Notes of a Sportswriter's Daughter
by Donna Haraway

© Donna Haraway

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Blood on the Path

August 26, 2003
Dear friends,

Cayenne earned her Advanced Agility Dog title in the US Dog Agility Association on Sunday, and so now we run in the masters ring! She got a fast, clean, 1st-place run to earn her title; and she made me very proud. We also ran fast and accurately in the qualifying round of the Steeplechase, placing 8th in a field of 37 serious national champions and other masters & advanced 22-inch class dogs. The top ten got to run in the final round.

We bombed the final round because I took her off the field when she failed to wait for my release word from the A-frame contact, my method these days for training this too consistent glitch. It was really HARD to leave the course before finishing the run because we had a real chance to place and literally everybody at the meet was watching this featured event of the day. But we did leave, to the relief of my teacher and mentors. It was harder still to put Cayenne back in her crate with no word of encouragement or food reward. My blood was a thick smear from the place we left the ring to her crate. However, our reward was 3 perfect A-frame contacts in our Snooker game immediately afterwards. String cheese to Cayenne and self-knowledge to me!

I learn such basic things about honesty in this game, things I should have learned as a child (or before tenure in academia) but never did, things about the actual consequences of fudging on fundamentals. I become less showy and more honest in this game than in any other part of my life. It's bracing, if not always fun. Meanwhile, my over-the-top love for Cayenne has required my body to build a bigger heart with more depths and tones for tenderness. Maybe that is what makes me need to be honest; maybe this kind of love makes one need to see what is really happening because the loved one deserves it. This is nothing like the unconditional love that people ascribe to their dogs! Odd and wonderful.

Celebrating in Healdsburg,

Entries in Chronological Order

MetaRetrievers on the Beach
Novice Play, Novice Players
Baby Weaves
Home Study
Klingon Warrior Princess
Marco's Story
Tales from the Crypt
Cats for Dog People
Blood on the Path
Personals Column
Touching Comfort
Hell's Aussie
Somewhere Off 34th Street
Daemon Tear

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