Questions! OMG, the questions!!
Lately, I’m finding myself in this weird sort of position in Cardigans. I’ve been “in the breed” for four years now, and while I feel like I’ve learned a TON in that time, I also feel like I have miles and miles to go before I can/will consider myself to be anything even approaching an “expert.” Yes, I can groom and show a dog now and not look like a complete idiot in the ring. I know who the prominent Cardigan breeders are, and what dogs are being campaigned and doing lots of winning. I know what a correct Cardigan front is supposed to look like, and how to pick apart a dog on the table. But I haven’t bred a litter of my own yet, and I’ve only just started specialing my first owner-handled champion.
But there are people who are much newer than me, and they have questions. LOTS of questions. And, sometimes, I’m not sure how to answer them.
It’s not a problem with not knowing the answer; if that’s the case, I will never hesitate whatsoever to say, “I don’t know.” What I sometimes have difficulty with is just HOW to answer their questions, or how much to tell them. I don’t want to lay this massive info-dump on them when what they want is a one-sentence answer. And it’s hard to guess how much they already know. Am I going to offend them by being too basic? Or talk over their heads if I assume they know too much? Sometimes I feel like I’m ass-deep in alligators, and navigating a minefield at the same time. And yet, I want to try and be helpful. I’ve benefited greatly from the generosity of other Cardigan breeders who have taken the time to mentor me, and I’d like to pay that forward.
How do you all handle it when approached?