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Table Talk · January 15, 2020

From sunshine to snow! I am off to the Rose City Cluster in Portland, Oregon. I have not attended this cluster in about 8 years and I am looking forward to seeing everyone in the Pacific Northwest! These are always fun shows with many outstanding dogs in attendance.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year! They are celebrating in style as they reported that all of their 2019 match challenges were met. The AKC matched $400,000 in donations from new or lapsed donors, $250,000 in donations for CHF’s Canine Cancer Research Initiative, and $350,000 in eligible transfers from a CHF Donor Advised Fund to any CHF Research Program Area.

The American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation matched $33,500 in donations to CHF’s Hemangiosarcoma Research Initiative as part of a three year, $100,000 pledge to fight this devastating cancer.

I was happy to hear that Tracy Szaras is home safe and sound after leaving the Clemson shows via ambulance due to severe head and neck pain. She checked out okay at the hospital and was home Sunday evening. Here’s hoping they figure out the issue quickly so we will see her back in the ring. Get well soon, Tracy!

The Bloomington Kennel Club has challenged all clubs to join them in donating funds to help Australia with long-term food, water, and habitat shortages for surviving animals. What a noble effort to help those suffering animals on the other side of our planet.

There has been a great deal of discussion on social media recently regarding the guidelines for exhibiting in the National Owner Handler Series while helping Professional Handlers. The NOHS guidelines state the following:

Household members and current assistants to professional handlers in conformation are not eligible to exhibit in this competition. Current assistants that are eligible to compete in Junior Showmanship may participate in NOHS. A current assistant is defined as anyone employed by a professional handler on a full-time basis, or, assisting a professional handler at the show or any show during the cluster/weekend. Eligibility restrictions apply to all members of the same household.

One who simply helps a handler in a bind by taking a dog back into the ring or watching a dog on the table while they step away is not classified as an assistant. One who has responsibilities with the care, preparation, and/or presentation of a handler’s clients would.

The television schedule for Westminster 2020 has been established:

• Agility Finals – FS1 – Feb 9 from 8-10 PM EST

• Monday and Tuesday – Feb 10 & 11 – Daytime judging – FS2 from 1-3 PM EST (Selected Tuesday breed judging will be recorded and added into Monday/Tuesday programming)

• All breed rings and obedience and Junior Showmanship prelims will be streaming live on

• Monday and Tuesday Evening Judging – FS1 – with Pre-game show at 7 PM both nights; Groups start at 7:30 PM EST each night

• Feb 23 at noon (all time zones) Fox will broadcast a one-hour highlight show.

Please remember to reach out to me at if you would like to participate in our breed priority project in New York this year. Are you celebrating a special event while you are in New York? Please give me a shout and let me know.

I was saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Dana Massey, Weimaraner Breeder and AKC Judge. Dana lost her battle with cancer last week. Dana will be sorely missed by the fancy. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.

Sadly, Alessandra Folz-Stymiest lost her husband suddenly this past week. Our hearts are with you at this difficult time, my friend.

The fancy is celebrating many birthdays this week! Happy Birthday to Karen Livingston, Maggie Peat, Rhanda Glenn, Tina Dougan, Cheslie Pickett-Smithey, Courney Kniola, Maddie McCue, Nancy Liebes, Jeff Sossaman, Tammy Seidlitz and Maureen (Mo) Trodd-Nichols.

Be safe in your travels, my friends, and please do not forget to stop and enjoy the moment. Pace yourselves: The year is just beginning!!! Don’t forget to thank a club volunteer, and spend a moment thinking about how you can be kind to someone. Until next time…

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  • September 2020