Wednesday, March 7, 2012

If I knew then what I know now.


Im not going to post this to the link for everyone to read but I thought I would comment.  I started agility with Guiness about 6 years ago.  He was a rescued sheltie. I wasnt sure I would even like agility but I signed up for a class. It was really hard to find a class here in Columbia. I kept looking and looking and finally found someone who taught beginning agility.  It was lots of fun. We were taught with targets.  I know lots of people think targets are bad but I never had a problem with them. Especially since I didnt know anything else.  I didnt know about shaping.  I taught Guiness to weave using a Clean Run article on WAMS. LOL, must have been a good article since thats how I taught Miley too.  The first seminar I went to, I wont say who taught it, but they wouldnt work with me because my dog wasnt toy motivated. (OMG, how rude. Today I would walk out but I didnt then. ) The good thing that came out of that was I talked to  Michelle Godlevski. I hope she doesnt mind me putting her name here but she talked to me and gave me tons of information  about agility and  where to look to get even more information.  She was great.  I felt like I left with so much knowledge. I should have paid her not that seminar presenter.  Then I finally found another agility class in town.  I found out about front crosses and rear crosses, I had no idea about them.  Some of the people were in the local dog club here which I joined. Thinking I had found something in Columbia that I really liked. I was so excited. But then someone in the group talked about me to everyone behind my back. I never heard exactly what was said but the  basics was that I had mistreated my dog. I was out of town for a week and when I came back to class no one would talk to me. Well, one person did. I had no idea what was going. The negative feeling in class was unbelievable. I set Guiness up to run and he crashed the jump. The whole thing fell apart.  Guiness never dropped bars, ever. So this was effecting my dog. I set him up, ran the course and walked out never to return.I found out the next day that this one person had told everyone I mistreated my dog and thats why no one would talk to me at class. So now I was in club and had no friends. And not just no friends, they hated me.  I was still attending my other class that I first started out with. I was best friends with the lady who ran the class. When she found out I joined this other class, I guess her feeling got hurt and our friendship was over.  I cried all the way home that day. Everything was falling apart.  So now I was training alone.  I did find Meagan in North Carolina but it was a long drive and I couldnt get out there very often.  Ive made a lot of mistakes with Miley's training that I now see.    Mistakes I hope not to repeat with Java.  I love running Miley.  She brings so much energy to the game, its still fun even if we dont Q much.  We can have a total crappy run and someone will come up to me and say how much the love watching her.  I have to laugh, "uh, were you and I watching the same run?"  LOL .   There were so many negative things that happened at the beginning of my agility endeavor.  A normal person would have quit. But Im not normal.  Im going out swinging. LOL   And do you know what?  Now Ive met so many nice people.  Bob, who watches out for me and makes sure my runs are tape.  Robin, who sends me text messages about her runs (since Im not running Miley right now) and shares hotel rooms with me. Tom, who reminds me to fill the spaces around me with nice people.  Meagan ,who has helped me beyond words and has introduced me to her group of students and friends.  Jan, Mike and Lorelei , who are some of the nicest people ever. They always make sure there is room for me  to crate my dog at a trial and invite me to their after trial events.Thanks to Karen and Fred who talked to me at a trial one weekend. It was the first time someone talked to me at a trial. It made my whole weekend. They probably didnt give it a second thought, they are just nice people.  All my blogger friends who send such nice comments when I feel like everything is falling apart. I hope I can met them all someday!!  And Im thankful so much  for my husband and kids for putting up with all these dogs and agility stuff. They are awesome. And best of all, if it werent for agility I wouldnt have these great dogs!!  Each different and wonderful.And if it werent for agility I wouldnt exercise as much as I do trying to keep my dogs fit.  Im sure Ive missed some names of people who are my friends and have gone out of their way to be nice to me. Thanks, it means the world to me.
So "what about if I knew then, what I know now" stuff.  If that bad stuff wouldnt have happened I wouldnt have met  all these new really great people. I really dont think Ive been doing agility long enough to have some great awaking. LOL  But I know now how important and fun shaping is. There are so many ways to teach things.There isnt just one right way. I know about collection and extension. All the body cues your dog is working off of to run the course. I knew none of this stuff the first two years I was learning with Guiness. I dont even know how I got him through the course. LOL  Looking forward to all the new things I will learn over the years of teaching my dogs. So much fun to learn and train .

12 comments:

zeeFM said...

I'm glad it ends well after that incident ! I wonder why that person did what they did =/

Nicki said...

Rough start, but glad it turned out ok.

Sara said...

What a great post Diana!

I'm so happy that you found supportive people in the agility world. It's no fun playign with mean girls.

Priscilla said...

So glad that everything has turned out okay now. Your persistence was paid off!

charlene and Storm said...

what a fab post, there are so many horrible people in the world but also so many wonderful ones too and you have to take the good and bad times and just come out the other end smiling xxx with dogs in our lives how can we not smile :)

Chris and Ricky said...

Love this post!

loralei913 said...

I feel like I had a similar beginning when I first joined my college riding team... some things were said early on, taken completely out of context that led several team mates to hate me and talk about me behind my back. But I pressed on, and found team mates who were supportive and positive, and we all just let the mean ones slide right off of us. Makes it worth it when you find some good friends :)

corbinwooten said...

Can't believe you had such a bad experience with those people. That's terrible. I wish we lived closer--would love to train with you guys!

And I'm one of those people that loves to watch Miley run, even if it's not perfect. :)

Helen said...

I think sometimes you just have to walk away from people who have such a negative impact on your spirit. It's too bad people aren't more like the dogs we profess to love.

Dawn said...

Sadly you're probably not the only one excluded from their little clique. I know when I first took Katie to Rally classes no one talked to me. In fact I'm sure they never learned my name, though I knew theirs. They'd talk a little bit if I talked to them, then just look away, or turn their backs and talk to their friends. I have to say that older middle aged women don't seem that friendly. I put it down to not being confident. Whatever, their loss.

I'm glad you found the nice side of agility...and people too. And I love watching Miley run! Wish we lived closer too! We'd train with you no problem, we'd LOVE having all your experience shared with us!

Kathy said...

VERY heartfelt post, and so honest,thanks for posting that. I tell you I almost cried reading what happened wiht the dog club, damn those people the dog club here did the same to me because they heard someone say my blog was just bashing them, really, I dont remember talking about them more then once or twice mentioning someone there and not enough to identify them. They started a blog and a youtube channel and invited EVERYONE in the club to join and made sure I knew about it and then told me I could not join because it was only for people that they liked Then when I did take a class not one person would talk to me When I broke my foot IN CLASS not one person asked if I was ok and even the instructor never called to see if I was ok or ask when I showed up at the dog club meeting in my big boot. I can not believe I continue, but makes you wonder why groups have to be like that to people So sorry that happened to you. On the other hand it seems like those things just cemented that you liked agility and it was about you and your dogs and it seems like either your personality or that made you determined to find out all you could and make sure it happened, the agility world is lucky and good thing to concentrate on all those good people who support healthy things ;-).

Diana said...

OMG, Kathy thats horrible. Why do some poeple have to be so mean. There are really nice agility people out there , you just have to find them.