Thursday, January 15, 2015

Soul Searching

Last month the AKC/Eukanuba Dog Show was held in Orlando. For those who don't know, Eukanuba is like the second largest dog show in the country, just behind Westminster. And I'm fortunate enough to be only two hours away. I wanted to go again this year but things didn't work out. However, it got me thinking about Jedi's dog show career. A lot of things haven't been working out, and I'm wondering if I should continue. I think my three biggest complaints are:
  1. There's a lot more to showing than just running around the ring. It's more complicated and requires more coordination than I had imagined.
  2. It's expensive. The average entry fee is about $28 a day, but once you factor in travel and lodging, it goes up considerably. Very seldom is there a show close enough that I can drive there and back same day -- especially since Jedi gets carsick.
  3. I had hoped to find a mentor. Or even some "show buddies." I wanted camaraderie; instead I found loneliness and confusion. It seems that those in the know know, and those who don't have to ferret out information with all the skills of an archaeologist.
To be honest, I wouldn't mind putting in the time and money if I knew I was on the right track. I didn't plan on winning ribbons right away. I expected I'd have to learn the ropes. Problem is, I don't know what or where the flippin' ropes are! Once upon a time dog clubs -- especially breed-specific clubs -- held classes, seminars and practice matches to promote the fancy. Newbies like myself learned about grooming and reading a pedigree and veteran members gladly explained terminology and paperwork. Dogs were included at the meetings where gaiting and stacking were practiced. I've heard rumors that these kinds of clubs still exist, but I haven't seen one.

Why are these decisions so hard?
So now I'm at a crossroads. I have to accept the fact that this isn't what I had imagined and ask myself if I want to continue with what I've found in its place. If so, how/where am I going to learn what it is I need to know? Am I even having fun? OR do I want to switch courses and look into other things I can do with Jedi? Am I ready to throw away the dreams I've had for 35 years? -- I know, that's some heavy thinking! Sometimes I wish life came with a handbook. And most times I wish I didn't think about things so much. You know the phrase "Don't sweat the small stuff"? Well, the first thing I want to know is "How do you define small?" It's a wonder I don't have ulcers. Or a rubber room. *sigh*

As usual, I'm thinking too much on Thoughtless Thursday. But then again I talk too much on my Wordless Wednesday posts, so what do you expect? Anyway, we're joining Ruckus the Eskie and the gang in this Thoughtless Thursday hop. Click around below to see what others are thinking -- or not thinking -- about today. Surely you'll find something less neurotic than this! TTFN, -- K

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