Friday, October 1, 2010


I believe one of the benefits of the sport of showing and breeding dogs is all the friends that you get to make along the way.  And like in anything else in life, many are acquaintances, some stay for a short while, some a little longer and then there are those few that stay with you forever.  But rest assured you will learn something from all of them, for the one thing that remains a constant in this breed is that everyone has an opinion and they are always willing to share it with you whether you want to her it or not!  So listen, pick their brains, take a little of this and some of that and discard the rest.  Don’t ever miss an opportunity to learn even from the most challenging of people. 

I cherish all the friends that I have made in this breed and love my long standing friendships and welcome my new ones as well.  Some have come along with me on this journey, some have fallen away and others embrace the future with me.  I’ve learned to stay away from those that wish ill will and lack integrity and chose those that walk in the light rather than the dark.

I can’t tell you how many times that I get private e-mails from people.  They will tell me something that someone is trying to do to them to hurt their reputation and the lies that they are spreading about them.  It’s hurtful to them as a person and to their business of breeding and selling puppies or offering dogs for stud services.  And we’re left to wonder why this is.

It does sadden me when friends of mine tell me of long standing friendships that they have lost over incidences involving dogs.  Co-ownerships that have gone bad, stud dog breeding rights that never happened,  puppies that were owed to someone that never seen their new owners homes.  I see this time and time again.  People lose friendships over a misunderstanding about something to do with their dogs.  How can this be? 

Psychologically, I don’t believe it has anything to do with the dogs at all.  The dogs just happen to be an excuse for one or both people to exercise their dissatisfaction with the other person.  So it really has nothing to do with the dogs if someone breaks their contract with you or sells a puppy that should have been yours or doesn’t give you back puppies like your contract that says he should.

It’s never about the dogs.  It never has been.  It never will be.  It’s ALWAYS about the people that own the dogs.  It’s about jealousy.  It’s about control.  It’s about people wanting to knock you down a few pegs.  It’s about people wanting your level of success.  It’s about people wanting what you have.  It’s about people wanting others to recognize them like you’re recognized.  They really don’t hate you.  They hate that they don’t have what you have.  Gosh, the “green eyed monster” can cause some people such havoc.  It causes havoc to the person that the venom is spewed on and it holds the jealous person captive to the person that they’re jealous of.  And the end result?  No one wins!    I have seen friendships damaged and never the same again and ones that are lost forever…….all in the name of dogs!  

Someone on another social group that I belong to just wrote to me and said that recently someone had asked her what she dislikes about people the most.  She replied……”Human nature.”  To which I replied…..just another name for “free will!”  So we choose to like and dislike people.  We choose to keep or discard friendships.  And we choose to blame it on the dogs and our relationship with the people involved in the sport of dogs.  The dogs are just an excuse for some of us to show our true colors!

From the book: "WHEN FRIENDSHIP HURTS" - Does anything hurt worse than betrayal by a close friend? Sociologist and friendship expert Jan Yager (Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our Lives) explores failed, hurtful, and destructive friendships in When Friendship Hurts.
The book describes 21 types of potentially negative friends. The "Rival," for example, is envious to the point of malice. The "Blood-sucker" expects you to be there every moment. The "Controller" must be in charge of everything, from where you meet for lunch to whom you date. Yager lays out strategies for dealing with the problems when you want to keep the friendship, while also warning about extreme behavior and discussing triggers that lead to friendship conflicts, such as jealousy, anger, and change (of marital status or job, for example). Yager also guides you to examine your own destructive or harmful traits and recognize patterns in your family background that affect your friendships.  Overall, this book will help you learn how to deal with destructive friendships--when and how to save them, when and how to end them, and how to cope when a business friendship goes wrong. Yager, who has appeared on Oprah and other TV programs, also encourages you to celebrate the joys of positive friendships. --Joan Price

My rating:  Using dogs as an excuse for the breakup of friendships: (1) 


  1. Thank you Barbara for taking on a difficult topic. We live in a community that has several of those you mention above. You are right it not about the dog or anything else, its about people wanting to hurt other people.
    Things were rocking along good and I had an article published in Mother Earth News, had my photo on the front page of the local newspaper two times with what I hope is our next Governor and US Senator. And then the vicious attack began. Fabricated stories, manufactured facts, etc. All designed to destroy and injure.
    The best book I have read (probably out of print) was called Irregular People by Joyce Lansdorf. It perfectly describes people who are seemingly normal one moment and cutting and slashing the next. Coupled with the book mentioned above it will pretty well assures you that you really are normal and not what other irregular people portray you as.
    We have found when we identify irregular people that we avoid them. Works for us. Life is just too short.

  2. Hey Bruce: That's WONDERFUL for you being recognized by your community for you article in "Mother Earth".......which I looked for in the store several times and never found! Its when people talk about you, you know you've done something worthwhile, but for the life of them they can't bring themselves to tell you that!

  3. Hi Barb! This is a GREAT topic to bring up. Especially since entries are down and people seem to be pulling back from showing. I believe this is one of the reasons, even though there are others. For me it is not about jealousy, it is about the dogs. Doing what is right for them and how the rules are laid out. When others do not follow the laid out rules, there are arguments. Also again what is in the best intrest of the dogs, this also tends to bring up arguments. How many dogs should one own or co-own? Here comes morals...and when not all have the same they tend to stand up for theirs and others are offended. Even down to what you feed your dog can start an argument in the breed. I am sure you have seen this too? How to train, how to show, and where you keep your dogs, all can be contributing factors of a huge argument. Lest not forget how or what you are breeding as well. Yes there are the ones that are jealous, but those are the ones that are in it for ego, not for the dogs. They are pretty easy to spot.
    It is very sad when a long term relationship ends. Especially when you thought that they stood for the same morals for the dogs as you did. Only to find out they did not. What is one to do then? Should they turn a blind eye?