Do you know when you and your dog are there?
I recently entered the World Wide 1 2020 video event with what will be the last routine I will perform with Kashi, my 10 year old Tibetan Terrier. Age and a lifetime of managed health challenges are taking their toll. Responding to my verbal cues and maintaining a level of enthusiasm throughout a routine have become more difficult for her.
I had a decent video that I thought would likely qualify. It wasn’t perfect. I had to improvise in a couple of places. You all know what that’s like! And I left out one of the best parts…. I Just plain forgot to do it. It was my favorite part, a crowd pleaser, and I forgot to do it…
It was not the best we could do.
I waffled for several days as to whether I should submit it for judging. I could wait to submit, try again, maybe get a better run. My goal (Mine, not Kashi’s) is to finish her Veteran Gr. CH so she can retire from competition. And I didn’t want to do it with a “less than” performance. So, my options were to not send it in and try to push her for two more good performances, and possibly be even more disappointed, or submit it and show a routine that was not our best.
The more I thought about it though, the more I realized, it really was our best. It was the best we could do at that moment in time. Right afterwards, and before watching the video, I felt exhilarated, joyful at having the opportunity to dance with my girl and knowing that she was doing her best for me. Not for the ribbons, or the titles, or for a great performance, but for me. It wasn’t until I looked at the video with a critical eye that the warts appeared. And it made me question the joy I felt.
I shouldn’t have. The joy I felt was real. And so, with all of its warts and missing bits and pieces, I sent it in.
Next time you ponder whether your performance was good enough, or whether you should wait and try to get a better performance, instead ask yourself whether your dog was doing the best they could under the set of circumstances they were presented with. Sometimes in waiting for our best, we fail to recognize that we already have it and that it is something to be grateful for.
I hope you enjoy our “best in the moment – warts and all” performance as much as we did.