I had this really strange experience at Nationals and I didn’t think much of it until this past week. Since i volunteered for Stockdog Finals, we got to sit in at the Finals handlers dinner. Even though it felt a little odd since i didn’t know almost anyone i was sitting with, everyone was very nice and it was fun. One of my volunteer friends was also in the room, but left pretty quickly after dinner. When i asked her about it, she said something that just didn’t make sense – until today:
“This is your guys’ thing; your awards. It’s no big deal, just not the place for me.”
I realized today that even though i’m in the breed, i’m not ‘in’ and i’m ok with that. It doesn’t stop me from doing anything. But i’m not a Breed person; capital B. I could snatch up a softer or slightly upright border collie and be perfectly happy. It wouldn’t be the same, but that’s not the end of my planet. I don’t watch an Aussie do something other than ‘normal’ Aussie behavior and have a personal experience of sadness. I like a dog that works; and if it works with more eye, i’d take that dog over a dog that can’t cover. Would I prefer a dog that works upright, and shows some eye as a tool not as a working style – sure. But i’d take that dog with eye over a dog that walks into an arena and ignores the stock the same way i ignore a Ford truck.
Amy likes practical, utilitarian things. Heck the bubble wand i took to Finals doubled as a short stock stick.
I like watching my friends compete. I *really* like watching them win.
I know myself well enough to put myself to work if i’m going to an event. I can watch my friends compete, win and if i do it right i can work my own dog in the pens at the same time. How is that not awesome? And most of the people in my breed are just straight up awesome.
But, i’m coming to the conclusion that right now i’m just not enough of a Breed person to be ‘in’. I’m not serious enough. I’m not tough enough. I’m not whatever-i-need-to-be enough to circulate successfully with that group right now. There are people in my Breed that seem to thrive on being divisive. It seems like everything is a fight; not a slog but a straight up jousting match. If you’re not in their camp, you are enabling the enemy.
Doesn’t matter if you don’t have a camp. My camp is on a warm beach in the middle of winter with a fruity drink, a lawn chair, a frisbee and some sensible sheep nearby. The ASC of St. Kitts – not to be confused with the ASC of Barbados, where all they have is hair sheep. <gong>
Maybe i’m just not Aussie enough? I know i’m not dramatic enough.
Just enough to do what needs to be done, i suppose. And i’ll take that any day of the week. 😉
(you thought this was going to be a pity piece, didn’t you? HA!)