Wednesday, April 17, 2013

They Told Us We Couldn't Do It

Jax isn't a "perfect" dog. He's got some conformation issues that make me cringe when I see them, but that's because I pick him apart. He's a gorgeous dog in his own right, and I get compliments on him all the time. What he does have is a fabulous temperament and working ethic. I cannot deny that his personality is stellar.

Because of these faults, I have heard that I would never win anything "big" with him. I was told he's not worth breeding. I've been told he's not worth showing. I've heard the whispers about my dog, including the "I can't believe that dog won over those other dogs!" I've heard the snarky comments behind my back. I've heard it all. And I've only been showing Jax for about a year and a half.

I always say, "Jax isn't a perfect dog, but he's perfect for me."

I love this dog. He tries so hard for me. He is a saint with my toddler daughter. He may not sweep all of the best in show events, but we don't need to.

I like to focus on the dog sport end of this dog show stuff. We are working on advancing through the levels of rally and obedience, and eventually we'll tackle agility. So, Saturday's show was nothing but something fun for us, and experience for me. I am a ball of nerves no matter what show ring I step into, but I want the experience. I want to be able to show off my dog to the best of my ability, and I will only get better the more I do it. And that's what I went to do this past weekend at a UKC show in Ann Arbor, MI.

It was a normal day for us. Honestly, there were no other APBTs in the ring that day, but he won the terrier group handily, and won over a couple of multi-best in show winners. Group 1 ribbons always make me happy. I was pleased with those.

UKC Show - 4/13/2013 - Ann Arbor, MI
On Saturday, the judge's eye fell on us. I managed to show off my dog in a way that made her smile, that caught her eye, and I held my composure and convinced her that my dog was the best dog in that ring. Jax and I were the perfect team.

There was much rejoicing. I started crying. The other dogs who made it to the final show-down congratulated me, and in between my happy tears, I thanked them. Because I was truly grateful. I wanted to grab the judge and give her a big bear hug and thank her for seeing my dog, the dog I see every day at home. My best in show dog.

They told us we couldn't do it. And still, after having my ribbon in hand, there were nay-sayers who spoke ill of my dog and our accomplishment. But there were several other people who congratulated us. And I am grateful for both of those people. I am grateful for the nay-sayers because they give me the push to prove them wrong; I am grateful to the people who cheer us on, because without them we wouldn't be where we are today.

Thank you, to everyone who supported us this far.

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