When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool. Psalm 27:3 (The Message)
When last I wrote on Cory’s obedience career, she needed one more qualifying score in each obedience class, Beginner Novice and Novice to earn titles in both categories. I hoped she would finish in August, but her season and my nerves prevented that from happening. You can read about it here http://fromaheavenlyland.blogspot.com/2014/08/waiting.html where I learned that I would have to be calmer in order for her to qualify on a Saturday. Last weekend, I took that knowledge and acted upon it and she finished both titles and more importantly, on a Saturday, so we didn’t have to go back on Sunday! I was convinced as I drove an hour to Lakeland that I was making a mistake. Not only would we be in a completely different venue, but it was Saturday after all. I finally talked myself into relaxing about it. I thought, “Today will be a practice day and then, tomorrow, maybe she (and I) will be relaxed enough to qualify.” But, oh, did I pray that she would finish on Saturday so I didn’t have to drive all the way back to Lakeland again or worse, go to Tampa the following weekend! What a treat it would be to have an unexpected day at home. I’ve been taking a class in “transforming stress” where the instructor is teaching us breathing and visualization techniques. So, as I waited outside the ring, I took deep breaths and imagined oxygen swirling around in my heart. I remembered the afternoon on Asseteque Island with the Atlantic Ocean roaring in my ears, sea gulls begging for food and surfers navigating the waves. I tried to block out everything but the cool wind on my face and the sand between my toes. When our number was called to go into the ring for Novice class, I was still nervous, but not quite as nervous as in the past. Her heeling was not great, but she did her sit stays and we qualified! That gave her a Companion Dog title which is the one I really wanted. The Beginner Novice title is just a prelude to the Novice title, but I decided to stick around and finish that one, too even though she was the last dog in the ring. We waited two hours, Cory took a nap and I continued to reflect on the scene at Asseteque. After we showed the second time, the judge told me that he thought I had brought a different dog into the ring, Cory did so much better. In fact, at the end of the class, he told us she was in fourth place and gave us a ribbon and a toy which thrilled her, but in the end, he had made a mistake, we were fifth and had to return the toy (don’t worry, I stopped on the way home and bought her one). I was so happy, relieved and proud. Just goes to show that facing difficulties with a calm attitude can really make a difference!