A Great Community
By Patrick Shannahan

Recently a judge from another part of the country said, “Your group has shown such sportsmanship and friendship. I am going to go home and tell our organization how nice everyone is to everyone else. It doesn’t happen like this where I come from.”

The past year I have mentioned this same statement at different events around the country. I feel very fortunate to live and compete in this region. We have a group of the best handlers in the country, but more importantly, we have a group that shows great sportsmanship each event.

The superb part of living here is that we all get along so well. Not everyone likes everyone, but everyone can be polite and nice to his or her fellow handlers. There is no this-camp-versus-that-camp. We are a community that knows we must treat each with respect and kindness.

The other aspect that I enjoy is that everyone is happy for a dog’s success. They put all the small, trivial differences aside, and genuinely are happy when a dog and handler have success. It makes each trial enjoyable for all that attend. Sure, we are competing against each other, but we understand the journey each of us are taking and can be happy for a fellow competitor.

So, thank you to my fellow handlers in my region. I really appreciate and enjoy seeing and competing with you each week.

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