Soooo, we assumed when we entered a trial in Tulsa in June it would be climate controlled (I mean have you ever been to Tulsa in June?). Well, you know what they say about assuming. We should have checked the premium. Because, it wasn't.
So we arrived late Friday night and the first clue that this wasn't going to be a great weekend were the questionable looking people also checking into our hotel (an always classy choice, the Super 8). They weren't really scary or dangerous looking, just not not the kind of people we really wanted to hang out with. In other words, they were not there for the agility trial.
Fast forward to Saturday morning. It's already hot in the arena when we arrive. We were not totally unprepared for this and got out the fans for the dogs. My never before used, still in the box fan didn't work. At all. Cheri's fans had dead batteries. Fail.
First runs were standard. Girls ran terrible for no particular reason with course faults ranging from knocked bars to bailing off the teeter and everything in between. On to jumpers. Legend knocked the triple and Lyric found it too hot to weave. Cheri's dogs were not much better. Agility fail. It's now about 97 degrees in the arena.
One good thing, there was a lake at the trial site (which was by the way, in the middle of nowhere but very pretty, and we only made one wrong turn trying to get there. Navigation system fail). Legend was happy to jump in the lake after her runs to cool off but everyone else had to be dunked in the stock tank to cool off because, again, we had no fans. So picture wet dogs mixed with horse arena dirt. Yeah, I'm sure the hotel loved us.
So we packed it all up and headed back to the hotel. We left the dogs in the a/c and hit the pool, then the casino. Cheri came out a little ahead and I lost $40. Gambling fail. Then we went back to the hotel forgetting to go to Walmart to get new fans and batteries. Responsible dog owner fail. Back out to Walmart. Go to bed.
Today is a new day right? Earlier start (no FAST classes today) and working fans-what could go wrong? Lyric ran better but still NQ'd in standard. My timing was apparently very off with Legend (despite her lack of speed due to the heat) and I pulled off 3 obstacles. Handler fail. Lyric was so hot in jumpers she trotted the first half of the course-not exactly the furiously fast fluffball I'm used too. Legend wasn't fast but she did manage to Q in jumpers. So we gained exactly 1 Q and 4 points this weekend. I guess they can't all be good weekends huh?
But to put things into perspective we had a chance to drive through Joplin going to and from Tulsa. The scenes there were indescribable, surreal to say the least. You can look at all the pictures and TV footage you want but seeing it in person is like nothing I have ever seen before, and hope to never see again.
There were huge metal lampposts just bent over to the ground like they were toothpicks. Businesses were reduced to skeletons of what they once were, many were unrecognizable with their name spray painted on the ruins. Trees were just bare trunks with with all the branches and bark ripped off, many had huge pieces of metal wrapped around them. There where entire streets were there was nothing but piles of debris where houses once stood. Cars were everywhere-crushed, damaged, tossed on their sides and abandoned. They looked like props to a movie set or some kind of war zone. We drove by the clinic where I had worked. It was badly damaged but mostly still standing. The building next door was a pile of rubble. I don't even remember what it was. What struck me the most was the park across the street where I used to eat my lunch. It was just gone. No trees, no picnic tables, no pavilion, no trash cans. Nothing. It looked like someone came with a bulldozer and wiped it away. Then we went by the main hospital that was hit. It looked like it had been abandoned years ago and had been deteriorating for a long time-it was dark, broken, and battered, with debris everywhere. It's hard to believe it was a perfectly functioning hospital just 2 weeks ago. What was so eerie though, was there were large areas of devastation and only a few hundred yards or a block away would be an area almost completely untouched. The buildings there looked like nothing ever happened and yet, so much did.
So in the end, it's not the one Q and the 4 points that matter. It's that we got to go and have fun with our dogs. That we still have a home to come back to. And that we can look back on this weekend and laugh about how terribly wrong it went and how that really didn't matter after all.
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