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“Author Archive”
Stories written by ralbee

Ghost Dogs

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As a rule, dog people confront things head on without recourse to fantasy or rationalization. That overriding, collective personality trait is therefore difficult to reconcile with our secret vice– an enduring fascination with supernatural dog stories.

October 21st, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Looking Back With Lee – Will The Real Professional Handler Please Stand Up?

9 Bulldog Moms

One would have to be far out of the loop if they weren’t catching some of the controversy that has been escalating of late when it comes to the topic of the Owner vs. the Professional Handler. I think my recent articles may have precipitated others to pen their thoughts on this hot button. Oh well…I might have been one of the first…but I won’t be the last to try and figure out what the disconnect on this might be.

October 14th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Royal Dog Of Madagascar – The History of the Coton de Tulear

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AKC exhibitors have become accustomed to new breeds popping up in the group lineups. In many respects, their presence represents a refreshing turnaround from AKC’s traditional begrudging reluctance to admit new breeds. They didn’t do it very often, and when they did, the process was generally a chaotic affair. Over the years, breeds have been admitted to the studbook sans viable gene pools, written standards, or organized clubs.

October 13th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

The Bulldog – Then and Now

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Uniformity and predictability are familiar allegations leveled at our sport by purebred detractors. Among the breeds frequently targeted to illustrate the detrimental impact of that objective is, rather ironically, the Bulldog.

October 4th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Breed Priorities – German Shepherd Dogs

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German Shepherd Dogs are in a class by themselves. In 2014, they had over 150 independent specialty shows, not including designated specialties or supported entries or herding group shows. Some dogs can and do show only at specialty shows. And since there are over 200 breeder-judges, specialty judges at specialties usually outdraw the entry at all-breed shows.

September 6th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Old Roads

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In 1920, the late, great poet Robert Frost published a book of poetry titled Mountain Interval. Contained within this slim volume was his famous poem, “The Road Not Taken,” which virtually every high school English student in the 1960s and ‘70s and probably to this day had to read, analyze and sometimes memorize.

September 4th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Breed Priorities – Shiba Inu

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The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the native Japanese breeds. It shares many features with the Akita, also from Japan: triangular eyes, erect triangular ears that tilt forward following the arch of the neck, the high-set tail carried over the back, and clear and rich color. (Note: The Shiba is not and should not look like a little Akita.) The Shiba has distinct breed type characteristics.

September 1st, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Dogs of North America

Coyote Hounds MN

America is the land of opportunity and it’s never been limited to humans. A surprising number of obsolete Old World breeds regained their momentum on these shores. Primarily, this occurred within the context of the East Coast show scene that dominated America’s purebred paradigm for over a century.

August 24th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Judges Hospitality – An Essential Element for Creating a Successful Show

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What can I tell you? It was a dog club meeting. Blah, blah, blah… As the old saying goes, everyone has an opinion and most of them… well never mind. So we were discussing the Welcome Reception for the judges ad nauseam; the room, the food, the wine, the signage, the decorations, the size of the tables. Finally, I looked at a couple of the biggest complainers and said what I believe (I always tell the truth because that is the way my Mother raised me). “I don’t mean to be rude, but it is not about you. It’s not about the show chair, the photographer, the super or any of the committee members. It’s about the judges. It is a Welcome Event for them.” The reply left me speechless.

August 13th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

The $50,000 Hunting Dog

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A few weeks ago, a guy I know called, more or less out of the blue, to ask if I might be free for lunch that week. I said, “It’s possible.” and added, since the guy is a CPA, “What do you have in mind?” He said he wanted to talk with me about getting a hunting dog because he knew I’d bred, trained and hunted with both retrievers and pointing breeds for more years than I care to admit. He then added the magic words, “I’m buying.” That sealed the deal for two reasons: First, it would be a violation of the journalists’ credo to turn down a free lunch. Secondly, I’ve known this particular CPA for a number of years and I can count the number of times I’ve seen him pick up a check for any meal on the fingers of one hand. To describe him as “frugal” would require a complete redefinition of the word. So, it was with both some amusement and a considerable amount of bemusement that I headed into the lunch meeting, knowing as I did that over the years, he had seemed perfectly content to hunt over other people’s dogs thus sparing himself the expense of actually keeping one.

August 9th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

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