As My Broken Weave Poles Gently Weep

I feel like I have been holding out on you. Like there is that dang clichéd pink elephant in the room – or I guess in my head – that I can’t talk about. Rather, I can talk about it, I have just chosen to keep silent. Yes, I do have things in my life that I don’t share online. Many things, in fact, as I am sure do you all. Our blogs are really only pieces of us, aren’t they? However, as this thing does pertain to the life of my dog it feels weird to not have said anything. It could be because the subject has been depressing the heck out of me.

Perhaps I am a bit chagrined, especially after all the drama. Oh man, the drama. It seems so remote now but it meant a great deal at the time. In truth, it stills does. A lot. I am just trying to pretend it doesn’t in hopes I get over it. Denial and television, my recipe for getting through life.

Are you ready for it? Here goes:

Shiva and I are no longer formally practicing agility.

That's the big reveal? And I bothered to lift my head because...?

That’s the big reveal? And I bothered to lift my head because…?

It mostly just sucks. I don’t know if I want to go into the reasons why. They mostly revolve around confronting latent fiscal problems and pulling my head out of fantasy land. I guess denial hasn’t served me all that well in the past. For now we’re just stuck with television, and even that is up in the air.

Sitting here trying to get it all out is making me even more unhappy with it all. I don’t have to explain anything to you and yet I feel like I owe you a lot more than a shrug and a “well, this bites.” I feel like I have let you down. You who have been so incredibly encouraging and supportive while I angsted over rear-crosses. You deserve a big golden trophy. At the very least you deserve more interesting stories! It’s been hard thinking of things to say lately when our lives consist of getting up, walking the dog, going to work, coming home, walking the dog, going to bed. And then repeating it all again the next day.

It’s all a little anticlimactic. After all the work we’ve done, it’s hard to just stop. Sure, we can still practice on our own and we have. I can tell you right now, without a goal in mind, it’s not the same. As the time passes, I wonder if we’ll ever start again. By the time we have the ability, I may no longer have the desire. Shiva might not be physically able to at that point anyway.

Perish the thought! This is one puppy who will live forever. Right??

Perish the thought! This is one puppy who will live forever. Right??

So yeah, that’s a bit of what I have been going through. I apologise for the gloomy attitude. No doubt I am once again taking it all too seriously. It just makes me really sad. As with blogging, I met a lot of really awesome people through dog sports. Now that the activities can no longer be a part of my life, the people won’t be either.

I am trying to keep my brain on the things I can still enjoy. A quote from Doggerel’s most recent post has helped me gain a little perspective. The author said: “I have always just wanted a dog of my own to walk with me. And now I have one.”

So do I. There was a time that was the goal. When I finally achieved it, when Shiva learned to walk on a leash without injuring my hands or snarling at garden gnomes, I figured I couldn’t ask for anything more. It was enough for me back then. It can be enough for me now.

33 thoughts on “As My Broken Weave Poles Gently Weep

  1. Hi Kristine, it’s okay. We understand. My peeps have given up alot to keep us. There’s four of us kids and my dad can be heard mumbling, “I just never thought that four dogs could cost so much”. Well duh…well we’ve pretty much been here since we were little puppies and now we’re eight. My dad does not have a fancy German car, he has a bus pass. He takes the bus to work, to school, to shopping with 79 of his “closest friends”. There are days and times he hates it (like coughing or yawning people) but he’s thankful that he and my mom are able to keep us all well, happy and fed – by the “skin of their teeth”. But that’s life. We’re a family, for better or worse. You have Shiva, the cat and PH. And for now, that’ll have to do. But that’s not so bad is it? Come on, here’s a hug. Yes, we still have beer and wine ready for you. Any time, okay?

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  2. I do know what you mean. When Elka stuff happens, it goes on the blog. That’s the way it goes! That said, I’m not really full disclosure, either. It does suck that you aren’t/can’t do agility anymore. But that’s the way things are sometimes.

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  3. Life is expensive – and dog sports? Well, they’re *ridiculously* expensive. Do you think Shiva cares if she gets to compete or go to class? My guess is that she loved the attention and the challenge of it (or at least, that is what Kolchak always loved). All you and Shivs need is each other (andI guess the PH and that Cat, whom I adore. Oh Cat, you crack me up.)

    (PS – for the record, you don’t owe us anything, but we appreciate that you let us be the peeping Toms into your life.)

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  4. Oh Kristine, I’m sorry you’re feeling bummed! Maybe it helps to get it out there, and know your blogger friends support you whether or not you’re doing formal agility. I know you put a huge amount of work into it, but Shiva is reaping the rewards of that work even if she’s not still actively doing it. ‘
    Have you thought about more informal ways of doing agility? Setting up poles and ramps in your yard, building some of your own equipment? Going to playgrounds in the off season when no kiddies are around? I know its not the same thing, but we’ve had a lot of fun with improvising cheap ways to entertain and exercise. No pressure to keep your readers interested; your blog is enjoyable no matter what you post.

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  5. How I can so relate to this Kristine! I feel the same way about dog shows as you with agility and it sucks bad! I keep living in a dream world that we’ll come into some money somehow and get back into showing but after over 2 years of living that dream I have lost hope!
    ok, I’m probably not helping at all, but don’t worry about it you’ll figure something out! We couldn’t show so we started pulling carts, a broken cart but it was still something! Keep your chin up girl!!!!

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  6. We tried going to agility classes with Cali when she was younger because we thought she would really enjoy them, but she was so obsessed with all of the TREATS that we gave up. Still, she loves to try out all different kinds of equipment when we are out and about. I know you and Shiva will still find fun things to do together. It really sucks that the extra curricular things in life are so expensive – some times it really pisses me off – but there is nothing we can do except be grateful for what we have 😉

    If you think your blogging is boring because you’re not doing agility – you’re wrong! You are a talented and entertaining writer and we (Cali and I and I’m sure everyone that follows you) enjoy everything you post!! Don’t fret, you have that adorable cat to keep you on your toes!!

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  7. Hm for me it was more a time factor that led me to give up various dog sports. It seems like just looking after the animals, the house and my own health and fitness takes up much of my time. As for my blog, I only really blog things that I find that are great to share, and new walks etc. Our regular routine doesn’t really lend itself to excitement. I will have to do another Blog about Bumblebee soon though, before he leaves us!

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  8. I never took formal classes for any of the things I do with Elli. Granted, trialing has been put off, but for more reasons than just money… Still, don’t let money hold you back. If you both enjoy it, then do it. If you’re feeling crappy about it, then don’t. Shiva will still love you.

    Elli still loves training whenever I can get away from schoolwork. But she almost equally loves running around in the mountains when we can’t train. And if she’s happy, then I am, too. And, really, that’s all that matters.

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  9. It’s ok. I’m sure everyone understands. Agility really should be fun, for the dog and for you too. If it’s not, well, that’s really a bummer, but maybe you can try it again someday 🙂 And there’s a plenty of other activities to do too. Try them, and see which one you and Shiva like best.

    -Lilli-

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  10. Shiva is one lucky dog to have you, whether you compete in agility together or not! I hope this season will bring you lots of joy together, delighting in the small pleasures of each other’s company. (Thanks for the quote, too!) Wishing you both the very best.

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  11. I’m sorry you have to give up something you love. But you owe us nothing, you know that, right? Sharing your life with us is a gift, not a concession for us to have a say in it.

    Stuff happens in life and we all deal with it as best we can. As long as Shiva is happy that is all you need to worry about. I hope you find peace with your decision. We’ll still be here waiting to hear about all your other adventures.

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  12. Ya gotta do, what ya gotta do. We all understand, as everyone before me has stated. Priorities first sweetie. Embrace the now and do what you can. We’re here for ya 😉

    ~Bren & Titan

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  13. Writing it down on your post may have felt bad, but I’m hoping the love and support from all your fellow bloggers and fans will help ease the hurt a bit. I’m sorry you had to give up the agility sport. If possible, maybe you’ll find something new to replace it now that works for you and Shiva and all the other factors that need to align. Life has a way of bringing some new opportunity into your life when you least expect it. Hugs from me and slurps from Kelly and nose bumps from Brooks.

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  14. Reading your blog has always been entertaining – whether there are stories about agility or not. To be honest, I never got the importance of agility training. To me, my pets have always been like another child, whose entertainment depended on time, finances, and what else was going on. And when it came to cost, the entertainment of the four legged children came far behind the needs of the two legged ones. As the parent of various two and four legged dependants, I found giving up what I enjoyed doing for the betterment of the whole family was more important in the long run. My curling and bowling were set aside for hockey and scouting – my lake place and speed boat were given up for college and university costs. During all this – the 4 legged kids were loved, petted, walked, and again loved. I don’t think they missed out on much because life became more expensive and there were things we could not do with them. Now that the two legged kids are grown and gone, and I have time to reflect on the choices we had to make, and the pleasures we had to forgo over the years, and the luxeries we did not have, I have no regrets. And neither should you. Your blog is great, agility stories or not, Shiva is an integral part of your family, whether you spend time with her in the agility ring or the back yard. She is there, and she is loved – and that is the most important part.

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  15. One of the highlights of my day is coming to your blog and reading about how you got up, walked your dog, went to work, walked your dog, and went to bed. Your dog is awesome, and cute, and I really do enjoy reading about the small adventures that make up your lives together. It sucks that you can’t do agility any more — I think we’ve all been in your shoes at one time or another — but whatever you do with Shiva, and whatever you write about it, I will read it.

    I appreciate all the effort, care and energy that goes into your blog.

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  16. We are not surprised that you have taken a break, maybe a permanent one from agility. It didn’t seem that you were enjoying it and life with dogs is about enjoyment. We don’t feel let down or disappointed that you are going with your feelings right now. Besides winter is the time to hibernate with TV and denial. Spring may change your entire outlook. Or maybe not. Hugs from all of us.

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  17. Stop it. Stop it right now. No beating yourself up. You’ve got one of the best, most beloved blogs in the dog blogosphere, you’ve done amazing things with a dog who’s slightly cuckoo, you have an enormous furball of a cat, you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone time and time again, and you have so much love in your life. If you get back into a agility in the future, awesome. If not, it was a fun experience while it lasted, and then, as you say, life interfered. Not everything is meant to last forever, not everything is a rousing success. Put that “badassery” of yours into motion and move along. Heck, I think most of your readers would follow your blog if you wrote about dryer lint. There’s something to be said about that.

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  18. I always joke that I could probably retire 5 years sooner if I had not gotten hooked on agility! Dog sports really do eat through a lot of cash! I know a lot of my life (and identity) revolves around “dog-people” and agility training/trialing and it would be very painful to stop, so I can certainly understand where you are coming from.
    I don’t know if this would work for you (or make you feel even worse), but how about volunteering at a few local trials. The clubs always need help and this would get you out with your friends, and Shiva could go just for the continued exposure. Also, do you have a friend that runs multiple dogs? Maybe they would let you run one of theirs? It might not be the same as running Shiva, but it would still be an agility adrenaline thrill!

    Anyway, just some ideas….I’m sorry you are feeling so sad.

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  19. (((Kristine))) Bottom line is you have to do what makes you happy and in this case also what makes Shiva happy. Maybe some time just chilling will give you the ideas you want to go forward.

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  20. Sorry to hear about having to stop your extra activities. In all honesty I bet Shiva is just glad to have you with her to walk and hang around with. I’ve always thought just plain ol’ companionship is one of a dog’s favorite things. So enjoy the time with her and don’t forget that quote, it came up at the right time!

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  21. I don’t think I could say anything better than what others have already done so here in the comments.

    Thank you for sharing with us and I am sorry that you are taking it so hard to have to let the agility thing go for now. But remember what fun it was and just have different kinds of adventures with Shiva! Hey – if Shiva knows how to do one thing – it’s making life more interesting, even the mostly mundane is never dull with a dog like Shiva! 🙂

    Hugs and remember, we love your blog whatever your topic. You are a more talented writer than you give yourself credit for and you don’t need the topic of agility to keep it interesting! 🙂

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  22. I’m with you Kristine…I ran into Gizmo’s puppy trainer at a dog event the other day and she wanted to know why i hadn’t continued training with him as he had done really well and we were both enjoying it…It was hard to look at her and say “I couldn’t afford it”, but hey there’s lots of things I can’t afford (like going to the Blogpaws conference this year) and yet I manage… I train for practical things that help us in our everyday life and Gizmo & I have a great time together…And for us that’s enough

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  23. There’s a season for everything, right? You’re entering a new season is all. But don’t look back – that’s not where you’re going. New goals. Maybe you just need new goals?

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  24. Thanks for sharing, your blog is always a great read whether you do agility or not. After much fanfare on my blog we have turned into backyard agiliteers. And Bodie doesn’t give a toss. Hopefully we’re all bloggers cos we enjoy the creativity of writing. The fact that there is someone else out there that is interested to read it is a bonus. Hugs and wuzzes to you and Shiva.

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  25. Oh i totally hear ya… money is one of the main reasons I never got into Agility… it takes practice practice practice… with your own equipment that costs moolah and for a total novice like myself that also means private lessons… at $70 a pop, that just aint happening. Dog shows were even worse as it was such a crap shoot. I had my dog trained for showing pretty quickly, probably the easiest “sport” I have trained her for… but did that help much, not really as it still came down to the judges. I don’t even want to know how much money I spent on shows to get her CH (okay part of me does) and look now I probably won’t even breed her. WHAT a bummer. Same goes for all the time and energy into hunt training for hunt tests… doesn’t look like we will finish that too as I just can’t afford to pay 8 bucks a bird and 35 for a hunt test. I still am getting over all of this as you can tell, big stinking bummer how life works out sometimes. This is def a hard lesson for me to learn, but in the end life is more than just my dogs and their sports… took a while for my breeder to understand that too, don’t think she fully does but hey she wants these dogs to shine so I can’t blame her.
    Maybe one day you can get back into it, or will feel motivated to have a goal of your own. Hey if you have the equipment, what about doing a sort of fun match at your house?? Maybe that could give you a goal?

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  26. So you tried agility. At least you got out there and gave it a shot. I too tried it with our Callie. She sorta liked it. I didn’t. I can think of better things to spend money on and personally I don’t like the social aspect all that much. I am a firm believer that you gotta do what is right for you so you can then do what is right for those you take care of. Whether you do agility or some other dog sport or none at all, we still want to hear about Shiva and what you’re up to!

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  27. Oh Kristine, I hear you on this one. Taking Delilah to Rally class (and all the others we have signed up for) is putting a strain on our budget. Once these classes are over we will probably not be taking any more. While I do understand your frustration and disappointment, there are other ways to practice agility. Although maybe you are like me and need that time structure to make it work?

    I’m not disappointed that you aren’t doing agility because you are one of those amazing folks that people like me look up to and try to be like. Both with my dogs and with my blog. So cheer up friend, we’re all still here with you.

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  28. I’m sorry to hear you aren’t doing agility anymore, but only because you guys were having fun with it – no disappointment at your walk-work-walk-bed routine, since it’s basically the same for anyone in dogland during the winter 😛 I’m currently feeling horribly guilty because I haven’t been giving Gwynn as much walking as he’s used to – it’s just so dark out… and cold… and dark. bah. excuses!
    You and Shiva will continue to have great adventures with or without weave-poles 🙂

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  29. “confronting latent fiscal problems” Yep, I’m still there. There are a few things I would love to do with Dexter, but I just don’t have the money. I’m putting off the show handling classes for that reason. But like you said, I have my very own dogs that I can walk & have fun with. What more can I ask for?

    You’ll get back into it when the time is right & I’m pretty sure that Shiva will be okay to participate. She’s an active, strong dog that loves to run.

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  30. Sorry to hear you aren’t able to do agility anymore, but all the time spent is not wasted. In my opinion any time spent training with your dog benefits both human and dog whether there is a trophy at the end or not. I will miss the Shiva agility videos though. 😉

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  31. i am sickeningly late on this one, but i feel compelled to reply. first of all, if there were some way i could magically make you not feel bad about the agility thing for any reason (not us, not the dog, not missed opportunity), i would 100% do that. if there is nothing else i know, it’s this (learned from my late grandfather): sometimes ya gotta do things ya don’t wanna do. usually for me, that means being forced to go to bridal showers and communions, but it applies in much bigger ways and i frequently remind myself of it. i think it applies here as well.

    there could be any number of reasons for you to have decided to halt agility lessons, but yours isn’t even an emotional one that involves uncertainty. beating yourself up over it is useless. you don’t deserve that, and i don’t think shiva would feel that you do. plus, let’s be honest, we all know that you’re only going to wind up filling your time learning and performing a slew of ridiculous tricks that you probably made up yourself in the first place. and then you’ll learn to knit and you’ll make a life-size shiva and a life-size the cat and set them out with the real-live versions in an ex-pen and video them all battling to the death. or something equally time consuming and intricate. 🙂

    i’m sorry to hear you’re having financial issues that are holding you back from something you love, though, because no matter how you slice that one it sucks. :-/ i keep wanting to send desmond to daycare every day, as i think all that socializing and energy expending would help me with reactivity training, but there is just no way that’s going to happen at $50 a day. i feel your pain, if only a little bit. hope you’re feeling much happier now!

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