Jan 19, 2012

What else could possibly go wrong?

I entered a CPE agility trial in Boulder City Nevada being hosted by LVDICE over the weekend.  I left home at 6:00 am and was having a great trip until I made the HUGE mistake of stopping at the rest stop just north of Cedar City Utah.  Yes I noticed all five, I repeat five, large signs bigger than my truck making sure to inform everyone stopping that your pets are NOT welcome on the grass. Which is hilarious since the grass was all dead anyway.

I parked the truck went to visit the restroom and noticed a man loading up a wheel borrow with black trash bags as I went in. When I came out he was still there watching everyone, which struck me as a little odd.

I head back to the truck and bring Dolcenea out attaching her flexi and grabbing a poop bag and step onto the side walk. Now I’m headed the opposite way of the building and behind me I hear a mans voice barking orders at me like I’m his slave, “where do you think you’re going?” I turned to look at this very disheveled man who desperately needed a shave and a bath questioning me concerning my walking direction. I said excuse me but what I do is NONE of your BUSINESS. Notice the capitalization for emphasis; I barked my response back at him with the exact same venom and nasty tone he threw at me with is derogatory remark. I’ve never understood why some men in the state of Utah feel women are property to be treated as rotten as possible whether they are their wives or a perfect stranger. I hate Utah!!!

So the argument gets heated.
This raggedy man informs me to STAY OFF THE GRASS even though neither I nor Dolcenea have even stepped one small toe on it so far. So I keep walking heading for a large tree at the far end of the parking lot and this creep follows me the entire way pretending to empty the trash cans as he goes. Dolcenea does her business then we head back to the truck and he starts in again with his nasty remarks that I must be a snobby *itch from California, I said no I’m from the Pet Friendly state of Colorado, and please don’t ever come for a visit we don’t want horrible people like you in our state. He kept yelling nasty remarks but I just loaded Dolcenea back into the truck and continued with our trip to Vegas. Because of this IDIOT I never got a chance to check the truck to see if there was anything wrong.

The horrible experiences continue.
We finally arrive at the hotel in Henderson Nevada. I take some stuff from the cab of the truck into the hotel room, turn on the air conditioning since its well over 70 degrees outside and even warmer in the room, then I give Dolcenea her cookies, food and water making sure she is settled in. I head back out to get my bags out of the back of the truck and I couldn’t believe my eyes (I know my jaw was open). Looking at the shell door of my truck it’s COVERED with some kind of oil! I look at the tail gate and it’s completely covered with oil and still dripping! I kneel down to look under the truck at the rear differential and EVERYTHING is covered with black dripping oil including the entire rear axle, springs, and wheel cylinders. The oil is actually starting to puddle on the ground, and I’ve only been parked ten minutes! I look at my watch and it’s 5:30 pm, no repair shop is going to be open at this time of night on a Friday in Henderson Nevada! UGH!

I grab my cell and frantically start searching for dodge dealers in the area, and of course they are over thirty miles away on the northern side of Las Vegas. Then I search for truck repair shops and there isn’t anything in the immediate area. So I finally do a search for oil change places and Big O tires pops onto the screen detailing it’s only .4 of a mile away, basically just across the shopping mall parking lot. I gather Dolcenea back up who is completely confused since she thought we were going to rest at the hotel for a while, you can tell by the look she is giving me as I’m rushing to put her collar back on, and we rush over to Big O not knowing what time they closed.  

I dodge in asking if they could look under the truck to see what has happened! Thank goodness no one was in the place but me so they pull the truck into the bay and the young kid comes back and says to me, your problem is you’ve got oil leaking all over the rear axle. No Dugh?!? I say to him I already know that part, WHERE is it coming from? So he heads back out and now all of the technicians are looking under the truck and finally an older gentleman says it’s your ABS sensor unit, you can move it around with your fingers, the gasket has melted!  I can’t believe it! I proceed to tell him I just had this EXACT SAME THING fixed in Colorado just before I left for this trip. So he tells me they will have to order and new one, they don’t keep them in stock, and they can fix it tomorrow (Saturday) as long as I have the truck in their shop no later than 4:00 pm. I tell them I’m at an agility trial in Boulder City and I’m not sure when I will be done, but I will definitely have the truck into them to get it fixed by four! So they put two quarts of oil in the rear differential and the tech tells me to stay off the freeway, the sensor can’t handle anymore vibration. Oh great so how am I supposed to get to Boulder City... walk?

With this news now I don’t dare drive over to the trial site fifteen miles away (via freeway) fore fear something else will happen, so I just go grab dinner at McDonalds (the closest place to Big O) which I never eat at and head back to the hotel. Now this problem is weighing on my mind… will this Big O really order the part, will they be able to fix the problem? Is the ABS sensor really the problem, since there was so MUCH oil on everything they really couldn’t tell where all the oil was coming from and just gave me their best educated guess? And above all why did this happen again, since I had this exact same sensor replaced BEFORE I left Colorado for this trip? UGH!

I’m so upset by the truck needing the same thing repaired yet again, and almost stranding me at the hotel and maybe missing the agility trail all together, I forget to charge the batteries to Dolcenea’s portable fans. Geez what’s next?

So I get to the trial site location Saturday at 5:45 am in the dark, no moon, no stars and no street lights to guide your way, thank goodness for GPS. I’m sitting by the grassy area of this park and I don’t see a sole around, no cars, no dogs and no agility trailer. 6:15 am arrives and I know by now there isn’t anyway I’m at the right part of this park, so I start driving through the round about’s that are strategically placed to keep you from going over five miles an hour, and I just happen to stumble onto someone parking their car by a baseball field. I park, walk across the parking lot and low and behold BEHIND all the tall trees down in a valley there is a baseball field with a locked gate and behind that gate is an agility trailer. By now it’s 6:25 am and no one is there other than me and this person unlocking the gate. About 6:40 am everyone else shows up to help unload the trailer and setup the first two rings of the day, even though the confirmation letter they e-mailed out said to be there at 6:00 am to unload the trailer BEFORE you setup your crating area!

It takes well over an hour to get all of the stuff out of the trailer and the courses built, and I’m looking around and there isn’t an agility judge any where to be seen, the trial was supposed to start at 8:00 am right after the briefing. I listened to the commotion and chatter and the show chair is saying to some workers the judge is lost and is sitting on the border of California and Nevada.  Really? It’s 8:15 am and no judge? UGH!

Needless to say the trial started late. There were only 97 runs on Saturday and 87 runs on Sunday. But of course this judge decided NOT TO nest ANYTHING and there is a course change for every class type for the Standard courses totaling 4 changes for ten dogs. Unreal! Then a woman with three Jack Russell’s sets up her crating right on the corner as close to the ring as she can get. Her dogs are VERY aggressive and REACTIVE and charge the x-pen at every dog, child and adult that walks by the entire weekend.

The Jack Russell owner was busy walking the course so she had a friend take one of her dogs to potty. I thought it was odd as I looked at this woman down on all fours with a poop bag on one hand picking up the Jack’s droppings and looking at each one of them? I was half expecting her to reach into her pocket and take out an inspection label and put it on each specimen. I watched this person walk the dog back to the owner and I listened to hear the friend telling the owner that her dog was FULL OF WORMS, and then she proceeded to show her every single worm that she picked up with the poop (gagger reflex kicking in)! The owner just shrugged it off, and walked away with her dog.  I guess the friend told the show chair who in turn called a vet to find out what to do. The show chair approached this handler and her Jack’s and said they may have to kick her out of the trial if the vet says it’s a problem. Needless to say I never heard another word about it and she was there on Sunday with her dogs charging the x-pen attacking and screaming at everything in sight.

The score table person was running three dogs of her own and she never got any results out until 1:00 pm for the morning runs. I finally asked her if I could see Dolcenea’s scribe sheets to make sure I didn’t need to talk to the judge about one of our runs, and this woman really got snotty with me. One of the club members came up to her and told her to stop being nasty that I was new and didn’t know how she worked. Worked? I wouldn’t call what she did work, but anyway, I wanted my results sooner than four hours after I ran. Unreal! Then to think I’m new to agility just because they don’t remember seeing me at one of their trials. Unreal!

Now it’s about 2:00 pm, the trial is taking all day long and I need to get the truck to the repair shop before they close! Talk about stressed! So the last run of the day finally arrives… the dreaded Snooker run! I was pottying Dolcenea during the briefing so as I walked the course I approached the judge sitting at the scribe table alone and specifically asked her: “can I take the #2 jump bidirectionaly in the closing?” The judge with her pompous LOUD obnoxious response yells for all to hear: “yes you can take the jumps anyway you want in the closing and the opening” and proceeds to getup from the table and walk away from me.

Now it’s time to run Dolcenea in Snookers and we get all three reds then we head to that #2 jump and I take it backwards, and the judge pulls out her whistle and blows me off the course. WTH!!! So I stop dead and remind her of our conversation at the scribe table and she yells at me in my face that she NEVER SAID SUCH A THING and SHE IS NOT GOING TO ARGUE WITH ME ABOUT IT. I called her a liar to her face and stormed off the course. This was the ONLY reason I came to Las Vegas to get the last Q needed on Dolcenea’s Level 3 Snooker title and this poor excuse for a judge who loves to hear herself talk but says ABSOLUTELY nothing steals my Q right out from under me because “she is the judge and she is right no matter what” and she knows it! Just ask her she’ll tell ya! What a B….!

Pissed off I throw everything in the truck, gingerly load Dolcenea (I don’t want her to feel any pressure because of a STUPID judge), and we fly to the Big O. I get there and the very same kid that said “your problem is oil is leaking from everywhere” says I don’t think we ordered the part for your truck. My heart sank! Really! WTH? So this same kid wonders off to ask someone else and he’s gone about ten minutes and finally comes back to say, give me your keys. I said you must have the part and he never responded. So I go get Dolcenea out of the truck and it was REALLY hot in the building, and I ask this same kid how long will it take to put in the new sensor, and he says two hours. So Dolcenea and I walk the half mile back to the hotel.

Dolcenea lays in front of the air conditioner exhausted and I lay down to take a nap and about 45 minutes later the phone rings and it’s Dottie from Big O saying come get your truck it’s done. So I gather Dolcenea up and we walk the half mile back to get the truck. Yep its sitting there in the parking lot waiting for us. Yippee! So I drive over and get dinner and take it back to the hotel; we’re both so exhausted all we want to do is curl up and forget this whole day ever happened!

One more horrible day to go!
Sunday arrives and I sleep in, no point in arriving early to help setup courses when no one else does including the judge. I finally arrive at the trial and nothing has change, the trial starts late, people are really slow to work and no one is any hurry to get things started, and the judge showed up one minute before she needed to be there. Not a good judge by any stretch of the imagination!

I over hear the jack Russell owner talking to one of the club members who has brought liquid de-wormer to give to each of her dogs right here at the trial site. I can’t believe it! No consideration for any other dog entered in this trial.

We get through the first standard run of the day, but for some reason which I still can’t figure out Dolcenea fell off the dog walk on our second standard run. She wasn’t hurt, but something at this trial just wasn’t right. We managed to get through the rest of our runs for the day with Q’s and 1st places but it was allot of work.

I couldn’t believe watching the last two dogs run in Standard Level 1 the judge insisted on running the dogs without the scribe or the timer on the field. There was only a leash runner and she pointed out the timer didn’t start when the dog took the first jump, so the judged yelled at the leash runner to leave things alone. After the handler finished the run the judge told the handler she Q’d. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The judge saw nothing wrong with this what so ever! I was in complete shock!

I over heard the show chair talking with the judge about a complaint he received about her. So all through the Jackpot walk through I hear this judge ranting and raving saying the complainer will just have to get over it, that she is the judge for the Nationals and she doesn't really care what anyone thinks about her judging. And when she is wrong she always corrects her mistakes… blah, blah, blah. I wanted to throw up.  I did check the Nationals details and she is the judge for the East coast Nationals, not the West coast Nationals, thank goodness. If she was the judge for the West coast I wouldn’t go!

We finally finished Sunday’s trial at 2:00 pm which was about three hours longer than it should have taken for only 87 dogs running.  So me and Dolcenea head for home, I know we have twelve hours of driving ahead of us but I’ve had just about as much of Nevada as I can stand for one weekend, including the worse agility judge I’ve ever encountered in all the venues I run in and for all the years I’ve been running.

The truck croaks again, it was the tire this time!
It’s around 11:00 pm and I’m about 40 miles outside of Fruita Colorado when something just isn’t right with the truck. I’ve got it on cruise control and I notice that I have a death grip on the steering wheel to keep the truck from veering hard to the right. Next a vibration starts and it’s getting worse and worse and worse. So I turn off the cruise and drop my speed by 20 mph, and everything seems okay. Then all of a sudden the vibration is back and I had to drop my speed even more. Thank goodness I’m the only car on the highway, but I still have twenty miles to go to the next town/rest stop. So I limp along and finally get to the welcome center of Colorado in Fruita and I pull in and by this point the truck is jolting back and forth so badly I can’t steer it, so I’m guessing the bearing blew on a front wheel.  

I park at the rest stop and get out and look under the truck and I don’t see a thing, but it’s not safe to drive, so I decide to find a hotel and call it a night! I notice a Super 8 sharing the parking lot and manage to limp over there and get a room.  The next morning I call triple A and the dodge dealer, what a mess. The tow truck driver is there in 30 minutes and I get to the dodge dealer and after an hour and a half they finally find out the front driver side tire tread has separated from the inside and I have a 6” bubble protruding from the middle of the tire to the outside side wall. It was a shear miracle the tire didn’t blow! I have a lifetime warranty on these tires, so I limp the truck over to the tire repair place and they will not honor the warranty, and tell me if I want to replace the tire I have to drive to Green River Utah to get it. Well this ain’t happening! So I tell them to put the spare on and I’ll make it home on my own.

I’m finally on the road headed home at 1:00 pm on Monday and hit snow in Edwards. Freeway speed drops to 30 mph and when I hit the top of Vail we we’re down to a very slow 20 mph with a couple accidents to get through. I finally get over Silverthorne pass with it snowing so hard you couldn’t see the road, and this is where the windshield wiper on the drivers side decides it time to come off the arm and land on the hood of the truck. I had to drive leaning into the passenger side to see out the window. I pull off into a gas station and manage to get the wiper back on but it was a battle in the snow.

So I finally get home at 6:00 pm Monday night from the worst trip for an agility trial I’ve ever encountered. I won’t be traveling to Utah or Nevada ever again. And I would NEVER trial under this CPE judge EVER again!
Why does this kind of crap ALWAYS happen to me?