One idea had been to go to the mountain again. Mt. Hood has gotten dumped on, literally, in the last couple of weeks with tons of fresh powder. With a crazy hectic agility weekend schedule coming up in the next months, this might have been one of the last opportunities to go. For instance, as I write this, the snow report for Timberline Lodge shows 12" having been received in the last 72 hours with a 148" top and base. Fantabulous!
I had also been kicking around running over to the ASCA trial being held in Yamhill, OR to get a couple of runs in since we've been out for five weeks. I figured it'd be a good chance to get Vegas some exercise, fun to try a new venue and see who all is there, and possibly use it to start desensitizing Leo to the environment plus expose him to a new venue to work in.
Another possibility I had considered for Saturday was the Portland Saturday Market. This weekend was their kickoff for the year and we hadn't gone much last year. Saturday was supposed to be dry and I figured, good for a nice, long walk with the dogs.
Well, that didn't happen. I finally got up and about and did a few chores. Just before 6 o'clock Vegas and I headed out to the barn for drill team practice. We were missing our favorite furry dog, Wally, and our choreographer but the time was well spent. We ran through the first 20ish counts several times then worked out some ideas for areas we didn't have a plan for yet. For a couple of novices as far as choreography goes, I think we did well planning it and going through the motions to try to see what would work. I'm excited to think of where we might be in a few months and a bit more consistent practice. Should be a blast and really cool to see our crew work together - two Danes, a Corgi, and a Tibetan Mastiff.
After going home I was up too late again getting some things done and then Sunday morning we went tracking again at Champoeg Park, this time with our friends Pam and Jewel, too. We met at 9 o'clock and began with me laying a track for Beth's Orra. This time she had me lay 75 stride legs. Interestingly, the area we were in was right in the midst of the Frisbee golf area that a bunch of guys were starting at. Beth was totally cool with that; she said Orra could handle the cross-tracks. And, of course, this would give it time to age.
Then we were off to the other side of the parking lot to get started for us newbies. Beth laid tracks for Vegas first. The first one was a 5, 10, 20. Vegas did well and seemed to get working a bit easier - after she had a potty break. Not sure what it is about tracking and pottying, but she seems to need to go every time. Our second and final track was longer. Beth laid a 10, 20, 40 and it was significantly more difficult for Vegas on the 40 stride leg. Enough so that we figured not to make it "not fun" by calling it quits then.
After Leo had a chance and then Pam's two dogs, Jewel and Gigi, we chatted a bit and went our separate ways. I loaded the dogs and headed over to the other end of the park for a hike. We spent right around two hours out meandering around, exploring, going off-trail a bit, and then doing some distance recalls. It was a glorious day and the dogs had a ball.
So we wandered toward this water because there was an incredible sound of frogs. I would have expected to see thousands of them from all the noise. Would you believe we didn't see a single frog?
Vegas displayed a unique talent, too, in the last 3/4 mile or so of our hike Sunday. She "spooked" at one point and before I knew what it was, I egged her on like usual with a "Get it, Vegas." She started to but was still slightly spooked and had a guarded stance. As I neared where she was standing and saw what she had her eye on, I was glad she hadn't taken me up on it. She found a snake that was easily three feet long, although skinny. Fortunately he was slithering back into the underbrush, presumably having been out sunning himself as the day was warming.
Not 100 yards up the trail, we encountered another snake, this one different than the first, and smaller at around two feet in length. It took its time but did make its way into the brush, too. At the same time a woman and her three young daughters came along and I pointed out the snake. They pointed out yet another!
All three snakes were different which leads me to believe I need to do a little bit of homework on what they were. I'm accustomed to garter snakes and even yellow racers, but these three were none of the above as far as I know. We don't have poisonous snakes near us that I am aware, but with my luck and Vegas' sensitivities, if she were bit we might have a problem. So once I figure out what the snakes are I'll report back.
And that wraps up our weekend. Things were pretty low key later last night after the boys came home as we all prepared for the week ahead. Tonight was pretty simple. Vegas and I just played hide and go seek a few times and it was interesting to hide in places I could catch glimpses of her searching. She's 'quite through but it wasn't as easy as I expected for her even though our house is small. A fun indoor activity that engages her mind.