning to be down there by 7:30pm—8pm, but it was closer to 9pm by the time I dragged myself out the door. It’s really hard to get a move on once your butt hits the couch and your tummy is full of pasta, let me tell you. Of course, this won’t be an issue on overcast days, but we’re looking at a pretty hot summer this year. The bonus is that I’ll get to see a lot of views like the following:

Distracting, but in the most awesome way possible.

That’s a lot of crap for a tiny person like me to haul around.

The other issue I’m starting to have is that the sheer amount of equipment I need to drag to the park with me is getting pretty heavy, and there’s still more stuff I’d like to add. Right now I’ve got two jumps, twelve weaves, some extra bars so I can convert the weaves into two jumps, a tunnel, a borrowed chute, plus things like a water bottle, a drill for my weave pole bases, treat bags, ball, tug, etc. I’d love to bring our teeter training plank with us, and within the next month or so I’m hoping to have a contact trainer built, and there’s just no way I’m carrying that to the park. God I wish I could afford a car, or that I’d chosen a place with a backyard. Well, next home for sure will have some sort of outside space larger than a patio.

If I had the money to start my own business I would buy a warehouse within the city and convert the inside to a doggie friendly training area, and offer it to the public with a subscription (like a gym membership). If there are any entrepreneurs out there reading this, feel free to steel my idea, I would be willing to pay $50—$100 a month to have easy access to something like that, and I have a tone of classmates who are constantly complaining that they can’t get anything done because they don’t have the room. I’m sure you could get their business too!

At the very least our training sessions have been going well. We have another training match this weekend, and it’s going to be held outside in a place Mufaasa’s never been before, so it will be interesting to see how he does. The lucky part is this time we got the course maps early, so I was able to put together the more difficult sequences and practice them. I think I made myself dizzy trying to figure out the opening sequence of the “starters” (notice the sarcastic quote marks) standard course we’ll be doing. I’m also jumping Mufaasa at 22″ for the first time, which should be entertaining (or aweful/hilarious. Whichever, really).

Now, with any luck the weather for the weekend will improve—right now they’re calling for thunder and lightning. I don’t mind practicing in the rain, especially since we will inevitably have to compete in it, but I draw the line at possibly getting electrocuted by the sky.


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