Inoculation against jealousy
We’ve discussed a new project, a kennel of Caucasian Shepherd dogs – intellectuals called «Tsarskogo Roda»(«Royal family»), with Marina Plotnikova. And we’ve smoothly transitioned to the conversation about jealousy of less successful colleagues. It’s been an interesting conversation so after decoding I’ve decided to publish it.
PETOLOG. Marina, you probably come under fire really often, don’t you?
M.P. «Often» is the wrong word. I guess I’m one of the most popular characters, and the kennel «Tsarskogo Roda» is the most frequently recalled kennel among breeders of the Caucasian Shepherd dog in Russia.
PETOLOG. What’s this about? And how can one fight that?
M.P. This surely has to do with the success of the kennel. In ten years of work we’ve got an impressive track record of achievements – champions of Europe, the World, Central and Eastern Europe, world-record holders, best-in-class dogs of Russia and the World, champions of 43 countries. And, mind you, these titles have been repeatedly received by different dogs from the kennel and under the judgeship of various dog experts. And why should other kennels love us? They barely finish titles Champion of Russia (and only after getting wind of the absence of the «Tsarskogo Roda» at a show). We are really glad that the rules of getting title Champion of Russia have been toughened; this (hopefully) will result in more respectful attitude to this title.
But it’s rather funny that when people discuss titles they usually talk about how it’s easy to come to the sea, to be extended a warm welcome, to receive diplomas of various countries and to find no competition at all. And what kind of titles are these? But for example there have been 25 dogs of this breed in Rumanian city Satu Mare and 19 dogs in Bulgaria. In Russia, especially now when there are only two CAC on the breed (Best Male and Best Female), pray heaven, if three or four dogs enter the ring, usually even less.
And if it’s so simple, why’s nobody coming? They are too lazy to drive to Kazakhstan, let alone longer distances. But they ask to come here for mating. And not just because our sires produce very beautiful and smart puppies but also because it’s so nice to write in advertisements: «The most award-winning male of the Ural Siberian region and Far East» or «it has the richest lineage in the world» and to sell puppies at a high price.
They put beautiful photos of our successful dogs and list their titles. They tell how cool the pedigree of the puppies will be. But it’s a tough luck, as soon as the puppies are sold, they suddenly become fatherless. Well, the children don’t have fathers and that’s it! They are born thanks to nothing but the Holy Spirit or budding! Exclusively mothers take full credit! This is an amazing story, observed among many breeders of our and other breeds. If there’s something wrong, it’s the father’s fault. If the puppies are good then it’s a nice work of the mother and the father has nothing to do with this.
The origin of the puppies is written on their muzzles, but let’s forget that their fathers are of a royal race! When they put photos of the puppies, they include only their mother. If they are so ashamed of the puppies’ father, why have they come for mating in the first place? Among European breeders it’s considered as a bad taste to avoid specifying the puppies’ origin, they always write the names of the father, mother, their titles and specify their owners. It’s a custom, that’s the only way, this is a breeders’ ethic. It’s a collective work, achievements and shared joy. And the kennel «Tsarskogo Roda» scrupulously abides by these requirements. In Europe it’s customary to always inform the fathers’ owners about the children’s achievements, to post in the web pages of male sires reports on the children’s achievements, to say thanks and share photos. This is what we do. Perhaps that’s why when I call the owners of male sires, I invariably hear things like «It’s an honour to mate the female dogs from the «Tsarskogo Roda». But obviously we don’t take orders from Europe. The main thing for our breeders is «to dupe the gullible males from the «Tsarskogo Roda»» in order to put into the puppies’ pedigrees the prefix of another kennel.
When we talk to haters we often hear them saying that «I’ve mated my dog with the male from the kennel «R» since its pedigree contains the dogs from the kennels «X» and «Y», which I especially like». Which begs the question, «Why haven’t you come to those kennels, if you like those males so much, why have you come to us?». And you have to be ready for such things, you more frequently say no to proposals of mating so you won’t feel so disappointed afterwards.
PETOLOG. And how do you fight this?
M.P. And should I? Life has a way of making things work out. Lao Tzu, who is also known as Confucius, said «Often to evade a fight means to win it». His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia echoes «You shouldn’t pour gas on the fire». Why should you want the glory of a windmills’ fighter? It’s impossible to make any improvements in such a situation. If your opponent lacks education, decency, integrity and responsibility, do you really think that after the long war that you’ll organize, he’ll get all these qualities? Nothing happens without a reason. Yes, the furnace of the Great Patriotic war hardened characters, people did unprecedented deeds, but the climate is different these days and values of life are totally different. Just think, in the time people spend playing «computer wars» how many interesting things they could do - to read a deep book, to call mom, to walk a dog, to play with puppies, smile at loved ones and to tell them nice words. And instead they spend sleepless nights on computers, suffer from a hypertensive crisis and continuously insult others.
But how should they fill their time if they’ve got nothing better to shake things up and don’t have enough adrenaline!? Then a virtual war will certainly help. Except, what’s good will be left when these people are gone? And which one of successive breeders will thank them? But I guess we should be grateful for a free PR.
PETOLOG. But this is the black PR!
M.P. According to smart Kostya Kuharenko, the owner of the Tsarskogo Roda Barhata, «Anything that isn’t an obituary, it’s a promotion». Stars of show business, public figures pay extra to journalists of the tabloids for writing negative articles about them. Such materials make them more popular and improve rotation. And there’s a free PR drawing attention to the kennel.
And trust me those who treat us decently won’t change their minds. And those who have never heard about you might get interested after reading this information.
After reading even such a negativity smart people accustomed to think and analyse will go to the site of the kennel, will look for other materials and after reading them they will most likely come right to you. Fools who take everything on trust will trample on the blood and leave you alone. You will protect yourself from possible negativity, and more importantly, these people won’t get your puppies so they won’t suffer.
That’s why the black PR is a filter that will spare you future disappointments.
PETOLOG. Marina, have you started looking at the situation so smart right away or have you gone through an adjustment period to a critic?
As my first husband used to say, «The struggle between mind and senses is like the battle between a clay pot and a cast-iron pot». That’s why the hardest thing in life is to learn to struggle with emotions.
There is a great oriental adage «In youth we learn how to speak properly and in old age we learn the grammar of silence».
A criticism falls into two categories. The one I really like and appreciate is observations of our masters - V.P.Yvanyschevoy, E.L.Erusalymskoho, A.Belkyna V.A.Aleksandrova, V.Shyyana, E.V.Bauzhes, E.V.Senashenko and many others. They are smart, talented and extremely educated people. The pleasure of their company sometimes comes down to a few minutes or one comment but how important and valuable it is. I’m ready to travel thousands kilometers in order to hear their views about my dog and to know what’s the right thing to do and how to proceed. It’s important to give a dog a chance to grow up, take shape, mature and to come into its prime. One should plan wins, evaluate risks and understand the direction of his search. Is that really a negative criticism? These outstanding specialists has turned on the light at the end of the tunnel for me and brought me closer to future wins. Yes, the things that they said haven’t always been nice.
PETOLOG. Like what?
M.P. For example, Vladimir Alexandrov Arkadevych has been a judge at a show in Ekaterinburg. I’ve been asked to show a dog that has been in no shape at the time and had issues with legs. Vladimir Arkadevych have described the dog, followed me when I’ve left the ring and said «You can’t afford to take up such stuff». He’s said this really quietly so it wouldn’t reach ears of others and quickly left. I’m truly grateful to him for that. I’ve given his words a lot of thought and by now I can explain them to others.
After Best of Breed Valentina Pavlovna Yvanyscheva has approached us and said «watch the elbows… but in general, well done». This middle-aged woman must have been tired after a long day of judgeship and an improvised press conference. Why should she do that? She’s gone through the hall in order to say that, then she’s taken a lap in order to come back the judges’ table.
Eugene L. Erusalymskyy has corrected my misconception about feeding dogs red fish. Previously we’d cleaned a pink salmon, chum salmon from bones, skin, head and tail. But it’s turned out to be wrong; in fact it’s necessary to give it in one piece and specifically with skin. Eugene L. has shared with us the best recipe of jelly for dogs which is made from heads of sturgeons.
It’s possible to give lots of such examples. How much I have learnt from famous European breeders! (but this is a theme for another conversation).
That’s why a wise criticism which is for the cause is a great benefit. And one must understand and appreciate this.
And a criticism which aims to bad mouth somebody destroys the big mouth himself in the first place.
He surely understands that he hasn’t achieved anything and lacks both knowledge and skills. He can’t take nice pictures of dogs, can’t commit his thoughts to paper, he just lacks talents. And more importantly he has nothing to be proud of; he doesn’t have top-rated dogs. And his favourite subject is that he’s been 20 years in this breed.
PETOLOG. Yes, I also often come across this phrase, «20 years in the breed».
M.P. Why exactly do they use this period? As if 20 years’ experience automatically transfers a person from the category of an ordinary breeder to the category of an expert. Is some kind of a credential or indulgency to absolution given in this case?
I reply to phrases like that: «Even thirty, where’s the result?»
If for twenty years you haven’t produced a single male with whom many would like to mate their dogs… If you don’t have a female mother, which any kennel would be happy to own and everyone would dream to have puppies from it… If the ratio between the number of born puppies and the number of champions is minimal and the kennel’s statistics dispirits… Do you really believe that such a person can be called a successful breeder or even just a breeder? Or do you suppose that it has necessary knowledge and skills? Then why is he so unsuccessful and why haven’t he created anything for twenty years?
Do you care about the opinion of a loser? Is it important to you to know what a homeless person, alcoholic or drug addict thinks about you? If you care what everybody thinks about you and you want to worry that they’ve said something negative about you then there will be no time left to create something truly worthwhile. You must choose whether you want to fret, cry and to «demand justice in internet» or you want to work to the benefit of the breed. You can’t reconcile these two approaches.
The wonderful words worth remember, preferably writing down and putting on the fridge: «Life is short, don’t waste your time on losers. If they themselves have achieved nothing what can they teach you? You should look for successful people and learn secrets of their success»
Life is really short and it’s up to you to decide on what to spend it.
PETOLOG. Marina, is there any inoculation against jealousy?
M.P. Of course, there is. It’s simple. My grandmother used to say «Avoid looking at someone who has it better, look at someone who has it worse». Do you care that somebody says nasty things about you? But what’s it like to be V.V.Putyn, D.A.Medvedev, Ksenia Sobchak A. Volochkova and other politicians, athletes and celebrities? Others talk about them million times more frequently than about you. If they worried about it, they would have no time to live, there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to feel sorry for yourself and to cry over the plight, it’s much easier to lie down and die. That’s why, as a brilliant breeder of the Lhasa Apso once told me: «There are few tickets to the top so once you are there you’re invariably left alone and underneath there are jealousy, gossip, noise, but they are just splashes of waves which can’t reach the rock». At the bottom there are lots of people around you, but you must answer yourself honestly, are you less lonely in a packed room? If you keep your head up, look at the stars, dream of flying and achieve the goal, then you’re somebody. And each strong person has few admirers and the army of haters. But people are jealous of only successful ones. And success doesn’t come for free. Success and jealousy is a single whole, Yin and Yang, black and white, Mozart and Salieri, links in the same chain. So you must accept these rules, treat gossip as an inevitable evil and understand that they are just one of the items in your daily routine such as a morning shower, cup of tea or checking your e-mail. Or you can keep worrying and passionately demonstrate that you aren’t as bad as they say.
You know the proverb: «A cat doesn’t care what mice think of it». The good point, isn’t it? And whether you are a cat or mice, you should decide for yourself.