Do you remember the character Michelle from the teenage-angst film, American Pie? She is the one who started almost every sentence with, “This one time, at band camp…” then launched into a story that was probably only entertaining to her fellow band-campers.
What, you don’t remember? Here’s a clip:
Yeah, well, that was probably me in my middle school, high school and university years… “this one time, at band class…” and then “this one time, at the theater…”. I played the flute and some other instruments to a nice level of mediocrity, and did better for myself (and fellow musicians) as a conductor. And NO, I wasn’t as, um, “adventurous” as the character in the film (for those of you who might be wondering!)
It has been decades since anything resembling band camp, but I have noticed lately that life has become more about “this one time, at dog agility…” True, it doesn’t have to be “dog camp”, it can be “dog class” or “dog doctor” or “dog show” or “dog seminar” or anything dog-related. Has anyone else noticed that we can spend 8 or 9 hours training the little buggers and obsessing on exactly which arm should go where and when… then go out to dinner and spend another three hours talking about dog agility (or dog training or dog toys or dog people or dog bodily functions)?
“This one time, at dog camp…”
Then we all get up the next day, rarin’ to do it all again.
We are crazy! But we love it and are damn lucky to be able to do it…
Lucky to be able to pursue this sport and game with our four-legged buddies, to the level of obsessiveness of our choice… you can choose to keep the “this one time, at dog camp” lifestyle close to home, with local classes and local events. Or, you can choose to go national (or international!) with the game – there are at least 4 major international events (in 2012, I will get to go to 3 of them!) and in the US, each agility organization as many opportunities to compete regionally and nationally. That is a whole lotta “dog camp” conversation starters!
The hardest thing here is to keep it all balanced with family, friends, work and other hobbies. When a group of dog camp buddies go out for dinner with our spouses and significant others, we have tried to place a moratorium on any discussions involving dogs (especially any conversations involving dog poop or puke while others are eating.) As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that working for ya?”
At least we try 🙂
And it is fun to find spend time with our dog pals and meet people from around the world. Our shared passion for the game, as well as text messages and the ease of social networking has opened up amazing opportunities to maintain friendships with people all over the planet. The variety of people I meet is mind-boggling, and then to think that we all gather to run our dogs on obstacle courses… well, it makes this ol’ head spin a bit.