Yesterday, I went to a local Pet Festival. This doesn't seem like anything special, except that I was horribly nervous to go. Why you ask? Simply because I was afraid I might run into my former employer. I had actually neglected going to a few events I heard about earlier in the summer, because I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I saw her. And I'm still not really sure.
Before going to this event, I made sure to check the website and see if she was exhibiting there. I did not see her listed, but still, there was a chance she was a late entry. Entering the site, I just held my breath that I would not see her. I made a quick walk through and was soon relieved. Even if I had seen her, it would have been an awkward situation, especially if she had a tent beside my vet like last year.
There was a fairly good attendance despite the high temperatures, though my vet and I were both worried that dogs might have heatstroke, especially because there were dogs there who were excitable and not prepared for an event like this.
I saw a few other people there I knew, as well as some former clients--the large Mastiff, now probably over 150 lbs, the now socialized and happy Goldendoodle (before he had been terribly fearful), and the smooth coated Parsons Russell Terrier who does quite a few dog sports.
I spoke to my vet a bit (she knows my situation) and saw her cute 10 month old, bubbly, smiley baby. Though I am not a baby lover per se, I do love when they smile at you.
Overall, it was fun to get out and go. There were a few negatives in that people simply did not watch their dogs and scuffles broke out. Luckily, no dog got injured, and no human this year (last year a woman got bit in the face while trying to give a dog water. He startled and bit her) I left feeling like I was glad I went.
The other thing this situation made me realize (or maybe I already knew) is that the dog community is small, and I'm bound to run into her at some point. I'm also bound to run into other people who know her and a trainer who she hired after me due to the whole six degrees of separation phenomena. But I can't let her presence stop me from going to an event, a seminar, or a workshop. It's like allowing her to remain in power over me, and that is just dumb, hard, but dumb.
Later, I came home and e-mailed a gal I was going to try to meet up with at the event. Actually, I saw her several times (she owns the PRT), but she was always at a distance, and I was always talking to someone; thus, we never got a chance to officially say hi. She immed me back on facebook and asked how my jobless situation was going. I was honest: crappy. The last thing she said to me before we both signed off was:
"You need to get back into training. You are too talented not to be teaching people how to train their dogs."
It was such a nice compliment and meant a lot to me. So for now, I will end this post with that note of positivity.