You would think I would have learned this by now. And sometimes because I don’t remember this rule, I eat some crow. And sometimes crossing the never say never line makes me face my demons. Ok – that’s all way too vague to make sense. There is a judge in our dog sport for whom I don’t care, said judge can be mean sometimes, and in my early experiences in the performance ring, made me uncomfortable. I vowed I would never spend money to support that individual’s efforts.
Time passes, and yes, I am the sort who spent most of my younger years with my back to the wall and my fist in the air…. but I don’t have to act like that now. I’m a grown up, I can find forgiveness and move on. So I decided to show to said mean judge again. I wasn’t halfway to the trial when I got a set of nerves and butterflies that were just astonishing. I’ve had some ring nerves before but these flew in out of nowhere.
Of course, because I was facing a perceived nemesis. Deep breathing, get a grip Barb. Think forgiveness, and peace, and see what you can do in the face of the dragon. I’m a judge now myself, and I always try to conduct myself so that people will feel they were treated nicely and fairly. They may not always qualify, but I want to be sure they got my best opinion of them on that given day. I strive to put attention into my judging , and the customer service side of judging, that they are treated fairly, and nicely. They have paid for my opinion, and I try and deliver that in a nice manner, with courtesy and respect. I’m not there to flunk them, I want to see teams succeed. And why wouldn’t every other judge have that same goal?
So I did some deep breathing, and pulled myself together and showed, and after a few times in the ring (2 dogs, back to back trials) the butterflies had flown away. We didn’t qualify, but I didn’t even really care. I had made that step to stop being a baby and complaining about a judge and saying I would never show to them and stepping up and showing my dogs to the best of my and their ability. The judge is there to offer an opinion , they aren’t my enemy, they aren’t my nemesis. The judge is the individual the club has hired to offer an opinion on entrant’s performances… nothing more… nothing less.