Today is the quarterly Dog Agility Blog Action Day, and this event’s topic is Improving Agility Organizations. I have thought a bit about it, I even submitted a few recommendations to the AKC upon their recent review. However, as I sat down just a few minutes ago, other than listing out a few specific details that I believe would help the competitors of the two organizations I compete in, I did not think I had anything insightful or original to contribute.
The main reason being, I am in a FOUL mood. Why? Because I stood idly watching something today, that I could have prevented, and it ended up as a large FAIL. (Lest I am about to lose you here, I will circle back to DABAD, promise.) My family was over, and my 2 year old nephew was having a ball—literally—playing with Phin. As he was playing I was keeping a loose eye on things, but also trying to cook, engage with my guests etc. At some point, they moved to the stairs, with Tyler standing at the head of the stairs, chucking the ball about 2 feet to the midway point, ball flying wildly and Phin leaping, climbing and spinning, mid-staircase. You see where this is going…. Phin in all of his insane athleticism was not missing a beat, but in the back of my mind I started hearing alarm bells. But I was distracted with the great importance of the frittata and popovers and passively chose to avoid setting off either Tyler (who is easy to set off), or his mom (who is all but a saint and could have cared less). I let them do their thing and keep each other occupied.
Fast-forward ten minutes, Phin shows up on the deck with a bloody pad and a solid limp. Mother-F*&^%*$#!!!!!!!
So now, he is in his crate, resting for the time being, but class is cancelled for him tonight as I am assuming our trial will be this weekend. Fingers crossed I can have my vet tech friend take a peek at it tonight to at least give me a direction on what she thinks it is.
I find myself in this situation in life, not frequently, but more than I would like to admit. I see something happening, going a certain way, and instead of diving in to prevent something potentially worse from happening, I hold back. Its quite sad actually, but public pressure and social mores of not hurting or disturbing another person’s actions run deep.
So WTF does this have to do with Improving Agility Organizations? A lot. Don’t stand around and just watch it all go by. And especially don’t stand around and COMPLAIN. If you want change, make it happen. Stop things from happening if you see them going awry—whether that’s someone manhandling their dog at a practice jump, or a clatch of competitors mouthing off about so-and-so, or a kid throwing a tennis ball for your dog down a flight of stairs. Change comes from action, not after-the-fact verbalization. Or god help me, even worse, venting anonymously online or on facebook. It can be scary, it is hard to stick your neck out there, but that’s how it works. Those who sit idly by get burned. Take it from me.
And that’s all I personally have to say about that.
There are many much more concise and thoughtful posts about the subject here.