August is almost over, and although it is a month full of pleasures for me, it is also my most stressful month with work days that can last from 4am until I collapse exhausted in the evening, too tired for a short training session with my dogs. In addition to packing orders for a part of the day, I must take care of five greenhouses full of bulbs. I have a little help one day a week, but most of the work is done by me. Watering takes place every day, and it is tedious and time-consuming, and repotting takes place whenever I can. The computer work I do before it gets light. I have been in the habit of waking around 4am for many years, sometimes even earlier when work builds up. I don't mind it, I don't actually know how I would get the work done if I didn't get up well before the crack of dawn. All is quiet, and I can enter orders and answer e-mails, print out invoices and labels. I often get complaints that I don't answer e-mails, but if I answered all e-mails I simply wouldn't be able to get anything else done. I try to provide basic information about planting and growing the bulbs, but I am simply not able to engage in extended correspondence beyond that.
My favorite agility trial is in August also, and it is one I simply cannot miss. I rarely have an opportunity to do a dog trial locally. Most of the time I trial in the winter when work is not so pressing and the temperatures are not sizzling (they rarely sizzle here), but the dog trials involve travel, usually a five to seven hour drive and three or four overnight stays. The one we have here is just 30 minutes away, and I see all my friends from far and wide. It is so much better for the dogs too, not having to endure hours in their crates in the car or staying in a motel. My new dog, Arlo, is doing very well at the trials and is already in the Championship level where he is accumulating points and qualifying runs that count towards a championship. He has just turned three, so I am very proud of him. Here is a winning run at a recent trial: https://youtu.be/uiE2eYeifxk
My older dog, Hannah, did not get there until she was six, undoubtedly due to my poor training abilities, but I have learned a lot in the past years, and I am currently taking an on-line class from Finland (www.oneminddogs.com) which has taught me so much. The Internet is amazing, you can take classes in dog agility from the world's best now.
I still compete with my older dog, Hannah, and she still wins some runs. She will be eleven years old soon, and won four championship titles before I put her into semi-retirement.
Little Willie, my male terrier, is fully retired and perfectly happy to be so. We do a few jumps and tunnels at home so that he isn't left out, and he still enjoys that. Here he is, hanging out at a trial.
Shipping continues apace in September, but it is the month where I take a short break, going up to Oregon for a dog trial and a few days of hiking in the beautiful mountains around Bend. I have a little travel trailer now, so no more tent camping or motels for us, and the dogs absolutely love the trailer.