Choosing a Strong Board of Directors for Your Club

Many of you have been to your National Specialty in the last few months in particular for April, May and June where we focus on our specific toy breeds and make plans during the year so we have just the right dog or bitch to exhibit. We evaluate potential show stock with our friends and watch the whelping box for special puppies that will represent the next champions to carry on our kennel name. A lot of work, sometimes heartache and lots of times the pure joy of raising the puppies and watching them play and hopefully develop into show dogs or wonderful family pets. We are all hoping to create upcoming winners!

Parent clubs are important to the breeds and breeders they represent for many reasons, but most important, they are comprised of a board dedicated to protecting the breeds that we love. That means careful evaluation of any possible changes to the standard and promoting local clubs that will educate and create possible future national board members and show chair.

The Board is also responsible for making appropriate changes to the constitution and by-laws and carefully watching the budget and club money. Intelligent decisions must be made regarding show sites, insurance that bonds the treasurer and provides liability for the annual National Specialty. Board members devote many hours of volunteer time and effort to make it all happen for members that spend money on vacations and money to attend. Lots of money! The majority of us spend a week of vacation attending and make it fun as it is the most important show of the year. What a great way to see different parts of the country while enjoying the National and spending time with friends and meeting new people! We have a great opportunity to evaluate our breeding compared to others in the classes, learn from the seminars on judging and taking part in the health tests available at the National.

Top Notch Toys contact parent clubs for information on judging the breed, living with the breed and history of the breed for the months each breed is featured. Please ask your board of directors to participate when contacted.

We also have questions for breeders and judges that answer questions with fresh and new answers.

I hope you enter the Bred By classes with the best of your breeding—it should be the heart and soul of your breeding program! The Bred By class has always been my personal favorite and should be yours too. The Specials class gives you a rare opportunity to see ranked dogs and bitches from the USA and foreign shores across
the country.

Perhaps you hope to purchase a new puppy or adult to further your breeding program (please say you have a planned program) or you need to see an actual stud dog whose pedigree looks perfect. The dog may or may not be what you envisioned.

Hope you had a fabulous time and give lots of entries to the Bred By class. Remember, inquiring minds want to know!

As the dog show world mourns the passing of this magazine’s founder and Editor Emeritus, Joe McGinnis, I can’t help but marvel at the legacy he leaves behind. So many of us in the dog show world have treasured histories with him, myself included. A thousand words won’t bring him back,
neither will a thousand tears. Instead I will just say this for all of us who knew him,
we’ll be mourning and celebrating Joe’s great life and joyous spirit for years to come.

God speed my dear friend. You will be missed. -Bonnie

  • Bonnie Guggenheim

    For 10 years, Bonnie Guggenheim has been the force behind Top Notch Toys. Her introduction and commitment to the Toy Group and Breeds began in 1969 when she met Shih Tzu Breeder Jay Ammon. Bonnie has always had a special love for Shih Tzus which she bred herself until 1985 breeding many Champions and Specialty Winners. The enthusiastic support from her National Breed Club members as a 4-time chosen Specialty Judge, encouraged her to pursue becoming an AKC Judge for additional Toy Breeds. She also bred and showed Japanese Chins, falling in love with their flat faces. She was also Vice President of the American Shih Tzu Club, and an active member of the Western Reserve KC, Medina KC, and the Lakeland KC. Bonnie always volunteered to help her clubs including being Show Chair for several of them over the years. In 2011, Duane Doll & Joe McGinnis asked Ms. Guggenheim to head up Top Notch Toys and decided to place her judges license on emeritus status so that she could pursue her true passion of helping the fancy, the breeds, and educating the community.

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