A ‘Novel’ Look at Our Wonderful World

A 'Novel' Look at Our Wonderful World

A long time ago, back in my high school days, several novels were required reading. One of those novels was Charles Dickens’ best-known work of historical fiction, A Tale of Two Cities. The novel was published in 1859 and the story is set against the various conditions that led up to the French Revolution and the so-called Reign of Terror.

A Tale of Two Cities is believed to be one of the best-selling novels of all time. Through the years, this great work has been adapted for film, radio, television, and the stage. The novel, though written 164 years ago, continues to influence popular culture.

The novel opens with a sentence that has become famous: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way-in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for degree of comparison only.” 1 Hard to believe that this was written in 1859. It could have been written last week when you think of the state of our world today.

I believe this is especially true in our wonderful world of the sport of purebred dogs. When I started this lifelong journey, there were just a few opportunities for competition within our sport. We had Conformation, Obedience, and Field Trials in which to compete. There were far fewer opportunities as shows were one-day events, usually with two clubs combining in a general area to provide a Saturday and Sunday show. There were very few “professional handlers” and most dogs were exhibited by the owners and/or breeders of the dogs. Some old-timers still refer to those days as the “golden age.” This was before long circuits, complete with hundreds of RVs and numerous profess