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The Big E – Easier to Be Kind

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192 – May 2019

BY ELAINE LESSIG

Sometimes we need multiple life lessons to teach us a valuable skill. In Dogdom, this is particularly true. I do not mean the best way to trim a Pomeranian, to use a Dremel for toenails, or to keep self-rinse in your grooming box. Nor, am I referencing which lead to use in the ring, where to make entries, or how to find a professional handler. What I am addressing is the etiquette that will take each of us so much further in our world than you could ever imagine. I have learned that it is easier to be kind.

Let me be very clear. This was neither a fast nor efficient learning curve for me. I did not have an epiphany one day nor did I hear voices from above. Rather, I slowly realized that more can be achieved by taking time to be kind rather than by being one of the “dises”: dismissive, disinterested, and discouraging, just to name a few. One day long ago, instead of simply telling me that I needed to work harder to get my show dog’s flyaway ears under control, a well respected judge took the time to privately share that, “With a bit more work on getting those ears beautifully groomed, your dog would do better in the ring.” I listened. The dog immediately started to win. I have not forgotten that kindness.

Still, it took too long for me to comprehend the value of kindness. I personally needed many more pushes along my path to wisdom. Regrettably, I was not always the first person to loan a treasured brush when one was needed by a fellow exhibitor. Many times I found it difficult to congratulate the winner when I lost in hard fought competition. How could I fail to see that these kinds of behaviors take far more energy–all of it negative? To this day, I have no idea.

Now you might wonder, how did I make the connection? When did the light bulb get turned on for me? It all came together for me when I started to judge. Suddenly, I was working from the other side of the toy table. All the experiences I had on the exhibitor’s side of the table and in the ring brought a perspective that was invaluable. I knew how it felt, the way I appreciated being treated, and the importance of making a connection among the dog, the judge, and me. It was now my job to be kind, to encourage, and to respect every exhibit and exhibitor. It became my goal to do all that and do it well.

Click here to read the complete article
192 – May 2019

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=162561

Posted by on May 13 2019. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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