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Table Talk · December 4, 2019

December 1st was World AIDS Day and once again it brought to mind how significantly the AIDS epidemic has impacted our sport.

In 1981, a group of researchers and scientists published a report in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) about cases of an uncommon type of pneumonia in gay men. Whether the researchers of that MMWR study realized it or not—the AIDS crisis had begun.

Since the epidemic started, about 675,000 people have died from AIDS-related illnesses in the US. The epidemic has also had a worldwide impact—more than 36 million people had the condition at the end of 2016, reports UNAIDS. For people who have access to the treatments, HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence. In fact, treatments can help people live long, healthy lives.

It has been 36 years since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began, and while major strides have been made, stigma and misinformation remains.

The AIDS epidemic was the original reason why Take the Lead was founded. In 1993 Take The Lead was established to lend a level of support to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Since that time, the organization has evolved, their mission expanded, and numerous fanciers have benefited from the organization not only due to AIDS-related needs but so many others: disasters, unrelated illnesses and injuries, etc. Who knows if Take The Lead would even have been established if it were not for this dreadful disease?

There has been a lot of talk over the years about the “graying” of our sport. What World AIDS Day reminds us of is those who were influential in our sport but did not have the opportunity to “gray” with the rest of us. We lost them way too soon. Individuals such as Michael Zollo, Skip Piazza, Bobby Peebles, Craig Osborne, Mark Shanoff, Buddy Dicky, Dee Shepherd, Scott Proctor, Terry Childs, Richard Guevara, Garrett Lambert, Gus Gomez, Max Kerfoot, Carlos DeBango and Michael Larizza to name a few. We will never know what the sport would have looked like today if not for the AIDS epidemic that so severely impacted it.

So, my friends, in honor of World AIDS Day, please remember those we have lost, those that are fighting, and those that are surviving.

It is hard to believe that we are closing in on the last show weekends of 2019! It seems that every year the time gets shorter, doesn’t it? Best wishes to everyone on your final push to achieve your dreams. Whatever those dreams may be, please do not forget to enjoy the moment and cherish the memories you are making.

It seems that many of our West Coast friends will be making their way to Orlando this year via Dallas, TX. The Dallas entries for the weekend prior to AKC/Royal Canin Championship week are 1,500-plus. Entries for the Shoreline shows in Southern California are just over 1,000. I am glad to see that the Shoreline entries are back on the rise. The Dallas shows give those West Coasters who are making the drive the opportunity to break up their travel, which is definitely a positive for the canines and their humans.

The National Dog Show aired once again on Thanksgiving Day following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year, the Kennel Club of Philadelphia had a record entry of 2,080 on Saturday, the day that was recorded for the Thanksgiving Day broadcast. This show was viewed by more than 28 million people last year, which is excellent outreach for our sport.

This year’s AKC/Royal Canin National Championship show boasts an entry of 5,000-plus.  The show will be streamed on AKC.TV.  In addition to the AKC.TV streaming, the show will be broadcast on Animal Planet on New Year’s Day at 6 PM ET/PT.  In addition to the AKC.TV stream and the live broadcast on New Year’s Day, the Canine Chronicle will bring you Table Talk Live! coverage all week.  Make sure to check the Canine Chronicle facebook page and Canine Chronicle.TV to keep up to date on what is happening in Orlando!  Please feel free to reach out to me via face book messenger or via email at deb.cooper@caninechronicle.com if you are interested in helping with a breed priority segment or have a special interest story you think the fancy will enjoy!  The lead-up shows during the week have entries between 4,000 and 4,500, and Friday will not disappoint with many specialties and the NOHS competition.  Best of luck to all and we will see you at the show!

I was thrilled to hear from Art Johnson that his wife Gloria has been given the “all clear” on her 18 month CT scan after treatment for pancreatic cancer. Welcome back to the ring, Gloria! We are thrilled to have you back!

Thoughts and prayers to Carri Beaver and her family as her father became gravely ill over the Thanksgiving holiday and is scheduled to have surgery this week.

Happy Anniversary to Luke and Diane Ehricht! May you guys continue to thrive and have many more happy, healthy years together.

Celebrating birthdays this week are: Scott Yergin, Johnny Shoemaker, Oscar Quiros, Larry Harvey, Alan Hargrave, Clint Livingston and Marti Johnson. Happy Birthday to all!

As the competition heats up at year end, please remember these wise words so eloquently stated by the late Barbara Keenan: “Try to be a good winner as well as a good looser. Be nice to fellow exhibitors. Don’t say nasty things about the competition, and try to be a good sport. Remember everyone has a different opinion of what is a fault. This is meant to be a sport.”

Safe travels to all. I look forward to seeing you in Orlando! Until next time…

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