At one of the first few shows I attended, I was standing with Kunga when my mentor and friend Carol Volleberg came up to me. She told me she’d rustled around in my grooming bag and found an extra lead, which she had loaned to someone else in our Dane club whose lead had broken at the last minute. I must have looked a little startled, because Carol said, hey, that’s how it goes. We’re all here to have fun, and if we can help each other, we do. You’ll get your lead back, and maybe some time someone will help you out, too.
One of the surprises of getting involved in showing dogs has been getting to know and enjoy friends in the sport. Our club is pretty civil, and we DO all help each other out if we can. Everyone’s competitive, sure, but we would never turn down a request for assistance. We hear so often about back-biting and nasty gossip–both of which for sure exist in dog showing–but we forget to celebrate the friendships we form, the chances to help another human being, even if it’s to cheer for them when they’ve beaten us.
Sometimes, those friendships leak out of the show world and into the rest of life. I spent a chunk of time yesterday helping Carol move some of her business to a new location, a move that’s taking a lot of time and energy from her. I hope that this spirit of helping will extend from other members of the club when Carol does the final move on Feb 23 & 24 and will need a lot of hands.