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January 1998 Newsletter - Volume 2. Issue 5

Select an Article


A New Opportunity For Dog Shows

by Bob Christiansen

The 1996 AKC annual report indicates there were 1266 all breed shows with 1,374,348 dogs in competition and 1966 specialty shows with 148,386 dogs competing. These shows provide a proving ground for breeders, an educational vehicle for kennel clubs and the general public, and a way for clubs to survive financially. A great deal of the money earned by these clubs is funneled back into the local communities and the dog game in general.

MB-F has seen an average overall increase in the number of entries in shows of 2-3% per year for the last 20 years. This increase in volume along with new technologies has enabled MB-F and all superintendents to keep their “real” prices below the level of inflation. During 1997 MB-F processed 750,000 entries - approximately 1/2 of all entries.

* Note: It should be noted that the AKC statistics include dogs actually shown and the MB-F numbers include all entries before accounting for absentees. These 750,000 entries are made up of 76,400 individual dogs. Each year approximately 43,000 new dogs are shown in MB-F shows. If we multiply these two numbers by 2 (since MB-F only does approximately 1/2 the shows) you get 152,800 dogs shown and 86,000 new dogs show each year. The AKC registered 1,374,348 dogs during 1996. Assuming an average dog life of only 7 to 8 years, there should be over 10,000,000 AKC registered pure bred dogs alive today.

Based on the above rough numbers, this means only a little over 6% (86,000/1,374,348) of the new eligible dog population and 1.5% (76,400/10,000,000) of the total dog population are ever entered in a dog show during any given year. We are only scratching the surface of the potential for dog show entries! Many of the 10,000,000 dogs are probably house pets, too old, and generally not fit for the show ring but who knows? Maybe we should let the judges decide at a dog event? Maybe the owners might like to know how their dog stacks up. Could many of these dogs be suitable for fun at a match, field trials, good citizenship, obedience or agility? If only the owners knew when and where the next dog event was, they might have an opportunity to see and learn.

How many perfect breed specimens are hiding out there in someone’s back yard? I’ve heard that one of the greatest Weimaraners of all time was a pet boarded while the owner was on vacation for a week. While the dog’s owner was away, the kennel owner took the dog to a show and won a group! The dog’s owner didn’t even know what he had.

Bigger dog shows with more entries are better dog shows. Only one dog of each sex walks away with the points and only one dog walks away with the breed. The more dogs there are to choose from, the better chance a really good specimen will win. We would rather have bigger existing shows than a lot of new little ones. More profits for clubs mean better shows and better finances for the programs clubs support. Yes, the superintendent will make more money too. Please remember this is free enterprise. We are in a competitive market. If all superintendents have more money they will have more resources to provide better services and compete with each other. Exhibitors and clubs will benefit from better superintending services. Clubs also get the majority of the income from entry fees and increased numbers of dogs due to the structure of most superintendent’s contracts.

More information could be sent with AKC registration papers to tell the owner the names of the local kennel clubs, when they meet, and what they do. New owners should be better informed about club matches, handling classes, obedience classes, agility, good citizen awards and so on. A Beginners Guide to Dog shows brochure would also be a good enhancement to the registration package. The AKC needs to take a more proactive approach to introduce the new dog owner to shows. A national ad on television sponsored by the AKC during Westminster would go a very long way. This ad could give a number to call or write for information regarding dog shows in the viewer’s local area and who to contact. This fulfillment could also include breed parent club’s information, breeder referral numbers, the AKC web site, and the Gazette.

The AKC will ultimately be a winner too. Larger shows will certainly lead to larger and healthier registrations. The general public will be better informed and the quality of dogs will be improved. Dog shows are the perfect vehicle for AKC to enhance its position and the registration process contains the total market potential. We should not depend on word of mouth to get new exhibitors.Superintendents are limited by contracts and club expenses as to the number of premium lists and advertising for dog shows. Superintendents do not have the revenue or resources to reach the broad market but the AKC does. Lets work together to help the AKC help us.

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What Used To Be
(And The Way It Is Now)

By Tom Crowe

When I first became interested in dog shows over fifty years ago things were very different. All shows with very few exceptions were benched. When George Foley was asked his opinion of unbenched shows his reply was, “They will never amount to anything. Dog shows need to run for the benefit of the spectator public and people want to see the dogs on benches.” George was half-right people still want to see dogs on benches. The shows that are still benched draw huge crowds. Their paid gate is their real source of income. With out it they could not even begin to pay the enormous costs of the facilities where they hold shows. But the bottom line is they are educating the public and that is what local dog clubs are supposed to be doing. Their by laws so state this. Somewhere in the intervening years something has gone awry. Some clubs no longer seem to be interested in the public. They are now more interested in their treasuries and the size of their entry. Exhibitors have also helped bring this transformation about with their ideas that instant gratification is not soon enough. Some exhibitors care little about educating the public. Their big deal is getting the points and getting out of here to do other things. If they lose the judge was biased or the whole thing was fixed and Katy bar the door they’re gone in a huff vowing never to return - until next week. It’s true there are still those among us that enjoy being with friends and enjoying the whole show win or lose. These people are the hard core of our sport. Without them the sport would not long survive.

It’s also the attitude of some clubs that bothers me. They seem not to care where they have their show as long as they can make a buck. They care little about the date, their own local area or the education of the public. The buck’s the thing. I’m not even going to mention the political motives of being a big shot in a local club. You all know about that. I’m aghast that clubs are now even requesting back to back shows in another clubs’ area. What happened to the lofty ideas of promoting the sport? What has happened to territorial rights? If a club moves to another location should they still be protected in the area which they have abandoned? Maybe a different group would be really interested in assuming those rights.

It’s true the exhibitors are the sport but are they losing sight of what the sport is all about? Any sport, organization, business or endeavor can survive only if it continually brings new blood into its fold. If we are not careful in protecting ourselves from foolish change for the sake of change we will live to regret it. As a superintendent speaking, all of this may seem foolish and not in keeping with the times. I may seem out of date but I am beholden to the sport. I have the feeling we may be sacrificing our principles to the almighty dollar. If we are not careful the camaraderie, the sportsmanship, the integrity of breeders, and all the lofty ideas of promoting better animals through exhibiting at shows, educating the novice and the public will dwindle away and be sacrificed to the new standards of greed.

I believe clubs should be allowed to hold more shows in their own prescribed area. I firmly believe matches are very desirable tools to promote the sport and interest in purebred dogs and they lead to increasing membership in local clubs. Local matches publicize the sport and educate the public. They are vital to the sport but most clubs view them as a nuisance. How sad! The forest is invisible because of the trees. Money can be made at matches with little effort. Matches also promote camaraderie amongst the members. Money raised at matches can go to local worthwhile projects such as neutering, spaying and the local animal shelters. The public and the community will bless the kennel club and local support will be forth coming from areas not previously considered.

The big deal these days is site locations. Show sites usually can be found if enough effort is put forth. There’s usually a football field or a building of some kind or a College or High School that can be found. And with the right persuasion their special needs or projects will fit in with the show. In many instances free student labor or even staff help will be available to assist with the show. There are instances where it is impossible to find a location. However, in most cases the club finds it much easier to just go with the flow and lean on some other club to do their work.

Sometimes, even though successful, clusters wear out. Club members get tired of traveling up to 80 miles to put on a dog show in someone else’s territory. Who pays their expenses etc.? It’s not quite like being at home. And what club gets the true benefit? And, what about the home town public? They’re not even aware a dog show is being held in the name of their town. The question of being true to the sport and to a clubs mission becomes more and more complicated as the days pass. I don’t believe, however, that we should complicate things more just by changing the rules to fit each clubs individual problems or desires. Fools rush in to make messes of already successful ventures.

A few years ago the big thing was to have permanent show sites bought and paid for by the AKC. All clubs would be eligible to hold their show at the official site. That would probably mean a different show everyday. Sounds like a great idea. Wow! Can you even imagine the date scheduling problems and the bickering about the responsibility for cleaning the grounds or building, repairing ring equipment and all the other problems. A great idea for handlers, they could buy a home nearby and just go to work every morning. When it all comes down to the bitter end it could never work. Clubs would completely lose their identity and their home base would completely disappear. Dog shows were never meant to be a national event for every club. They must remain local enterprises held for the benefit of the Club members and the local community. It’s a hometown affair, held with pride, to which many friends and strangers are invited to participate. Let’s keep it that way. The Detroit Kennel Club is just such an example and the successes of their shows are phenomenal.

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Show Sites

by Guy Walton
(From the MB-F Newletter of 4/15/93 worth repeating)

Since I served on the American Kennel Club’s Committee to draw up the Rules for show sites, I have been on the road so much inspecting Club Show sites I have been asked by our Editor to wite about them. This is not an easy assignment.

Once it was easy. A Club could just call me and say they had a new show site with so many square feet or acres and I could immediately tell them if it would work or not. Now, however, dog shows have changed so much I would never make an immediate decision without seeing the site or at least asking a great many questions.

There are so many intangibles to consider. The weather (temperature) conditions affect a show, whether indoors or out. An indoor show in fair weather months can get away with less square footage than a cold weather site because many exhibitors will groom outside at their vehicles. Conversely, indoor shows in cold weather can probably do with less parking space because exhibitors are not grooming outside and consuming additional space with their grooming tables, x-pens, awnings on their rigs, fewer big rigs, etc.

In or out, we must also consider vendors. Some Clubs have an overwhelming number of them and will not restrict them. Others have limits on both size of the booth areas and the number of vendors. Some only have one or two all-purpose booths and that’s it. Their needs must be budgeted into the available space.

Now, let’s consider the character of the show. For instance, two 1200 dog shows may differ in space requirements because of individual breed entries, number of judges used and their assignment loads. Shows that have a number of supported or Specialty breeds and due to the large entries require larger than normal size rings, affect the square feet needs. Some Clubs demand ready-rings which consume more space. If a floor does not need to be matted, the ring sizes can be reduced. What about Group Ring Size? Does the Club want to use the breed name signs in the ring? Does the show have a large percentage of all breeds represented? If so, then the number of dogs in each Group increases thus requiring a larger ring.

Facts such as the number of agents enter into the overall considerations. A show with a large number of handlers may need fewer parking spaces because the handlers are carrying many more dogs in their vehicles.

In checking further, I also ask whether a Club does extensive advertising and/or expects a large spectator attendance. If they do the aisles have to be made wider to accommodate the traffic flow. The biggest exhibitor complaint (other than parking and unloading) is getting through the crowd to the rings.

Some other questions: Do you put chairs by the rings and in the aisles? If chairs are placed by the rings or the Group Rings, how many rows of chairs are used? Do you have bleachers? Do you have any Special Event Rings? How many rings are to be used for Obedience (size requirements for these cannot be compromised) etc., etc., etc.?

I think by now you are getting my drift. Every show nowadays is an entity unto itself and must have a tailored plan of its own. I will address different types and specific shows and their requirements in subsequent issues.

We will have concluded the Detroit Kennel Club Show as this article is being printed. What a GREAT show. Think of it - 3695 total entries all completely benched at a one-day show, using 680,000 square feet of floor space on one level, without a single post in a ring. The four rings which make up the Group Ring and all Special Event Rings were fully carpeted in a dark blue carpeting.

The large Special Event Rings held Fly-Ball Competitions, Herding Demonstrations with live sheep, the Michigan State Police with their Drug-Sniffing dogs, Michigan Gazehound Association held races the length of the Cobo Hall, Motor City Fox Terrier held Terriers to Ground Competition, the Midwest Borzoi Club held a Russian Costume Competition and the JAMS Wonderful World of Dogs with their ability and agility demonstrations.

Erik Bergishagen, the President of Detroit Kennel Club, and his brother Finn Bergishagen, who is Show Chairman, their wives Jane and Mary Louise respectively, Frank and Ginny Kovalic, Kelly Fitzgerald, Parker Field, all do such a wonderful job under the guiding influence of the person who worked so many years to make this show spectacular, Mrs. Julia Gasow.

Spectators at this show exceed 60,000 and are treated to a great and wonderful show each year. This year the show also included a Rare Breed Exhibit of 40 breeds, 23 Conformation and Obedience Rings, a very extensive Breed Information center, which was manned by well-known Breeders and Judges in the Detroit area, the American Kennel Club Booth and the American Kennel Club Dog Show Museum Booth, all distributing pamphlets and information. Individual Displays and Concession booths consumed three sides of this huge hall. It is truly amazing the Detroit Kennel Club can accomplish so much to promote the Pure-Bred Dogs to so many people in one day.

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GUYS’S CORNER

My employees tell me I see and think of things that other people don’t notice. When I checked into the Pontchatrain Hotel in downtown Detroit for the Detroit Show I noticed, going up the elevator there was not a 13th floor. I thought that was not particularly unusual for a Hotel or building, due to superstitions (we don’t have number 13 armbands either).

However, in trying to find my room, going down the hall, I noticed that all the rooms on the right had even numbers, but then it dawned on me all the rooms on the left side were even numbered also. Very strange, I thought, no odd numbered rooms on the Sixth Floor. Being me, I naturally went down stairs and asked ‘why’. Answer: they have NO odd numbered rooms in the whole Hotel and no one was sure just why - Now, THAT’S strange!!!!

I have had two unusual experiences involving St. Bernards in my years in dogs. Back in the late 60’s or early 70’s I was stewarding on the January Florida Circuit and had the St. Bernard Open Bitch Class in the Ring with one missing Bitch. After the last call I noticed Wayne Nelson, a West Coast Handler running towards my ring with a Saint.

Wayne was a super person, but not always totally organized. As he approached, I asked if that was an Open Bitch as he wasn’t listed as Handler. He said it was a new bitch he just picked up, he had just left home and couldn’t remember the owner’s name, but it had to be his as it was the only armband left. He went into the ring and placed Third.

Well, as the Specials were being judged, an out of breath woman ran up to me and asked what Class was in the Ring. I replied, Best of Breed and she uttered an expletive and said she knew her bitch had missed the Open Bitch Class. I then told her that Wayne made it to the ring and that the bitch placed Third. “Wayne? Wayne Who?” I said Wayne Nelson, your handler. She said she had no handler and that HER bitch was in her car. Her car had broken down and that was why she was late.

 It turned out that Wayne’s client did not enter that show and he went third with an unentered bitch. Back then, if an award was canceled after judging, the dog did not count as being shown, and there went the major. Well, Wayne wasn’t very popular at that moment even though I tried to explain to the Saint exhibitors there would never have been a major anyway because the real bitch was absent.

If anyone knows how or where Wayne Nelson is, please let me know.

In the early 80’s as a Superintendent, a couple came to my desk and stated that this was their first show and they needed to know what to do. This was before the start of the Show and I informed them that Saints weren’t judged until afternoon and they should pick up their armband at ringside about 45 minutes before the judging.

Well, that afternoon I was called to that ring by the judge who informed me that a dog was missing from his Class. The armband had been picked up and he wanted to know what to do. Back then, if you picked up an armband, you had to show. While talking to him, I noticed a man standing across the ring with an armband. A little bell went off in my head - that’s the rank Novice from this morning

I ran over to him and told him to get his dog into the Ring right away. He said he couldn’t do that because his dog was dead. “Oh, I’m so sorry, when did it happen?” “About two weeks ago,” he answered. Shocked, I asked him why he had come to the show and picked up an armband. His classic reply was that he and his wife planned on breeding and showing dogs and they didn’t want to get suspended by the American Kennel Club for not coming to a show they had entered!!!! Demonstrated AKC’s Omnipotence - eh?!!

WALTON WATERMARKS

Upon recently checking into a hotel late at night (hotel will remain nameless as I like the hotel) I proceeded to my room and experienced a little difficulty in activating the computer card key to the door. The door suddenly was opened by a woman and I excused myself, saying l must have the wrong room. In looking at my card however, I saw that I indeed had the correct room and asked her what she was doing in my room. She replied that she was cleaning and I saw that she was wearing a Maid’s uniform.

As I entered the room, she went to the TV and closed its cabinet doors. The room must have been 100 Degrees. With the heat blasting out’ I went to the thermostat and turned down the heat. She opened the sliding window to let in cool air and as she left the room, I noticed she had no cleaning equipment with her and there was no service cart in the hall when I entered. I then noticed there was a depression in the bedspread covering the pillows that was head shaped. Goofing off, I thought.

After unpacking, I turned on the TV and what did I have on but a weirdo Porno movie. Thinking that it was strange that it would be on regular TV, I soon discovered it wasn’t. As I changed channels, I decided not to make an issue of it until I began to think I might be charged for a Pay-movie. The next day, I checked the front desk to see if I had been charged and found out that I was not but I decided I had better inform the Management anyway and they were not happy.

They sent Security up to my room and they did an electronic check on my door lock. I learned that their computer records and times every card is used and can identify each user. It turned out she was in my room twice that evening and it was not even her floor to clean. I guess it must have been a good movie. She won’t see a rerun, that’s for sure. Why do these things happen to me!!!!

LAUNDROMAT BULLETIN BOARD

An elderly widow receiving advice from her doctor that she was still young enough to have a gentleman friend replied that she was actually quite frivolous and was seeing quite a few men. “When I wake up Will Power helps me out of bed. I then go to see John, then Lum Bago or Charlie Horse or Sy Atica pay a visit. Later in the day Arthur Ritis shows up. He doesn’t like to stay in one place very long so he moves from joint to joint. My day ends usually by going to bed with Ben Gay.

Dogs In The Media

I Was thinking about how we are exposed to dogs by various form of media all of our lives. Albeit, not always purebred, but lovable dogs anyway. How about writing me and adding to my lists and indicate your favorites.

COMIC STRIPS

GRIMMY...Bull Terrier, Mother Goose and Grimm
SNOOPY...Beagle, Peanuts
SANDY...Heinz ‘57’, Little Orphan Annie
DAISY...Heinz ‘57’, Blondie and Dagwood
PLUTO...Heinz ‘57’, Mickey Mouse
GOOFEY...Heinz ‘57’ Again, Mickey Mouse
FRED J. BASSET...Basset Hound
ODIE...Heinz ‘57’, Garfield
OTTO...Bulldog, Beetle Bailey
MARMADUKE...Great Dane
?...Old English Sheepdog, For Better or For Worse
?...Poodle, Cathy
OLD LIGHTNING...Heinz, ‘57’, Snuffy Smith
RUFF...Heinz ‘57’, Dennis the Menace
HEMLOCK HOLMES...Bulldog, Dick Tracy
KRYPTO...Heinz ‘57’, Superboy
HOWARD HUGE...St. Bernard
?...The Phantom
MY FAVORITE: Snoopy.

TV CARTOONS

MAX...Heinz ‘57’, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
DEPUTY DAWG...Heinz ‘57’
SNOOPY...Beagle, Peanuts
RALPH...Old English Sheepdog, Bugs Bunny and the Coyote
HUCKLEBERRY HOUND...Heinz ‘57’, What kind of hound?
SPIKE & SON...Bulldogs, Tom & Jerry
SCOOBY DOO...Great Dane
SCRAPPY DOO...Great Dane, Scooby Doo’s Nephew(let me at him Uncle Scooby!)
DROOPY...Heinz ‘57’
UNDER DOG...Heinz ‘57’, Hound
MIGHTY DOG...Heinz ‘57’, Tom Terrific (Captain Kangaroo)
PUPPY...Heinz ‘57’, The Smurfs
ASTRO...Heinz ‘57’, The Jetsons
MR. PEABODY...Heinz ‘57’, Rocky and Bullwinkle
PADDLEFOOT...Dachshund, Clutch Cargo
CARELESS...Mexican Hairless, Bugs Bunny
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE...Talking Basset Hound
MY FAVORITE: A tie between Droopy and Astro.

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Canine Health Foundation
American Kennel Club
Memorandum

December 30, 1997

To:American Kennel Club Board of Directors:

Dr. Carmen Battaglia
Mr. David C. Merriam, Ch.
Dr. Robert J. Hritzo
Ms. Patti L. Strand
Mr. Ronald H. Menaker
Dr. Patricia H. Haines
Dr. Robert D. Smith
Mr. Kenneth A. Marden
Ms. Patricia Scully
Mr. Walter F. Goodman
Ms. Dorothy Welsh
Ms. Patricia W. Laurans
Mr. Alfred L.Cheauré, President

From: Alexander F. Draper, Treasurer

cc:AKC Canine Health Foundation, Executive Committee

Dr. Robert J. Hritzo
Robert Kelly
John A. Studebaker
Bruce Andrew Korson
Myrle Hale
Tom Crowe

It has come to our attention that there are a number of items that might be shared with you to enhance your knowledge of the Foundation and in the process make your review of the Foundation’s budget more meaningful. This information is attached.

It is hoped that this added information will eliminate the need for in meeting calculations and last minute analysis at our meeting on January 13, 1998. Such hurried detail figuring does not always produce accurate and meaningful results. We would like to answer each of your questions with the attention and detail they deserve. Please, if you have any questions you would like to ask, need any additional information or have any thoughts you would like to share, call Debbie or me and we will give you or get you the requested information.

Yes, the Foundation has had a most rewarding 1997! From the veterinary research laboratories to the Parent Club Conference, from the AVMA conference to the Players Club and so much more in-between. At this point in the year we can tell you that the Foundation will exceed its $600,000 fund raising goal for 1997! The American Kennel club should be proud of the very meaningful and rewarding role it has played in the formative years of the Foundation. You deserve accolades for your continuing contribution to the health of dogs and the leadership role that the Foundation has earned.

Cheers!

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Canine Health Foundation
American Kennel Club
Education Programs 1996 - 1998

A significant part of the mission of the AKC Canine Health Foundation is devoted to canine health education. In this regard, there are several target audiences to consider. These target audiences include:

1) Breeders and Exhibitors
2) Veterinarians and Scientists
3) Parent and All-Breed Clubs
4) Pet Owners

Because of the different needs, interests and backgrounds of these constituencies the message and the materials need to be tailored differently.

Research is the principal mission of the AKC Canine Health Foundation and we view our principal task in canine health education in three areas:

1)Communication of the need for canine health research
2)Communication of the results of canine health research
3)Development of knowledge in the breeder community regarding the use and application of genetic tools produced by Foundation sponsored research.

Research forums are another way that the Foundation communicates the needs of dog breeders to scientists and advances research in progress.

EDUCATION PROJECTS

1996 International Symposium on Canine Hypothyroidism, University of California Davis This symposium resulted in the first white paper issued by the Foundation. The symposium was primarily attended by endrocrinologists, but also included a breeder presentation. The proceedings were widely distributed in Canine Practice, and in an article that appeared in the AKC Gazette. This distribution reached scientists, veterinarians and breeder exhibitors. A white paper was published in lay language and the Foundation distributed 500 copies to interested breeders and clubs.

Club presentations are another way that the Foundation distributes the results of research studies and discusses research in progress. In 1996 presentations were made by staff and volunteers parent and all-breed clubs through out the U.S.

1997 Parent Club Conference - The most significant educational effort undertaken Foundation to date is the 1997 Parent Club Conference. Material from this conference will be distributed to veterinarians in a special issue of Canine Practice. This special issue will be sent to all of the over 4,000 AKC affiliated clubs, and to 4,000 veterinarians. Breeders will have access to the information through an AKC/CHF website. Additional information will be distributed to the public through coverage in the canine press and the AKC Gazette.

AVMA Conference - AKC/CHF prepared and hosted a panel on canine genetics at the 1997 AVMA conference in Reno, Nevada. This panel included leading CHF researchers and staff making presentations on progress and issues in canine genesis research to interested small animal practitioners.

Club presentations continued in 1997, with more presentations being done by volunteers and members of the newly formed President’s Council.

1998 Parent Club Conference - Material from the 1997 will continue to be distributed. A sponsor has been engaged for a 1999 Parent Club and Canine Health Conference.

White Paper Series - This series will continue with additional subjects in 1998 and 1999 with special research symposium and distribution of information on canine epilepsy, cataracts, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

Web Site - AKC/CHF plans to initiate a web site in 1998 The web site will host the results of AKC/CHF surveys, current research and abstracts from AKC/CHF conferences, white papers and Requests for Proposals.

Breeder Conferences - There are two conferences currently pending, AKC/CHF approval - full proposals and decisions are pending, in the Spring of 1998.

Newsletter - A canine health newsletter will be implemented in the second half of 1999. This canine health newsletter will be an educational tool on current progress in canine health. It will be distributed to all parent clubs and AKC/CHF donors.

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THE FUNNY PAGE

DEAR MB-F....

by Dorie Crowe

As promised in the December issue, here are more excerpts from our “Funny File”.

Remember, these letters are exactly the way we received them......we have ** out names of people, dogs or shows for obvious reasons. We’ll keep printing a few in the next several issues.

Dear MB-F: I’m writing this letter to see if you have a list of dates as to when you have dog shows for a **. I have a male that is AKC register (sic) and he’s a house pet, but I would like to find a female to mate him with. I was told that the dog has to be judged in order to get a female. Please send me a list as soon as possible.

Dear MB-F: Would it be possible for you to forward information to me concerning showing my dog in the United States, and adding my name to the mailing list for Dog Shows. Also how many points are needed for the Toy Class?

Dear MB-F: Kindly be advised that I am the owner of a fawn, and flashy ** bitch. Her nickname is **. Her AKC name is **. I trust you will get back to me with all the details as soon as time permits.

Dear MB-F: You did get my address corrected, but you changed my name in the process! I think I liked my original name better.

Dear MB-F: Our dog went into her first heat, and as a result will not be able to participate in the ** obedience trial tomorrow. do you make allowances for bitches to substitute for a later show if I were to get a veterinarian’s veritication? It hardly seems fair that my dog should be discriminated against because she is a female. Do you think it would help if I were to write AKC as to equal rights for bitches?

Dear MB-F: I received a letter from the AKC asking me to return my dog’s ribbon to you that he won at the ** Dog Show. As this was my first Point Show I entered my dog in the Non Sporting Group expecting you to furnish competition or disqualify him and therefore I feel your company is at fault for not letting me know he had no competition before the show as regularions require in a licensed show as best as I understand it. (This person had entered BOB competition and his win was disallowed because the dog was not a champion.)

Then we have those letters that take a period of time and a lot of thought....

Dear MB-F: Last week I received a blue form saying we would get a refund after the ** show because there are no obedience classes. I assumed we were entered in that show. Today, I received a white form dated ** saying “Sorry we must return your ** entry for the ** show, etc.”, along with your check... Your notice gives “Registration number not given” as the reason for cancelling our application. I am enclosing all forms and your check. If you check our form, originally completed you will find the form requires me to “Insert one of the following (circled in pen). As I did this correctly and my form was received on **, long before the closing date, I feel we should be allowwed to enter the ** show. The form does not specifically ask for the registration number, it asks for one number and that is what I gave on the form. Please reconsider our application....

Well, back we went to her entry form. In the space for the registration number, beside the line for AKC Litter No. this exhibitor had written in the number “5”. Obviously, we were not communicating very well with this exhibitor or we were missing something, so we elected to telephone, thinking that, perhaps, personal contact would help straighten this out. When we called to explain about the requirement for the registration number and explain the registration number consisted of two letters followed by six or eight numbers, and what we had needed were the two letters and other numbers, we got our answer. As yet, they had not received their number from AKC, but since it asked for the “Litter Number” they had written in “5” because it was the fifth puppy born in the litter and that number was tatooed in its ear.

Then we get those we can’t help but answer:

Dear MB-F: Let me begin this letter with a “confession” - I am an insufferable sentimentalist! To me, every show ribbon my bitch wins is an immediate TREASURE! To try and make my LONG story short, I will throw myuself at your hopeful mercy, and as if you can re-issue a ribbon that evidentally the gusty winds at ** ripped from a stack of papers, etc., in the back of our van as we opened the door to pore over maps and ‘get our bearings’ before we went onward to the next show...We chased, and chased, searched, and searched for the ‘airborne’ papers, etc., - but no ribbon could be found. I am still ‘amateur’ enough that each ribbon to me is SUPER-IMPORTANT (even though this one that I believe blew away was an unexpected, disappointing THIRD PLACE one!) The judge that day had PREVIOUSLY ADORED my ** bitch and I felt confident that she would finish under his judging that day. I am NOT omplaining to you, however, about the judge’s decision - I am simply BEGGING you, could you PLEASE re-issue me a THIRD PLACE RIBBON (you might be rightfully suspicious if I requested a BOB ribbon, but surely you would not begrudge an extra THIRD PLACE ribbon, IF this is, in fact, permissable). I have carefully filed and downright ‘guarded’ my bitch’s ribbons in anticipation of framing them all when she finishes her championship, and I am SO proud of each one - as they represent a GREAT deal of family AND dog effort, time, training, personal success (NO HANDLER POINTS!) - not to mention mountains of dollars!

	In brooding desperation last week, I called long distance to ** and asked the Show Secretary if she could help. She suggest that I contact you - especially since you personally were there that day, she said - AND you DO remember the gusty wind, don’t you? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, Mr. Crowe, see if I might be permitted a replacement ribbon for my placing at the ** show that day!...Please, sir, try and fulfill my request. I will LOVE you FOREVER! I assure you that the loss of that valued (to me) ribbon was NOT due to carelessness!

P.S. Reading back over this letter makes me fearful that you will be convinced that I am a complete IDIOT! Ordinarily, I am NOT - just simply an idiot over our lovely ‘show-girl’ and our beloved and family hobby of dog showing!!

Dear ****: We hope you will not be offended at our addressing you by your given name, but after you’re having poured out your heart to us, we feel a first-name basis entirely proper. We have, indeed, received your letter and not wanting to be responsible for anything you may do in your grief, we are, in all haste, forwarding your lost third place ribbon for the ** show. Actually, it was your promise to love us forever that did it (we get so few of those promises - and in writing, yet!) Please don’t feel we think you are completely bonkers - anyone that will promise to love us forever can’t be all bad.

Then there are the letters we feel compelled to answer:

Dear MB-F: It has been brought to my attention that my dog is unable to be shown due to a major fault. I am sorry I bothered you. Please convey my non attendance to the authorities at the show.... I didn’t understand about dog shows. I do now. I have been put in my place but good. I won’t bother (to show) again. Please remove my name from premium mailing lists also. Breed is **, name is **, to be destroyed soon.

Dear **: Thank you for your letter regarding the ** upcoming show. Not knowing what the ‘major fault’ is you mention your dog has, we would just like to add a note of caution before the dog is destroyed.

It would be to your advantage to have more than one person examine your dog against the Standard for the breed — perhaps it would be a good idea for you to bring your dog to the show and have it judged. Also, if there is a fault which would prevent you from further showing in the conformation ring, it is possible you would be able to exhibit in obedience rings.

Further, if your dog is not showable because it may carry some undesirable trait, you do have the option of having the dog spayed so she may not be bred. And, even though spayed, your dog will be just as good a friend and companion...

Dear MB-F: I wish to show my **. Please send me the panflits (sic).

Dear MB-F: Enclosed is our application for the show, but unfortunately as we were about to send it in our dog took a bad fall and has a fractured hop, and for this reason we chose not to go.

Dear MB-F: We are planning our early Fall Match and would ppreciate your filling the following order. We do don’t (sic) want any dates or other information printed on these badges.

Dear MB-F: enclosed is our ribbon order. Our Treasurer is out of town, so I’m sending my personal check. I’ve added $5 to cover the cost of sipping (sic).

Dear MB-F: Please take me off your mailing list. I never asked to be put on it in the first place. We have very strict rules about disposal of garbage in this state.

Dear MB-F: Our dogs on exhibition in the rings seem to be having some competition from lady exhibitors. Let’s let the dogs have the shows we pay the entry fees for, not half-naked women.

Dear MB-F: Could you please send me the necessary information I need to join your organization.

Dear MB-F: Would you please explain to me why something that was mailed in April is delivered in June?

Dear MB-F: I have moved temporarily to **. Before, I fed my dogs ** with excellent results, but here I can find no dog food other that the regular commercial product...Can you advise?

Dear MB-F: Last week we received several premium lists from you...and hope you can further help us now. We would like to attend the ** show which is being superintended by **. We wrote to him several weeks ago for the premium and as of now have received nothing. We would like to attend that show, too. The fees are due ** so it is imperative that we receive that premium at once. Could you please contact him for us?

Dear MB-F: When I sent in my entries I failed to include the titles my dog has earned...I didn’t intend to slight him.

Dear MB-F: The purpose of this letter is to complain about the directions in the premium lists. I hate to think that we’re going to have to join AAA in order to get accurate directions to a show site because the superintendent doesn’t really know how to get there. If this misprinting of directions should happen again, we may be forced to stop entering your shows.

We get frequent letters such as this from exhibitors who don’t realize we have to follow those same directions. The showgiving club provides directions for the [premium list or judging program and we can only advise them that a number of their exhbitors have never driven in their areas, so directions must be clear and accurate.

Dear MB-F: The incompetence of your organization is beyond compare! You returned my entries (as late) which were mailed to you (first class) 3 1/2 days before closing. I shall certainly make sure that none of the clubs in which we are officers will ever use you to run our shows.

Dear MB-F: I am writing of a situation that has happened to me. I sent entries postmarked March 24, they were received April 5 - 13 days. I complained to my post office. I am fed up with this system, so I thought I’d tell you of this and my disappointment in not being able to show.

Dear MB-F: It took six days for my entries to get to you due to the speed with which the post office moves the mail. I think this is unfair to penalize the exhibitor when the fault clearly lies with the post office...I feel that other people must have the same problem as we do, so could you please change the rule?

Dear MB-F: I would like all the premiums in the North East for the year. I would appreciate them as soon as possible.

Dear MB-F: I am writing to you regarding two entries faxed to you by me on **. Both entries attempted to enter my dog in a Novice obedience class. These entries were not accepted because I did not indicate A or B on the form. Having indicated Novice as my class, I was unaware any further designation needed to be made...This morning I spoke with one of your receptionists who kindly explained that nothing could be done for me at this point. However, I do hope that you can make changes to future premium lists so that others do not repeat my mistake. prizes and judges are undoubtedly important to experienced show-goers, but novices like myself would greatly appreciate a simple listing of classes available or a phone number to call with questions somewhere in the premium list....

This letter appears exactly as written to us:

Dear I’n going To enter My dog a ** Male Min in ** dog Show He Has not yet got His papers But He’s Been in a lot of Shows and The American Kennel Club Says He can go in Shows Becous He’s Elagoble He can get his papers and I’n going To Send him in The Show So please get The Entry form Before its To late. I live at **, Horry. yours Truly ***, Horry Horry Horry. (We Horried!)

A Letter To MB-F, Inc.

154 London Rd.
Westmoreland, NH 03467

Dear MBF Inc.

I do appreciate your sending newsletters. I do read them. In the funny letter department, I really got a snicker from party not knowing who their competition was until they got there. I really appreciate your secretaries ability to read show entries. I know I’ve been in a great rush to get some out, yet catalogs have really few boo boos. But the AKC with each letter in a separate box commits glorious boo boos. I had one litter come back named Shintbrook this and Shingbrook that even though over 30 years they’ve been named Shinybrook and both parents were Shinybrook. They did correct these free.

But you did have an article in a previous newsletter encouraging clubs to up their entry costs. As a breeder exhibitor, let me tell you that prices of dogs produced have not kept up with the inflation of dog showing. I have not found that $20 - $23 shows offer any better judging than $12 shows.

I’ve been in this nearly 40 years so I’m not sniping at pricing from no experience. When a show offers puppy and BBE fees at $12 - $14 I’ll show 3 dogs. When they want $20 I’ll only show one if I show one. The Springfield MA shows are an example: I showed 3 dogs 3 days. There were a couple of majors (not that I got them). I picked up two points and saw one incompetent judge. To pay $20 and go under incompetence (and that is about what we as exhibitors must put up with would be maddening. We have to show under new and untried judges or limit showing to three shows a year.

Now these show giving clubs must have a high venue cost (Exhibition Building in Springfield) yet they keep the entries down. I feel that my chances for a major are better at a show with low cost entries. At least I’m helping to make majors by my multiple entries. (And I don’t stack the deck either as I have Chihuahuas and I enter each variety, each sex.

Some years ago Farmington Club offered $6 entries on their anniversary. Though they had to hire more judges, I would like to know if they lost money on that one. There was a large group of us there. We had a good time even though the change of judge gave us an incompetent (I took BOV Smooth - no sour grapes) judge, but we stuck just the for the sake of camaraderie.

Clubs must have shows to fulfill AKC obligations. There should be some fun involved to keep us breeders coming to exhibit our best. Though we come up against professional handlers and judges who know which side their bread is buttered on, there must be some incentive for us little guys to keep coming.

 One of the members of my all-breed club said those of them hiring professional handlers ought to get the break in entry fees. I do get a kick out of seeing a judge confronted by a ring full of pro handlers. But I disagree. As a breeder I’m involved with dog clubs and I don’t mean pay my dues. I mean I contribute trophies, work on the National Clubs committees and helped start a NE local breed club which someday may hold it’s own specialty. As a breeder, I believe breeders deserve incentives to show.

I am not so pessimistic that I believe judges are of incapable of placing the best dog tops. I have a list of good honest judges. They didn’t necessarily put up my dog but they did place the best dog.

I believe clubs with treasuries of over $20,000 ought to examine their nonprofit motives of presenting a show. Though your article made light of donations to organizations our club makes meaningful donations Humane Society for spay and neuter fund, Red Cross - they man emergency booth at our show; Parks commission - no real charge for use of a lovely park for our show; Scholarship fund for budding veterinarians. These can’t be called frivolous donations. Yes, I realize we need a profit to continue to fund these, plus to a 4-H club who sells our catalogs & supplies runners. Without the help of these we would not have place to hold a show, fulfill the AKC’s demand for emergency crew and mutts would flourish. No help in catalogs and runners puts more labor on club members. Still the bottom line goes up and we’re supposed to be “non- profit”.

Yours Truly

Nancy Schonbeck

Editor: Nancy we do appreciate your letter and your kind comments. We agree with your experience and wisdom about dog shows. That is quite apparent from your letter. There are some things that we as superintendents can not change. The rate of inflation is one. It is a hardship on us including clubs and exhibitors. A dress shirt used to cost $2.95 at Penny’s. It now costs $22.95.

Our article about donations fits your situation to a tee. Your club is doing exactly what we tried to portray, namely, put your profit to good use within the sport where it really counts for dogs and clubs. Entry fees are the strict responsibility of clubs. We do not set the fees the clubs do. We do, however, try to advise clubs with huge overheads on situations where they can save and where their only source of revenue is entry fees. Their entry fees have nothing to do with our contracts since our fees are clearly defined in the contract nearly a year ahead of the show and the premium list.

The Judging problem is linked to the growth of shows and their size. The AKC is trying their best to solve this problem but no attempted solution has really been entirely satisfactory to date. Maybe, there will come a day.

About Farmington to the best of our knowledge they did lose money (we estimate about $21,000) but it was their way of saying “THANKS” to all the exhibitors over the years for supporting their club. It was a payback from their treasury to all concerned.

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