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Table Talk – January 3, 2018

So it begins once again.  It is hard to believe 2018 is here already and everyone is starting over!  The excitement of starting new dogs with those previously campaigned going home at the Garden is definitely in the air.  As we embark upon a new year, I hope we all approach our dog’s campaigns with the following in mind:

“At the end of the day, we all take home the same dog, the BEST one!  Win with grace, Lose with dignity….dog shows should be fun for everyone!!!!”

As I read the comments about the AKC Championship show broadcast on Animal Planet, then watched the broadcast myself, a couple of things came to mind:  The individual stories and interviews were terrific public outreach for the sport of purebred dogs, as was the broadcast in general.  I was disappointed (as I am sure the competitors were) that they did not televise all four group placements.  Placing in these large, competitive groups is a significant accomplishment which was diminished by the lack of coverage.  I truly hope that the production team will reconsider this decision next year.  I was surprised that the production team did not learn from the mistake made during the Westminster telecast last year and use all AKC registered names.  Again, I hope that constructive criticism will aid the team in making changes next year.

In 2017, the AKC Registered Handlers Program held 24 Juniors Clinics and 9 Adult Clinics around the country.  Congratulations to all involved on great efforts to encourage new participation in our sport!  In case you didn’t know, the AKC Registered Handlers program is now sponsored by Royal Canin dog food.

Sadly, the sport of purebred dogs has experienced numerous losses over the holidays.  Long-time Great Dane fancier and judge Betty Lou Parris passed away at the age of 80.  Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends at this difficult time.  The Great Dane fancy also mourns the passing of long-time fancier and handler Mort Evans who lost his battle with cancer.  Condolences to Mort’s family and friends.

Maripi Wooldridge’s 18 year-old grandson was lost in a fatal automobile accident.  Gone way too soon is Damien Wooldrige.  Our thoughts are with Maripi and her family and friends at this difficult time.

French Bulldog fancier Ron Readmond, husband of Suzanne Orban-Stagle, lost his long-time battle with cancer on Christmas Day.  I remember watching the groups at the Garden with Ron and Suzanne while drinking Phelps Insignia.  Our most sincere condolences to Suzanne and her family at this sad time in their lives.

We are all sending our positive thoughts and best wishes to Lois DeMers.  Lois’ sister Mikki has been hospitalized due to an undiagnosed illness.  Here’s hoping Mikki is on the road to recovery soon.

Happy fifth wedding anniversary to Chelsea and Nick Grubb!  It is hard to believe that you guys have been married five years already!  May you enjoy many more years of health and happiness!

Happy 29th wedding anniversary to Lorrie Carlton and Larry Letsche.  Here’s to many, many more!

I was so excited to hear that Holley Eldred and Dale Kaplan will be making their union official!  All the best for a prosperous life together my friends!

Pug fancier Emily Thiel enjoyed the holidays in the Bahamas.  Dylan and Chris Keith and Megan Hof were so kind to share their holiday in Hawaii with us via Facebook and Instagram photos.  Meanwhile, the Booth family continues with their African safari while sharing such incredible photos via social media.  Safe travels to all my friends!

Celebrating birthdays this week are:  Elaine Reisman, Deborah Bass Shindle, Joseph Vergnetti, Kayley Kovar and Debbie Melgreen.

As you may have seen, we tried our first live Table Talk broadcast(s) from the Orlando shows and will be doing more of these this year.  I would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for breed specific interviews, or other topics that you think the fancy would find interesting, along with those that would help educate newer exhibitors.  Please PM me with thoughts and suggestions!

Happy New Year my friends!  May all of your inspirations become reality and may you be happy, healthy and prosperous in 2018.

Until next time…


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  • February 2020