Thursday, April 26, 2012

There must be something wrong with me ...

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?


Kobipup said...

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.

andrea said...

We'll keep each other honest and focused on what really matters :)