sunday morning dawns, bright and squirrel-y. birds chirp, bunnies hop, frogs croak, and peaceful-morning disney music practically plays in the background at the Ford ranch.
on sunday morning at the flyball tournament, no need to be there quite as early as saturday. no measuring of lanes or dogs, no filling out paperwork, no captains meeting, easy peasy. so our 2 esteemed judges, leerie jenkins (beloved spouse) and ule james (all around hoopy frood) get to wait for the sun to rise before they have to leave for the tournament site (45 minute drive from ford ranch). sam (our host with the most and tourney director extraordinaire) still leaves while it’s dark out because he has just that many very important TD super-duties. that leaves Terri in her excursion (plus her dogs), Ule in his rental focus (phat ride, ule), penny-erin-julie-9 dogs who all drove down from NC together in honey’s bus. and leerie, who flew from NC and has been mooching rides off the others.
where oh where will leerie ride? he starts to load himself into Ule’s car, and then at the last second, decides he’d rather drive honey’sbus and ride w/ his fur fun girls. righty-ho.
honey’sbus is blocking in all the other vehicles in the driveway, so we are the first ones out. leerie carefully backs down the driveway, clears the fence and the gate, and starts to cut to the left in order to turn around and drive up the street. only we don’t get further than cut to the left and then THUNK——-AAAAAAHHH, WE ARE IN A DITCH!
very speedy evacuation of the van. people all out. now what about the dogs? we are all so scared of shifting weight inside the precariously balancing van, we just leave the dogs where they are. we open up the doors and verify everyone is ok (if a little tilted). all safe inside their crates.
many options are then discussed. ule was pretty convinced that if we could put enough weight on the right side bumper (that’s the one suspended in the air) and the push from the front or pull from the back, shift the bus back to level ground. lever action! to me, that sounded like a way to bust my bumper off and possibly tump the van onto it’s roof in the ditch.
terri helpfully produces a tow-rope and her big ‘ol diesel excursion. upon close examination, it sure looks like ANY wayward pulling, pushing, towing or shifting could easily result in total tump-age. one front tire resting on the culverts, one back tire in the air and the other back tire teetering on the brink of the ravine. professionals should handle this
luckily, i have a AAA membership. definitely got my money’s worth out of this years membership (ahem) but that’s kind of another story.
Call AAA, they say someone will be there within the hour, which means approx 7:30. tournament starts at 8, and fur fun is in the first race (OF COURSE). hmmm, should we load some people and some dogs into terri’s car, so that they can get there in time to race? should leerie now ride with terri or ule so that he can be johnny-on-the-spot, always got his ducks in a row, supervising mr. judge? answer to all those is no. as previously mentioned, we feel a bit nervous about shifting ANYTHING in the van for fear of tumping. we don’t mind missing one race, it’s not the end of the world. leerie feels kinda bad about putting poor honey’sbus in the ditch and his sense of chivalry kicks in and makes him stay with us to wait for AAA. fur funners stick together through thick and thin, right? all fur one and one fur all! terri and ule shake their heads in sympathy and ride off to the tourney to deliver the news of our misfortune.
and we wait….for what feels like eternity. really, only an hour, just like they promised.
I cannot recommend AAA highly enough. it’s $40 a year or something and they come take care of you when you do dumb shit like this. the fellow who rescued us absolutely FINESSED that van out of it’s pickle. pulled this way a little, then climbed in and cranked the wheel over the other way, pulled a little more, tinkered a little more, pulled a little more, and then it was out! no damage! HOORAY! we happily give him a big tip and hit the road.
we ended up missing 1 race with each of our teams, so we attempt to play some catch-up in the standings. both teams ran pretty smoothly, everyone in a nice groove. at one point, i did have an early pass with scandal, and as dave released ginny he yelled over to me DON’T RERUN. no shit, man, i don’t want any part of running behind ginny ever again in my life. whew.
OUR LAST RACE OF THE WEEKEND, our regular 1 team, formula fun, racing top dog chain reaction, who has been kicking ass and takin names all weekend. we manage to somehow win 2 heats and in the last heat, i see our opponents flag. i let go of sonic and turn around in place to penny who runs june in anchor. i say, “EASY, they have a flag!” and then i turn around to run up and call sonic and HOLY SHIT HERE COMES DEXTER! THUD! YELP! OWWWIE!
let this be a lesson to all of you, children. whatever happens do NOT stray from your set pattern of flyball racing. when we are talking about dogs running at 30mph, the slightest change or miscalculation can spell disaster. i am now walking proof of this. of course dexter slammed right into the SAME LEG ginny hit. he squawked on impact and then skidded along the mat on his face for a second and came up looking like this:
meanwhile, the heat is still going on. penny, who had a front row seat to dexter vs. julie, shows remarkable poise and releases june at the right time, she and june leap OVER me on their way up the lane, then bob and weave around me coming back. once the heat is won, they come over to check on us. that’s a true fur funner for you. finish your race, then assess the casualties. if i hadn’t been writhing on the mats in pain, i might’ve gotten a little choked up with pride!
cursory examinations of dexter and I show that both of us will probably live. we hobble back to our crating area and treat dex with some neosporin and rimadyl, and me with some more ice and ibuprofen (and maybe a jello shot). we thank buddha that we are done racing and have no more opportunities for death, dismemberment, and destruction.
we thoroughly enjoyed the awards ceremony and were shocked to learn that both our teams placed 2nd in their respective divisions, despite having to forfeit 1 race each on sunday morning. our prizes were travel mugs, which i always appreciate, as they are quite useful and i am all the time losing the ones i have. we decided that we will NEVER AGAIN run without leerie jenkins, as he clearly did not appreciate it and did his subconscious best to sabotage us all weekend. ok, dude, we get it! we love you too! at the awards ceremony leerie is presented with a beautiful cowboy hat that all the clubs signed (there must be alot of artists in region 5, all their logos looked perfect. the fur fun logo looks like a 2 year old drew it. he also got a nice pink shirt, in case he ever forgets………
we packed up all our stuff and got ready to hit the road. hugs and kisses exchanged with all our buddies, we drove to baton rouge sunday night, then all the way home to NC on monday.
i can’t say enough good things about region 5 flyballers. everyone was so friendly and helpful. we really will be back to texas someday (anyone up for Reliant 2011??). seeing as how we were calamity janes all weekend, they were probably relieved to see us go, but their manners were much too good to show it.
And it’s true, everything IS bigger in texas, especially fur fun’s big ass adventure!