Sunday, November 9, 2014

So Many Ideas - So Little Time

So Many Ideas – So  Little Time

As we grow older some of us get concerned about having the time to accomplish all our goals.  Some, of course, just look for a rocking chair and let the world go by, but not this dinosaur.  Setting goals has always been part of my make up whether at work, breeding and showing dogs, or way back to school days.  I won’t lie and say all my goals were attained, but having them shaped my life.  Many of my goals have been things that involved sharing with others, hence the blogs.  Since I’m not the only one with good ideas, I enjoy giving credit where credit is due.

The current issue of Dogs In Review has an article on page forty two entitled “Camelot is Crumbling.”  It deals with the current status of dog shows with declining entries and the desperate attempt to entice people to show by having something for everyone.  It makes one think of sports like children’s T-Ball where you supposedly don’t keep score so everyone wins.  What incentive that gives you to improve is beyond me.  It was competing with people like Trudy Mangels, Pat Starkweather, and Bobbee Roos that drove me to breed better dogs and show, groom, and be a realistic judge of quality without kennel blindness.

You must start off the learning experience at a reasonable level which used to be match shows.  The same is true of developing as a judge, but match shows seem to be going the way of the Dodo Bird.  As you hone your skills whether as a breeder or judge you can move up the food chain, but if we reward even insignificant efforts what’s the point?  Van Dyck used to say Reserve was the best of the losers.  Perhaps reserve Best in Show, Award of Merit, and Selects are too.

In the Oct. 25, 2014 issue of blood horse on page nine is an article called “What’s Going on Here?”  It’s a weekly article which in this issue discussed rules of life as outlined by champion golfer and horse breeder, Gary Player, of South Africa.  He gave his ten rules and while all are relevant, a couple really speak to me loudly.  Number six is “work.”  Explanation is “the fox fears not the man who boasts at night in the bar, but the man who rises early in the morning.”  Number nine is similar and quotes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”

I got good grades at school, but probably didn’t work as hard as I should have.  Junior and Senior Class President were honors probably due to personality more than hard work.  When I started into the world of dog breeding and exhibiting and later in my career with Owens-Illinois, Inc. a light bulb went off.  I wanted badly to succeed in both areas and drove myself relentlessly to be the best I could be.  As goals were attained the bar was constantly raised and it worked.  I’ve always felt that we all have different talents that are born in us.  Just having the talents, however, is not enough.  If you really wish to excel at something, you must work hard to polish and refine that God given talent.  Some have an eye for a dog and can visualize what the Standard means quite clearly.  Others can be involved in dogs for twenty five years and not have a clue.  We must be honest in evaluating our talents and use what we’ve been given wisely.  I always wanted to play the piano, but can’t play a note.  Perhaps a knack with animals (not just dogs) was my special talent and the world had enough piano players.

Finally my thanks to Larry Willeford for his kind words and giving me credit as a mentor.  He continues to breed good dogs, but more important has been a friend for years and is a great ring steward.  The picture he used on line of me and Ch. Jadene’s Breezalong has fooled some people into thinking I’m still a slender, dark haired heartthrob.  Boy are they in for a shock!

Finally, just a word of praise for the folks at Houston Collie Rescue.  The job they did with over one hundred rescued Collies many of whom had terrible skin issues was outstanding.  The before and after pictures bring tears of happiness to the eyes.  Please don’t think they don’t need any more financial help.  The work they did and continue to do, costs lots of money and is helping the breed we love.  Keep up the support so they can continue their good work.

Think about it!

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