A small national breed club is neither the center of the world nor the most important group to be affiliated with. But in a way I have grown to like the activities: dogs and people and action. Fun, social events, simple competitions, meeting people from all over and kids and young people too.
I have been an active member of such a breed club for SH, almost 17 years. I am – though – a musher more than a breeder or a show person, and identify with races and musher knowledge more than Kennel Club mainstreams. I just happen to have a breed I like, dogs I adore, and mentors and friends that have the same interest. I do not subscribe to all the silly fashion nonsense that some “purebreader minds” believe in, but I follow the rules. I really like my type of dogs, and think they should be preserved as good sled dogs. That is not always easy when there are so many other purposes in dog breeding: puppy sale for money, dog shows, dog club positioning, line preference, winning here and there……… I have never liked any type of sects where there is only one opinion, and where gurus are gurus, and no questions should be asked. So I am big mouthed, opinionated and passionate about some of the things I believe in, and just as openly questioning other themes. My opinions are my opinions, things I believe in, not positions I take to be popular or the opposite, to be mean to others. People voted for me – even if they know this about me.
I have served our husky club as leader of a diversity of activities and committees, as the club leader, as someone who inspires young people, as someone who initiates events, and as a fairly good writer and editor of the newsletter, in and out of hard work for 17 years! And as a training companion and race enthousiast.
The last 2-3 years I have increasingly become tired and upset. Not because I don’t have any more enthusiasm, but because some others do NOT have that. I took the position as editor two years ago because nobody else wanted it. I nevertheless tried to make a REALLY good newsletter, together with my desk editor and my committee. We gave out 80 diverse pages every 3 months……..most people liked it. But some people sat like hawkes with magnifying glasses to find the one sentence that went wrong. And howled up about it. And run around telling stories about me. Stories that do not resonate with who I am or want to be.
And now I am quitting.
I am formally elected as the editor, later as member of the editorial board. I stepped one down this year only because I felt it increasingly hard to be the punchball from people – within the breed – that like to critisize other people. The more you show activity and initiative, the worse it gets. They do not neccessarily come out with something, contribute or do anything for the club themselves, or participate in events, but they like to TALK…..some of them have daily phone colloquiums, and some travel around and gossip here and there. Not to people, but about people. Not about what people say or mean, but about how they “are”. Not nice. No. Negative!
My best friend has taught me that gossiping behind people’s back is evil and useless. Most things may be sorted in a proper conversation. Nobody is flawless. People – like me – are not evil or have bad intentions. We may have other priorities than you, other opinions, different memory, but most people make less mistakes than do they make good things. Nevertheless: it is the mistakes or misunderstanding that gets all the howling. Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla
I am dead tired of it. I am an old lady. This is a hobby, not my JOB, forgoddsake…..I do it at night, in my spare time, because I think it was good to have a nice newsletter, I put in hours and hours of thinking, searching, writing, editing to get it to you. I want enthousiasm, fun, joy, happiness, creation of friendship, new knowledge, food for thought and inspiration…… But: I do NOT want to be shot at. Debate, okay. Fair feedback, okay, I am NOT perfect and this is a piece of amateour work. Now my message is: Go and do it yourself. Write the kind of newsletter you guys want. Go button up shirt sleeves and start spending time on being constructive. Spend the time I have spent. Spend more. Do all the things you have claimed that we do not do. Make an environment that is even more inclusive, positive and welcoming – even if 90 % of members like what is there now…………GET GOING at it. Because I and two others QUIT. I have been positive over a long time period. A year ago I startd seeing what has now come to be every day. I pleaded you to stop ; to think, to come up with something useful instead. But no. It got worse. Now I am mad, irritated, annoyed, sour, pissed. I have no inspiration any more.
If people cannot stop the mobbing, naggering, then I get out of the way. I don’t want to have a negative daily life. We were three who left, now. Yes, that is what they wanted, I guess. Get us out of the way. Okay, I go. I will quit writing, I quit having opinions. I will hide, become invisible. Is it good or bad?
I cannot recommend others to take such club positions if this continues to be the trend. It may be me- yes – of course, they think I deserve it. But really: if you are legally elected into an office? Volunteer work? Should that not be respected? Should not critisism be constructive? Should not people listen to the majority? Is it worth it – ?