Monday, July 6, 2009

Professional Handlers

Apparently I've injured some feelings with my comments regarding professional handlers and the recent tragedy involving the dogs in Jefferson County. So, I took a little time to reconsider and I've decided that perhaps I was a little harsh. I still have a strong bias towards owner/handlers because I believe that dog shows, whether conformation, agility, obedience... whatever... should be a time to spend with your friend and have fun. I don't understand professional handlers, especially the ones that are taking the dogs away from the family's home, though I have a much more understanding for someone that would take over the dog ringside. Following a recent injury I did let a friend take my dog into the agility ring for one run and I guess the only difference would be that I didn't pay her.
Nevertheless, I still have a strong disdain for owners and professional handlers whose major goal is a BUSINESS, not an enjoyable afternoon with their pet. I don't care how much time they spend or how well they treat them, this isn't a situation I'm comfortable with. I feel the same way about boarding schools... why have children if your going to ship them off to a boarding school? I got into agility to spend time and have fun with my dog, not to win at agility. Sure, with a better handler she would be more successful, but that isn't the point. If she stops having fun in the ring, or one of us can no longer run, we will find somethiing else to do together. The goal isn't to win, the goal is to give us both the opportunity to have fun with one another.
Anyway, to those of you that are paid handlers that take a dog ringside, I'm sorry if I came on too strong. My only excuse is that I was so angry about the senseless loss of those beautiful dogs that I wasn't thinking it through. For those of you that are paid handlers that keep, train, and transport dogs, please help me understand why a loving pet owner would want to pass thier dog over to you. Don't they miss them and worry about them while they are gone?

1 comment:

  1. I have been following you for quite sometime. I am close to you, do you know who this is. Hint: We went to school together and served lots of Perky burgers in the summer....Do you know who I am?