September 3, 2014 by Julia West
September’s DABAD topic was intended to discuss what activities outside of dog sports and training that helped you and your dog be and perform your best. I’m sure they had in mind things like chiropractic adjustments, sports conditioning, and the like. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write, but then something made it very easy to choose my approach – we had a scare with Delta’s health. I could give more details here, but that isn’t the point. Her situation put things in perspective for me.
If the question is “What do you do outside the ring to help your performance inside?” – my answer is “Everything.” My dogs are not just performance dogs and our relationship is not built solely during ring time or training sessions. That bond is what matters and is one of the most important things I can bring with me into a ring. It is built in the normal everyday moments that make up our lifetime together.
Though we never pinned down exactly what was wrong, Delta is doing much better and we’re back to training. I’m hoping to make up for some lost time, but I have to remind myself that isn’t what matters. She’s here, she’s healthy, and I love her so much it hurts. A few minutes in the ring aren’t what our life together is about. Quiet snuggles, earnest kisses, silly looks, and crazy antics are the “food” that feeds our relationship. Time in the ring is just dressing.
This post also featured on DABAD for the "Outside the Ring" theme: http://dogagilityblogevents.wordpress.com/outside-the-ring/