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/

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!