I can and I will

I tend to think of myself as a rather dark person at times, particularly when I’m depressed.  But I have also come to realize that I’m really quite vibrant and enjoyable to be around, and have good friends who like me as I am.  Because of that, I’ve garnered a new appreciation for myself as a person, and the things I can do.

One of the things I still do on my own that is extremely important to me, is show dogs.  I hurt, every day of my life.  Sometimes that pain is extreme.  Sometimes taking a step is so excruciating, I want to collapse and cry  And this pain is not caused by a nerve issue, but by the perpetual strain that is put on my muscles caused by the tics.

Sometimes, I limp around the ring.  Other times, I can “open up” just like my dogs, and run like the wind, knowing for that moment I am absolutely free.  For that one go around, I can run like I used to.  Showing fills me with as much joy as playing the piano does. An indescribable warmth expands in me that makes taking another step bearable.

So stop.  Trying.  To take it. Away from me.

Every day of my life, I am judged, because the severity of my disability is variable, and I only have minor control over it.  Every day, somebody is telling me that I cannot or will not succeed, and at times, I am the one saying so because I hurt so badly.  Every day, I deal with somebody glaring at me, or my service dog, and I know that someone thinks I am a faker.

Stepping into that show ring gives me some semblance of peace, and I will not give that away to somebody else.  I will not hire a handler.  I will not send my dogs “away to camp”.  I am capable of finishing a dog.  I have been told so.  And if the people that told me I have talent were lying to me, they should be ashamed of themselves.  Best to just keep your mouth shut in that instance.

I know it may take me longer.  I know that in eleven years, I have not finished a dog (due to various factors).  But I’ve put points on a dog.  I put the very first best of breed and group placement on a friend’s Vizsla.  It was my first best of breed and group placement, too.  And it is a memory I cherish.

I do not dare think that I am as talented a handler as those who have been doing it longer, but I am willing to accept tips and help.  My ears are open to tips that will allow me to exhibit my animals better.

But I will not give my dog to a handler.  Not when it is my dog, and when I have put all the work into that dog.  Not when exhibiting is one of the very, very few things I can still do without Strauss holding me up, or my husband running to catch me.

And don’t you dare tell me I am not doing my dog justice when you have never seen me in the ring.  Don’t you dare try and strip me of the joy and accomplishment that I feel when my little girl is freestacking at the end of an 8 foot lead, because I taught her to do that.  Don’t you dare try to tear me down, and insinuate I am doing a disservice to my dogs or their breeders because I’m trying to cling to the functionality I still have left.

I can show.  I will show.  And nobody gets to dictate to me how I go about it.

I don’t care if I eat the dirt the next time I step foot in that show ring, at least I know I’m doing something that makes me happy.

Flail on,
– Classical Spazz

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~ by ClassicalSpazz on December 22, 2011.

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