Profanity, professional handlers, paranoia
There are memes floating around Facebook declaring that you’ll live longer if you allow yourself to curse with impunity. I’ve tried to keep my curse words to a minimum so they’ll actually have impact when they fall out of my mouth.
For some reason my frustration this last week produced a lot of f-bombs. I reigned myself in when my mom started using them a few days later. I know it’s not quite the same as hearing a kid say something like that, but nobody wants to hear LaRita try to say the f word and make it sound serious. I still need to work curbing the S word if I accidentally step in something in the yard, but hey, I’m only human!
I also have to curb myself occasionally at the dog show which leads me to the second item in the subject line of this entry. I’ve been showing dogs since I was 12. While I’m not willing to give away my age in a blog entry, suffice it to say I’ve been exhibiting for awhile. In that period of time, I’ve met and observed some wonderful professional handlers who care about their clients, their dogs and the profession itself. Of course, well behaved people seldom make news so this is obviously not about them.
In the last few years, I’ve found it really amazing how many professional handlers have asked or implied that I lean on or mis-handle my dog in the best of breed ring so they can take best of winners. For non-dog show people, best of winners is the judges’ opportunity to share championship points between two genders. These points are for dogs competing for their championship, not dogs who already have it. Let’s say there’s a 4 point major in males, and 1 point in females. If the female takes best of winners, she also receives the 4 point major.
The last time this happened, a young apprentice to a well-known professional handler said, in her valley-girl voice, “you know, it was a 3 point major in bitches, and 2 in dogs, just so you know, like, you know.” She was acting in an intimidating manner toward me that pretty much made me want to punch her.
Instead, I kept my mouth shut, and then I beat her for best winners. I’ve met too many handlers who’d step on their own mother for breed points. If you’re feeling desperate enough to try bullying me into helping you out, that’s just sad. My friends wouldn’t even ask my to mis-handle my dog. If someone’s going to take a dive, it has to be voluntarily.
I’m a big girl and can deal with little miss wannnabe “professional” handler. That’s not what really irks me. What irks me is that if I were a novice, that would have intimidated the hell out of me and I might have actually complied because (gasp??) would it be impolite not to?
Remember your dog is supposed to win on it’s own merits, not by intimidation. Also remember that without other competitors, you have no competition. Without competition, “professional” handlers have no job. Try to think these things through before you nudge someone in an unsportsmanlike way.
The final P for tonight is ‘paranoia’. The Weimaraner National Specialty entries closed this last Wednesday. I have three dogs entered and I am excited about showing them. It’s going to be a great trip. This weekend however, something has settled in that’s very unattractive. My poor dogs think I’ve lost my mind. I’m worried that one of them is going to hurt themselves, swallow something (a rock, namely) or do some other kind of nonsense to themselves that would cause me to leave them home.
So far Mac is the only one has damaged himself. He has a 3″ scratch on his show side.
Darn it dog, as if the other nicks and dings you have aren’t bad enough. I guess that’s what happens when you have the spacial sensibility of a bowling ball.
I think the scab will be gone by the time we get to California, but it won’t have fur. I guess if that’s the worst we come up with in the next three weeks, I’ve no room to complain.