The first sign of Spring (to me) comes with the first day of the Kentuckiana Cluster of dog shows held in Louisville. Sometimes the weather is Spring-like, and other years one would swear it was mid-Winter! Over the last few years the York, PA cluster, which runs during the same time–with an additional show day on Wednesday–and the cluster held in Kansas have challenged Louisville’s numbers. Louisville has added a lot of special attractions including dock diving, barn hunt, etc., to address this increased competition and the entry was up this year. Long-time fanciers Clint Harris and Steve Hurt made their annual appearance at the Louisville show. Many of their friends were thrilled to see them again.
Last year there were a couple of wallet/purse thefts at the Louisville shows. The drama was a bit different this year as two dogs were removed from their handlers’ set-ups. Even though those dogs were removed by the owners of record, it was quite unnerving for those involved as prior arrangements had not been made and great concern for the dogs’ safety was an issue.
Over 10,000 dogs were exhibited on Saturday, and again on Sunday at AKC conformation events across the country. I truly hope that this is demonstrative of an upswing in participation in our sport!
The sale of Bonnie Briar Kennels–established by Ric Chashoudian and ultimately passed on to Bergit and Hans Kabel–marks the end of an era. It is my understanding that the kennel will no longer be active. Several folks told me they saw Bergit at Crufts and she looked well. She is sorely missed at the shows here. I truly hope she is doing well. She would be a valuable addition to the ranks of AKC judges. I am not sure if she has considered this or not, but National Specialty clubs should be lining up for her services if she has any interest in judging.
There has been a lot of discussion on social media about breeders and exhibitors placing retired show dogs and brood bitches in single dog pet homes. Some say those that make the decision to place these dogs in “pet” homes are discarding them. Years ago I was guilty of this judgement, however, I would like to offer up my point of view. Our show dogs are used to being the center of attention. When they retire to the couch, depending on how many dogs one has, this center may shift. It can be very difficult for a show dog to become accustomed to staying home. If a GOOD, QUALIFIED home is available where the dog can be the center of attention for the rest of their years, isn’t this the BEST for the dog? I think it is much more difficult for the human to let the dog go, but this decision may very well be the best for the dog. I, personally, have a policy to only let dogs go to homes where I either know the family directly, or have direct connection to the home being considered. Passing judgement on those who are genuinely trying to do right by the dog is not fair. Know your facts before you judge them! You need to walk a mile in someone’s shoes before deciding their motivation.
Best wishes to Larry Cornelius and Marcelo Veras as Larry embarks upon his new career as an AKC executive field representative. Those of us who spend time on the West coast at shows are looking forward to having Larry out there! I am sure that Larry and Marcelo’s clients are very disappointed to lose them as handlers, and we will all miss seeing them in the ring. They were always good sports, and their dogs were exhibited impeccably. I hear that AKC is also replacing Guy Fisher who has been offered a full-time position in the Raleigh office. Stay tuned for more additions to the AKC rep pool…
Birthday wishes this week to Pilar Kuhn, Kay Belter, Judy English Murray, Tad Brooks, and a very special happy birthday to Carol Harris who I believe turns 94 years young this Sunday!
Be safe out there my friends, and enjoy every day with your furry friends.
Until next time…
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