My dog sport friends often tell me that they don’t take the ribbons they’ve won because they end up stuffed into old shoe boxes at home.
When I first started competing in agility and rally with my first dog, Nemo, I couldn’t believe that people had so many ribbons that they wouldn’t take them! Each of the prized ribbons Nemo and I earned meant so much to me, a representation of our hard work and a way to show family and friends why they hadn’t seen us for the last five weekends.
Now Nemo and I have been competing for three years and a good run means so much more than whether we qualify or place. I still display some of our ribbons, but most end up in a shoe box.
I’ve started repurposing ribbons, giving them out to children when we do therapy work at the local library. The flat qualifying ribbons actually make great bookmarks. I know other therapy teams who bring old ribbons with them to leave behind with patients they visit hospitals.
Recently a friend told me about Ribbon Recycling, which donates old ribbons to therapeutic horseback riding facilities. These organizations can’t afford to purchase ribbons for their patients, so funneling donations from dog and horse show people is a perfect match.
What do you do with your old show ribbons?