Monday, January 12, 2009

Always learning

I was fortunate enough to borrow JoAnne Beashau's copies of the past Nationals on DVD. Since I wasn't able to attend before 2008, this is a godsend as there is much to learn from watching the video, both the people who are on the end of the lead, and more importantly the dogs who have made an impact in the breed, either with breeding, showing, wins or whatnot. You get to see the animals mature before your very eyes from one year's National to the next, truly a neat thing to behold.

Since I've been without my own PC, I've spent the last week or so watching the DVDs on the portable DVD player of my moms, with notebook in hand and took notes on various dogs, positives, negatives etc in my mind. Sometimes year to year depending on how they grew up things would change, while other things would stay the same. After watching them the initial time, I then went back to the past Bulletins and looked at ads, read the articles and then read the results of past shows. After that was the Handbooks that I own ( I think I have most of them now) and then back again to watch the BOB of each years' National. Talk about overload!

I am however very grateful I was able to view these DVDs as its truly a great way to learn about the dogs you only hear about on ShowCardi-L or by word of mouth. While I have been slowly learning over the past four years or so, I've really made great strides in learning about breed type, structure and such thanks to Barb Hoffman and JoAnne Beashau. Both are very modest and won't take credit but I've learned a lot from them and what to look for in a Cardigan. I'm able to better critique dogs not only on fault judging but also for its qualities and try to weigh each in my mind. My priorities are obviously different than others and therefore each dog is of different value to different people.

The day you quit learning is the day you should stop doing whatever you are doing. I'm glad I'm able to learn something new each day and look forward to each day's emails as there may be something of great education in those emails and things to hang on to for future reference.

Last year I was able to attend the 2008 National. What a great week for someone who is relatively new to the breed. Having never bred a litter, and having my first three dogs not turn out as show dogs for various reasons, it was truly an eye awakening time for me. I had many breeders and breeder judges go over both my girls that I had brought with to the National (Zoe and Ell) and was grateful for their insights and opinions of them. I was also able to get my hands on my dogs there and learn about what is ideal in the breed and what isn't and I asked hundreds of questions. Watching the DVD from the 2008 National was great as when I was there I was truly overwhelmed and am grateful for being able to recap and go over again and again the dogs and fine tune my opinions and learn from the show.

I can't wait until 2009 in Topeka! 89 days to go! But who's counting! I look forward to meeting many more breeders and having them go over my dogs, as well as getting a chance to go over some dogs there as well. Last year I was able to go to lunch and sit ringside with many big names in the breed and was able to listen and learn.

I hope everyone is able to do that at some point in their lives, it made a great impression on me.


Jinnie said...

I like to watch them with out audio, that way I'm not influenced by what I think I should like. They are a great teaching tool.

C-Myste said...

And we look forward to meeting you, too.

Road Trip!!

Emily said...

When I first started, my mentor sat me down and we both watched many videos together from multiple different countries. She asked, what dogs I liked? and why? We picked through all the dogs and then I went to my pedigrees and connected dogs to pedigrees. It was a lot of work, but helped me build a foundation background of what I prefer, like, and ideas of how to get their. Be thankful you have the mentors you do.

See you at nationals!

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