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Table Talk – March 27, 2019

March 27, 2019

I spent a few days in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Tar Heel circuit this past weekend. It had been many years since I’d been at these shows and it was truly a great experience. The Cluster Committee works hard to make this cluster a positive experience for all: Judges, exhibitors, spectators and vendors. Several Senior AKC staffers were in and out throughout the cluster as the shows are in reasonable proximity to AKC’s Raleigh headquarters. AKC TV streamed the groups on Saturday. With an entry right around 1800 on Saturday, the competition was deep throughout the cluster and judges had a great field of dogs to choose from. Congratulations to all involved for a job well done.

As we all band together as a fancy to continue to promote the sport of purebred dogs, and encourage those hard working volunteers to continue to help with these large clusters, folks may want to use caution when posting negative commentary on social media about those same volunteers and any mishaps that may occur during a given weekend. When putting on sizeable, multi-day clusters, it is inevitable that unforeseen things will happen. I encourage folks to seek out a cluster volunteer and chat about what concerns you before turning to social media. In the spirit of my continued effort to keep it positive, I hope we can use the social media platform for positive promotion of our sport and the shows we attend. In my humble opinion, every show committee deserves the right to correct issues before they are aired on social media. If one feels compelled to share issues publicly, perhaps stating how the committee fixed an issue would be a kinder, more productive way to go. Directing negative commentary to a single individual in a public forum is just wrong.

A couple weeks back, someone posted on social media that a dog was poisoned at the Louisville cluster. This statement was not true. This post created negative press for what was otherwise an outstanding cluster. How does this kind of thing appear to someone who is considering getting involved in our sport? We all need to be sure to check our facts before posting such information.

I was very pleased to hear that the American Staffordshire Terrier who was lost for four days at the Atlanta Airport in route home to Amsterdam has been found and is okay!

Several of our American friends are heading to Tokyo for the 70th Anniversary of the Japanese Kennel Club show. Desi Murphy will be judging 193 poodles. Jason Hoke and Gabriel and Ivonne Rangel are also making the journey to Japan for the show.

David Miller is over in Riga, Latvia for a judging assignment. Unfortunately, his sightseeing adventures were impeded by an intestinal flu but he was able to rally to be able to judge on Saturday and Sunday. Feel better, David, and have a safe journey back.

Tuni and Ernie Conti are enjoying some R&R on a Jamaican cruise. Enjoy my friends and safe travels!

The American Kennel Club Government Relations department released an article called No Animal Was Harmed: New “Cruelty” Definitions Turn Good Dog Owners into Criminals. I strongly encourage all of you to read this article. It points out the many reasons that we must familiarize ourselves with ALL of the language in dog legislation in our communities and raise our voices when necessary. What may seem like a good idea that protects our dogs in principal can actually be a nightmare for responsible dog owners. Read the full legislation, including all provisions, and do your part to ensure that the legislation does not impede responsible dog ownership, breeding, etc.

AKC has also released statistics concerning 2018 events. Some data that you may find interesting: Total Entries for all AKC sports for 2018 totaled 3,243,265 which is the largest growth in entries in the last 15 years, up by 3.4% from last year. Conformation entries had their best year since 2003 but were down .02% from last year. Junior’s entries were up by 5.8% from last year, which is the largest increase in the last 12 years. The increase in junior entries is encouraging for the future of our sport. I am a bit disappointed in the conformation entries as compared to all entries, but am encouraged that the entry is holding steady.

I was sorry to hear from Michael Shoreman’s wife, Rosemary, that he passed away on March 25th. I am told he was surrounded by his family. Before embarking upon his judging career, Michael bred Border Terriers and Weimeraners. He will be missed by the fancy. We extend our most sincere sympathies to Rosemary and Michael’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Armando Angelbello checked in to let us know that Miniature Pinscher breeder/exhibitor Mary Swick passed away. Our thoughts are with Mary’s daughter, Jean Welsh, and the rest of Mary’s family at this sad time.

Celebrating birthdays this week are: Judy English Murray, Tad Brooks, Allison Foley, Kelly Shupp, Terri Meyers, David Powers, Tim Thomas, Chris Berg, and Daniel Stutzman.

Safe travels to your next destination my friends and remember it is only March! Pace yourselves as there is a long show year ahead!

Best of luck to all! Until next time…

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