Thank you to everyone who offered opinions on this month’s topic. The following is a selection of the responses. Want to voice your opinion to the fancy? Follow ShowSight’s Facebook page for the monthly question prompt! From the December 2018 Issue of ShowSight. Click to Subscribe.
QUESTION FOR ALL SHOWSIGHT READERS
What person in the dog show community deserves a special gift this year—and what would the gift be?
Our show chairs! They organize everything, settle all the squabbles and put in 100s of hours of work! —Anonymous
Wally Rice—a donation toward his radiation treatments. —Anonymous
Gabriel and Ivonne Rangel. They deserve a special gift because they have hearts of gold. They would give their last pair of underwear to a person in need and wouldn’t think twice. I’ve known them for over 15 years and they are always the first to help any person or any dog. Just good people.
Breeders! Gift: respect and gratitude, without good breeders there would be very few good dogs. —Anonymous
Wally Rice. A clean bill of health! —Anonymous
Anyone who has suffered from the devastating fires in the west or the hurricanes to be safe with their animals.
It would not be an individual, but a group that is deserving. This group is the dwindling and aging group of small breeder/owner/handlers. We are a passionate group, with limited funds who do it as a competitive sport to prove our dogs are worthy, and sometimes superior, representatives of our breed. The Owner Handler series is a great start, but when it rewards no points it devalues the whole process.
—I. Annette Williams
They are not “dog show” people per se—but I’m wishing a very Happy Holiday season to all the civilians and law enforcement officers who banded together and helped locate the 14 dogs inside the stolen van in California this summer.
It was wonderful seeing the dog show community come together so quickly and demonstrate compassion and concern for their fellow competitors. This type of outpouring of love gives me faith in the future of dog shows. It was a massive relief when the dogs were found. I think we all hugged our beloved pets a little more during that whole ordeal.
For me, the person in the dog community that deserves a special gift, this year and every year, are for me—the most special people. They are the junior members of all clubs. We talk about juniors being the future, but often it is just that—talk. It could be something as simple as a thank you card. It could be a Junior Club Certificate (in other words a sheet of paper). Many clubs have holiday parties and some charge their members a fee, so for a junior it could be an invite with their meal paid by the club. Maybe it’s a gift with the club logo (there are many options here). Maybe it’s a free ad in their magazine. Truly there are so many options!
In my opinion, the more ways we show that we appreciate our juniors, the better off each club and the sport will be. So—there you go—don’t forget the Juniors this holiday season! —Marlene Groves
The gift? Best in Show at Westminster, of course! But my hat is off to Anne Bowes of Ladies’ Dog Club who came up with the idea of a pilot program to educate Tufts veterinary students in the intricacies of purebred dogs and dog shows. Ladies’ members Gale Cummings and Pattie Proctor (who is also an AKC rep) were on board at the Elm City Kennel Club (in Springfield, Massachusetts—11/3/18) to mentor the students, who had never been to a dog show, and didn’t know anything about shows,
The students got to see hundreds of well-bred, healthy dogs. For example, thanks to Dr. David Johnson and his wife Judi, the students were introduced to several Pugs that could actually breathe. They had been under the impression that brachycephalic breeds could not breathe properly.
The host club invited students and mentors to join the judges for lunch, who explained the judging process. Students were given name tags, and provided with brochures from the AKC. AKC reps offered insight into the workings of the AKC and the dog fancy. All in all, they had a wonderful day, and wrote to Anne expressing their thanks, telling her they’d like to come to another show and bring more students.
This pilot program should implemented in all veterinary colleges working with nearby kennel clubs who have an interest in future veterinarians getting to know well-bred, purebred dogs.
With PETA and HSUS preaching these days that dogs shouldn’t even be kept as pets, now is the time to educate future veterinarians about the love and passion responsible breeders give their dogs.
Attending a dog show should be a requirement for graduation for students concentrating in small animal medicine. These students need to be mentored by knowledgeable dog club members and not just left to wander. This program could introduce students to potential, future patients in their practices.
Breeders will drive miles out of their way to take their dogs to a vet who knows purebred dogs and some of their inherant health problems and breed specific health testing.
Breeders will also travel great distances to breed for quality and health, sometimes across the country, sometimes shipping frozen semen, even from other countries, and many times at incredible expense to the breeder. Breeders/fanciers are preservationists of purebred dogs, not in business for income.
In addition to conformation, students can also learn about obedience, rally, agility, lure coursing, hunting trials, and hunting, etc.—the activities that draw dog owners into the sport.
So that special gift for the dog person? A standing ovation for Anne Bowes for coming up with such a fabulous idea! —Anonymous
Carol Stone in Knightsen California, Suomi Finnish Spitz, and Stone’s K9 boarding and grooming.
She has gone above and beyond helping with evacuees and rescues from the fire that destroyed Paradise, California. Last year she helped with the Santa Rosa fire. She has provided time, space for animals, and all the supplies she can gather. Alot of it came from her own pocket.
The gift she deserves is all the horse and dog blankets and coats she needs, dog crates and bedding, and medical supplies. Or her own AKC Disaster Response trailer. —Anonymous