Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z -- Zero Apologies

I am the Queen of Guilt. I apologize for things that I have nothing to do with. I feel responsible for things I have no control over, and feel guilty when they go wrong. I don't know why I'm this way, I just am. Sorry.
 
A few weeks ago Jedi and I were on our way to handling class. He was bouncing around the back seat and I was feeling guilty for not practicing over the weekend. Again. I told him that I was sorry. I'm sure he would be a much better show dog if he had a better handler. If he had an owner that knew what she was doing, he could be a champion by now. Instead, we don't have one lousy point toward championship yet. If he had a better trainer, maybe he could walk on a leash nicely instead of dragging me down the street. I was on the verge of tears thinking of all the ways I had failed my dog.
 
Jedi says "Life is good, so quit stressing."
Then I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Jedi. He had his nose stuck out the window and his tail was wagging a mile a minute. At that moment I realized Jedi didn't care about my poor handling skills. He's a happy dog. Jedi has a great life. For all he knows "Classes" mean we go for car rides, "Training" means we spend time together and "Practice" means we go for walks. He gets yummy treats and belly rubs on a regular basis. Jedi couldn't care less about points or ribbons or titles. That moment in the car was a revelation for me.

So I'm going to stop apologizing right now.
  • I'm not going to apologize for being a bad trainer . . . but I will continue to work on getting better.
  • I'm not going to apologize for all the things I should have done when Jedi was a puppy . . . but I'm sure the next puppy will have it easier.
  • I'm not going to apologize for spending hundreds (ok, thousands) of dollars on a puppy . . . it's my money, I can spend it however I want. Some women buy shoes. Some women buy jewelry. And some buy a new set of boobs. I bought pure love disguised as a German shepherd puppy.
  • And finally, I'm not going to apologize for the mistakes that I make. Despite my best efforts, I'm not perfect. I make a lot of mistakes. But I'm trying, and I'm sharing as I go. My hope is that you make your own mistakes instead of repeating mine.
So that's it, everything I know about dog shows from A to Z. I hope you enjoyed it. And I hope you learned something. If you happen to be at a dog show in the northern Florida/southern Georgia area look in the catalog for Zente's Jedi Mind Trick. That's us! Come by and say "Hi." -- K

Whether in handling class or in the show ring, spending time with Jedi makes me happy.