Is that really how long its been? Time flies... Its been three years since I sat in a hotel room, just me and my dogs the night before a no-so-local show, checking running orders and marking up my show conformation making sure Im set on which ring each dog will be in and at what time. Deciding if I have time to stop for breakfast in the morning (theres a diner next to the hotel) or do I have to race to the show site caffeine-less so I will make my first walk thru.
Three years ago I was sitting on the hotel bed with my golden retriever "Cajun", my first Border Collie "Mayhem" and his son "Yikes!" Cajun and Mayhem are gone now, keeping an eye on me and the family from the Rainbow Bridge. Yikes! is retired and enjoying a life of leisure watching movies off my iPad and helping me with any chore I might have.. including raising puppies.
Tonight I sit in this hotel room with the "New Guard". 'Wow!" and "Got'cha", both Mayhem sons, and a Mayhem Granddaughter "Tease". Its amazing how much your life can change in three years. Tonight I feel like Ive come full circle. After I lost Cajun and Mayhem I also lost a lot of my desire for competition. But over the last 6 months its been coming back. I booked this trip, a 3+ hour travel from my house, a few months back. Decided I was tired of the local shows and wanted to take a trip with the dogs. Originally a few friends were also showing at this event and we were all to attend it together. As fate would have it my friends either pulled their entires or couldn't come due to work conflicts. So... here I am with my dogs showing at a not-so-local show, by myself.
Driving up here, thru horrible thunderstorms, I was reminded of the old days. Driving the RV thru all kinds of weather to get to all kinds of off the beaten path competitions. Finding great events like ones held in Stowe, Blackthorn and Fryburg. Wonderful competitors, decent accommodation and spectacular scenery. Just me and the dogs, traveling all over the country together. Those were the days before two of my dogs fought against cancer... and lost, before I was diagnosed with diabetes... and am determined to win.
Three years later I sit in this hotel room preparing for tomorrows event. Not exactly a fantastic hotel room, but my dogs are with me so how bad can it be? Watching them all sleeping, crashed out all over the room, brings back so many memories of the "old guard" (Cajun, Mayhem and Yikes!) and I cant help but smile. My happiest times are when Im alone with my dogs. No matter what the weekend results are, its a great weekend because I have my "kids" here with me... if only for a little while. Time flies, and I need to make sure I appreciate every minute of it.