When all is said and done, is it the ribbons that really matter? Do the rosettes or even the trophies stand out as the most important things we remember?
Maybe, on some occasions, but in my experience it’s as much because the occasion- the EXPERIENCE- that went with the achievement is what they’re actually remembering. Time and time again, when I ask people what matters most and what they want most from competing with their dog it is this:
Connection. A sense of partnership, of working as one team with their dog.
Perhaps you can identify with that? And yet, it can be hard to keep sight of that when you’re surrounded by people who’re desperately focused on that bit of cardboard and ribbon!
We ALL want to do our best, and we DO like to compete- otherwise we’d quit spending all our money entering shows, driving to shows, not to mention all the spends at the food stalls, trade stands etc etc….!!!
But we CAN do our best and have a ton of fun with our dog while we do it. In fact, I would argue that we can only do our absolute best when we are both enjoying ourselves. I can guarantee you that all the while you’re a nervous wreck, neither you nor your dog will be able to give your best performance.
So this week, as you think back over last weekend’s competitions or look forward to your next show, I challenge you to remember the bigger picture, that what you will remember after all this is over, is NOT that dust-catching piece of ribbon, but rather, the relationship you enjoyed with this incredible creature that you have the privilege of doing life with.
As you focus on savouring each moment of that relationship, you may very well find that you fixate less on the results and are freed up to actually achieve more. It’s a wonderful paradox, and one worth playing with- for your dog’s sake, if not also your own!
I hope you have a great week with your dog and create lots of great memories!