I have read with great interest the recent threads on how impossible Field trials are and the Field Trial vs Hunt Tests threads. By no means am I an expert in either venue but I will admit to titling dogs in both venues. Was it easy? Of course not. Impossible, certainly not. As a complete and utter newbie, I started Hunt Test with Tollers. As I didn't really know anyone that had this breed that was running successfully at the upper levels, I neglected to do my research. If i had done some research I would have learned that there were no Master Hunter Tollers. In fact, Tollers were not an AKC breed. So in order to play the game I did NAHRA and I went to Canada and ran CKC Hunt tests. Thank goodness no one mentioned to me that I had undertaken an impossible task. Was it tough to get good assistance? Of course. No one really wanted a San Francisco Bay Area House Wife and her 32 pound red fluff ball. But one trainer, did. I am forever grateful to Jim Dobbs for NOT] sending me away and telling me not to bother, telling me I would NEVER succeed. It was impossible. Instead, Jim said, let's give it a try. So we did.
I guess that saying where there is a will there is.........That dog ended up getting Master titles in three venues. Enter, a black lab puppy. She was left over from a litter. No one really wanted Lily. She was small, from a good Dam and a good sire, but not a well known breeding. I took her. My first Field Trial dog, FC/AFC Knollwood Sweet Lily and she qualified for two Nationals in spite of battling injuries from about five. Lily is pretty much retired now. Oh, then there is Shooter, my next Toller, both CKC and AKC Master titles. Passed the Master National in both the US and Canada. Now for the truly impossible, Qualified All Age.
Did I have great mentoring? You bet I did. Did I work hard? Yep. Have I been lucky? Unbelievably Lucky. Did I have the resources to play? Yes, I did. But Impossible. Nope.
Everyone starts with that first dog. Of course it is easier if that first one is a good one. But the road to titling dogs has been traveled by many and everyone started at the beginning.
Please understand that I absolutely did not list my accomplishments to solicit kudos, but rather to encourage not discourage people from trying. I am sure that i was voted least likely to continue in the sport from many who saw me and Halsey back in the year 2000. I take great pride in the "trying".
I don't think any of the Athletes competing in the Olympics would tell you that it has been easy. They have worked unbelievably hard. Field Trials are hard. Lot's of disappointment. The journey, unbelievably rewarding.
If you want to get better, you will. If you want to go far, you can. I do agree you must have the right dog. You need good training, good grounds and all the right stuff, but it is NOT impossible.
A great quote by Robert F. Kennedy. "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
I am so hesitant to post this. I am not very thick skinned. I don't want lots of awful things said to me. I am going to post this hoping that one more person gives the impossible a try. What a ride.
All the best to all of you that love your dogs and dare to dream. In fact, I'm all about dreaming again with two young dogs.