So once upon a time a certain presenter used to frequent MN for seminars. This event was our once yearly butt-kicking Big Exposure to new agility trends and ideas. It was where I first was forced to try front crosses. So…awkward!! In fact, I used to spend most of the weekend tied up in awkwardity (totally should be a word, no?) so I really don’t remember much more than being all cold and scared outside of my box. But when my mom recently mentioned something this presenter once said, a dull bell rang in the back of my mind.
It was something to the effect of a dog not being worth much until they were 5 or 6.
When you hear it, it sounds not very nice. If I did consciously hear it at the time, I probably dismissed it anyways because I was young and it sounded dumb to me then. Certainly knowing Young Me, I wouldn’t like it because it was just, like, another case of, like, old people not giving youth the credit it so TOTALLY deserved. Like. But I think I get it now.
Of course, she only meant as a competitive partner. She didn’t mean baby dogs were worthless in general. She admitted you could see some brilliant flashes from a baby dog. But she said it with the context of yeah, a young dog has the ‘flash’- speed and extra bendy agility aspects- but they don’t have the head. You don’t have the relationship. It’s referring to those things that take nothing but time, no matter the training, to surface.
For me, I’ve always been amazed at the fresh teams with young dogs that can pull off a Big Flashy Win. Whaddaya MEAN they’re only two? WOWOW! But I’m at the point now where consistency is much more impressive. I lean away from the draw of a one-hit wonder. Who really remembers the Proclaimers or Right Said Fred anyways?
I guess I’m mentioning it now because despite the difficult beginning years with The Dog which I've spent wishing for her to be one of ‘those’ flashy cool babies I would so rather have the adult I can depend on. I don’t think we are quite there yet but there is something moving to the surface. I can see the partner I will end up with and I’m pretty sure it will be worth the flash to have a slow burn.
(And because a post without media is somehow not as fun, here are her standard runs from our last show. Plus they are what got me started in thinking about this...)