Taking Direction from the Dalai Lama

Posted on 05/25/11 61 Comments

It was the Dalia Lama that suggested “When you lose don’t lose the lesson.” So with every disappointment I am faced with in my life I search for a lesson. Some are more obvious then others but I find they are always there.

In today’s video I will share with you some of my more disappointing rounds at the WAO. I certainly wasn’t disappointed in my dogs but I sure wish I could have been better for my Canadian teammates during our team rounds and better for my dogs in the individual events. In all of these rounds there are take away points for myself.

Encore, Feature, Lynda and I heading to our crating area.

1. First of all even though I have put some weight on I think my worry of it effecting my running effected me more than the weight itself. I felt I ran pretty good, however I am back at it, working to get into better shape before the next World Championships in September.

2. I learned to come home and practice pressuring my dog’s line without having them change direction in response to that pressure.

3. I came home and worked on my pull throughs (my mechanic were sloppy on two rounds that resulted in NQ’s for my dogs.)

4. But mostly I think my fault lied in not being completely focused for the entire weekend. Not my normal self anyway. Heck I don’t think I put my ipod on once! Not like me at all.

5. I needed to remember to visualize the small details. Sometimes, particularly at an important event, after I walk a course and think “I love this course” I sometimes get too excited to get in there and give it a go. I have to be more patient and do my normal preparing– visualizing. For someone like me, my visualizing is the key to everything.

6. Now that I am using more verbal cues in my handling when I do my visualizations I need to remember to hear those cues and see how my dog reacts to them. That was a big take away for me.

7. I need to remember to trust my training and my dogs. My girls are brilliant I know it, but twice I used last minute verbal cues “get out” with Encore when she was heading for the correct obstacle and I sent her out to an off course.

8. I need to comitt to these big events way in advance and prepare myself and my dogs the way I know we should be prepared.

Regardless I enjoy watching these runs; even if the outcome continues to be less than what I wanted:). I am so happy to see my handling is aggressive without being careless. My dogs are driving hard and focused on the course but still responding to me and Encore gave me some beautiful nose touches when I didn’t release her from the seesaw:). Most of all, I am so pleased that regardless of the outcome or the disappointments I faced over the weekend I am so thrilled that my dogs never knew anything different when we left the ring. I am so crazy about my dogs, they are just so amazing and try so hard for me.

But everything is left at the gate when I exit. The highs of winning the lows of losing. I love my dogs and I think that is why I can continue to play at this level after all of these years. It is how it works for me.

I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson it is a good one to keep in mind any time you step out of the ring with your dog;

β€œWin as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.”

As some of us head into two more weekends of “important” events (the Ontario Regionals are this weekend and the USDAA SE Regionals in Perry Georgia are the following weekend) this is something worth keeping in handy place, available Β for quick reference.

Today with it pouring rain outside, I am grateful that for our RV garage attached to the house allowing me to pack the motorhome and stay dry:).


  1. Theresa says:
    Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 1:08am

    wow…. what beautiful and pretty accurate praise.
    I”M in awe of the fact that your neck can support your head and that it hasn’t become huge from swelling !!
    THAT”S what I’m in awe of…. besides your many many other talents ! πŸ™‚


  2. Lili Dawidowicz says:
    Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 7:35pm


    You are the most wonderful, honest and inspiring trainer, competitor and handler around!

    You have such wonderful charisma, that charms not just us two-legged ones, but of course, all the four-legged ones you’ve ever taught or encountered.

    You are honest in your assessments, and as a result, prompt us to be as honest with ourselves regarding our mistakes, our training, and our triumphs.

    You are always inspiring–as a teacher, as a competitor, and as a trainer. Your continuous devotion to improvement and to excellence inspires me to do more, to train smarter, and to never stop trying.

    We are so lucky to have you show us what should and can be done with our dogs, or with any animal, using the training principles you have taught us.

    I will always be in awe of you and your amazing dogs.

    With best wishes and greatest admiration,
    Lili Dawidowicz, Max and Panda


  3. Theresa says:
    Friday, July 1, 2011 at 2:30pm

    I am here to tell ya that Sg being out of shape is in WAAAAY better shape than the most of us for over 50. I watched her do a VERY small routine once, and cockily thought OG, I can do that…… and proceeded to make a fool of myself by barely being able to lift my body in the quick successions she did…. I am thankful that she did not burst into mocking laughter and hand me a protein shake…..
    LOts of time on the REBOUNDER for a start ! Ha !
    Good luck, you are probably in much better shape than myself !!


  4. Jan says:
    Friday, July 1, 2011 at 9:45am

    As an addenda to my previous question, …you mention that you are using more verbals in handling. Why the change? What verbals?


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