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Monday, April 12, 2010

Family Time and Dog Shows

I know how blessed I am that, as a family, we have something we like to do together.  We like to go to dog shows together.  We started going together as spectators, then I ventured into competition (rally and obedience), next was Meagan in Junior Showmanship, Ken gave in and got hooked on rally and obedience, and finally Kendra was old enough to head into the rally ring.  Now I love to judge, Meagan is a much-requested, respected, outstanding table steward, Ken enjoys competing and being my right hand man, and Kendra is one of the most naturally abled dog handlers I have ever had the privilege to watch.

Going to a dog show is a much-anticipated event at our house.  We all love packing up and heading out for a weekend of friends, dogs, and family time.  We look forward to a cramped hotel room with three dogs laying at our feet while we play a highly competitive game of Uno or Clue.  We enjoy reconnecting not only with our dog show family, but also with each other, without the distractions of everyday life, the internet, television, texting, and phone calls.

This is not something I planned for our family.  It just happened.  We share a love for dogs and it grew from that.  In our "normal" life we are four very different people -- Ken is the only human male in the house and has a lot on his plate at any given time with a full-time job and a small business; Meagan is almost 16, is very involved in school, band, theater, dance, and being a teenager; Kendra is 12 and on the brink of being a teenager -- she loves music, being outside, animals, and dances too.  And there's me -- being the mom and wife and trying to keep everybody and everything in some semblance of order while I attempt to fit in time to train dogs and people, write curriculum, volunteer, and run a household.  It is most definitely bordering on a miracle when we all get away together for a dog show weekend!  But it's worth all of the juggling to make it work for us.  It's made us the family and the people that we are today.

My next post will be about setting goals -- specifically about setting goals to begin competing with your dog (my experience is with rally and obedience, but will apply to other dog sports as well!).  Most of all -- keep enjoying the journey you are on with your dog!!!

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