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It’s What’s on the Outside that Counts


September 3, 2014 by Julia

September’s DABAD topic was intended to discuss what activities outside of dog sports and training that helped you and your dog be and perform your best. I’m sure they had in mind things like chiropractic adjustments, sports conditioning, and the like. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write, but then something made it very easy to choose my approach – we had a scare with Delta’s health. I could give more details here, but that isn’t the point. Her situation put things in perspective for me.

If the question is “What do you do outside the ring to help your performance inside?” – my answer is “Everything.” My dogs are not just performance dogs and our relationship is not built solely during ring time or training sessions. That bond is what matters and is one of the most important things I can bring with me into a ring. It is built in the normal everyday moments that make up our lifetime together.

Delta the Boxer sitting happily in the grass.

Feeling better and ready to work.

Though we never pinned down exactly what was wrong, Delta is doing much better and we’re back to training. I’m hoping to make up for some lost time, but I have to remind myself that isn’t what matters. She’s here, she’s healthy, and I love her so much it hurts. A few minutes in the ring aren’t what our life together is about. Quiet snuggles, earnest kisses, silly looks, and crazy antics are the “food” that feeds our relationship. Time in the ring is just dressing.

This post also featured on DABAD for the "Outside the Ring" theme:


  1. Michele Fry says:

    Well said. So true.

  2. So glad Delta is feeling better. And I agree, it’s all about your life together… and most of that is outside the ring. Well said!

  3. Thanks to all. Delta is definitely feeling pretty good overall. The antibiotic is causing a little stomach upset, but you can’t tell by how she acts. We aren’t currently training in Agility, but I had the chance to drop in to a class last night. Boy, you wouldn’t know it’s been a year since she saw the equipment. I had to reel her in because she wanted to do everything at MACH speed (pun sort of intended). What a fun dog!!

  4. Kim says:

    Nice post 🙂 I hope Delta is on the mend and you have no more health scares!

  5. Susan says:

    enjoyed your post. Glad to hear your dog is feeling better. She’s cute and she does look ready to work and play!

  6. Barb says:

    Great article Julia, I agree wholeheartedly! I have Boxers because I love the breed, we do performance because it’s fun for them and me. Glad to hear Delta is doing better

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