I posted the following to the ShowBeardies email list a little while ago, in response to a discussion about professional handlers vs. owner-handlers...
Thanks for having this discussion, warts and all. It helps to know I'm
not alone, and that other people feel just as daunted by the prospect
of being an owner-handler in a world of pros. My puppy is great in the
ring; her owner's the one who's naughty. :-)
I'm all too painfully aware of my newbieness in the conformation ring,
and I worry that I'll actually be a handicap to my dog. I don't know
the least thing about chalk, trimming, Dippity-Do, or how people
manage to stay clean and well-organized when they have to show in
skirts. I don't mind telling you that I'd rather be herding in the
rain in 2" of mud than loping around the ring with the professionals
on my heels.
There is an upside, though. I like hanging out with my buddies at
ringside, and they've been really helpful and reassuring. Not only
that, but entries in 6-9 Puppy are cheaper than my handling classes,
and we get to bring home some really nice souvenirs. Who knows? Maybe
we'll both enjoy this sport when we've been around enough to get used
Till then, though, just the prospect of having to go compete for
majors someday makes me want to crawl back into bed and pull the
covers up over my head. I know when I'm in my element, and I guess my
element is Mud.