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Table Talk · August 14, 2019

Those of you that know me also know that I am somewhat of a fitness fanatic. Much like a passion for showing dogs, this can be annoying to those that do not understand, or choose not to understand. These two passions are more similar than most may think: In both fitness and the sport of purebred dogs you get out of it what you put into it, and professionals and “amateurs” may find themselves competing in the same circles.

There are two women at my gym who are both successful bodybuilders. One is now an IFBB (International Foundation for Body Building) professional, has been competing for a couple of years, and has been extremely successful. Her entire life revolves around bodybuilding and her competition schedule. She is single, has no children, and she lives with her parents. The other is a married mom of two little ones, and is very dedicated to fitness while also being very dedicated to her family. She enjoys her time at the gym, and just did her first competition since having her two children. She looked fantastic, and made first and second callouts (let us compare this to getting pulled in a competitive group). She was thrilled with how she did and we were all very proud of her. She did the show because she wanted to do something for herself, and wanted to prove that she could do it. At the end of the day, it was a big win for her.

In the sport of purebred dogs, there are professional handlers whose lives revolve around competing at dog shows. When not at shows, they are caring for, conditioning, and training the dogs entrusted to them. There are owner-handlers who have dedicated the majority of their time to breeding, showing, training, and conditioning their dogs, and attending shows and competing with them. There are owner-handlers who enjoy being with their dogs, whether they are training and conditioning them, showing them, or just being with them. There are also owner-handlers who have purchased a dog from a breeder, and are interested in going to the occasional show to be with their friends and their dog.

At the end of the day, success at a dog show depends on what your goals are, and what makes you happy. Being judgmental of others because their goals and what makes them happy differs from yours is counter-productive. If you believe in what you are doing, and you love and believe in your dog, and are happy at the end of the day to be taking your dog home, then you, my friends, have won! Enjoy the moment, find the good in what you are doing, and be thankful you are able to be involved in our wonderful sport. Never forget there is always another show, another opportunity. At the end of the day, your only competition is you!

A summer favorite is the Keystone Cluster in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which was held this past weekend at the Pennsylvania Farm Complex. The show committee works hard to raise funds for Take the Lead, which includes a party that is fun for all that participate. This year was no different as it featured a ‘50s-themed party that included a bit of gambling, mingling, good food and drink. I will be sure to report back with the final amount of funds raised this year but, to date, the cluster has raised over $150,000. Congratulations to this dedicated group on the show committee for their continued support and efforts, and to those fanciers who support their hard work.

A couple of exhibitors were unhappy about the reserved grooming fee at Harrisburg. One thing I would suggest people keep in mind is that many clusters are doing what they can to maintain the venues they have as well as the quality of their shows. Charging grooming fees is a smart way for clusters to keep their “heads above water” and put on outstanding events at quality venues. In addition to the convenience of having a reserved grooming spot, you are also helping a cluster to succeed financially!

I heard Kelley Green Davis was involved in a serious car accident on her way home from the Harrisburg shows. Last I heard she was being checked out at the hospital and her dogs were being checked for injuries by a vet. Best wishes for quick healing to Kelley and her dogs.

After judging for a couple of hours, Ellen Fetter asked to be excused from the remainder of her assignment, as she was feeling under the weather. Feel better soon Ellie; we all look forward to seeing you center ring again in short order!

Sulie Greendale-Paveza and Greg Paveza have landed at their new home in Florida! May you guys enjoy fun in the sun in this next chapter of your lives!

A word of caution to those that take their dogs swimming in small lakes and ponds during these hot summer months: Three dogs that I know of have died after swimming in a small lake/pond. Cause of death has been confirmed as reaction to Blue Green Algae Blooms (Cyanobacteria). Please be careful.

Jason Hoke is traveling the world once again; this time to Taiwan for a judging assignment. Brian and Lori Livingston are returning from a beautiful Baltic Sea Cruise. I am sure it was wonderful! I can’t wait to hear about these exciting trips from both of you!

Celebrating anniversaries this week are: Doug and Michaelanne Johnson, Rick and Kathy Bilicich-Garcia, Kelly and Edwin Shupp, Amy and Phil Booth, Jason and Jessica David-Tauber, and Luke and Tammy Seidlitz. May you all have a great anniversary, and many more happy years to come!

Celebrating birthdays this week are: Ron Bigford, Michelle Hanson, Betty Leininger, Vincent Zuniaga, Brian Kurtis, Alicia Morrison-Jones, Andrea McIlwaine, and Nicole Munneke.

This message goes out to those of you who have not yet signed up to volunteer for a club or show. I urge you to find a show in your area and donate some time: I guarantee that you will not be so quick to judge those doing the hard work after you have done it!

Be safe in your travels, and I look forward to seeing those of you who will be attending the Santa Barbara shows. I leave you with this thought for the week: If you see your glass as half empty, pour it into a smaller glass and stop complaining!!! Until next time…

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