What are your plans for making it to the next level with your handling, competition and the journey with your dogs?
I don't actually *PLAN* much…I like to run my life like a surprise party. I start by opening the door to each day and hoping Talent and Opportunity, Skill and Success will jump up and yell SURPRISE!!
Sadly, Sloth has spent the night on the couch again and Tomorrow is still drunk from the night before, puking last night into the kitchen sink. Our bastard children may always live in my basement, playing World of Warcraft and LOLing.
The next level with my handling might involve puppets.
Competition is relative to me only. I don't try to compete with others. At this stage, it would be ridiculous. I'm only an Open handler because I didn't have to pass a test to be one. I haven't finished a course at this level yet. I used to fantasize that somehow a miracle would occur – muscling my bad timing and lack of talent out of the way to lay down some breath-taking outwork, in-work, (whatever), a stunning shed, heart-stopping pen….Just enough time left to scratch my dog's happy belly as the crowd goes wild…P*trick would shed a tear, DD would tell everyone she mentored me back in the day (last year or so) when I tried to pen 3/5 of the sheep…Helsley would say he is the one who first told me I was getting less shitty …and I'd thank them all, humbly but also sort of puffed up like a soda in the sun, as I snatched that winning check out of the judges hand.
But no. The further into this I get, the more I realize that, while sometimes good runs happen to bad handlers, it requires a lot more than just luck and I'm still not even to the point where you could call me a Bad Handler. I'm just striving to be a Bad Handler. Now I'm only half-handler. SO
I'm really hoping to beat my own shitty scores at this point. Someday I hope to be inspired by the Great Run of a handler before me, to study that run and identify the slight flaws that maybe I can avoid to get a better score and know that this is possible. Someday.
So the journey changes, like good journeys should. I've changed how and I am with my dogs, as I learn more about them. I adjust how I train them and how I live with them. Both things are very important to me. I'm not in this for the competition, I'm in this for the dogs.