Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Eni grejo na počitnice, drugi pa v šolo

I am temporarily Lyra-less. J and D swung by to pick her up and take her with them on an afternoon jaunt to the seaside. Whenever she does well at a competition, she is rewarded with počitnice pri Jani in Deanu. (The "jockey" only gets a beer.) Her last major vacation with J and D was in January. Things look a little different now. Instead of shoveling snow, I have been mowing dandelions. I can't really call it grass. But I couldn't quite finish the job since I ran out of gas for the lawn(dandelion)mower and couldn't refill the tank since yesterday I poured what was left in the gas can into my car's tank so I could drive to Sežana to pick up a desperately needed prescription for antihistamines.

Oli has school this evening in Ljubljana. Fortunately I got a payment today, so I can buy gas for the trip.

This is a fairly typical day in my life.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Good dog, happy woman

So what if my house is a mess, my garden a disgrace, my love life pathetic, my finances precarious at best? I have a damned fine dog, and that's what really matters. (Two fine dogs, actually, but this post is dedicated to Lyra.)

Saturday I left the house shortly after 5 a.m. to travel to an agility competition at the other end of the country, in Gornja Radgona. Okay, that's not as impressive as it sounds once you realize I live in a country the size of New Jersey, but a three-hour drive one-way by my standards is a long haul.

I very nearly didn't go. As with last year's competition in distant Slovenska Bistrica, I found myself in the (not atypical) situation of having lots of work and little money. A sensible person would have made a serious effort to earn more and spend less. Specifically, she would have stayed home and translated (and cut the grass and cleaned house) instead of taking the whole day off and spending money on entry fees and travel expenses.

Last year I took the sensible option, and regretted it. This year I sensibly decided to act irresponsibly. Good move. No regrets. We had a terrific time, enhanced even further by winning a cup, a bag of dog food, and a dog blanket:

photo by

Thereby breaking the Eukanuba curse that we somehow incurred last season. I had set what I thought was the attainable goal of ranking in the top three in the Eukanuba Cup for our category, but with the exception of the first competition of the 2006 Cup (which was also our first time na stopničkah), our worst performances invariably occurred in the Eukanuba competitions, and we finished the season a mediocre seventh or eighth in the Cup.

Videos of our Saturday runs available here (agility run) and here (jumping run).

Despite taking our sweet time on the teeter-totter, which was even more fearsome than usual, we were second after the agility run, since so few dogs had clean runs (the course was a challenging one; nearly half the competitors were eliminated after the first run). Jumping was clean and relatively fast--we had the best time of the clean jumping runs--but not quite fast enough to make up for our slow agility run and overtake the first-place dog, Kala.

This follows a second-place finish at Ajdovščina on April 7:

(Videos: agility run, jumping run)

Saturday was an upbeat conclusion to an otherwise stressful and generally crappy week, marked by an extraordinarily high pollen count which set my allergies raging, controversy and conflict in village relations over the erection of industrial-sized streetlights along our narrow unpaved rural lane that would illuminate my yard as though it were a shopping mall parking lot (considered by some a sign of progress, by others unnecessary and unacceptable light pollution), major challenges at work, and dissatisfaction in my love life (such as it is). After experiencing a series of mini emotional breakdowns, I'd decided it's time to seek help from a professional therapist. But now I'm thinking--who needs therapy when you have a border collie and agility?*

And music. Check out song #11--my personal favorite.

And speaking of dog therapy--check out what Tina and Chica have been up to, bringing good cheer to residents of a retirement home.

*Sorry, Elizabeth, if this catches on, you may be out of business.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

If you say so