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Table Talk · March 27, 2024

They say spring has sprung, but in my neck of the woods that is debatable! This is the time of year when weather brings uncertainty and with that comes road safety concerns. We can only do our best to predict what the weather will be when we set out for a road trip.  But in turn,  we do have control over stopping until conditions improve.  We carry precious cargo and must act responsibly!  No show is worth our safety, and that of our dogs!

On Monday, Fox News 32 in Chicago reported that AKC Judge and veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Adam King was arrested for knowingly distributing child pornography. The details of the things he is accused of doing, including allegedly planning to sexually assault his unborn child, are detailed in a complaint filed by the Federal government. Here is the link:

He is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago and his request to be released was denied on Tuesday. 

Another exhibitor has been arrested on child pornography charges recently. Jacob Boudreau, 30, of Appleton, Wisconsin was charged with 12 counts of possession of child pornography. His roommate is accused of multiple counts of bestiality.

If you have read the reports and charging documents in these cases, you will be disgusted and sickened by the actions both men are accused of and the depravity of anyone who has committed such acts. My skin was crawling as I read the reports.  

Immediately after the news of Mr. King’s arrest was made public, AKC removed him from their list of active judges. He was also removed from this year’s Westminster judging panel. 

As expected, shortly after this news broke, social media erupted with discussion about the arrest of Mr. King. The comments ran the gamut from people recounting their own bad experiences–some claiming sexual­ assaults–at dog shows to demands that AKC do something to prevent sexual predators from attending these events. There is discussion of requiring judges, handlers, and other professionals to take the SafeSport course and have a background check. There have been demands that convicted sex offenders be barred from dog shows. Many fanciers posted a ’Safe Sport” message on social media stating their willingness to help in the event of a compromising situation.  AKC President Dennis Sprung put out a statement on Tuesday that was met with mixed reviews and some derision:

There is no doubt that we all want to prevent people like those mentioned above along with anyone else who might endanger our children from attending or participating in public events like dog shows. The suggestions made by some on social media, such as the “Safe Sport” concept mentioned above, might be part of the solution. However, making quick decisions based on current events is not the way to develop good, lasting policy.  We can hope that AKC is able to come up with some enforceable rules or regulations that will ensure that children and adults will have a safe, inviting environment to exhibit their dogs, but we must recognize that we all must do our part.

Please note the Safe Sport program is not a screening program, perse, it is an educational program that teaches individuals how to detect an inappropriate situation.

What can be done, and is enforceable, is that all parents make sure your children are not entrusted to someone you don’t know well that might potentially cause them harm. It’s the duty of every parent to keep their child safe. And to all exhibitors, judges, club members and support staff, please be observant and if you see something that appears questionable or behavior that seems inappropriate, do something. Call the rep, the show chairman or the police.  We all need to create a “Safe Sport” for our younger generation and keep our sport safe for all.

Thank you to those of you who have reached out about our Table Talk Live! coverage in Louisville.  One of the reasons I love attending these shows is there is always a “target rich” environment for interesting segments.  As those of you who watched the coverage know, I tried to talk to as many NOHS participants as possible to chat about their views regarding priorities and/or preference relating to NOHS vs. regular competition. Not only did I interview NOHS participants, I also talked to judges who adjudicate both. If this topic interests you and you have not had the opportunity, I encourage you to view the Table Talk Live! segments on our Facebook page or Canine Chronicle TV.

In summary, the NOHS participants that I spoke with:

  • …Have different goals for different dogs and therefore have different priorities based on the situation.  I was pleased to learn that most participants I spoke with begin with a career in NOHS and once they are confident and have a sound foundation, they follow their NOHS year with a year focused on regular group competition.
  • …Are ready for the challenge.  Competitors recognize that the caliber of dogs and handlers in the NOHS groups has dramatically improved, and competition is quite deep.
  • …Do not think that it makes sense to disallow those owner/handers who have been successful in regular groups (receiving Group wins and Best In Shows) from participating in NOHS groups.
  • …Feel the NOHS has helped them gain confidence and has made the sport more enjoyable for them.
  • …Judges who judge NOHS breed/group competition, do NOT judge NOHS any differently than they judge regular breed/group competition.  They compare each entry to the breed’s standard.

Again, I would like to thank all that participated.  I was honored to have positive, uplifting conversations with you!

An owner/handler I have not yet had the pleasure of speaking with Jessica Edwards-Chrisopoulos, who has a great story to tell!  Jessica saw Heather Buehner and Nathan on the Westminster Kennel Club dog show broadcast and decided to follow her dream.  Jessica has since satisfied the requirements for the Bloodhound Show Dog Hall of Fame herself, with her first Bloodhound, by earning 200 breed points, 1,000 all-breed points and 10 group placements!  This, my friends should be an inspiration to us all!  Congratulations, Jessica, and welcome to our wonderful sport!  Stay tuned for a Table Talk Live! segment with Jessica to chat about her amazing accomplishment.

Our sport has many different types of enthusiasts who get joy in different ways.  Some hobbyists enjoy taking their dog to shows to complete their championship. Others get joy from traveling and competing with their dog and have no grand ranking goals in mind.  Some compete in both performance sports and conformation. And there are the folks that have caught the bug and push a bit harder, attending shows week after week to garner points toward one ranking system or another. The beauty of our sport is that exhibitors can be fulfilled in so many ways. One should not judge how others find their joy. Furthermore, those who find themselves on a journey down the “rankings” road should always remember to enjoy each win and accomplishment and not focus only on the number of points. While earning many points is the icing on the cake, remember there are so many that would like to be in your shoes–points or no points!!

Once again, the American Whippet Club has a record-breaking entry for their National!  Congratulations to Breeder-Judge Debbie Davenport who will judge 700-plus conformation Whippets! The American Whippet Club certainly knows how to do right! Best of luck to all who will be competing. Most importantly, have a good time with your fellow fanciers.

After repeated attempts to try to secure an alternate site, the Scottsdale Dog Fanciers Association has announced that they will not be holding their shows this November. The club will stay active this year holding matches and other community events and looks forward to being back for their 2025 shows.

Fanciers celebrating this week include:  Dale Sullens, Kate Murray, Tad Brooks, Kelly Shupp, Allison Alexander, Tiffany Saxon, David Powers, Terri Meyers, Tim Thomas and Olivia Uyeno.  Enjoy your special day and dance like you have never danced before!

This week I would like to encourage all my friends to adopt this state of mind:  Life may not be the party we’d hoped for, but while we are here, we should DANCE!!!

Be safe in your travels and be kind to those around you.  A little bit of kindness goes a long way!  I’ll see you down the road.  Until next time…

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