Embrace the Awkward: Practicing What I Preach

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February 9, 2014 by Julia West

At a recent Show n Go, I did something that is still new to me. Actually, it was what I didn’t do – I didn’t do a “normal” run through routine, which is what was expected. I was in a group of people that were mostly unfamiliar and the trainer who’s been coaching me was home sick. Whether they were or not, it felt like all eyes would be on me as I “fought” with Delta outside the ring to get her up and engaged.

When I lost Delta’s attention and engagement, that self-awareness would ratchet up another notch. If you are going to do things differently, shouldn’t it work well? Between my “lack” of routine and using the German heel command (fus) from IPO, I felt like I was the black sheep in a very white room.

So what happened?  I did what I wanted to do in the ring. I even went in a second time, after my few compatriots had left. I am certain that my dog and I both benefited from the experience. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t awkward. My grand finale was whipping Delta’s tug from my pocket – sending her treats flying across the ring.

Stay awkward, my friends…

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