Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thoughts on the eve of a trial

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." Henry David Thoreau

I've always loved obedience training. As a little kid, that's why I wanted to join 4-H: so I could train my beagle "Pokey" in the dog project. That was more than 30 years and 5 dogs ago: Pokey, Gypsy, Jesse, Connor and Jamie.

Now it's Phoenix's turn. He's been running at agility trials for 6 months but tomorrow is our first venture into a "real" obedience ring. He's 2 years and 3 months old, still a baby, but I think this is a good place to start. It's my own club's trial, very close to home and lots of friends to give positive vibes. 

Phoenix is all groomed and gorgeous, or as groomed and gorgeous as a malinois ever gets. (He is a totally handsome devil and if he knew how good he looked, there'd be no living with him.) Actually, he looks pretty much the same after his bath and blow dry as he did before. He truly is a wonderfully low maintenance dog, at least in terms of fur. After Jamie and Connor, I groom him out of habit, whether he needs it or not.

What do I want from tomorrow? ATTITUDE! I'm not that hung up on scores right now. Yeah, hard to believe, coming from me, the Queen of Score Obsession. But scores without attitude aren't worth having and I'm totally focussed on building a ring foundation of joyful, driving attitude. We have it in training, I want it in the ring.

I have my clothes and gear all laid out for tomorrow morning and now I'm off to bed.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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