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I was thrilled to get such positive feedback from exhibitors about the new venue for the Summerfest Cluster. There was plenty of shade, lots of tenting and chairs, and the Committee had several activities to foster goodwill with exhibitors and vendors. Everyone seemed to enjoy this great show. Our kudos to the show committee for addressing the issues from last year and securing a much better location this year. They should be commended for putting forth the necessary effort to improve entries and make this a great weekend for everyone attending. Something new was a vendor booth-decorating contest. The winner received a free booth for next year’s cluster. What a terrific idea to increase vendor participation! Congratulations to Gary and Susan Allison with the Red Barn booth for winning this year’s contest.

Meanwhile in Monroe, Michigan, after the rain blew through, the weather was fabulous for a dog show: Breezy and sunny, and not too hot! Congratulations to the show committee for hosting a terrific Juniors University that was held on Friday evening after the specialties. The Juniors University was a terrific opportunity for the youngsters in our sport to spend time with professionals and learn about exhibiting, caring for dogs, and the ins and outs of the sport of purebred dogs. This is a great idea and other show committees may want to consider a similar activity. I was able to spend a little time with my “home folks” that I am rarely able to see these days. I lucked out on the weather and am glad I was able to spend a bit of time at what has become one of my favorite show venues!

Sadly, in Ottumwa, IA, reported carelessness by a handler caused the loss of three dogs that expired in a hot car. Craig Eugene reportedly left several toy dogs in a car running with the air-conditioning on, and went inside the building to show a dog. The car stalled and some of the dogs died. I heard that one dog was rescued and was in critical condition. How many times will this happen before everyone learns from others’ mistakes? It seems that this is happening more and more when it should not be happening at all! I sincerely hope that owners take note and are extremely careful before sending their dog with someone who claims to be a professional handler. True professionals do not place their charges in a life-threatening situation. True professionals worry about their dogs first and the show ring second. True professionals understand that the dogs in their care rely on them to survive. I suggest that all owners confirm what their handler’s protocol is for caring for their dogs–not only in general, but in situations that involve extreme heat.

Many clusters continue to contend with declining entries. A couple of clusters have been using social media, email, online and print ads to advertise their clusters while highlighting special events, attractions in the area, etc. This seems like a great way to increase entries.

The Lone Star Cluster in Dallas offered free RV parking for their exhibitors. What a wonderful way to give back to the exhibitors. Kudos to the clubs who made this decision!

I was thrilled to hear that Tony Carter was back in the ring this past weekend! Welcome back Tony! We are all so glad that you are feeling better.

Also on the mend is Clint Harris who had a bad fall into an eight-foot grease pit while buying new windshield wipers for his car. Clint is well on the way to recovery.

BaRay Show Superintendent is offering a Don Rodgers Memorial Juniors Scholarship. For more information, please contact BaRay directly. Their website is barayevents.com

I was saddened to hear of the passing of AKC Judge Bill Whaling. Many of you who have been showing for some time remember Bill’s flamboyant outfits and flair in the ring. He was also a very good judge. Our condolences to Bill’s family and friends on their loss.

Jason Hoke just returned from judging in Uruguay. Quite the jetsetter that Jason!

Best wishes to Brianne Major who has moved to Australia to complete her graduate work. I still have hopes that we will see Brianne back in the states at some point in the future.

As a follow-up to last week’s column, I did check in with Tim Thomas, Director of AKC Judges regarding AKC’s practice regarding granting judges licenses or additional breeds after they have been charged with animal cruelty. The policy for dealing with judge’s misconduct is available on the AKC website. The AKC must differentiate between charges and convictions and it is the resolution of the charges that is reviewed to determine if further action is warranted in accordance to AKC Rules, Regulations and Policies.

AKC deals with sexual harassment charges in accordance with the Judges Alleged Misconduct Policy. If a complaint results in disciplinary action, the information is published on the Secretary’s page of the AKC Gazette online. Please note my friends: For a complaint to be accepted, it must be submitted in writing and it may not be anonymous.

Celebrating birthdays this week are: Bob Shreve, Delores Burkholder, Shari Lee, Jim Ham, Terri Erickson, Paula Nykiel, and Tammy Bohlke. Happy Happy everyone!

Also, Happy Anniversary to Gary and Susan Allison!

Well my friends, that about sums it up for this week. Be safe and keep your dogs cool in the heat.

Until next time….

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