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May Sneak Peek

Lone Star Beagle Association

By Troy Barber

As I travel around the country interviewing folks and gathering information for these articles, I’m reminded how like-minded beaglers are when it comes to the big picture. Big picture meaning the general ideas of why we do what we do. Without fail, I hear comments such as promote fellowship, encourage sportsmanlike conduct, preserve our heritage, maintain AKC standards and consider the well-being of each club and its members. I see it written in the constitution and by-laws of beagle clubs and beagle associations. I hear it when I’m talking to individuals. It doesn’t matter if I am in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana or other parts of the country, the concerns and interests are very similar. On the other hand, the differences are also very similar. Yes, there are differences but it’s little things such as style, speed and bloodline of hounds. Then sometimes there are personality clashes, personal opinions or moral issues that seem to divide folks. The truth is, there are times our vision is clouded with these little things and we can’t see the forest for the trees, the forest being the big picture which should always take center stage. The trees are the little things that often dominate our thinking and dim our vision preventing us from seeing the big picture or the forest. If I had the magic formula to prevent this, I would be rich and famous. This very thing has caused division among individuals, families, beagle clubs, churches and even nations down through the years. The Bible indicates that it’s the little foxes that slip through the cracks and spoil the grapes. It also says a divided house cannot stand. Many times in my life I have had to step back and take a good long look at the big picture in order to put things in perspective. If we are too close up, we see only the trees but if we back away far enough we can then see the entire forest.

I mentioned last month that these articles are meant to inspire and challenge each individual as well as clubs, associations and federations. Inspire simply means to motivate, stimulate, encourage and influence. Inspiration doesn’t necessarily come in big packages; it can be the guy who volunteers to be the collar man at a field trial, the person who sweeps the floor at the club, the lady who cooks the fried apple pies and many others who quietly do those little things that makes a big difference. When I see my friend J.E. Childers, almost without fail, he will say, “I appreciate you.” Just those three words are enough to inspire me! It motivates and encourages me to do more. Thank you J.E. for being an inspiration to me as well as others. Challenge simply means to call or summon someone to engage themselves. We should all challenge ourselves to do a little more, a little better and always remember we’re building on a foundation that was laid by our forefathers, dedicated men and women who had a vision. We’re enjoying the fruits of their labors; it’s up to us to be good stewards of that which was entrusted to us. To challenge ourselves to improve on what we have, promote unity and to have a vision of where we’re going and how to get there. In order to do that effectively, we will need to lay aside those things that hinder us such as; selfishness, anger, envy, jealousy, greed, arrogance, ill will, resentment, superiority, and ego. And embrace attributes like joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth and compassion. I know that sounds like church, but for that, I make no apologies. If it works for church, it’ll work for our beagle clubs, associations and federations.

Don’t miss the remainder of this article on page 8 of our May issue!