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Monday, May 10, 2010

Northwest Obedience - Sun Std Course

Today was an awesome kick-butt day at the Northwest Obedience Club Trial and I really loved watching my Standard course being run.

Okay, it seems like I say that a lot (and I do), but it's really giving credit to those competitors who do the course justice with incredible handling and to the dogs for their amazing athletic ability.

There's nothing like watching a course come alive in the 3 dimensional world. When courses are first created they are on a flat piece of paper that is a snapshot from an aerial view. There's nothing exciting about them and they're in the concept stage.

But then when a course is setup at a trial, it's like adding water to a sponge, it just magically grows right before your eyes.

Then add a 'live' dog and handler team to interpret your design and the whole thing becomes magical.

The best part of being a judge is to watch handlers & dogs run my course creations. In those 40-65 seconds when a team is interacting with my concept, they unknowingly give my design the final character and heartbeat needed to become something worth remembering. When things are nicely clicking along for a team, my course momentarily gives back by providing an addicting rush of FUN for both the human and the dog.  As an added bonus, that addicting happy feeling resonates and is contagious so everyone watching has an opportunity to get that momentary high as well.

Then, after the run is complete and a team is done, my course goes back to being just a bunch of metal or wood obstacles waiting for the next team to contribute that necessary heartbeat of life...and so the cycle continues throughout the trial.

Today's course was one of those moments where you could feel the rush of FUN in the air. Later when I was showing my hubby the course on paper, I was disappointed that it just didn't exude the feeling (of FUN) it had at the trial. My treasured course once again looked flat, lifeless and boring. That's when it dawned on me exactly the power each course I design potentially has and how powerful the exhibitor's contribution is. At that moment I realized we couldn't create FUN without both parties contributing a small, but momentary part of themselves.

So when I say the course was fun to watch, I'm really saying thank you to each team for adding life to my design and an even bigger thank you for creating the feeling of FUN.

Happy Handling everyone!

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