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Table Talk – December 6, 2017

I am saddened once again to have to extend best wishes to my southern California friends as fires are burning out of control with thousands being evacuated in Ventura County. The photos of the fires behind the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the host hotel for the Ventura shows for many years, are quite eerie! Please be safe and leave if you are near the fires.

As we embark on the last show weekends of the year, the shows in Rosemont, IL and in Cleveland, OH are once again competing against each other, which is unfortunate. For many years these shows were held concurrently. Due to the negative impact on both clusters, the show committees were able to change the show calendar so the shows in Rosemont were held the weekend prior to the shows in Cleveland. Then the Orlando cluster and the AKC National Championship were added to the mix. I remember when both clusters had significant entries of 2500-3000 on the biggest day. This year, the largest entry in Cleveland is 1588 (down 500 from last year) and the entry in Rosemont on the largest day is 1141. The International Kennel Club of Chicago, still trying to find a home, is joining Skokie Valley this year in Rosemont. Also, this year the Rosemont Cluster has changed show superintendents from Onofrio Dog Shows to Roy Jones Dog Shows.

Unfortunately, some folks are still getting their grooming reservations for the Orlando shows back in the mail due to the space being sold out. I thought I heard that the show was moving to a larger building so all reserved grooming could be accommodated, but I must have been mistaken. Here is hoping the show committee works with all the exhibitors to find ample grooming space for everyone. I might suggest that those who want reserved grooming for future years not leave it up to an entry service, etc. to mail in those reservations, and handle that directly! This year RV reservations maxed out at 175, up from last year’s 140.

I saw a shared post on Facebook from Deric Aube about his colleague’s autistic teenage daughter and her interest in show dogs. Jennifer’s family will be bringing her to the Orlando shows this year. This is her dream come true. The post solicited fanciers to reach out so Jennifer could meet dogs, dog people, etc. Several folks have responded, including yours truly, to welcome a meeting with Jennifer and her family. If you have a bit of time, please search for Deric Aube on Facebook and do the same. Let’s show Jennifer what a terrific family of enthusiasts we are! Jennifer can quote statistics about the top dogs verbatim from month to month, which she keeps up with by looking at the magazines. Wouldn’t if be terrific for her if she could meet those very dogs she studies every month?

Jason Hoke might consider taking up residence in Asia as off he goes again! This time he is headed to Wuhan, China to judge. Safe travels my friend!

Bob Busby and Erika Bigott made it official and tied the knot in North Carolina this past week. Congrats to the lovebirds and may you have many years of happiness.

Mike Berry and Kate Batzner got hitched in Southern California last Saturday. All the best to you guys!

It is quite intriguing to see what some of our fellow fanciers did for a living prior to joining our dog show family! It seems that Susan Bleckley had quite the modeling career. I enjoyed seeing the stunning photos on Facebook. I’d love to hear about interesting careers or activities that others have been involved with aside from their dog show life. Corey Benedict, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen and English Springer breeder and Area Manager for Purina, had quite the musical career with Disney – both as a producer and performer. Some of the videos of his performances pop up on Facebook here and there. Such amazing talent!

I am encouraged to see the stand that both the PHA and the AKC Registered Handlers programs are taking as it relates to the false representation of service dogs. I can only hope this strong position discourages the abuse of the service dog designation and the flying of dogs to dog shows while falsely represented as service dogs.

Val and CJ, the 2016 Westminster Kennel Club Best In Show winning team, have taken on a new challenge by competing in Barn Hunt! It is great to see versatility in our top dogs (and handlers!). Komondorok and English Toy Spaniel breeder and AKC conformation judge Nancy Liebes is doing agility with her ETC Jiggly! GOOOO Nancy and Jiggly!

I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Komondor fancier Audrey White’s mom after an extended illness. My thoughts are with Audrey and her family at this difficult time.

Celebrating birthdays this week are: Johnny Shoemaker (you don’t look a day over 21 my friend), Scott Yergin, Steve Hurt, Alan Hargrave and Clint Livingston. A special 93rd birthday wish to Margaretta Patterson Kauffman. Marge: you look absolutely fantastic!

To all my friends traveling to Orlando, please travel safe, and we will see you there!

Unti next time…

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