Saturday, July 10, 2010

After the Storm

Thursdays are officially cursed.

I have been TRYING to hold my regular Rally-O classes on Thursdays for the past month and a half now. In the summer, I like to hold my classes outdoors. There is a fabulous field near by that we have been given permission to use with the dogs. It cuts down on costs for me, so I can offer my classes a little cheaper than when I am training with Hub City. But nearly every Thursday since the beginning of June we have been hit with a thunderstorm or torrential downpour of some variety. Up until this week, I have only been able to have one class outdoors. The rest have either been postponed or moved to my fall-back indoor training facility. Reasonably priced, available at very short notice, but too small and not an ideal space for training.

This week, we were finally able to get outdoors again! Made it all of the way through Beginner class before the downpour hit. I waited to see if any of my Advanced/Excellent people would show up for drop-in practice as I watched the storm clouds roll in. Taking shelter under a tree (I am safety conscious during thunder storms!) the boys and I, and one die-hard student decided to see if the storm would pass quickly. After 10 minutes or so and no sign of the rain stopping, I declared that I was going to pack up the car and head home. Of course, because I was eagerly optimistic, I didn't wear appropriate shoes for wet weather ... only a pair of Dawgs sandals, which are super duper comfortable, but not at all grippy when wet. Carrying a huge Tupperware container of my "Rally-O Crap" to the car, I had to straddle-hop a low fence to get into the parking lot. As soon as I found a tenuous foothold on the wet ground in my slippery sandals, and swung one (pork hock) leg over the crotch-high fence, it decided to hail. HAIL HARD!! Sure sure, just pea-sized stuff. But being pelted unaware by small frozen peas still stings a little!

In between gasps of laughter and squeals, I glanced over to see the brave and wonderful Sophie holding a blanket over top of the X-pen that my dogs were in, trying to shelter them from the hail while getting pelted herself. And two very soggy and very un-impressed Shelties glaring out at me from under the blanket canopy.

Tossing the bucket of "Rally-O Crap" into the back of the car, I raced back (as quickly as slippery sandals will allow) to release the dogs from their captivity and allow them to "sprint to freedom". Apparently "sprint to freedom" means different things to different dogs. To Gio, it meant high-tail it towards the parking lot, leap gracefully over the low fence and take shelter in the relatively dry car interior. To Romeo, on the other hand, it meant run frantically in circles, freaking out whenever he left the shelter of the trees and got pelted with rain/hail, eventually give up and pout in a soppy little Sheltie puddle to wait for me to rescue him and carry him to the car.

Of course, as soon as everything was loaded into the car, the rain immediately stopped and the sun broke free of the clouds.

The asphalt in the parking lot was covered in a sheen of water, the hot sun making steam rise in a few areas. I just couldn't pass this up to take a couple of pictures. Heck, the dogs and I were wet enough already, what's a little more puddle splashing, right? Romeo decided to remain in the car and pout over his miserable wet-dog existence. Gio was more open to a photo-shoot.

Thought this one was just too cute. Gio checking himself out in a puddle.

This one really shows the rising steam nicely! I love the reflection of Gio in the puddle an the bright sun shining through his fluff.

Despite how much I loved the other two pictures, I kept coming back to this one as my favorite. The sun flares and rays are just too awesome! It is our submission for our 52 Weeks for Dogs project this week.

If you would like to see Gio's entire (so far) 52 Weeks for Dogs project, check out our set on Flickr.

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