Happy New Year my friends!!!! As we start the New Year, some will continue on with dogs they showed last year, and others will begin the year launching a new dog’s show career. When all is said and done, the dogs that we choose to exhibit as our best don’t have a choice. They do what we ask of them, in most cases with zest and enthusiasm. Some owners will show their own dogs, and exhibit both at the all breed level and the NOHS level. Some will send their dog with a handler either because they do not feel that they are able to get the most from their dog, or because they just cannot show their dog as much as they feel is necessary to be competitive. Exhibitors in our sport have different goals and objectives: Some want to succeed at the breed level, others at the all breed level, and as I said previously, some at the Owner/Handler level. Define your goals and be sure that you are on the same page with everyone involved in the dog’s career. Most importantly, remember that there is a living creature involved, and that creature does not have a voice in this process. If they are happy, keep it going. If they are struggling, re-evaluate what you are doing.
An interesting topic that has come up recently in discussions around the rings is about some owners who request exclusivity with a handler. Personally, I do not believe in this restriction. I don’t feel it is healthy for the handler’s business. One never knows what can happen in the future and asking a handler whose livelihood depends on showing dogs to show for one owner exclusively is asking that person to take a big risk. You have to ask yourself what YOU would do if put in that position? There are a lot of talented people out there who work very hard at their jobs. Most handlers can condition and exhibit several dogs successfully. Of course, give and take is required, but one must always look at the big picture and be reasonable in their business dealings. Showing dogs is supposed to be fun… not only for the owners, breeders and handlers, but also for the dogs. So have fun and make sure your pooch is having fun and GOOD LUCK TO ALL IN THE COMING YEAR!!!!
Lauren Lavitt and her sweetie, Matt Rice, rang in the New Year in Costa Rica! From the photos, it looked like they were having a simply fabulous time. It was well-deserved R&R for these hard workers!!! The pics continue to roll in from the Kim & Angela Booth’s African photo safari! I can’t wait to see the videos when you guys get back!
It is with great sadness that I extend my deepest condolences to the friends and family of Jim Martin. We were sad to report such a tragic violent end to a wonderful person’s life. Jim is now re-joined with the love of his life, Bob, and the rest of us in the sport have a big hole in our hearts.
Those who have booked hotel reservations for Westminster at the Affinia hotel, please take note that it has changed hands and is now called the Stewart Hotel. The staff seems to be primarily the same as those who welcomed us last year and we are confident their hospitality has not changed. Who knows, it might even be better!
Celebrating birthdays this week: Deb Shindle, Kayley Kovar, Harry Miller and Colette Livingston-Keith.
I have a bit of advice to those of you who are heading to Palm Springs today or tomorrow: bring a WARM COAT! It’s gonna be brisk early in the morning and when the sun goes down. As for those of you heading to Minnesota —- YIKES!!!!!
Wherever your travels take you, please be careful and hug your pooch! Until next time!!!!!
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