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Table Talk · May 12, 2021


A very warm welcome back to the Purina Event Center! This past weekend, after much fancier anticipation, the first shows in over a year were held at the Event Center in Gray Summit, Missouri.  The shows opened on Friday, May 7th, with the Gateway Non-Sporting Show, followed by the all-breed shows on Saturday and Sunday.  Kudos to the clubs and staff at the Purina Event Center for a job well done.  A strong indication of the weekend’s success is that the Missouri Rhineland shows being held June 3-7 will have slightly relaxed COVID guidelines:  Hand Dryers will be allowed in the grooming area, and dogs will be permitted to stay in the building overnight! The Event Center’s ability to relax the guidelines is a tribute, in part, to the exhibitors’ adherence to published rules. It should be noted that it is critical that the remaining guidelines be strictly adhered to in order to enable more progress toward normalcy! Congratulations to one and all, and thank you for your hard work to make this progress happen!

Fanciers who attended the South Jordan Utah shows, or the Dachshund Club of America may have noticed that the Pro Plan booth is back!  I look forward to joining the team again soon at a Purina-sponsored show near you!

This past week was a bit chaotic for exhibitors planning to attend Westminster in June.  The original guidelines that were published had restrictive testing requirements, with Westminster only accepting COVID testing from their third-party vendor, ReelHealth, within 72 hours of entry to the show.  This testing had a hefty cost, and fanciers pushed back. Westminster Kennel Club officials worked very hard to revise the requirements, which include additional acceptable testing providers.  The final COVID requirements can be found on our website at http://caninechronicle.com/breaking-news/may-6-2021-update-final-covid-19-health-and-safety-plan-for-westminster-weekend/

While the requirements may seem exceptional to many, the hard work and perseverance on the part of WKC to make this year’s show happen should not go unappreciated. The show will go on due to this hard work, and exhibitors always have the choice not to attend if they don’t like the requirements put forth by Westminster Kennel Club.

I was able to catch up with Elaine Lessig last week, where we spoke about her thoughts about what to wear at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show.  Keep your eye out for our Table Talk segment to get some fun ideas from Elaine!

I will be chatting with Gail Miller Bisher on May 19th regarding all things Westminster.  Thank you to those that have already sent questions and topics for that interview.  We still have room for a couple more questions: Please send them to me at deb.cooper@caninechronicle.com.

With more shows having formal opening dates, those fanciers who use US Mail for their entries should exercise caution!!!  If your entries are received via USPS prior to the formal opening date, your entries will be rejected!  This just may be the time to jump on the online entry option, my friends!

Jen Baggenstos put a bit of a screeching halt to her big winning weekend by injuring her leg.  She said she will take a couple weeks off to recover from her injury.  Heal quickly, my friend.  We look forward to having you back in the ring soon!

This past week was a brutal one for our sport.  We lost Dorothy MacDonald, an icon in the sport of purebred dogs, who passed away at the age of 94.  Dorothy was well-respected and loved by all who had the opportunity to cross paths with her.  She will be sorely missed by the fancy.

Canadian boxer fancier and judge Jack Ireland passed away this past week, as well.  Jack judged quite a bit in the States and was loved by all that knew him. He will be missed.

The fancy also lost Italian Greyhound fancier Carol Wiedmer this past week.  Carol was also well-known in the Sheltie and Saluki rings.  She was a cherished mentor and friend and will be missed.

Anyone who has shown dogs in Ohio has probably crossed paths at some point with show photographer Brian Kurtis.  Brian and his wife, Betsy, have photographed dog shows for over 30 years.  Brian lost his battle with cancer this past week.  Brian was very quiet about his illness; in fact, most did not know he was ill.  There is a GoFundMe campaign to assist his loving wife, Betsy, and family with medical and funeral expenses.  Brian will be missed.

Celebrating birthdays this week are:  Kathy Probst, Monica Booth, Alessandra Folz-Stymiest, Liz Tobin, Cody Koch and Val McNelis.  May each of you have a great day celebrating with friends and family.

Happy Anniversary to Diane and Larry Hadsall.  Also celebrating their special day this week is Vicki and Jeff Cushman. May you continue to celebrate many more years of wedded bliss!!

Be safe out there my friends and enjoy the moment!!!!  Please don’t forget our clubs need our help! Please volunteer to steward, or pitch in and help in any way that you can!  I’ll see you soon!!!  Until next time…

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