So, I have to ‘fess up. I am not all so good about volunteering. I did it in the beginning a few times at a few different trials. I made a horrid mess of timing at one of them. It was awful. Last time they let me do that. Other than that, I never really had a bad experience with the actual volunteering part. But, it did really stress me out not only that I may miss my class elsewhere, but of much greater importance to me was that I wouldnt have ample time for my dog before we went in the ring.
I have a dog that needs a lot of handholding. Especially in the beginning. Over the last 16 months of trialing we finally have got our pre- and post-run routine down. Still now, it eats up a good amount of time before and after my runs. I have worked so hard to get him to be comfortable out there and actually run, that the last thing I can bring myself to do is whip him out of the crate immediately before we are on and then stuff him back in to run off elsewhere. I wont do it.
I realize there are other options for help than just ring crew. I volunteered to be the coffee-getter for a club trial last year. I got up early early and showed up with coffee. On the first day. And then on Day 2 I was so wrapped up in what I was doing that I forgot. I forgot the coffee. And didn’t realize it until like 2pm. No one came after me with a hatchet or anything, so maybe no one figured it out. Or maybe they just didnt know me well enough to come after me. I am sure there were at least a few really grumpy workers rolling around the trial that morning. Either way I was completely mortified. I never gave them the receipt for the Saturday coffee that I paid for because I felt so bad.
I am hoping that down the road I will have more confidence in my timelines and that Forest will be more comfortable overall for me to be able to figure something out. Likely by that point Phineas will be ready to run and I’ll have 2 dogs to worry about, though Phin will surely be much easier to manage than Forest. I do understand the need for helpers, I really do. In my other lives I have run some rather elaborate events largely off the backs of interns. But, at the end of the day, I am paying around $100 (plus gas, food, the occasional hotel, my time, etc.) a weekend to spend time with my dog. Our relationship and his comfort level comes above anything else. That’s my top priority and as much as I would like to be more helpful at the end of the day, I won’t be badgered or guilt-tripped into thinking otherwise. Maybe its bad agility karma and I am forsaking a high Q rate by admitting that. So be it.
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