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Table Talk · December 11, 2019

It is hard to believe that I am in Orlando for the last cluster of 2019! It seems it was just yesterday that I was flying home from the 2018 National Championship week! Spirits here are high and everyone is working feverishly to set up and get their dogs looking their best for what is turning out to be very stiff competition at the 2019 AKC/Royal Canin National Championship week. Exhibitors are enjoying the beautiful, new, stainless steel bathing tubs with doors and steps to help make the task of bathing a bit easier.

In addition to some of the most beautiful dogs in the world, the week offers many educational opportunities as well. From judges participating in judge’s education to the family that is trying to decide what breed is best for their family, there is something here for everyone. The group judging and Best In Show will not only be streamed live on AKC.TV, but there will be a broadcast on New Year’s Day on Animal Planet. The streaming and television broadcasts are such terrific outreach for our sport. Please be sure to tell all of your “non-doggie” friends about this coverage and encourage them to watch, one way or the other.

A novice exhibitor was placed in an uncomfortable situation recently when they felt that the judge did not give them enough time to set up their dog for examination. This can be somewhat of an uncomfortable scenario, especially in a class of one. We are taught to get our dog set up in an efficient manner, and I think everyone will agree with me that this efficiency takes time and practice. Politely asking the judge to allow the exhibitor to finish setting up their dog is not out of the question. There are times when judges don’t even realize that the exhibitor is not “ready”. It is also important that the judge recognizes that if the exhibitor is not polished, they very well could be new, and giving them a positive experience so they want to come back would be great.

Jason Hoke was called out specifically for taking extra time with a new, young exhibitor recently and that act of patience and kindness has gained the sport a new exhibitor that will come back with a smile on their face! Kudos, Jason! This is one of the many reasons why you have gone so far in your judging career.

A couple of dogs that attended the Lansing, Michigan shows became seriously ill and, sadly, it has been reported that one of those dogs has died. Symptoms of lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea were reported and the illness escalated very quickly. Keep an eye on your dogs for any signs of illness and, by all means, keep your dogs home if there is any question at all that they may have a bug.

Those of you who attended the Greater Clark County show this past weekend may want to keep an eye on your credit card statements if you paid for anything at the venue in that manner as there have been reports of credit card scamming from there.

I was thrilled to hear that Christi Halliday will be back in the ring soon following a stroke. Christi has worked very hard to gain her life back and should be commended for her perseverance and dedication. Welcome back, Christi!

Congratulations to Jake Haycock who will be venturing out on his own in 2020. Jake has worked for several handlers to gain a well-rounded base of experience. He will be located in Northern California.

Brad Jenkins ventured off to Bogota, Columbia for a few days for a judging assignment. Surely Brad had the opportunity for a bit of sightseeing before returning stateside. Safe travels back, my friend!

Desi Murphy was off to Taipei, Taiwan to judge. Safe travels, Desi! I cannot wait to hear about your trip.

Celebrating birthdays this week are: Rachel Adams, Marilyn Funke, Ed Thomason, Jocelyn Mullins, Paul Catterson, Luke Ehricht, Heidi Cole and Chris Millman. May you all have wonderful birthdays spent with family and friends.

Lovebirds celebrating anniversaries this week include Peggy Beisel-Mcilwaine and Sandy Mcilwaine who are celebrating their 39th anniversary, Terry and Eddie Chacon who are celebrating 47 years of love and happiness, and Erika Bigott-Busby and Bob Busby. Happy Anniversary to all of you, and may you all have many more happy years together.

As tensions rise this week, please remember to enjoy the moment and be good winners and good losers. A lot of hard work goes into making the Orlando cluster happen–from the club volunteers, to site control, and so many others. A nod and a thank you goes a long way, my friends. Make it a point to say thank you to someone at least once each day!

I’ll see you ringside this week, my friends! Join me in saying hi to those at home that could not be with us. We will do our best to keep all of our friends at home posted on what is happening here in Orlando. Tune in to the Canine Chronicle Facebook page and Canine Chronicle TV at for our Table Talk Live! coverage.

I leave you with this thought for the week: A lover will give you a kiss. A friend will give you a hug. A dog will give you their heart! Until next time…

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