Showsight May 2017


when I “saw the light” and realized the best contribution I could make would be to join forces with those I respect so highly and do my best to protect our breed and their line. At that point we found our foundation bitch in Germany and laid plans and dreamed dreams of our future together. As I write I’ve finished five champi- ons, put two grand championships on our dogs and our first litter of two are both grand champions and all three of the Maltese I showed in 2016 were ranked in the top 15 NOHS Maltese. At this point I became very interested in competing in the NOHS and started the year with a BIS which took our girl to NOHS #1 Maltese. Now I look for shows offering NOHS, but that is all that’s changed. We still average one show weekend a month. I mentioned earlier that I am deaf, but I also have many old nagging injuries and who doesn’t when approaching the age of 65? My dear husband makes it possible for me to live my passion and for that and so many other things I am eternally grateful. I am also grateful for the stewards and judges of our sport who make accommodations for all of us with disabilities. I learned right away from the stewards they will always be happy to inform the judge of any dis- abilities of exhibitors. I let the steward know when I pick up my armband. After a while most of the stewards and judges know without a reminder. It’s also very helpful to watch the judge’s ring procedure in other breeds before your own judging time. Since I’ve been given a second chance in the sport my heart feels dif- ferently, too. In the old days I was fero- ciously competitive and it was hard to lose. None of us likes losing but now I realize I am competing with others who have dreams just as important as mine. Their passions run as deep and their wins are their dreams come true.

My comrades are trying as hard as I am and are as tired as I am on Sunday morn- ing. I’m sure we all say the same thing to ourselves, “I made it!” It’s hard to keep showing once we know where we stand with our competition at a show but continuing to show up when we know we don’t stand a chance of win- ning is the true test of sportsmanship. An honest and sincere congratulations to the winners will be something none of us ever regrets. Don’t be discour- aged if no one is there to congratulate your win. Pat yourself on the back and be kinder than ever to your comrades. They are disappointed and will recover given a bit of time. Monday always feels better than Sunday afternoon. One thing that hasn’t changed from my first trip around the block is my sup- port of our breed club, The American Maltese Association. I can’t do the same jobs I did in the old days without my hearing but there are still many con- tributions I can make to our club. I’ve been one of the administrators for our social media page for the past three years and it’s been a good marketing tool for our club. It’s also given me the opportunity to communicate with oth- ers in our breed in a forum where I can read every word and not have to hear or read lips. The second time around is even bet- ter than the first. Having a lifetime to ponder and make mistakes I’ve come to a place that is rewarding. Striving for something keeps our hopes and dreams alive. Loving our dogs and our breed gives comfort to our hearts. Mentor- ing others gives us hope for the future. Knowing our history and pedigrees gives a better insight in making breed- ing decisions. Knowing what we want gives us the courage to stand for what we believe even if we stand alone. Being a novice owner handler isn’t a bad thing but, instead, an admission that we are students each day of our lives.

144 • S how S ight M agazine , M ay 2017

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