Thoughts for the new year

From the January 2019 Issue of Showsight.  Click to subscribe.

Here are some thoughts for the New Year…May it bring you happiness, prosperity and good health for you and your dogs.

  • Don’t get mad at your dogs if they jump on you with muddy feet after you let them out in a muddy yard. Laugh with them.
  • Build majors under good judges, not show sites with good food, a casino nearby or good parking…
  • Help out a newbie; remember you were once one too.
  • Mentor, mentor, mentor.
  • Read the breed standard for a breed with a major entry, and watch it all the way through.
  • Stay and clap for your breed in the group. (unless you have a VERY long drive home)
  • Bring an extra chair to the show and take it to the ring. You never know who might need it or who might sit next to you.
  • Take extra bait to the ring. Remember when someone bailed you out when you forgot? And leave the leftovers in a safe out of the way place for the fairground cats.
  • Always remember the person holding the color ribbon you were seeking did not beat you, the judge did. So, if you are irritated with anyone, remember it’s the judge that pointed, don’t ruin it for the lucky one with the big smile on their face. Next weekend it will be your turn.
  • Thank the ring steward for your armband. It’s a long day on your feet and a thankless job. (and can be really awful if your judge is having a bad day…)
  • If something at a show is really good, FIND the Show Chair and let them know. Most often they only hear the bad things. Trust me, it will make their day to hear something they have worked on for so long went well for someone.
  • Thank the Parking people. (another thankless job…)
  • Even if you don’t win, make it a big deal for your dog when you get out of the ring. They put up with your hobby and try to please you, so make sure it’s fun for them.
  • Always have a few bucks in your bait/grooming bag to buy a raffle ticket from a kid that got roped into selling them by his Mom… (even if it’s for something you don’t need, what’s a buck or two…)
  • If your dog did not perform well, don’t get irritated with the dog. Make sure they feel ok, and if they’re fine, most likely they didn’t understand what you wanted or were just having a bad day.
  • Make a donation to your parent club or foundation and a trophy donation to a different breed club each year.
  • Donate all the food coupons you win or pickup to a local rescue group. It’s easier to store and send a coupon to a new home than a bag of food.
  • Teach your dog a trick, or two, or three…
  • Carry an extra poop bag. And don’t be afraid to ask someone who is walking away with out picking up if they NEED it. (no, not over their head!)
  • Buy collars and leads when they are on sale and donate them to a rescue group. Same for crates at garage sales.
  • Send thank-you notes to the person(s) who donated the nice trophy you won.
  • Remember to always congratulate the winner, and be sincere to those that congratulate you. (maybe just as hard, for some)
  • May all the right color ribbons you deserve find their way into your hand.
  • Hug your dogs often. You just never know…

…and if you can’t laugh with your dog(s), you shouldn’t have one! 


Dalmatians have been a part of my life since 1968. I am currently the Chairman of the Standard Committee, on the Judges Education committee as well as a Parent Club Mentor.

I have bred, owned and shown two National Specialty Best of Breed winners who are also Top 20 winners and bred more Best in Show wining Dalmatians than anyone in the breed as well as six Dalmatians who have won a total of 70+ Specialty Bests of Breed. And close to 50 American Champions. All the dogs I have bred have had the current health testing available at the time they were bred.

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