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Snug as Bugs in a Rug in Rainy Santa Rosa, California

In a region where most trials require four rings to run and games are all doubled up and tournaments are running amuck and the ambient local talent is so huge you can't help but get caught up in the need to do MORE, this trial was an island of serenity.

At a time of year when it used to be that the only thing to be done in agility was to go back to the drawing board and train all the challenges we encountered last trialing season, holding a real trial this time of year has an experimental and funmatch feel to it.

In the club's adopted winter home of Santa Rosa, California north of San Francisco, the Bay Team held its second annual off-season trial the last weekend of January. It was a miserable rainy weekend outside of our comfy covered arena where the heart of our hospitality Debbie Stoner made incredible cream cheese-cherry brownies; we were snug as bugs in a rug! Due to the limited size of the show grounds where only two rings fit in the arena, the trial offered only masters classes on Saturday and only non-masters classes on Sunday. Aside from the obvious drawback of your dog not getting to trial for a full weekend, you might think the main disadvantage of splitting the entry like this is less cross-fertilization and inspiration between masters and non-masters entrants. However, particularly in these North Bay counties where the natives are eager but out of the USDAA loop (this is the only USDAA offered here), the effect of the split was a huge outpouring of non-masters people helping on the masters day and a huge outpouring of masters people helping on the nonmasters day! All the newcomers . . .

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