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Table Talk July 10, 2019

I spent my first 4th of July weekend home in years! While I missed the California folks that I normally see on this weekend, it was quite nice to spend the weekend at home. I think, every once in awhile, we all need to try to spend a holiday weekend at home with our families and friends!

This year was the last year for the Summerfest shows-held in Southern California over the 4th of July holiday weekend-as currently configured. For the past three years, the Summerfest Cluster, which is comprised of Channel Cities Kennel Club and Santa Maria Kennel Club, has been held at the Cal State College, Channel Island in Camarillo, California. Next year, Channel Cities will hold their shows the same weekend at the same Cal State site. Santa Maria will move to a venue in Santa Maria and will hold their shows mid-August. I still have hope that there will be two clubs who can join forces to hold a four-day cluster at the beautiful Ventura Fairgrounds. One can always hope, right?

Now that the summer months are in full swing and temperatures are heating up, it seems a good time to raise the issue of what may or may not be too much to ask of your dog. Depending on whether or not summer shows are held outdoors in the heat, or indoors with air conditioning, the right amount of effort we ask of our dogs can change. Of course, every dog is different. There are dogs that do quite well in the heat, and there are dogs that can overheat easily. With the addition of the National Owner Handled Series, and the additional group competition, there may be a time when an owner-handler has to make a choice about which event is more important to them. If there is no time for the dog to cool down due to the scheduling of the regular groups and the NOHS groups, an exhibitor could be asking more of their dog than they should given the conditions. I have heard kudos from some NOHS participants about clubs that have worked the schedule to make it more feasible to show in both groups, but this is not always possible. All exhibitors need to know their dog, know their dog’s limits, and act accordingly. If you foresee a group scheduling issue after you have won both the NOHS and Regular Best of Breed on a warm day at an outdoor show, go to the show chair to determine if there is a way to address the problem with a schedule change. More and more owner-handled dogs are becoming more competitive, and I see this as a positive indicator for our sport. Let us not forget that our dogs cannot say no, and it is our responsibility to do what is best for their well-being! This goes for owner-handled dogs and professionally handled dogs. Don’t be shy! If you think it is too hot for your dogs, it probably is: Don’t be afraid to pack it in for the day.

Congratulations to Fan Yu who received the deLaszlo Foundation award in London recently for his Running Whippet sculpture. This award is given to artists 35 years of age or younger. Anyone who has been to the Santa Barbara Kennel Club Breeders Showcase has had the opportunity to see many of Fan’s wonderful sculptures.

I’m looking forward to seeing those of you doing the Houston leg of the Texas trek next week. Keep an eye out for me and join the Table Talk Live fun!!

Celebrating anniversaries this week are Shea and Tiffany Skinner as well as Gary and Susan Allison. May you love birds continue to thrive and enjoy many more happy, healthy years together!

Healing thoughts are with John Benoit who has been in intensive care for the past two weeks. We are all thinking about you, my friend, and we hope to see you back in the ring soon.

Celebrating birthdays this week are: Jaime Larkman, Bob Shreve, Delores Burkholder, Arlene Davis, Jim Ham, Shari Lee and John Keil. Happy Birthday to you all!

Be safe out there my friends. Check your temperature monitors, and be smart about the weather. I leave you with these words of wisdom this week: Some talk to you in their free time, and some free their time to talk to you: Learn the difference!!! Until next time…

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