By the time you read this most of you will have experienced at least five to six months of life without attending a dog show or trial. For most of us, our experiences in dealing with the Covid–19 pandemic will differ greatly. One thing we can all count on is that the situation has indeed impacted our world of dog shows, field trials, agility, obedience, and rally, as well as all things associated with the sport.
Show and trial chairs throughout the United States as well as the rest of the world are being faced with extremely tough decisions regarding the resumption of events in a safe and workable environment for all members of the fancy. Different states—as well as facilities—have new restrictions and rules that have an impact on when and how clubs will be able to return to venues sensibly and practically.
For some of these clubs, the rules and restrictions will create more cancellations of events until that time when a vaccine or some other medical breakthrough will get us back to normal. However, for those clubs that are trying to continue to put on events, there is no question that major changes are in the works.
Anyone with a computer and a Facebook (or other type of social networking) account has already seen the multiple reactions within the fancy in regards to proposed changes for upcoming shows and trials. The suggested or mandated changes are already creating divisiveness within the ranks. At some venues, there will be no indoor grooming, or limited grooming, with absolutely no use of hairdryers, powders, chalk, or anything that might easily be spread around the facility. Practicing social distancing in the grooming areas as well as around the rings will be interesting to observe. Judges and exhibitors wearing masks and practicing other safety measures will also add time to an already long day for many. Ring stewards as well as judges will encounter masses of people during a show. While we hope many will practice safe and healthy practices, it is foolish to believe that everyone will follow the rules. >
There are already people posting that those with RV’s and private generators will have an unfair advantage because they will be able to groom and blow dry, etc. at their respective vehicles. Some have been around for many years and remember when electricity and other perks of today’s show sites were not available and the sport did well and enjoyed great growth. In those days of yore, shows were one day events with exhibitors moving from show to show every day with no drop-off in entries. Many sites were outdoors and at fairgrounds or other venues with tenting, porta-potties and no hookups, often with just a field to park in.
Over time, we have experienced many changes in our sport and we are now facing another change that is being forced upon us by an outside influence we have no control over. Our task is [to determine] how we attack the changes and learn to work together to make it work for the greater good and not just a
While sitting home on the weekends, I have watched more TV than normal. I happened to watch the season finale of the American Idol competition. During the finale, Lionel Ritchie and a group of current performers sang “We Are The World” for the first time in over 35 years. The song was written by the late Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie. It is a song that resonates with people trying to make our world a better place. The words tell a practical story;
WE ARE THE WORLD
– MICHAEL JACKSON/LIONEL RITCHIE
There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part Gods great big family
And the truth, you know
Love is all we need
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me
Send them your heart
So they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand
When you’re down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Let us realize that a change can only come
When we stand together as one
As we move toward the future, are you willing to sacrifice and stand together as one? Will you be a happy and productive part of a successful solution? We need to bond and learn to love and respect each other in a time that will test many. Our future as a sport depends upon every person doing their part. We are the Dog Show World and we can make it happen.