Another soul crushing day of AKC conformation.
...Does that sound depressing? Down cast? Perhaps like the speaker of such words is teetering on the end of an "I give up"?
Fear not! I don't really believe in giving up these days. I used to get really discouraged upon leaving the AKC conformation ring without any points won. Key word there. Did you see it? I "used" to get really discouraged. Past tense. Now I take it more as a challenge.
Note: I'm typing this a good 12 hours after the show. I'd by lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed when it happened. I tend to go through a whole whirlwind of emotions after leaving the ring with a loss. First I'm almost embarrassed, I feel a wave of "Why do I even try!" as I pack up all my belongings. As I leave the show grounds I usually move into denial, "The other dogs could barely even gait on a lead! insert other BS conformation complaints here."
And then, when I finally settle down, usually about a half hour into the drive, all that embarrassment, disappointment, and frustration evolves into something else. Determination. The "Why do I evens" turn into "Just wait till I show them!"s
"You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than everyone else." -Albert Einstein
So I set out on a sort of insanity driven mission to learn as much as I can and be the best handler I can be. There are countless new tips to learn and tricks to master.
Now that my hand is all healed up I've been keeping up with Mia's weekly bath, daily brushing, and striding cavalettis 3 times a week. I feel like I've already seen improvement within these two weeks, we'll see how well the 7 weeks till our next show treats us.
The biggest thing I need to really work on with Mia is the table. She was completely convinced the judge was going to murder her while I stood by, just watching. She tries to worm her way inside my soul instead of standing on the table. It's aweful, firstly because it makes her look dreadful, and secondly because now the judge thinks she has a horribly fearful and timid personality. If you spend 5 minutes with this girl you will quickly discover that is not the case. That's 5 minutes we don't have in the ring, and you only get one chance to make your first impression. Today we blew ours. I'm determined for that not to happen when she jumps back into the ring in November for a 4 day circuit. Going to try to do weekly outings to work on Mia's table exam woes. 7 weeks, totally possibly to train a proper stand for exam on the table that shows her wonderful personality.
So. No Points? Very well. Consider this a challenge accepted. The conformation ring better prepare itself, Mia is going to rock it when she comes back.