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I Remember When…

It becomes more apparent every time I attend a dog show that, yes indeed, I am getting older.

I realize this not because of who I know or what I do, but because at every show I’ve been to recently, at least 10 people come up to me and say, “Oh, I remember when you were just this tall!”

Well I’m getting to the point where some of my dog show friends have young kids of their own. I find myself thinking, “In 10 years, I’m going to be saying the same thing to their kids.”

“I remember when you were just this tall!” Photo by Debra Boast/Dreamstime.com.

It took some time for people around me to notice that, hey, I’m not showing in juniors anymore. They’ll ask, “What the heck, you came to a dog show alone, without your mom?” That’s when their mind starts thinking in hyper-speed and they realize that they really did know me when I was toddling around at the dog shows with my mom.

On the flip side, when this is brought to my attention, it makes me think back to the time when I really was “just this tall.”

I’ve done many things in the dog show world, from showing in juniors and assisting handlers to breeding dogs with my mother. Now I’m enjoying photography and writing this blog.

It’s kind of crazy to think about it, but the one constant I’ve had in the dog show world is – and forever will be – the Beagles I’ve grown up with. One day I’ll be saying to the younger kids involved in the breed, “I remember when…”

Oh, boy, I’m definitely getting older. But I think I’m OK with this. I find that the younger kids inspire me.

Just the other weekend, I was sitting ringside watching Group judging when I met a 12-year-old who was not exactly involved in dog shows. He was there to watch his dog in the Group ring. As we were watching the judging, we started chatting about dogs, his dog in particular. I could just feel his passion and enthusiasm and it was quite refreshing. He even said to me, “You know, I never want my dog to pass away, but if he died doing something he loved – like showing – it would be better than if he was doing something he didn’t love.”

I’m almost certain my jaw dropped when he said this. I literally never thought about it like that, but he was right. Aren’t little kids the smartest sometimes?

I think being around the kids is one reason why I’m OK with the fact that I’m getting older. I can learn from the younger generation that doesn’t have a pre-determined mindset about everything. They inspire me to be the same way.

If you’re like me and you have people saying to you, “I remember when…” don’t think of it as a bad thing. Look for the positive message in their comment. You may be growing older, but you still have plenty to offer and even more to learn.

After all, one thing we can be sure of is that Dogs Freakin’ Rule!

Written by

Kayla Bertagnolli is a 23-year-old from Ogden, UT, who's been involved in the dog show world her whole life. A former junior handler who learned about breeding Beagles from her mother Leah, she assisted several professional handlers and is currently working to become a Junior Showmanship judge. Kayla is passionate about photography and writes the twice-weekly blog, DFR. She plans to continue breeding and showing, and expects to stay involved in dogs "for life!"
  • Christopher Giroux June 11, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Wonderful and thought provoking as usual, you rock girl 😉

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 11, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      Thanks Chris! I’m glad you enjoyed it!! (:

  • Stephanie Kaul June 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I love your perspective. Life is all about learning, and you surely captured that spirit in this blog. Awesome job, Kayla!! 😀

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 11, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      Thank you for your comment, and support Steph! It’s been great reconnecting with you! Thanks again (:

  • Deborah Blank June 11, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    At least you aren’t quite at the age where when someone says “Remember When” you automatically say “no”.

    Fun article.

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 11, 2012 at 9:54 PM

      Deborah, isn’t that the truth! Actually, I do say that sometimes, but I know what you mean! Thanks for the support!

  • Chanel Lefever
    Chanel L June 11, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Every time I post a picture on facebook, or someone sees me that hasn’t in a while I get the “Have you grown a foot since I last saw you?? I remember when you were ‘this tall’!!” Especially all the dog show people that I got to know first. I love this blog, i think it goes for everyone at some point in their life.

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 11, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Chanel, thanks for sharing your story! I’m sure next time I see you I’ll probably be saying that to you! I’m glad you could connect with this… Get use to it, because you’ll be getting it for awhile more! (:

  • Robin Wescher June 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    inspirational young lady..
    Oh and BTW, I do remember when….. Sometimes I have trouble remembering that you are now a beautiful grown up young lady and not that youngster I used to see in the ring..

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM

      Robin, thanks for the comment! It was bound to happen sometime haha! I feel like all beagle people know me as a “youngster” and now a “young lady” Next time you see me I’m sure you’ll be saying the same thing again! Thats okay with me! Thanks again for all of the support! (:

  • Ryan H June 13, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    The younger they are, the smarter they are….I learn life lessons from my 3 year old nephew all the time!

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