Encourage someone this weekend
Do you remember your first agility competition? I do. I purchased a run for both AKC’s Novice class, as well as the Jumpers & Weaves class (because it’s always good to purchase multiple runs per dog, to make your trip more worthwhile). Sadly, I didn’t qualify for either. I don’t remember what happened. I think my dog knocked a bar for one (automatic elimination) and who knows, maybe she ran out of the ring on the other one. (It wouldn’t be the only time, so that’s why I don’t remember!). I was SO discouraged. I remember, however, this nice woman coming up to me and encouraging me with her own story. She said that a good many people don’t qualify at their first trial. We need to give ourselves slack. It takes time!
I sure appreciated her encouragement. In fact, I would encourage anyone who are veterans to ‘trialing’ to encourage at least one novice handler this weekend. Watch their faces and seek them out. It’s possible that because of your kind words, they will stay the course and not give up.
Thanks for the comments. We had an off day yesterday in competitions. Not a typical day for us. I was so disappointed at first, but quickly realized mt dog did so well in almost all the other obstacles.
One of the best things I ever learned is that it is not what we say to people, but what we cause them to picture. When I see someone having a bad day, I try to tell them why I see them as a future star and point out everything that they did right. So often, we focus only on the one thing that went wrong or the fact that we didn’t Q, that we often fail to see that our dog may have had an amazing performance on some (or all) of the other obstacles. For me, it helps give me a sense of accomplishment regardless of the actual outcome.
I remember my first competition, it was a disaster! but the nice lady that caught my dog when she ran out of the ring… also encourage me even the judge. At a competition last month I was watching this little boy I say is must be around 9 years old running his Sheltie. The last day I could tell that this dog had had enough and the dog never left the start line and ran out of the ring also. I went to see the boy and told hime my story and that whatever happens to you in the ring has happened to somebody else. I also gave him a magnetic bone that says “I love agility”. I make them in my sign shop and always take a few with me to give away. It was a perfect opportunity.