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Table Talk – July 1, 2020

I am so proud of the those in the sport of purebred dogs!  The hard work, adaptability, and respect for fellow exhibitors demonstrated over the past several days is heartwarming!  I am beyond excited to be writing to you this week about the first shows that occurred this past weekend and into the first part of this week!  In fact, as I write about it, I feel the adrenaline flowing.  As Vicki Cushman said in her Table Talk Live Interview from the Labrador specialty, “I’m smiling from ear to ear!”

Terry James and his team at Onofrio Dog Shows and the Southern Handlers Charity League moved heaven and earth to get a four-day cluster put together and approved in record time!  Under normal circumstances, without all of the additional concerns, putting a show together that quickly would be a challenge.  Add the COVID-19 concerns and requirements, and you have next to impossible!!!

The four-day cluster in Guthrie, Oklahoma was named the Learning Cluster for a reason.  The goal was to determine best practices for operating our shows in this pandemic.  Each day procedures were modified to determine what worked best.  Originally, face masks were going to be required at all times on Saturday, and only during examination on Sunday-Tuesday, but that was changed mid-day Saturday and full-time face masks were required at all times while on the showgrounds for the entire cluster.  Volunteers were sanitizing constantly, and show officials were very active in ensuring all exhibitors were maintaining social distancing and abiding by the guidelines.

Critical to the successful return of our sport, efforts were being made throughout the cluster to ensure the sport, and the cluster, was being portrayed in the best way possible.  To that end, live-stream video was not allowed.  I’m sure, like me, you were looking for video, but in an effort to minimize any negative comments, it became apparent very quickly the best way to protect our sport was to minimize the targets and not allow live-streamed video.

CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU to Terry James, David Williams and the Southern Handlers Charity League, and the other volunteers who made the Learning Cluster possible.

This past weekend the Miami Valley Labrador Retriever Club held their specialties at the Lima Kennel Club Show Grounds in Lima, Ohio.  Not only was this one of the first shows back, but it was also the first shows for Nina Fetter’s new venture, Executive Dog Shows.  With an entry of 216, the shows went very smoothly, exhibitors complied with the guidelines, and a good time was had by all.  Nina and her team did a great job modifying procedures to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, and ensure the safety of all exhibitors, judges and volunteers.  Among other things, the following procedures were instituted to ensure compliance and safety:

  • Everyone entering the showgrounds had their temperature checked.  (Everyone was admitted, there were no elevated temperatures detected)
  • Masks were required for all while on the showgrounds.
  • Social distancing was strictly enforced.
  • Separate ring entrances and exits were used.
  • Exhibitors picked up their ribbons from a separate ribbon table.
  • Exhibitors picked up armbands from a single location.

The health department did come to verify all guidelines were being followed and they were pleased with the show!  I strongly encourage specialty clubs and all breed clubs interested in holding an event contact Nina about using the Lima showgrounds as an alternative.  The show grounds are beautiful, and the way has been paved with the health department!  For those interested, I am happy to share the guidelines we prepared for the health department to get this show, and the Western Ohio Summer Cluster which will be held August 14-16, approved.  Feel free to reach out to me at

CONGRATULATIONS to Nina Fetter for all of her efforts in getting the Specialty and the all-breed shows approved.  Kudos to the Miami Valley Labrador Retriever Club for your perseverance and adaptability.

For those planning to attend the Steel Valley Cluster in Canfield, Ohio at the end of July, RV parking is still available!  You can check their Facebook page for more information.

THE SPORT IS BACK, MY FRIENDS!  If we stay smart, work together, and hold judgement about other’s decisions, things will get back to normal sooner rather than later.

If you have not had a chance to watch the Table Talk Live segments I have done over the past several days chatting with organizers and participants of this past weekend’s shows, check them out on the Canine Chronicle Facebook page or at www.CanineChronicle.TV !  Thanks to everyone for your participation.  If you attended the Lab Specialties or the Learning Cluster and would like to share your thoughts, I would love to chat with you.  Please reach out to me via Facebook Msessenger or at

The first AKC Virtual Dog show has come to a close.  Best In Show was awarded by AKC judge and Board member Harold (Red) Tatro III to “Twink”, GCH Carmel Sky Wish Upon A Star, owned by Marilyn Jacobs, Marilyn Lande, Silvia Koos-Kabel, Carma Ewert and Yvonne Phelps.  Be sure to check CanineChronicle.TV for an interview with Terrier Group Judge Bruce Schwartz.

Daryl Martin and Pat Bullard organized the Great American Maltese Celebration, a virtual event to celebrate their beloved breed.  With 478 entries and participation from several icons in the sport, the event was a huge success.  Congratulations on a job well done!

It is good to see fanciers participating in alternative ways to show off your dogs to the fancy.  Next up is the American Heart Association International Heart Classic virtual dog show which closes on July 4th with videos due July 5th.  For more information on the AHA International Heart Classic, check out our website at or .

Congratulations to Lucy Campbell (Briarpatch Bearded Collies) and Tom Dixon (Strathearn Bearded Collies) who were married last week!  May you enjoy many years of health, happiness, and dogs together!

Heartfelt condolences to Cocker Spaniel fancier Bonnie Pike on the loss of her husband, Wilson.  Wilson will be sorely missed by the fancy.

A very special Happy 86th Birthday to Sylvia Jones, dam of our beloved Vicki Cushman.  For many years I watched Sylvia run around the dog shows keeping Vicki on schedule and doing an outstanding job!  Sylvia is still driving and partying with her friends.

Also celebrating his special day is Michael Kemp, who is celebrating his 84th birthday.  Happy Birthday Michael!

Of course, we cannot forget our other friends celebrating their birthdays this week:  Maripi Wooldridge, Marietta Singleton, Robin Greenslade, Bruce Schwartz, Tracy Szaras, Lisa Porter, George Marquis, Terri Galle, John Keil, Heidi Gervais, Rod Ott, Laura King and Bob Busby.  May you all get a special treat on your birthday!

For those of you travelling back from Oklahoma, be safe!  Enjoy the upcoming 4th of July at home.  This is my first 4thof July home in many, many years!

Until next time….

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  • July 2020