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Table Talk · January 17, 2024

The beginning of the show year is filled with excitement.  It’s fun to watch dogs start their specials career. You can feel the excitement of the owners and handlers as they guide their new hopefuls on the path to what they hope is stardom.  There should be no stress as we watch the development of our new dogs.  The first part should be about finding your rhythm and developing a relationship with your dog.  As we all understand, no two dogs are alike!  Please do not push them too hard.  Enjoy this time together as you start your journey to what is hopefully a long, successful career for your dog.

Winter months can be quite challenging for those who travel across the country.  Weather-related road conditions, flight delays and cancellations are a sad reality this time of year.  If you are traveling from one show destination to another, please remember that no dog show and no ribbon is more important than you and your dogs’ safety!  If the weather is bad, please stop and continue when conditions are safe!  If you are traveling by air, stay informed and accept the inevitable delays.  No one can control Mother Nature!!

Weather challenges were a reality when exhibitors tried to make their way across the country from Palm Springs–whether by car or by plane!  At some point, the likelihood that your plans will be impacted by weather is a reality.  Safety is paramount. There will always be another dog show to attend.

The Winnegamie Dog Club show in Wisconsin was delayed until 11 AM last Saturday due to weather. Thank you to the club members and superintendent for your concern for the safety of the exhibitors, judges, and volunteers!

This past week at the shows held in Turlock, California, Jiffy the Whippet got loose. Many exhibitors helped try to find Jiffy.  Fortunately, Jiffy was found about 36 hours later, and she is back with her owner.  Thank you to one and all who helped find this girl!  The dog community bands together once again and saves the day!

The 2nd week in February has historically been a challenging week for clubs holding dog shows. This was due to people making their annual pilgrimage to New York for Westminster.  Since that week is no longer “Westminster week”, it has opened great date alternatives for clubs to hold shows and hope for good entries.  What’s interesting is that many clubs have taken advantage of this opportunity!  The Lone Star State Classic in Dallas took a chance and moved their show dates from December to February!  This is sure to be a great weekend of shows that are held in a terrific venue. The good news is you still have time to enter all four days of shows being held at Dallas Market Hall, February 8-11.  Entries close next Wednesday, January 24th. The superintendent is MB-F. If you have not had the opportunity to watch the Table Talk Live interview with Larry & Vicki Abbott about the shows, be sure to go to our Facebook page, or caninechronicle.com.

It didn’t take Mary Dukes long to make the transition to retirement!  Mary, Val Atkinson and Lydia Frey celebrated Mary’s retirement in style by going to Argentina to explore the Andes Mountains on horseback.  It sounds like the trip of a lifetime!  Thank you for sharing the most incredible photos of your journey.

Kim and Angela Booth are back in their happy place–on a photo safari in Africa. This time, they did back-to-back safaris!  Anyone considering a journey of this type should contact Angela who has become quite the African Safari tour guide!!!!!

Tuni and Ernie Conti got out of the frozen tundra just in time!  They have been enjoying sunshine, palm trees and adult beverages in Jamaica!  Here’s hoping you can wait until the bad weather passes before coming home.

I was thrilled to hear that Rodney Merry continues to heal. More importantly is he is keeping a positive attitude!  Keep up the great work, Rodney.  We are looking forward to seeing you soon.

Valeria Rickard is cuddled up under the blankets while healing from foot surgery.  Heal quickly, and we will see you soon.

Fanciers all over the world are mourning the sudden loss of Mark Cocozza.  Mark was from the UK and spent over 40 years in the sport.  He was an international judge and a very active participant in the sport of purebred dogs.  His dear friend, Gavin Robertson, shared his feelings and they were so well said, I felt I had to share them with you:

We all have best friends in our lives.  Yesterday I lost mine.  We were like brothers through thick and thin.  He never craved the limelight or asked for praise.  My kids just knew him as Uncle Mark who swore and laughed.  He treated them like they were his.  Anyone who knew him was better for it.  Anyone who did not missed out.  He gave so much and had so much more to give us all.  He had class, style and was so loyal to his friends. We had our daily chats about random stuff and always had each other’s backs.  He picked me up when I was low, and I tried my best to do the same for him.  We laughed like naughty kids for over 35 years and never had a cross word.  It wasn’t your time to go, mate…

Rest well, Mark. We will see you on the other side.

Please join me in wishing Wally and Carol Sommerfelt a happy anniversary as they celebrate 40 years of wedded bliss.  I’m sure your anniversary celebration will involve the Ohio State Buckeyes in one way or another!  Enjoy your time together my friends.

Fanciers celebrating birthdays this week include:  Connie Wagner, Cheslie Pickett-Smithey, Michelle DeMaster-Schmidt, Patti Jason, Courtney Kniola, Nancy Liebes, Maddie McCue, Ava Hata, Susan Giles, Adam King and Daryl Martin.  Have a great day celebrating, one and all!!

Here is my wish for you as we begin another year: Look Back and Be Grateful, Look Ahead and Be Hopeful, Look Around and Be Helpful.

Be safe out there my friends.  Please do not forget to enjoy the moment.  If your travels bring you to Portland for the Rose City Cluster, please stop by the Purina booth and say hi!  Until next time…

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