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All Akitas Are Winners So...

 


The One With The Ribbon Isn’t The Only Winner

by Lynn Morgan, Midnight Akitas

 

We “compete” in many ways, within the dog community. Some folks feel that a ribbon is the only true measure of worth of a dog, and that the animal is only as good as it’s most recent “win.” Life with dogs really isn’t that simple or that one-dimensional. The real prize is the bond, the deep and abiding trust and love between we humans and our dogs whether we show them or not. They give us so much and ask so little of us in return. It’s a never-ending process. The fascination and frustration of training and breeding dogs is that we never really get there. Perfection is elusive. All of us, and all of our dogs, are really works in progress for as as we share our lives together. We are teaching them something each and every time we interact with them, whether we are aware of it, or not.

 

In any endeavor, there is always a balance between holding onto the things you already know how to do well and progressing to the next level. This may best be summed up by a quote from the French novelist Anatole France, who said: “An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”

 

The more time I spend with dogs, the more I discover how accurate that statement is. Each is unique, requires different handling and training, a different care program to keep him/her happy, at optimal health and in top condition. Consequently, it feels as if I am always hunting for information and seeking to learn more about subjects relative to the dogs with whom I share my home and my life. It’s a constant balancing act between relying on what you already know while pursuing something better.

 

The dog community is a very insular world. We can become so wrapped up in the details that we can forget how lucky we are to be able to share our lives with these majestic, lovable, determinedly loyal and beautiful dogs. At least every now and then, we should take a step back and appreciate how lucky we are to be able to indulge our passion for our chosen breed and what we share with them.

 

The ancient Greeks had a word: aidos, which is an ideal representing the model or “perfect” competitor. This was expressed through the pure joy of competition: with dignity, valor and respect. That is the way the dogs with whom I share my world greet the challenges of every day life. The process is more than the product, and the inner victory is the only one to be celebrated. This has everything to do with the respect we have for these magnificent animals and that which they have for us. It is the dialogue: the asking and expecting, and the give and take.

 

This dog is another living being that must find a way to communicate with. You can’t demand it of them. You have to develop the mutual language so the two of you together can attain your goals in life. That bond is the basis of our relationships with our dogs, as we look forward to whatever the year 2005 shall bring us.

 

Pursuing excellence in the ongoing partnership with my dogs is the truest meaning of “Winning” for me.

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