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Table Talk · February 14, 2024

This month’s Publisher’s column (page 10, Febuary 2024) brought back memories for me. For those of us who have been in the sport for at least a few decades, it was a welcome reminder of how things used to be.  If you have not read it, I encourage anyone and everyone to give it a read. https://caninechronicle.com/current-articles/from-the-publisher-49/

Tom does an excellent job of recalling what he called the ‘golden age of the sport’. He mentions the great dogs and the great handlers of the time.  If we want to continue to witness greatness, the current breeders and exhibitors that are the cream of the crop must pass their knowledge on to the next generation. And those youngsters need to understand they don’t know it all (and probably never will) and seek knowledge from the best our sport has to offer. We should all go to shows with the goal of learning something new.  Additionally, let everyone remember DOGS COME FIRST!

Here’s my suggestion to those fanciers who are newer to the sport of purebred dogs. If you are unfamiliar with the greats of the past mentioned in Tom’s column, do some research.  I promise you will not be disappointed, and you’ll probably learn something.  Those of us who had the opportunity to show dogs in the 1980s and ‘90s competed against people that we idolized and dogs we wished we could show.  My wish for each of you is that you have an idol in the sport that you view with the same admiration Luke Combs showed for Tracy Chapman during their performance of Fast Car at the 2024 Grammys.

Those aspiring judges who are either going through the process to be approved for more breeds, or contemplating the effort, may want to read Wayne Cavanaugh’s recent article titled Moving the Goal Post:  Before you Apply to Judge  https://caninechronicle.com/current-articles/moving-the-goalpost-before-you-apply-to-judge/.  Wayne describes changes to the judge’s approval process that are regressive and punitive in my opinion.  He describes how virtual mentoring sessions are no longer counted toward CE Credit unless the breed is deemed low entry, and that determinations is at the discretion of the department of Judging Operations. For many, kennel visits and mentoring sessions via Zoom are a great way to gain knowledge and insight about a breed you are applying to judge. While the new approval process may not count these sessions for credit, nothing prevents people from trying to get as much knowledge as possible, including the virtual sessions, canine college, etc.

Of great interest to me is Wayne’s discussion about individuals that either have talent to evaluate dogs or they do not.  Nothing could be more accurate!  The AKC provides a great pool of educational resources.  Frankly, it seems to me that those that have the talent are the ones that avail themselves of the resources while those that could really use the help get annoyed and do the bare minimum to increase their knowledge.  This is my plea to all:  Take every opportunity to learn about the breeds you judge or want to judge. Watch the greats and talk to them when the opportunity arises.  Gain an understanding of what makes them special!

This past weekend the Progressive Toy Club held its shows in Tarrytown, NY after a three-year hiatus.  It looked like all who attended had a terrific time.  Congratulations to everyone who did the hard work to make these shows happen and keep this iconic club alive.

The 2024 Westminster Kennel Club invitations have been mailed.  If you were expecting an invite and have not yet received it, you may want to contact MB-F.

Jody Paquette and Laurie Green are off on an African adventure.  Enjoy the moment, and please continue to share your wonderful photos with us!

Heather Buehner and Jason McIlwaine are enjoying some R&R in Mexico.  Enjoy your down time, my friends.  Have a safe trip home!

Rodney Merry is back home after what is hopefully his last surgery!  Rodney continues to persevere and work toward a full recovery.  We look forward to having you back in the ring soon, my friend.

Happy Anniversary to Ken and Virginia Murray.  May you have a year full of prosperity and love ahead.

Fanciers celebrating birthdays this week include:  Jackie Beaudoin, Susan Sprung, Cassidy Jackson, Lenny Gremminger, Ryan Platt, Colette Seror, Erin Olsen, Allison Sunderman and Blair Aguillard Commisso.  Best wishes for an awesome trip around the sun.

My advice to you this week comes from Taylor Swift:  “No matter what happens in life, be good to people.  Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends.  I’ll see you soon down the road.  Until next time…

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