This past weekend my kennel club held our annual conformation and performance dog show. Among the events was an extra conformation demonstration billed as ‘Pee Wee Special Event’ in which children 5 to 9 were allowed to show their dogs to a judge for the very first time. Each child entered the ring with his or her dog (and a parent) one at a time so the judge could talk to them in an unhurried manner in the fine art of dog showing. These children were so excited to have this moment. It was, for many spectators, the highlight of the show as we watched big smiles from the kids blend with the awkward, unsure movements of young handlers as they tried to get their charges to move in the direction the judge was asking for- with limited success- and the triumph of a ribbon, prize and the applause for their efforts. I would certainly encourage other clubs who are pondering possibly holding this event in conjunction with their shows to do so, they will not be disappointed and neither will the spectators.
This event certainly must have been a true bright light in their little lives where they get to join in the grownups world for once. The enthusiasm spilling off of them, though the dogs did not seem quite so taken with the whole thing, was contagious. It made me wonder where we and the dogs for that matter, in the process of this sport lose that enthusiasm. And why do we not retain that joy and wonderment of any event in our lives? How do we become the opposite our children?
We can rationalize why this occurs, but really those bits of ‘this happened to me’ and ‘so and so was mean’, along with ‘life happens’ as if ‘life happening’ is a bad thing, are just excuses. No one has a perfect life, even if it appears they do. We create what is in front of us and what is behind us, our vision of events both past and present, are products of our perspective. What would life be like if we stopped making excuses for our lives and watched our children, or the kitten, or the puppy? Could we learn to re-harvest that joy? Nothing that happens in our lives should ‘take the bloom off the rose’ unless we allow it. And if we need a reminder of how to enjoy any moment in our lives, just watch a Pee Wee Special Event at a local dog show. It will bring a smile-and possibly a new perspective on life.