200 – Celebrate 200th Episode with a Positive Outlook | Pure Dog Talk
200th episode? Celebrate with a positive outlook
Let’s talk about the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” And making a positive outlook YOUR approach to life and to this sport.
How can this be possible???
Wasn’t it just yesterday that Mary randomly set up next to me at a dog show in Southern California and we started yakking about dogs and mentors and education and possibilities??
In fact, it’s just over two years since I first learned there WAS such a thing as a podcast. Never mind listened to one… lol
Since our debut in November 2016, Pure Dog Talk has been downloaded well over three hundred THOUSAND times! Yikes! We’ve aged out of the 12-18 class and we’re running with the big dogs, expanding our reach to more purebred dog enthusiasts every single day.
In recognition of the occasion, I thought I’d stop by for a personal one on one visit with all ya’ll.
Accentuate the PAWsitive
This post went up to rave reviews on a social media group. Many thanks to the original poster for permission to share here:
A reflection on my first 9 months in the dog show world.
I have read lot of complaints about the cost of dog show. 2 tickets to the movies can cost more than one day entry fee for a dog and additional cost for each family member. Hanging out a a dog show with several family members much cheaper
For most part dog show parking and admission for friends and family is free. I live in an area where we do have a number of shows in day trip driving distance.
For my admission fee I get 8 hours of meeting and talking to people with a like interest, my dog evaluated, entertainment, shopping
Food is cheaper then at the movie dinner theaters. I come home win or lose happy and exhausted.
My granddaughter and husband often spend the day with me. Guess what, we talk, no TV and limited cell phones, we spend time with each other and our dogs.
Now compare the cost of a day at the dog show and the day at an amusement park which does mean travel and a hotel for me. The dog show still comes out cheaper and a happier event.
Costs of everything have gone up. my quarter allowance use to be able to buy 5 candy bars.
I use comparison shopping when spending my entertainment money. Dog shows come out as a good deal.
Thank you dog show world
Barbara NAILED it!! Would that several tens of thousands more exhibitors shared her attitude. PLEASE join us in this …. Joy and thankfulness are contagious!
I wrote the following as a New Year’s resolution column several years ago. I think it is still applicable today and now is as good a time to celebrate a new year and a new you as any!!
I once read a line that has stayed with me for years. Essentially, it said, “The man who can focus his entire attention on one single problem for just 20 minutes can rule the world.”
In our hectic, over-scheduled, under-funded, hyper-stimulated world, this is, indeed, a very difficult challenge. Especially so in the dog world, where we are all juggling dogs, life, work, family and personal time in a constant battle to not drop anything.
To offer focus in this never-ending war against time, we have created the “12-Steps to a Happier You in the Dog Fancy” inventory.
One step, each month, establishes the habit. Then just keep building, brick by brick, adding one new goal each month.
January — Say “Congratulations” to the winner or “Thank You” to those who congratulate you. And MEAN it! Yes, every time. Yes, even when the winner is your most bitter enemy, actually, especially then.
February — Watch one breed, other than your own, from start to finish, at every dog show you attend.
March — Instill and enforce the “first to look at their phone during dinner pays for everyone” rule each time you go out to eat, whether at a dog show, with co-workers or family. Experience the miracle of direct human interaction.
April — Seek out a club official — show chair, chief ring steward, hospitality chair, etc — at each dog show you attend and thank them, personally, for their hard work and compliment them on a specific piece of the show which you particularly liked. Resist the urge to complain about anything.
May — Volunteer to help at one show. Even if it is an hour of ring stewarding, helping with clean up or set up, judging a fun match, simply restocking the candy dishes or picking up someone else’s poopie. Do one thing for a club for no better reason than you can.
June — Help someone new. It could be as simple as assisting someone with an armband. Maybe a promising youngster with a new puppy shows up and would welcome five minutes of *kind* and constructive direction. It is important here to understand the concept of help. Focus on the positive. Just be nice.
July — Organize a potluck. Get a whole bunch of people together at someone’s RV or grooming space, even invite someone you don’t know well, break bread together. Laugh. Tell stories. Talk dogs. If there is a water balloon fight (or an inflatable unicorn) somewhere in the mix, this cannot be a bad thing. Remember, we’re still carrying each month’s goal forward, so March’s “no phone” rule applies. By now, it should be ingrained and much easier to implement.
August — Read the standard for a breed about which you know nothing. Then, at the next show, while continuing your February goal of watching a new breed, go find the breed you read about. See if you can apply elements of the standard to dogs in the ring.
September — Go back to school … In your own breed. Re-read your breed standard. Memorize it. Commit the entire standard to memory so thoroughly that you can quote entire sections verbatim. Then pull a random dog out of your pack, stack him up and go over him piece by piece according to the standard. Try very, very, very hard to be objective and not make excuses. Simply see what’s there and what isn’t.
October — Take the skeletons out of your closet. Look at them in the cold light of day. Whether as a breeder, handler, exhibitor or judge, take a look at your past mistakes, acknowledge them, then burn them at the stake and move on!
November — Talk turkey. Get off the internet blogs and approach a more experienced person about a question in your breeding program, grooming routine, handling skill set, whatever. Talk to them in person. Invite them to lunch or drinks. Do not expect miraculous secrets, but acknowledge and respect someone outside your comfort zone. You learn something new every day!
December — Give the gift of your time and energy to a local animal shelter, rescue group or other doggie emergency support system.
This 12-step program is guaranteed to bring enhanced enjoyment, satisfaction, curiosity, knowledge, camaraderie and success to anyone’s dog show calendar.
Laughter is the Best Medecine
Our Last Word today comes with special thanks to Pure Dog Talk Patron Andi Jalensky for the idea!!
I talk to exhibitors all the time who are terribly nervous to show their dogs. I always try to cheer them up by telling them funny stories of things that have happened to me over the years. If laughter is the best medicine, laughing at yourself is a silver bullet.
One of my all-time favorite stories happened when I’d just moved from Washington to Nebraska. (No, that’s not the funny story.) I traveled up to Minnesota for shows a month or so later. I didn’t have any clients yet and was just showing my own GWP bitch special. I didn’t know any of the local folks and only a very few of the handlers.
We line up for the group ring, judged by Dana Cline, with Smoke and I in the lead. I take off, long strides, dog floating, hoping to make that all-important great first impression. About midway around the ring my shoe flies off my foot and lands in the center of the ring.
What can you do but keep running?
So, I go all the way around, one shoe on, one shoe off. Stack my dog and then wait for all the dogs to trail in behind me so I can go find my shoe. Carlos Puig, God love that man, comes in last with the Clumber. He spots my shoe, runs to the center of the ring, picks it up and waves it over his head yelling, “Cinderella? Cinderella!”
As the audience roars, I run out, curtsey, grab the shoe and run back to stack my dog for the exam.
We didn’t get a ribbon that day, but I’ve never forgotten it and still laugh every time I think about it.
And yes, I threw that pair of shoes away!
Another favorite moment, happened at a tiny, out of the way show in far eastern Illinois. (Why, you ask, are all of these stories from the Midwest? Hmm, good question!)
I was showing a top-winning Pug named Louis. I’d won a nice breed and a pretty good group. I traveled by myself at the time and had no assistant and, again, nobody I really knew that well was at the show. We step in to the ring to go around last in the Best in Show lineup under inimitable Sandra Goose Allen. I give Louis a little tug on the leash as his signal to get ready to go. And the stitching on the Resco unravels like it was planned that way.
Oh, good grief.
Fortunately, he was a great little dog and waited while I hastily improvised a way to get around the ring still connected to one another. So, of course, did the judge and the entire audience. Not your best first impression in the BIS ring! I was grateful to have a few minutes before his turn on the table, but a small show, light crowd and no real support system meant a panic-stricken moment trying to find someone, anyone to send scrambling to my tack box in a whole ‘nother building, find a new leash and bring it to me. Thank God for the kindness of strangers! Some blessed soul managed to find my set up and get back in time…. With the Clumber special’s leash and collar. Yes, it was too big, but better than the broken shoe string I had as an option.
I threw away the leash, too.
GWP National in Oregon. The owners of my open dog had taken him out for a run before the show to tune him up for the field trial that started the next day. It’s coming time to show the dog and they are nowhere to be seen. Literally minutes before his class is called, they arrive, breathless. With a lame dog. Seems he cut a pad running on the rocks near the show site. A common occurrence in bird dogs, but really bad timing for a show dog. Mom was there and happened to have super glue in her purse. I’m holding the leash, the ring steward is calling his number and my assistant is on hands and knees blowing frantically on the dog’s foot, hoping the super glue will dry and the dog won’t be stuck to the floor. Wink went Winners Dog that day with a superglued pad and a huge sigh of relief that he wasn’t permanently attached to the show ring mats.
Super glue. Who knew? Never leave home without it.
Showing the BIS Clumber, back in the day. He’d won a very competitive Breed at the Portland shows the first year Animal Planet was filming for TV. (OK, I guess not ALL of the bad stuff happened in the Midwest…) I’d been running around showing other dogs and came back to the setup to get him ready for the group which started in an hour. I could smell the disaster before I even opened the crate. Somehow, no one had noticed he’d gotten ahold of a piece of liver somewhere (to which he had a famously violent reaction). We can laugh about it now, but I’m still not sure, to this day, how we got him bathed and dry and tummy settled and in the ring on time. I kept having nightmare visions of a bad-potty-on-national-TV moment. He won a gorgeous Group 2 under Howard Yost that night, but in my mind’s eye, my strongest memory is the refrain that ran through my head the whole 30 minutes, “Charlie, PLEASE don’t have an accident on the pretty carpet!”
Poopy, sometimes quite literally, happens. You deal with it and move on.
There are so many more stories, mine and others. The point being, relax! It’s not world peace. It’s a dog show.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER — FRANCIS BACON
Pure Dog Talk is grateful to all of the mentors in our sport who support us with their knowledge, their kindness and their generosity. JOIN us today in providing access to this invaluable “watering hole” for anyone who is thirsty for knowledge. Your pledge of as little as $5/month helps guide the next generation of dog fanciers. Click the “Be My Patron on Podbean” button to join our “listener supported” team at Pure Dog Talk.