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The Odyssey of Mentoring – Video

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74 – October, 2020

Click here to watch on Canine Chronicle TV!

By Wayne Cavanaugh

In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, overachiever Odysseus leaves home for 20 years to fight in the Trojan War and find his way home without GPS. All because a gaggle of goddesses were quarreling over who would get The Golden Apple for being the fairest of them all. With the quarrel turning into an all-out war, it would have been profoundly unsafe, and bad form, for Odysseus to bring his infant son, Telemachus, along for the journey. So he left little Telemachus under the supervision of an old and trusted friend whose name just happened to be Mentor.

Mentor was a good guy who was very good at his job; therefore, we use his name for those who become a positive, guiding influence in another person’s life. There you have it, mentors, the story behind your task. And quite a task it is. Often rewarding, sometimes thankless. Always admirable.

In the dog show world, we most often hear the term “mentor” in the context of judge’s additional breed applications. There are two official categories of judging mentors. The first are individuals approved by a breed’s parent club who appear on the club’s “approved mentors list”. The club then provides their list to the AKC who posts it on the AKC website. Judging applicants can go to the site to find approved mentors, arrange for mentoring, and meet the requirement of learning from a mentor. In certain situations, the second category of official mentors can be judges who have judged that particular breed for at least twelve years or a judge with 12 or more years breeding and/or exhibiting experience in that breed.

Judging applicants are required to find and learn from an approved mentor. The mentor then signs a form stating they mentored the applicant so the applicant can tick the box to fulfill that particular requirement. In the worst scenario, mentors are a box that must be ticked. In the best scenario, they are an excellent and positive guiding influence for those serious enough to really want to learn.

On its face, the mentoring program is easy to dismiss. Which mentors get approved by the parent club and how? Are there personal biases and shades of politics involved? I guess it’s possible – we are humans. And yes, twelve years of judging may seem arbitrary, probably because it is, but it is certainly reasonable. Then there is the possibility that the quality of students and mentors may vary – do you know what they call doctors who got C’s in medical school? Doctor.

Click here to read the complete article

74 – October, 2020

Be sure to check out Other On Point with Wayne Cavanaugh on CanineChronicleTV

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On Point with Wayne Cavanaugh

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  • October 2020