Posted by: allstaragility | October 10, 2011

Next step in the stairway…

First of all, Happy 9th Birthday to my sweet Zoomie tomorrow!  Hard to believe it has been 9 years already…  He taught me lessons I needed to learn and certainly played a huge role in Solei’s training and success thusfar (aside from being her best buddy!).

It was just over one year ago that I wrote my Dear Solei letter on the eve of our first competition.  I wrote “I expect that we will both make mistakes.  I expect that you will make me laugh many times.  I expect you will make me a better teammate, teacher and student.”  That really sums up this last year nicely!  I could also easily copy and paste these expectations for the next 7+years, should we be so lucky…

It is hard to fathom that just 12 months after that post, we would be headed to our first National Championship!   It certainly wasn’t my “goal” with Solei, but certainly is a nice reward for our progression in competition and just another step we get to make in the stairway of our teamwork.   While I very pleased with just how high we have climbed this year, we have many flights ahead of us!

So what are my goals going to Kentucky?  Do I want to be the best we can be?  Certainly!  Would I love for us to kick butt and make one of the finals?  Of course!  Will I consider this event “unsuccessful” if we don’t achieve that?  Absolutely not!  You see, we have already won just because we are going!  There aren’t a lot of times when I feel I get a pressure-free national competition in a dog’s career, but I have come to consider the very first one as exactly that.   Beyond it being a celebration of what we have accomplished this last year, it is a valuable learning opportunity for how we work together in that atmosphere.  It will set the foundation for future “big” compeititons (that really aren’t all that far in the future; we leave for the US Open in less than a month!).  It will be a blast!

So Kentucky, here we come!


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