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Doggiederata
(With apologies to Max Ehrmann and his 1927 piece, Desiderata)

Go placidly amid the shows, trials, and race meets,
and remember what peace there may be in simply spectating or staying home once in a while.

As far as possible, without self-compromise,
be on good terms with all persons, even if they do not return your love or admiration.
Speak your truth quietly without bragging of your successes,
and listen to others,
even those new to your sport.
They too have ideas of value and can bring joy to your life.
Avoid loud, aggressive, negative persons,
they are a pox upon the sport and will wilt your joy.

If you compare your dogs to others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser animals than your own.
Enjoy quietly your achievements as well as your plans.
Remember your roots and why you became interested in the sport. Stay humble.
In the changing fortunes of time, today's star becomes tomorrow's has-been.

Exercise caution in placing your puppies,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let not this blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive to exceed their mentors' expectations.
Recognize your students' heroic efforts!
Be your own person, no slave to the rich or powerful.
Especially do not feign infection. See your vet regularly.
Neither be cynical about racing nor showing;
for in spite of all argument, both are as perennial as the grass.
Arguments about them recur annually, like the crabgrass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, but before listening, remember:
30 years of experience is not the same as one year of experience repeated 30 times.
Nurture strength of character to shield you when you get dumped.
Do not distress yourself with dark images of crookedness and collusion.
Many fears are born of exhaustion and not owning a road atlas or GPS.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with your dogs.
Be a student of the universe,
open-minded, constantly discovering new joys in your sport, beyond winning.
Whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with doG,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations
amid your noisy pack, keep peace of spirit.

Despite their sham, drudgery and broken dreams; dog sports are still a lot of fun.
Be cheerful, if possible.
Otherwise, stay home and make others happy.

~ Donna R. Miner
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