The Specialty is such a study in contrasts for me. Such excesses with/over dogs while we lock our cars at the draft tests against poor and homeless human beings. So much love for dogs and deep friendships among people even as dogs are choked and people are ignored (or worse -- told to Drop Dead). It makes my heart hurt and messes with my head, to be honest -- and I am glad it does.

Contrasts are helpful. They allow us to very clearly see things too often lost in shades of grey or even just in the busy-ness of life. Yes, contrasts can be emotionally uncomfortable. But if we never really consider things outside our comfort zone, how can we know who and what we really want to be or think or do? 

At the Specialty one person was honored for being a decent and good person with the Sportsmanship award -- and another cheated (again). We honor the Good Person in a very public way and we whisper about the Cheater, as if we are the ones who should feel shame because of it.

We *should* shine the spotlight on Goodness. We must recognize that which we hope others will emulate, and therefore we need to articulate/reward Community Best Practices in very public ways. The fact that so many of us were thrilled about the Good Sportsmanship choice speaks to the way decency is widely understood and appreciated.

I love that we point to a decent human being and say, "Be This."

But because I think contrasts are useful, I sometimes wonder if we don't also need to publicly point and say, "Don't Be This."


by Jill on Wed, 05/03/2017 - 08:37

I, too, see the contrasts. I always go back to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If we all lived this - what a wonderful world it would be!
Jill Byers

by Kim Doig on Wed, 05/03/2017 - 10:21

An excellent observation Mary-Ann. It was 13 years since my last BMDCA National until I went to Portland. My observation was that there is a LOT more animosity and cliques these days and comradery seems almost nonexistent ☹️

by CA Heidi :-) on Wed, 05/03/2017 - 12:51

I agree that contrast is a helpful teacher, even if it is not always a comfortable one. It IS startling to see so much free and strong love for dogs nestled right in with not loving behavior to fellow people. I have only attended one Specialty, so I do not have enough personal data to be sure, but I do have enough to know some of what you are referring to.

I guess our dogs still have a lot to teach us about how to love.


by Judy Dieter on Thu, 05/04/2017 - 12:01

As a former social worker and someone who cut her teeth on social
justice when my college adminstrator father quietly marched an entire group of hungry, road-weary college choir members out of a restaurant in the south because the owners wanted "that girl" to eat in the bus", I remain somewhat uncomfortable with the amount of attention and money lavished on our amazing breed. OK Mr. Roberts, can you spell cognitive dissonance?
Nevertheless I pursue an activity that defies "all my " raisin " as my own cousins would pronounce it..
It disturbs me greatly to hear that added to my inescapable love of a dog breed , the community with which I must necessarily accociate in order to do the right things for my breed is less than caring and respectful of each other.
Some days I to go back to the kindergarten joke of my own early years, "Why did the moron hit his head against the wall? " Most of us know the punch line to that worn out adage. I hope that to keep my sanity and perspective, I don't have to follow in his footsteps!

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