Way back in the day I was totally into country music. I wore Cruel Girl jeans, Tony Lama boots, and owned the Garth Brooks boxed set. I touched Keith Urban’s muscly Australian biceps and was certain I would marry him one day, arguing the merits of Keith Urban vs Tim McGraw (duh, the guy with hair wins, sorry Timmy). At some point I discarded the whole genre in favor of hip hop and pop, but before I ditched it I came across the song “Dream Big” by Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand. Listening to it now I can see why I only remember a single lyric from the song — it’s a sap-fest of hokey country cheesiness — but that one lyric has always stuck with me:
When you dream, dream big, as big as the ocean blue. When you dream it might come true, so when you dream, dream big.
Good thing I dream big, too, because my dreams are coming true!
Dream #1: find a top notch breeder, the creme de la creme. In the past I’d made the mistake of compromising, which lead to heartbreak, so when I looked for a breeder not just any old breeder would do. They had to do all the health testing, of course, plus have dogs with amazing temperaments and, finally, have titles on several generations of dogs. On top of that they had to be willing to mentor me since I want to learn everything and succeed immediately. Through a serendipitous series of events I met Marion and Wayne, everything I ever wanted in a breeder and mentor. If finding a good mentor is like finding gold, I struck it rich!
Dream #2: get a truly great dog. Not every breeder will part with their best, and not every litter produces truly great dogs. Wally is still young so it’s hard to say if he’ll be truly great, but so far he’s been pretty sizzling. We’re off to a very promising start!
Dream #3: finish Wally from the puppy classes, entirely owner-handled. We were late on this goal by a week, but in the grand scheme of things that’s on target so BOOYAH! Not only did we finish at 1 year and 1 week, but in the process we took four majors, beat a handful of professional handlers, and took our class at the BTCA national specialty. Overall a pretty stellar track record for a puppy being handled by a complete amateur.
Dream #4: get a true foundation bitch, i.e. the building block of my entire line. I don’t have her yet, but she’s in the works! If the current Otr x Tweed litter is any indication my baby girl will be top shelf.
Dream #5: assist a professional handler in order to further my education and possibly begin a new career. Initially I thought I’d be volunteering my weekends to someone within a few hours distance, scrounging up as much info and training as possible. Ha, dream bigger my friend! Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, one of the best handlers out there, posted a want ad for an assistant and I sprung at the chance. Within two days I was hired and California bound!
Right now I’m still euphoric, hardly able to believe that this really is my life. I’m not sure what I’ll dream up next, but it’s gonna be HUGE.