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©Lisa Croft-Elliott

By Angel Rumbolo

Photos by Lisa Croft-Elliott

   I have been actively handling dogs for 16 years, and for the last 3½ months I, amongst others, have not been able to work at or do what we love. Due to the fear of the CoVid-19, a lot of shows have been canceled or rescheduled for future dates which has caused so many in our sport significant hardship.

There may be a solution that will address many of the concerns of everyone who want shows to resume across the country. Since many health experts say it is much harder to spread the virus outdoors, it seems that outdoor shows would be the best, most safe way to protect people from the spread of CoVid-19. We are currently in the middle of summer, so holding outdoor shows during the day in most of the US is difficult, but having shows outside NOT impossible.

   Outside dog shows in hot states can be extremely dangerous–not only for the animals we are showing but for the handlers and judges as well. On a summer day in the South, the temperatures outside can reach to over 100? and can feel 110?+. Those temperatures can be potentially deadly to some people and animals. So how can we have outside shows during the summer, to minimize being indoors, but do it safely without putting people in more danger? The answer: Dog shows, outside, AT NIGHT.

   About a week ago I posted a status on Facebook to get some feedback on the idea of holding dog shows outdoors at night in the US. Most of the feedback I got was incredibly positive. A lot of fellow handlers and owners said it sounded like a great idea and stated they would attend a night show. Some people said it sounded like a ton of fun. Others said they have attended night shows before and they really liked them. Some people had some concerns.

©Lisa Croft-Eliott

   One concern was that temperatures in some states, even at night, can still be in the 80s and it is still humid. I agree that those temperatures are uncomfortable but standing outside at 12 PM and standing outside at 12 AM is a much different experience. At 12 PM you have the sun beating down on you, the dogs, and the judges. At 12 AM you have the moonlight beating down on you, the dogs, and the judges. At night there can be a 20-30 degree difference from the daytime temps. That temperature difference can mean so much for the comfort of the dogs. That temperature difference can mean so much for the people at the show, too! There would be less chance of dogs or people overheating, experiencing heat stroke, passing out, or becoming dehydrated.

   Another concern is that the bugs come out at night, especially when the lights are on. I live in the South, so I most definitely understand that concern. The solutions kennel clubs could look into would be placing tiki torches around the show area, in places that are safe with some type of protection from them getting knocked over. They could also use citronella candles. If the club looked in to ordering in bulk, I am sure they could find a good price on the large number that would be needed for the show. Another option would be using bug zappers. Again, ordered in bulk I am sure a good deal can be found. The grounds could be fogged an hour before the show starts, too. Also, handlers and judges can use some type of bug repellent such as OFF.

   Night shows have been held in Europe for years. I would rather show at night than during the day at an outdoor show during the summer. Personally, I would attend the show and I would encourage as many others as I could to attend. There is no doubt that the nights will be long. We would need to start the shows around 6 PM. That means the show would run until about 2 AM. I think we can all figure out a schedule that allows us to get ample sleep and still show at night; I know I already have a schedule for our truck if it happens. I think the animals and people would be much more comfortable showing outdoors at night. I would love to help any club that is interested in trying to hold night shows. I think this is something we can use right now as well in the future. Who knows, it might be the start of something new that will benefit our sport.

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Posted by on Jul 13 2020. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  • August 2020