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Why Bother? – Let Us Count the Ways

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106 – September, 2022

By Will Alexander

It’s been a crazy summer. Extreme heat, volatile storms, yet the dog shows go on. Picture this–me standing under an ez-up, rain and wind so bad that the water is going sideways; I have my Irish Setter on the table and my generator purring as I’m doing my best to dry him before his next ring time. A young handler walks by me, chuckles and says, “why bother?!”. Funny how a simple statement like “why bother?” stirs up memories. It was 1986–the summer circuit. I was working for Garry MacDonald. The Woodstock shows were notorious for bad weather and the skies opened up on schedule. Water came down in buckets. Garry had a number of charges but this story revolves around Lady, our Old English special. Her owner was walking her just as the storm started. She rushed her back to our set-up but the damage was done. Once settled, Garry popped Lady on the table, grabbed a dryer and handed it to his assistant–that being me–and told me I had 40 minutes until breed time. The water was filling the rings; our setup was ankle deep. Okay, I may be exaggerating a little, just a little though because it was wet! I looked up at Garry and said, “why bother?” Everything just stopped. Not the rain, but everything in my conscious world. Garry turned and said, “We are professionals William, it’s what we do. Lady is going to look perfect when she steps into that ring. Whatever happens after that is up to Mother Nature, but we need to know that we did our very best.”

I just spent a week in beautiful British Columbia. I was judging on the Saturday. My youngest son, Liam, and I had flown out the previous Wednesday and were staying until the following Wednesday. My eldest son, James, lives out there and we were going to make it a short vacation, just me and the boys. Adam was off showing somewhere so it was the three of us. With just one judging day, we had plenty of time to spend quality time together. James had planned all kinds of activities, from hiking in Stanley Park to whale watching. My son, Jamie, is an aspiring film maker. I say aspiring, but no–he is a filmmaker. He has been doing it for years, starting with a short war film he and some buddies filmed with a hand held in high school. Now he has a short entered in a million film festivals. I have no doubt Jamie will be successful in his chosen vocation. We have always shared our love of movies, reading and writing, each recommending something we had just watched or read, then giving critiques on said recommendation. James did not let me down. On this occasion he recommended a book by Steven Pressfield, The War of Art. It’s an inspirational book about overcoming the blocks of creativity, basically procrastination, lol, which is something I am very familiar with. Mr. Pressfield calls it “resistance” and the book goes through all kinds of ways resistance rears its ugly head and stops us from getting our work done. From TV to video games (are they still called that?) to TikTok (that’s me trying to stay cool). Anyway, I’m not going to review the entire book, but I gobbled it up and highly recommend it. As I was devouring it, a section hit close to home–Part 2, Combating Resistance, Turning Pro.

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106 – September, 2022

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Posted by on Sep 10 2022. Filed under Current Articles, Editorial, 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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