“If you don’t know the port to which you sail, no wind is a good one.”
–Seneca, Roman philosopher & statesman
Doesn’t it seem un-American not to set goals? The consummate bunch of overachievers, we’ve all penciled out a list of New Years resolutions, probably starting with “obviously will lose 10lb.” We set sales goals at work, mileage goals at the gym, and fix-it goals around the house. With any luck those goals guide us to the glorious end result we were itching for. Suddenly we’re strutting around Fiji in a skimpy bikini sipping a Mai Tai (of course this hasn’t happened to me, don’t be silly).
No exaggeration, it’s been my lifelong dream to show and breed top dogs. Ever since I can remember I’ve read books on dog breeds, showing, training, behavior, and everything else. The only equal this passion had was my love for horses, which took a front seat until I was about 19 years old. When you find yourself without the financial lifeline of your parent you suddenly realize that horses are a horrendously expensive hobby!
Now that I have Wally my lifelong dream is suddenly a reality, but even after getting him my goals hadn’t really coalesced into anything concrete. I had some ideas about what I wanted, even specific ones, but it all seemed too ethereal and I couldn’t get my mind to think of it as a possible. Going to the national specialty, and reading Born To Win at the same time, changed all that. With the success of our first show in Oregon and winning our class at the specialty I realized we can do this! Being surrounded by dog people and talking dog with them, I realized I want to do this! And just like that my goals were clear.
One goal that’s been present my whole life is to be what Patricia Trotter calls a “master breeder”. I want to breed classic dogs that have a lasting positive influence on the breed. In addition to winning in conformation these dogs must be able to do the job they were bred for. They must also have excellent health scores and various performance titles. I want to be one of the iconic owner-breeder-handlers that people remember decades later for all the right reasons. But that’s the endgame, and kind of overwhelming for someone so new to the game. What about all the steps in between, starting with Wally?
With Wally, in no particular order…
1. Finish him before he’s 1 year of age (March 2, 2012)
2. Put a CD title on him by the time he’s 2 years old
3. Get invited to Westminster and Eukanuba and at least receive an AOM (if not win BOB, ha!)
4. Earn CGC, agility, tracking, rally, and earthdog titles
5. Pass all health screenings with flying colors (admittedly I have no control over this)
6. Earn a Canadian CH and International CH
7. Campaign into the Top 3 Border Terriers
8. All showing accomplishments be owner-handled
9. Win a BIS
10. Win a BISS
11. Produce champions
Someday (might as well dream BIG!)
1. Produce at least one litter where all the puppies finish
2. Win BOB at Crufts, Westminster, and Eukanuba
3. Earn group placements at Westminster and Eukanuba
4. Have at least one dog that ranks Top 10 All Breeds
5. Produce at least one male and one female that are considered foundation animals for future bloodlines
6. Become a breed judge
7. Win numerous BIS
8. Win BIS at Westminster (have you seen that rosette?! It’s as tall as my friend Alma!)
9. Become a good enough handler that people ask me to handle their dogs
10. Mentor newbies
11. Break a top producing record for the breed (which means CH progeny, not tons of puppies)
12. Put at least 2 non-CH titles on each dog I own