Friday, July 15, 2011

Travel and the Great Disc Dogging Obsession

Since getting seriously hooked on disc dogging, I've spent MANY weekends on the road at tournaments and shows in various locations around the eastern US and Canada. This weekend finds us in beautiful Killington, VT preparing to run and compete in a weekend of events.This is the 4th weekend in a row that I've spent on the road doing some dog activity or another. So why do I do this? Why spend the time, money and energy driving around to throw frisbees for my dogs when they'd be just as happy playing in the back yard?

Well, for better or worse, I've always been someone who likes to dive deeply into the things I'm passionate about. My wife and I never had kids, so the dogs fill that space. Some parents spend their weekends travelling to soccer tournaments, I spend mine going to disc dog tournaments and demos. I'm sure if I had kids who played soccer or hockey or whatever, that I'd be one of those parents who gets involved to the point of even coaching the team. As it is, I've become deeply involved in this sport and have met some very interesting folks who I otherwise would never have known.

Having 5 dogs and driving around the country throwing discs is not a normal thing to do. I grew up in what many would consider a normal home. Go to work/school during the week, stay home on the weekends to relax, maybe play outside, maybe go out with friends on Friday or Saturday night. As an adult I find that normal is comforting in small doses, but I much prefer being different. Being different is where the flavor of life is for me.

There is nothing like taking the time and patience to work with a dog over the course of many months and years and feeling the rush that comes with jamming and being really connected as a team. The process of working out ideas of movement and seeing how they ultimately manifest and evolve over time is amazing. Listening to song after song looking for the right beat and feel to match a particular dog's energy and intensity level is a morning ritual as I drive to work. Watching youtube videos of other great teams play and looking for different disc releases or tricks to try is something I do more often than I care to admit.

I probably spend more time than I should thinking about dogs and discs, but life is too short not to be spent thinking about what one is passionate about. The bottom line - I'm happily obsessed with this activity that is such a joyful expression of life between human and canine. Bring on the sunny weather and the open field - TIME TO PLAY!!    

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