Posted by: jility | September 2, 2012


What is it? How do you define it? I am not sure, but I know it when I see it.

There are plenty of good sports and poor sports in this world. They come in all shapes, sizes and ages; from little league to senior league; from spelling bees to the Olympics, and in just about every single thing we do in life, there are people who are fun to be around and those who are not.

In the category of sportsmanship, the only thing worse than a poor loser is a poor winner. In agility, we all know good sports and poor sports. I don’t like being around poor losers. I am embarrassed for them and they make me uncomfortable, but of poor losers and poor winners, I really hate being around poor winners.

There are more ways to be a poor sport than just winning or losing.

Poor sports are also those who only care about their dog, or their kid, or their whatever. They never ask others how they did or how their dogs are or mention anything about other dogs. They bring their dogs over to you and expect you to fall all over them and tell them how wonderful they are, never once even acknowledging anyone else’s dog, let alone saying anything nice about it!

When I do well, I don’t go up to all my friends or anyone in earshot shouting how wonderful I am and how wonderful my dog is or how wonderful my run was. Oh wait, I would actually have to have something to brag about in order to do that wouldn’t I? Never mind.


It is one thing to brag on a list, or to tell friends of our successes, but listening to somebody talk ad nauseam about how amazing they and their dog are gets old very very fast.

There are some people who thump their chest so hard and so much, I am surprised they don’t beat a hole in it!

I love being around good sports! You know the kind. When you ask them how their run went, they never go overboard. No matter how great their run was, they never rub it in. I am blessed to be married to that type of good sport. The most you will get out of him when you ask is a smile and a comment that goes something like, “Pretty good.” In Sir Cussalot speak “pretty good” means, “OH MY GAWD! THE RUN WAS F#@K!NG AMAZING!!!!!” I love that about him.

Sir C hates it when I brag about him on my Jility list, but I am so proud of him and his little dogs, I find that sometimes I just must. Sir C is my hero. He is a good winner and a good loser and I wish I could be more like him. He may get very sad when his dogs don’t do well, but I guarantee, you will not hear about it (only I will :)).

People who are truly secure in who they are have no need to brag or cram their success down everyone’s throats over and over and over. Whenever I hear somebody bragging like that, all I can think of is, ”Don’t you wish that YOU were HOT like me…” (kinda like that song).

Evidently, I am not that secure because I am going to end this blog with a brag about Sir C and his little red and white Border Collie, Crush. Today they had the most amazing standard run I have ever witnessed. OK, perhaps that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but then again, maybe not :). Little Crushie ran an incredible 5.5 yards per second on this standard run for 32 MACH points! Not bad for a tiny little dog and an almost 75 year old man. My heroes.

Helen  Grinnell King


  1. how beautiful – and good sportsmanship is so important and generally so lacking. Thanks for the great reminder.

  2. Beautiful run- I find it hard to believe you are a day over 50! Wonderful handling, distance, and independent obstacles!

    I am going to share this with my friends & students, so they can see that even a senior human can keep up with a fast border collie without breaking much of a sweat! There are alternatives to “running with your dog!”

    Lynn in Buffalo NY

  3. that was beautiful, and by ‘almost 75’ I’m sure you must mean actually 65..not that Sir C had to run madly because the distance and directionals are awesome!!!!

  4. Nicely written Helen and Sir C did have a ““pretty good” run (aka “OH MY GAWD! THE RUN WAS F#@K!NG AMAZING!!!!!” )

  5. Excellent run dad!!

  6. That was beautiful!! I will make Mitchie watch it over and over. Mel is a fabulous handler and has great timing. They’re such a awesome pair!
    Karen B

  7. I so admired this team, it was pure bliss watching Mel and Crushie. Showed me that I don’t have to worry about getting older and having fast dogs 😉 Well I might not have Mel’s skills!
    Actually I really felt like this when I watched the video and afterward I read your blog.
    I admit I can be a poor looser too, worrying to fail my dogs but that doesn’t mean I don’t admire other teams. Training in a group where each one celebrates the other victories and successes, listen to worries and struggles and trying to help is what makes agility (or any other team environment) fun and enriching.

  8. Wow!! That was some DW !!

  9. Well, I’ll say it! It was FREAKIN’ AMAZING. I love to watch all your dogs (yours and Sir C’s) because they enjoy the game and so do you (although it is harder to tell with Mel!) 🙂 Mel DOES make is look easy. Those of us who train KNOW that a lot of time and consistent training goes in to a run like that….and we appreciate it. Rock on, Crushie! Thanks for sharing, Helen.

  10. That was impeccable timing. Crushie had no doubts. Mel makes it look easy, but it isn’t!!

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