I’ve blogged before about how its super important to support one another, work together or if you can’t just remain silent. We all have at least one important interest in common. Staffordshire Bull Terriers. If we didn’t share this interest you wouldn’t be here.
We don’t have to be best friends with all Stafford owners. We don’t have to invite them all into our homes or even into our lives. We don’t even really have to like them or agree with their choices. But we can work together. We can have one another backs instead of stabbing them. We can support and preserve Staffords by letting go of petty unimportant feelings and setting all of the negative opinions aside and come together for the dogs. We can’t change others behaviors anyway. Its difficult enough to change our own!
In the past I have been guilty of saying things I am ashamed of. I have attempted to right these wrongs and try to be a better person. I recognize my weakness as lacking the confidence to be myself and now I am stronger. I was a weak follower. I did and said what was currently expected or popular and I never felt right about that. During my transition to becoming a stronger person if I saw a group acting disrespectfully I would try to defend or stand up for the person being bullied or wrongly accused. In those attempt it usually made things worse, not better. This may sound selfish but now I worry less about others and more about myself and the breed. I avoid bullies and crowds of lemmings and now stand on my own. I am honest with my words and actions. Its not a popular place to be but its right for me.
You are probably saying what does this blog entry have to do with Staffords? In the world of dogs I’ve been told I need thicker skin, get over it, just go with the flow…all words meant to ‘help’ me. The world of dogs is ugly. People act and speak standing precariously balancing between ego, self importance lacking confidence and masking that with bully behavior. I’m at the point now that what others say about me just doesn’t matter. I know ugly things are said about me – untruths, half truths, I am given petty labels, gossip is spread – just plain meanness. I know a person who told a potential puppy buyer that I was ‘intense’ as that would be an insult. Its not. I am. Another breeder told a potential buyer upon hearing she was on my wait list ‘good luck with that’. I don’t even know what she meant by that. Recently two of my buyers were accused of cheating by their competition – they had not cheated – so I stood up and defended them. I was laughed at. I have had accusations that I was pocketing money from my rescue efforts – how laughable is that? I don’t need the money and anyone can look up the public records since its a registered non profit. We simply don’t bring in a ton of money and we keep excellent accounting records – people who accuse others of doing wrong actions generally are not above doing those things themselves. The dog world is an ugly place.
In another situation, last March we showed Marina at Crufts in Birmingham, England. This was a highlight in our lives as breeders – Marina qualified four times and deserved to be seen on that green carpet. You would think my ‘friends’ and fellow Stafford owners would be excited for us and say nice supportive words – and most did/were – yet one person whom I have known a very long time not only had nothing nice to say but instead made ugly comments about my shoes. ?
What other people say about you says more about them actually.
If you are excited about an achievement or a new puppy or title or anything you want to share the happiness about – share that with the world. Then sit back and watch how others respond to your happiness. Are people excited for you? Do they seem genuine when they congratulate you? Or do they instead say ‘when my dog did that …..”. People who are not your VIPs will always turn your success around to relate a story about themselves. They usually will also not have the time to type out words of true encouragement or say meaningful comments – usually its a ‘thumbs up’ emoji or a shortened ‘congrats’ or something about themselves – because they feel they need to remind the world that they are important, they are the focus of every conversation, their achievements mustn’t be forgotten. They may make ugly comments about your dog or your efforts or accuse you of cheating. These are not your VIPs.
In my growth and struggles with being a better person I have learned to let people go. I don’t say unkind things about them personally, and I wouldn’t say unkind things about their dogs (although in my past confidence lacking behaviors those were my go to actions embarrassingly enough) but I simply move on. As far as I’m concerned, the fastest way to live our best lives and have more of what we want is to remove more of what we don’t want. This is addition by subtraction, and if you choose to give yourself this gift, it has the power to positively change your life. Can you afford to put off giving yourself that gift any longer? Your best life may depend on your answer. People who choose to hurt others are the broken souls of the world who are deeply hurting themselves whether or not they recognize this. Their hate has nothing to do with how they feel about you, it’s a reflection about how they feel about themselves.
If we are to remain ‘in dogs’ then some changes had to be made. From now on, the front row is for real fans only, and the VIP section is only for the special people who have earned the right to be there. Let’s face it, not everyone in our lives can be “very important.” If everyone in our lives is “very important,” that’s the same thing as saying that no one is. Only the real fans deserve the privilege of being the “Very Important People” in our lives. Who are these very important people?
• They are the first ones to help us up when we fall down.
• They encourage our hopes and dreams instead of stomping on them.
• They stick around when everyone else is bailing out on us.
• They build us up instead of tear us down.
• They treat us with dignity and respect at all times.
• They offer a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on when we need it.
• They love us unconditionally.
The bar is set pretty damn high for VIPs– that’s why these people are “very important.” Try to surround yourself with your VIP’s. Gravitate towards those who help you feel the sunshine, not those who live in a constant storm.