Not Enough Hours in the Day

I love the TDAA Petit Prix and I will strive to make it a world-class event so long as it is in my power to do so. I know the world sees the small dog as a ragged little nuisance good mostly for the entry fee… if not so deserving of any respect. The Petit Prix is our chance to show that we love our little guys and will afford for them a competitive venue to showcase their skills.

I’ve wasted several days now trying to get a draft of the 2009 Petit Prix Tournament Rules through the TDAA BOD so that we can move on to the business of preparation. It was a thoughtful document; envisioning a more exciting championship competition and a solution to many of the systemic problems and inequities we’ve had in recent years.

I’m astonished and disappointed in the response of the group. I’ve lost confidence that this is a deliberative body that actually has the moxie to get work done. I value my time. So I’m pretty sure I won’t continue in this fashion. It’s time for me again to consider stepping down from the organization and let them go merrily on their way. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to give up quite yet. I’ll give them 24 more hours.

I hope the rest of the BOD sees pretty quick that somebody has to do the work; otherwise it doesn’t get done. That means I have to sit still for a bit while they beat the crap out of me for daring to propose any kind of change to the system; never mind that last week they were wailing woefully about the problems and inequities in the old system.

Re: Last Dance with DOCNA

This following note was left on Agilityvision some ten days ago. I didn’t see it until yesterday:


Submitted by airetrev on Mon, 01/12/2009 – 5:34am.

Well, Bud…I am SO sorry to see you go!  We have enjoyed our two trials with you…at Sugarbush Farm and at Barto.  After Sugarbush, when I saw you were judging at Barto, I rushed to sign up for the trial.  It was a bit of a hike, but worth it…we had a lot of fun.

I am utterly certain that there is nothing under the sun that I could have “taught” you, being so new to the sport.  So, boring to you, I am sure we were!  But for us, DOCNA and it’s safety emphasis has been the light of our lives.  My dog would never have gotten a Q if not for DOCNA…he is good agility dog, doesn’t off-course very much and very consistent…and he just plain LOVES to do agility!   I think he deserves a Q!  But because of his dysplasia the vet has limited his jump height and the other venues still want him to jump 16″.  If you remember him at all it will be as you dubbed him “funny haircut dog” .  He is an airedale and jumps only 12 “.  (Actually my teachers, Fran and Bill Siebert, and I tried him at 16” once in class, but it seemed too stressful, so we decided not to push it).  So yeah, I have to create a huge arc from the tunnel to wrap to the A-Frame (an even bigger arc than DOCNA would deem necessary) and all that sort of stuff, but it is worth it for the fun of getting to run!

But alas, we won’t have you as a judge again…we can’t do the other venues and you are gone from DOCNA 😦

It was a lot of fun while it lasted, I liked your energy as a judge.  Your good energy in both trials helped us succeed (even if we were god-awful boring!)  We’ll miss  you in DOCNA.  Anne and Trevor (funny haircut dog)


Hey I remember you quite well.. I couldn’t help but notice how much fun you and your dog were having. Your dog had a constant smile. I agree with you that DOCNA is a lot of fun. And I am so sorry that I will no longer judge for that organization. Frankly, I’m running out of organizations that will even let me judge. Someday I’ll tell the several venue stories, and how I manage to burn my bridges before I cross them.

Anyhow, thanks for the note and good luck out there. I’ll let everybody know when CWAGS agility comes online. It’ll be the perfect venue for everybody in the Agility Underground.

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at

3 Responses to “Not Enough Hours in the Day”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Interesting comments on the TDAA BOD. I guess had the board been told you were revising the tournament rules the document might have received a different read. Some of us work and having a 19 page document to read, deliberate and comment on within 4 days during the workweek made it a bit difficult. Some of the responses I think were challenging because people felt they did not have enough time to really understand some of the scoring changes. And what may have been obvious to you was not obvious to all of us. There is no question that I think you want the TDAA Petit Prix to be a grand experience. And after 4 very good years of each PP building and growing upon the revious year, last years fell very short in so many ways. I think the BOD better understands the background scoring now and we will move ahead more unified. Remember we are still quite a young organization. Also remember we do need your input very much. Your years of experience and analytical mind are much valued. SO thanks for all the work and give us a few hours to come together.
    TDAA was your idea and it was a marvellous creation. You cannot abandon us through the awkward teenage years!

  2. budhouston Says:

    Ah Michelle, don’t think of it as abandonment. As you know, I confided in you when I was up in your part of the world that I have other projects calling to me that mightn’t have anything to do with dog agility… I can still make a difference in this world in this lifetime!

    You know, the TDAA was never intended to be my plaything. My vision has always been that it would be a member owned and member run organization. (though lord knows I coulda used the income!) And I’m just not of a temperament to be on a “committee” … like the BOD. Let’s leave that stuff to the guys who thrive in such a condition. It’s just not for me.

    Thanks for the note!


  3. agiledogs Says:

    Michelle, I hope you’re not referring to AgileDogs or Jeff Boyer (as he often works for/with me) as “those NE TDAA players” that you don’t want to work with any more. Remember that each person is different, and I sincerely hope you don’t lump all NE people into one mold becuase there one or two people that you can’t work with any more….


    P.S. As much as I’m not happy that the decision was made, after promising that the PP would remain in one part of the country for at least 2 years before moving on, to move it to another part of the country after only one year in the Northeast, I hope it succeeds in 2009. But, I sincerely hope that the decision to move it was not made because you didn’t want to deal with “those NE TDAA players” as a lump when there’s really only one or two people that you can’t work with any more. And leaving it in the center of the country for a long time does not seem like a very good thing if we are really trying to grow the venue, either…

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