Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Style points count!

They say in agility is doesn't matter how ugly the run was, it is still a cue.  That is true to a point.

I have witnessed several situations over the past month that have really made me *think* about this and believe even more deeply that style does matter.  I am actually not talking about the run itself, I am talking about how you conduct yourself and your attitude and the gratitude/grace with which we lead our lives in every moment.

I was blown away about a month ago when a competitor who I admire (and this is probably why) was proud to be on the podium with such an esteemed group of handlers.  The attitude wasn't all about how great she is, or how great the dog is, it was about recognizing her fellow competitors as well.  She lifted others while lifting herself.  Was she proud of herself for being there?  I don't know for sure, but I am bet she was.  The statement was classy and I see that attitude from her ALWAYS.  It helps me admire her and learn from her.

Too me this speaks to the moments of competition that I love.

Style points also count outside the ring, walking the course, coming into the ring, leaving the ring, in class, or just alone on the field.

My hero's in agility are truly those people who excel at handling/training, but are also kind and gracious in every moment.  You see them in class and they lift you up, you see them at trials and they lift you up.  They live their lives by doing the right thing ALWAYS.  Being kind to both people and animals.

Some days I am far from a kind person.  But, I always try to re-center myself.  I am the most proud of myself when I am kind and lift others no matter what.

So, a reminder to myself, "Style does Matter"!

Surround yourself with only people that will lift you higher! - Oprah Winfrey

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. Booker T. Washington

Sunrise, Sunset

This shouldn't be a sad blog, it really is meant to be a recognition of the lives to two amazing dogs.  I must admit however, that a couple of tears comes to my eyes as I write this!

I competed with two of my dogs, Tip and Tangle, in USDAA's Rocky Mountain Regional a couple of  weekends ago.  We had several amazing moments with both dogs as measured by a position on a podium and then we had many, many amazing moments because I saw the best coming out in one of the dogs in moments of brilliance.


Tangle is 2, almost 3 years old.  Tangle is beginning to make his mark on this world.  He is an old soul who is teaching me new things about agility every day!  At almost 3 years old he has already qualified for 3 national events, competed at the national level, competed at a world team tryout.  I really believe, no matter my goal Tangle can help me accomplish it.  He is gentle, steady, level headed,  honest, fast and an awesome partner.  I have never had a dog that could compete so steadily in agility, keeping his head at such a young age.

At this Rocky Mountain Regional he was on the second place team.  Not a small accomplishment for a 2 year old.  It takes a consistent performer in 5 events.  He placed 5th in Team snooker, with about 50 dogs in his class. 

Tangle, Wick and Summit


Tip is 9 years old.  She has definitely made her mark on this world!  She has been an amazing teacher is so many ways.  She is an awesome leader of my pack, she and I learned agility together, she taught me the importance of foundation (or the lack there of), she taught me to laugh, even in the face of "failure" and the biggest lesson, always have fun no matter the outcome!

Tip has competed in 4 venues, been to 4 national events, on the podium in several of those.  She has been of the podium for either/both/all P-Grand Prix, P-Steeplechase, and Team at three USDAA regional events.

Now I wouldn't be doing justice to Tip by not recognizing her crazy side as well.  After all, that is who she is.  She LOVES the game and I am sure she will be running it in heaven as well.  She loves it so much that sometimes she just can't help herself on course.  In many runs, she has taken so many obstacles on course without recognizing that I am standing there waiting for her to come back and work with me.  She has completed a run and started doing a second round on the same course for her 'victory lap', I can't count the number of broken startlines, and running dog walks (she has a 2o2o).  Those are the moments that taught me to appreciate watching another creature just absolutely LOVING something and it makes me smile (it didn't at first!).

So, I recognized on the way home from this USDAA Regional that this may be her last or at least the last time on the podium.  She is not showing signs of slowing down, but at 9, it is bound to happen.

Tip - 1st place PGP round 1 and 2

Thanks to both dogs for being my partner at Regionals!!