We spend countless hours, days, months, for some...years, preparing for this one moment, one day, this one opportunity to share our hard work, our dog, our dream with the rest of the world. We step off of the training field and onto the stage of trial day to be judged, to be recognized for what we hope is representative of what defines us and our relationship with our dog.
With trial day fast approaching, insecurities can cloud the very vision that brought you to where you are today and may cause uncertainty. We challenge our worthiness, we question our preparedness, and sometimes we're even doubted by the very people we share shoes with in the very competitive world of dog sport.
I don't need to see your dog or watch you handle to tell you if you're ready. If you're entering because you think you have a chance and you're not willing to let the fear of failure stand in your way, then you're ready. If you're not looking for approval or acceptance, then you're ready. If you're not afraid of constructive criticism, working overtime, and discipline, then you're ready. If you understand that anything can happen trial day (and it does), then you're ready. If you aspire to earn that title, carry that trophy or win that medal, then you're ready. If you love your dog and are not willing to allow one day's performance to define you and your dog, then you're ready.
I can't promise anyone a title or a trophy. I can however, promise anyone who is willing to take that chance, that you will learn more about your dog on trial day than any other day of training. You will learn more about handling than any lesson you will ever pay for. Should you fail, I promise it will hurt, but the lessons learned from the experience you share with your dog and the people that support you for trying are what really matter at the end of the day.
The joy lies within the journey and time shared with your dog, not the destination.