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Table Talk – April 17, 2019

April 17, 2019

The Beverly Hills Kennel Club dog show, sponsored by Purina, that was held in Pomona, California on March 2nd will air this Easter Sunday on NBC at 1 PM EST, 10 AM PST. Maria Menounos, one of the celebrities that attended the show as part of the production, appeared on the “Kelly and Ryan Show” to promote the broadcast of the show. She did a nice job of selling the show as a great means of family entertainment. While they showed a couple of clips of actual show dogs, they also showed a couple of clips of celebrities with their pets, and while adorable, these dogs may not have been purebred dogs. Some fanciers were put off by the promo footage as they felt the implication was that these celebrities and their pets actually competed in the show. I believe I recall the term “circus” used by one exhibitor to describe the production of the dog show.

In my opinion, we need to embrace this exposure. I have only seen clips of the production to this point and I think everyone should reserve judgement until after we have watched the entire show. While I have not been a big supporter of the Best In Show ring used on Saturday for production purposes–because of concern for dog and handler safety as a result of the ring size and layout–to the lay person, it looks really cool on TV and may spark interest in our sport. This is where I am trying to focus my attention. As long as the dogs and handlers are not at risk, if the positives outweigh the negatives, I am supportive of anything that adds “celebrity appeal” for lack of a better term. Join me in watching the broadcast. If the fancy feels the sport is not being portrayed in a positive light, perhaps positive suggestions can be made to Purina and NBC to change it for the future. Having major network TV exposure is a great thing. Here’s hoping for positive feedback and great ratings for this show!

I talk a lot about efforts to portray an image of a welcoming community at dogs shows, so I want to share something that happened to me this past weekend that was somewhat disappointing. A friend who I had not had the chance to catch up with for quite some time invited me over to the set-up of an acquaintance. I had never met this person before, and the interaction was somewhat cold, rude and insulting. Without going into details, my only thought was what if I was a new person to dog shows who was attending to learn more about the sport? This interaction would have given me a very negative impression about the people involved in the sport of purebred dogs.

A couple weeks back, a father drove 2.5 hours to take his daughter to a dog show. They had recently decided that she was going to become involved in Junior Showmanship, and she had just gotten her first show dog. Dad’s hope was that he and his daughter would meet and chat with folks and learn more about the sport, and dogs in general. He introduced himself to person #1 who asked about the daughter’s Juniors dog and commented, “I know more about the pedigree of your dog than you do; in fact, than most people do,” and walked off. He then introduced himself to person #2 and got a short “hi” and a walk-off, and person #3 pretty much did the same thing. Each time he would introduce himself, the people he introduced himself to didn’t even bother to respond in kind.

It seems to me that there is so much mean, disconnected and judgmental behavior, even among those of us who DO know each other, in addition to the lack of welcoming attitude toward the public or the “newbie”. In some cases, a short “hi” and a “walk-off” could be due to the person being busy, and that is understandable. Even if you are busy, it only takes a few seconds to say, “follow me to the ring and I’ll tell you where I am set up and we can visit in a bit later”, or “I’m sorry I am in a crunch right now, my name is “xx”, and please look me up later”.

A little bit of kindness goes a long way, my friends. The sport can use all of the positive exposure we can get right now. If the producers at NBC think that showing celebrities with their dogs will initiate the interest to watch the dog show on Easter Sunday, then I think it is a great idea – let’s promote the production to our non-dog friends. If you see someone or are introduced to someone at a dog show that you have never met, a little kindness might go a long way. Who knows, you might make a new friend or get a new customer in the future.

I was sorry to hear that Canadian Greyhound Breeder and Fancier Max Magder passed away. Max will be missed by the fancy. Mary “Boots” Rogers, widow of deceased AKC judge Don Rogers, also passed away this past week. I also heard that Rich Mysliwiec, Sr. passed away. Our thoughts are with the families of our departed fanciers.

Taylor Johnson, the 12-year-old daughter of Colton and Heather Johnson, went Best In Show with her Old English Sheepdog, Marie, from the Puppy class this past weekend! This was “Marie’s” first dog show! Taylor represents the third generation of dog fanciers in the Johnson family, and she seems to have picked up the family tradition of winning with great dogs. Congratulations to all involved!

I am trying to find the name of the youngest exhibitor to win an AKC Best In Show, and their age at the time of that win. If anyone knows of a youngster who went Best In Show, please email me at

I was relieved to hear that Liz Hansen was re-united with her Standard Schnauzer “Rudy” who got away at Schnauzer Palooza that was held at Purina Farms. Once again, many of the exhibitors banded together to help look for “Rudy”. Thank goodness for a happy ending to this story!

Happy Birthday to our following friends who are celebrating their big day this week: John Ramirez, Benjie Marcus, Polly Smith, Brian Livingston, Alyssia Booth, Rosie Steinke, Brianne Rock, Bryan Martin, Linda Teitelbaum, Courtney Norris, Shea and Tiffany Skinner, Tootie Longo and Dottie James.

Remember: No matter who owns it, who bred it, or who shows it: If it’s perfect, let them know; after all, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DOGS!

Be safe in your travels, my friends! Until next time…

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