I enjoy agility … I obsess about agility … I like playing the game … I spend lots of money on agility – equipment, toys, training, reading material, facility rental, gas, entry fees, my vehicle, heck our farm ….
I’m mighty proud of the crew when they nail a tough course! I enjoy competing … but I don’t obsess about ribbons, placements, standings or Qs.
I can’t decide if that’s a blessing or just a weird anomaly.
Agility isn’t work for me. It’s a hobby, it’s a passion, it’s FUN.
I like Qs but I like good runs better. I’d rather have a sweet run with no Q then a rough, unhappy run with a Q. Starting agility with Brody was good for me. He was a weird height locally so often won his classes, Q or no Q. Placements really didn’t mean a lot so I embraced the concept of competing against ourselves; aiming to run each run better than the last time. Lucky lucky me in hindsight.
I’m not chasing anything but a good time. I get so few opportunities to trial it’s self evident I like being successful but not at the expense of my dogs mental or physical well being. If we trial enough that a dog makes a list that’s great- that’s awesome! When friends make the various lists I’m happy for them and proud of them but I often don’t think to even look for me. I don’t select what classes to enter based on what title I might get – I usually pick classes based on timing and what I think the dog needs at that moment.
I don’t choose trials based on how big the title ribbons are (although I think there should be recognition for the titles for those who want them). I won’t support a trial hosted by people I have no respect for. I wouldn’t trial under a judge I felt was chronically unfair to dogs (although I am bad about knowing the judges quirks as well as I’d like given how rarely I show).
I (think I) pay attention to details in training so I build a comprehensive program for each dog. I don’t drill errors time and time again until my dogs hate the thing that went wrong. If we are struggling with something I am sure to build lots of success into the work as well as lots of challenge. When things go wrong I look to my own handling and mind set. I must be a weak handler as the mistakes we make are mine, not my dogs.
What on earth is wrong with me?
I don't think anything is wrong with you! In fact I think you have it right! I'm starting agility classes next week with Kobi and I hope to be as good as a handler as you. I want to do it for fun, just for us. I don't really care about competing I just think its something Kobi would enjoy and be good at. I hope I can stay as true to myself as you have and not get swept up by ribbons and placements.
We'll keep each other honest and focused on what really matters 🙂