Table of Contents
Volume 5 Number 3 • Summer 2020
Editorial Muriel Lee
I Would Walk 500 Miles...
Diet Related Cardiomyopathy
Kim Booth•An African Adventure
Coronavirus & European Shows
AKC Canine Health Foundation Muriel Lee
Lisa, CJ Farve & Angela Chase A TerrierGroup Interview
Welcome To My World Artist Interview- Melanie Feldges
Anyone Bring A Sportcoat? Deb Bednarek
Look at Books Muriel Lee
TerrierGroup 2020. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Disclaimer: the editor reserves the right to refuse, edit, shorten or modify any material submitted. The editor’s decision on all printed material is final. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher can not be held responsible for breach of copyright rising from any material supplied. No responsibility is taken for errors and inaccuracies or claims in advertisements. Anyone wishing to contribute their artwork, short stories or comments can submit them to melanie@ terriergroup.org
Advertisers • Summer 2020 Kaitlin Ambrogio........................................................... 22-23
Jason Shafer..................................................................... 8-9
Chris Brill-Packard......................................................... 46-47
Cheryl and David Stanczyk.............................................. 37
Sue Bower........................................................................... 41
Scottish Terrier Club of America....................................... 48
Texas Eddie Delaney........................................................ 8-9
United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club................................ 45
Melanie Feldges Fine Art.................................................. 36
Stacy Zimmerman............................................................. 37
Barbara Gibson Memorial............................................... 43 Stacy McWilliams............................................................... 37 Dr. Theresa Nesbitt MD..................................................... 2-3
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Muriel Lee • EDITORIAL
TerrierGroup Editorial The times, indeed, have changed and we all wonder, “When will dog shows start up again?” Unfortunately, Montgomery County, the great terrier show that draws exhibitors and spectators from around the world, will not be held this year. I talked to Ralph Hogancamp, president and show chairman of the Minneapolis Kennel Club, which holds their shows in late November and he commented, “The show is all set but the board is nervously watching the future with some predictions of the virus returning in the fall. Superintendent and the site have been surveyed as to when an absolute decision must be made.” Scary and disruptive times for everyone. In this issue we have three interviews with well-known handlers CJ Favre, Lisa Favre and their assistant Angela Chase. They all mention the changes that they will see in their lives in the future. We finish up, in this issue, with the interview with Kim Booth and his African travels and the safaris he has led. Of course, with this comes fabulous animal photography. Kris Kibbee has a wonderful article on strollers for dogs complete with photos and the pros and cons for various dogs. In these times we’ve noticed many dog owners out walking their dogs and all of these have kept all of their feet and paws on the ground, not a stroller to be seen. However, once we all settle down, get back to our jobs, the time may come for a stroller in a dog’s life. Olga Forlicz writes about the effect of the coronavirus in Europe and the Scandinavian countries, and Dr. Sharon Albright writes on diet-related cardiomyopathy in dogs.
We are saddened to mention that Dr. Barbara Gibson, one of our writers on working the terrier has passed away. Barbara was an active member of the Scottish Terrier Club of America and a very dedicated supporter of the working terrier. Her Scotties, owned with Allene Auld, have performed in all performance sports. She will be missed. News of the day. An article in The Washington Post on ‘Those quarantine quirks’ notes that your dog may be as structured in his living habits as his human is. When you’ve been home for a week or more and you notice that your dog is becoming nervous, barking a lot or acting odd, he may be as disturbed about your being home all of the time and his daily habits have changed. Where is the time for his three- hour nap which he usually takes on the sofa where you are now sitting and taking conference calls? In addition you are suddenly walking him five times a day and he will again wonder about the changes in the number of walks. The experts suggest that you try to give your pet some alone time. If he’s used to a crate when you are gone all day put him in the crate for a few hours. And watch the unexpected treats as they can quickly become a habit. “This is new for all of us. I encourage people to let their dogs help them make it easier. That means we have to be there for them, too. Now is the time to reinforce behaviors we want to see and can continue when this is all over.” There is always room for a little bird news, especially when more people are walking now, the parks and streets are quiet, and one has a chance to really hear and see the birds. “Wisdom” an
albatross, is 59 years old and has raised another chick successfully. One of our local bird experts, Jim Williams, wrote about Wisdom as she is the world’s oldest known wild and banded bird, and is now the oldest known new mother, having successfully raised another chick. For many years she has a mate named Akeakamai and they return to the nesting site each year and produce one egg. Note that the songbirds that you see at your feeder have a lifespan of one year, with a 50% chance of living another year. The idea in bird life is to live long enough to reproduce and to continue the species. Congratulations to Wisdom, her partner and their continued offspring! Going to the veterinarian has also changed. Telehealth is the new thing and this may stay with us for some time. Phone calls, video and social media will all play a part. You call for an appointment, drive to the vets office, call and tell them that you are there and an assistant will come out and pick up your dog. By Zoom, Skype or FaceTime you will be able to see what’s going on in the exam room. In time remote care will be more common than the routine office call. “If we can all respect one another’s needs, we’ll all come out of this just fine.” Another survey by the American Heart Association found that dog owners, in general, are healthier than those who don’t own a pet. They are likely to report “sufficient physical activity, a better diet and good glucose levels… Owning a dog increases the sense of well-being in general, decreases loneliness and decreases rates of depression…all these factors also relate to cardiovascular health.” Getting back to the coronavirus, The Washington Post noted that there has been a resurgence of big-brand snacks. During our long stay-at-home Americans have found the value of the comfort brands – Oreos, Goldfish, Campbell soups, along with sodas, chips and cookies. The article notes, ”And in-home, there is more grazing, more continuous eating, and
snacking takes a much bigger role.” In our household we have rediscovered Oreos and I feel fortunate that we walk several times a day – not to lose weight but to try and remain our pre-virus weight. On the downside for the big companies, there are no sales in the sports arenas and Coco-Cola and Pepsi are surely feeling the loss. More virus news. Jigsaw puzzle sales have increased by 375% (!) since the pandemic started. For Christmas, before we knew anything was going to happening, I received The Dog Show (Heye puzzle) and had great fun doing it. Obviously, it’s been done up by someone familiar with dog shows – it’s fun. colorful and a little dirty. News from the UK. Treatments for pet therapy rose by 50% last year. “Pets can be treated with hormones or behavior modification plans to help with anxiety, depression or obsessivecompulsive disorders but these can cost up to 1000 pounds per day” and eight out of ten pet insurers now allow claims for mental health issues. Veterinarians suggest that pain is often a problem with behavioral issues and that should be looked at before any mental health claims are suggested. “The word ‘mental health’ is inappropriate for pets as they are responding to changes in their environment. “And speaking of mental health issues, here’s a photo of Finley, a Springer Spaniel who has 12,000 Instagram followers. Only in Britain!
Stay heathy and stay well as we slowly get back into the dog show scene. Don’t forget to send us your ads and any suggestions for articles or interviews. AND we like to receive Letters to the Editor!
Muriel Lee • Editor Summer 2020
I Would Walk 500 Miles (….but I probably shouldn’t)
Let’s face it, lately life feels like a real stroller coaster . . . err . . . roller coaster. Nope . . . wait . . . I was right the first time. If you’re anything like me, these endless days of quarantine have left you grappling for activities not only to occupy yourself, but to entertain your pooch as well. I’ve been on more walks in the past several weeks than my grandfather claimed to take through the snow, uphill (both ways) during his entire childhood. And while my four-legged walking companion was initially elated with this increase in outdoor activity, his enthusiasm started to wear about as a thin as his pads. So I got to thinking… should he really be walking this much? How many of these miles are being walked out of enjoyment and how many are trod out of pure devotion and the fact that he’s tethered to a 6-foot ‘I LOVE MY DOG’ leash? According to the experts at ‘Devoted to Dog’ and their AKC advisors, small rat and game terriers (like Borders, Airedales, Kerry Blues, Rats, and Manchesters) who are in good shape may benefit from a twice daily walk of 3-5 miles while our more substantial terrier tagalongs (yeah, I’m looking at you Staffies and Bullies) would opt for a longer (5+ mile) romp once a day. But what about those times when you want to keep going and your dog is probably due for a break? Or maybe he’s too old (think deteriorating joints), young (think stilldeveloping joints), or “fluffy” (which my Mom used to affectionately call herself after
Christmas cookie season) to keep up. What then? Enter--the dog stroller! What an inspired contraption! What a lovely way to say--Hey buddy, I got you! Owning a dog that I had determined fell into nearly every category of “eh, I probably shouldn’t walk that much,” thus began my great stroller search. And I’m here to tell ya, you might as well be searching for the best leaf on a 50-foot fig tree, because they’re a heck of a lot of options out there, and a heck of a lot of questions you need to ask yourself before you settle on the right one.
How large is your charge? As you may guess, not every stroller can accommodate every dog. Not everyone’s needs are the same. Some folks are searching for wheels to transport a large dog. Some folks are searching out strollers for multiple dogs. And some are just looking for teensy little buggies to roll around their teensy little babies. Scads of strollers are beefy and equipped to handle the weight of an 80 pound dog. Many are not. Make sure you get the right fit for your dog, because you’ll be just as unhappy with a stroller that underserves your dog as you will with one that’s far too large and obtrusive for your needs. Heck, maybe you even need a stroller fit to transport two reactive dogs who squabble when in public. There’s a match for that too!
Booyah Large Pet Bike Trailer Dog Stroller & Jogger with Shocks (available at Amazon.com)
Are you Cruising Sidewalks or Scaling Mountaintops?
Outdoor 4-Wheel Pet Stroller 2-Seater Dog Travel Carrier (available at Wish.com) And to that tune—before you purchase put thought into transport. Are you going to be throwing this stroller into your vehicle to get it to where you want to go? How easy is it to collapse? Or does it collapse at all? Will you need to remove the handle, the wheels, in order to fit it in your vehicle? How time consuming and difficult a process could this become on a regular basis?
Can your pet get wet? Yet another pre-purchase question that ought to top your list—are you an all-weather walker? Are you planning to only venture out when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, or are you a hard-core hiker whose skin is practically waterrepellant? There are plenty of strollers that offer zippable mesh fronts:
Pet Gear NV No-Zip Sky Line Pet Stroller (available at Petco.com) …but if you’re planning to brave the rain, hese types of strollers will land you with one soggy doggy! Better to search out something like the Booyah dog stroller which has aninterchangeable vinyl front flip cover for those rainy afternoon walks.
And while you’re in the midst of deciding what type of walker you are, why not narrow down that field even slimmer by determining what kind of surfaces you’ll be rolling this beautiful beast across? Do you plan to stick to pavement, or are you headed off-road? There are a wide variety of tire types in the stroller community, and which one you choose should be dictated almost entirely by where you plan to roll them.
The wide, bike-type tires offered on models like the Booyah stroller (pictured) and the Petique Jogger stroller Folding Jogger Stroller (available at Wayfair.com) tend to be more versatile and forgiving. They can go from asphalt, to pea gravel, to straight-up trail grime without skipping a beat . . . but they’re also bulkier. If you’re just putting around the block, the smaller tires that come on the majority of strollers could be a better match for you. And a (psst) side note from your friendly Frugal Frida—smaller tires typically = less expensive. One note—if you do plan to heed your inner Call of the Wild and really put your stroller through its paces, you’d be wise to look not only at tires, but at what’s behind them. Some of the strollers (see that lovely Booyah model above) will put shocks and rotational gears behind their ties, which makes for a softer ride and better mobility on those tight trail turns! These types of strollers/tires are also preferable for those of the jogging ilk…or so I’m told. If I’m running, something’s probably chasing me. ;-)
Would Walk 500 Miles
Are you Driving Miss Daisy or a whole lot of crazy? So, once you’ve answered the easy questions, it’s time to get tough one. It’s time to get real about what kind of pooch you’ve got on your hands. Can you trust your furkid to move seamlessly in and out of his/her stroller at your command? Have you mastered the off-leash recall to the point that you’d feel comfortable allowing your doggo to come and go from the stroller at will? Or do you essentially have a little Hannibal Lecter that you’re looking to cart around in his own personal cage? How you answer will tell you an awful lot about what stroller type is right for you. Most traditional strollers have a separate basket that essentially puts you in the driver’s seat…you put your dog in, you take your dog out. You (if you so choose) strap the little homicidal demon (not pointing fingers here ;-)) in to make sure he/ she doesn’t escape. You’ll notice many brands use styles of this nature…
Top-paw Pet Stroller (available at Petsmart.com) Gen7Pets Promenade Stroller (available at Chewy.com)
Ibiyaya large dog stroller (available at Amazon.com) – this one is collapsible for ease of transport!
And We’re Off! There are plenty of sites out there rating dog strollers and strangely enough, there seems to be little agreement between them about which are the best of the best. Ibiyaya and HPZ tend to rate fairly well HPZ™ PET ROVER Premium Stroller for Small/ Medium/Large Dogs, Cats and Pets (Sky Blue) - HPZ Pet Rover USA HPZ Pet Rover Premium Stroller (available at PetRover.com) …but there are a slew of different models and options (cup holders, storage baskets, the whole magillah!) even within those favorites, so it ultimately comes down to what meets with your needs and the needs of your beloved buddy. What really matters most is the memories and miles you’ll roll out together. I, for one, have a soft-spot for the Booyah stroller. And I’ll give you a little hint as to why that may be… My little love, Henry, rockin’ his Booyah stroller like a boss!
But if you don’t mind your pup coming and going willy-nilly, a stroller with a lower base and an open back is just the ticket! Models like the Booyah (pictured above) and ibiyaya (pictured below) allow dogs to enter and exit through the rear at will, which makes the indecisive rider all that much easier to deal with. 12
Sources Cited: https://devotedtodog.com/how-often-should-you-walk-your-dog/ https://wish.com • https://amazon.com • https://petco.com http://wayfair.com • http://petsmart.com • http://chewy.com https://petlifetoday.com/best-dog-strollers/ https://dogstrollersreviews.com/ https://outdoordogworld.com/best-dog-stroller/ https://petrover.com
Sharon M. Albright, DVM, CCRT Manager of Communications & Veterinary Outreach AKC Canine Health Foundation December 2019
Diet-Related Dilated Cardiomyopathy Trisha Brenner was shocked when her active, five-year-old Weimaraner named Charlie collapsed on a walk in November of 2018. “Charlie had been healthy, except for some allergic dermatitis symptoms he experienced as a young dog,” she states. Those symptoms resolved after a diet change recommended by a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. Unfortunately, the same diet that helped his skin disease was now believed to be the cause of Charlie’s collapse. Trisha shares that “Charlie was diagnosed with suspected diet-related dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that led to congestive heart failure.”
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) occurs when the heart muscle becomes weak and loses the ability to contract normally and pump blood throughout the body. A genetic predisposition is suspected since some breeds, such as Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, and Boxers, are more commonly affected. Deficiencies in some amino acids (such as taurine and carnitine) are believed to influence the disease in some breeds such as Boxers and American Cocker Spaniels. However, in the past few years, veterinarians began to diagnose DCM more frequently and in breeds such as Golden Retrievers and mixed breeds not typically predisposed to this disease. A common thread among affected dogs was the consumption of foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients. This led the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate an investigation into the potential link between DCM and these foods in July 2018. The veterinary community, along with the FDA, has been compiling and analyzing data on diet-related dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs to get a handle on the frequency, severity, and cause of this disease. While dog-owners are anxious for answers, the problem is complex, and the cause is likely multifactorial. Several research studies are underway to explore these factors, including a multi-institutional, prospective study supported by the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF). CHF Grant 02661: Investigation into DietAssociated Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs provides funding to determine the extent of diet-related heart problems in dogs. Investigators
at the University of Florida, Tufts University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of California, Davis are screening for DCM in a large population of apparently healthy dogs. They are comparing ultrasound findings plus blood biomarker and taurine concentrations. They are also recording each dog’s dietary history. Results will improve our understanding of the effect of diet type on heart size and function. Weimaraner-lover Trisha learned about the AKC Canine Health Foundation while doing her own research into how she could help Charlie and how she could educate and empower other dog owners affected by diet-related DCM. “I was pleasantly surprised by the very diverse portfolio of research being funded by CHF,” she states. “Their work on so many different diseases will benefit all dogs.” Trisha has taken to social media to spread the word about diet-related DCM and the important research underway to unravel this complex problem. She remains optimistic and grateful for the support she has received from the Weimaraner Club of America and other dog enthusiasts.
With intensive treatment, Weimaraner Charlie has surpassed the expectations of his original prognosis. His owner, Trisha, encourages everyone to participate in the search for answers to diet-related DCM and other canine health concerns. She notes “Whether you choose to donate, participate in research, or help spread the word about canine health research, anyone can effect a positive change in the world.” If you would like to support CHF-funded research to help prevent, treat and cure canine disease, please visit www.akcchf.org/how-to-help.
Kim Booth, An African Adventure In our previous issue we had an interview with Kim Booth and his life as a dog show photographer. We are continuing this interview with his life as an African photographer and eventual safari leader. His photography continues with fabulous photographs of African life, which are included here. Â TG: Itâ€™s well known that you have taken many trips to Africa. Tell us where you like to go and what inspired you to make the first trip? Which countries do you go to why did you pick a specific country (countries?) KB: Our inspiration was exhaustion! We were working in the wee hours of the morning processing film after a long, busy cluster. Angela and I both decided that our fantasy escape would be a photo safari. The next day we researched and found that the cost, though not inexpensive, would be affordable. Being a workaholic, the first trip (20 years ago now) was only a seven day trip to Kenya. When the trip ended, we wanted more! The following year we went to Tanzania for 10 days and had so many disasters and misadventures that we were either crazy in love with our adventures or going to quit going completely. Without going into pages of all the details, we had lost luggage, a guide that was not really a guide and had to be fired, food poisoning and sub-standard lodging. Things were so bad we actually got our entire safari cost refunded! We got over all those disasters and the following year went for two weeks to Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. After several years of our African adventures, Angela and I had been sharing our stories, photos and videos with our friends at the dog shows. We found a number of people that were very interested in going on a safari, but did not really want to go alone or did not know where to start. When we saw the interest, we came up with a solution. We started putting on trips where our friends and interested likeminded people could join us on our adventures.
Kim Booth, An African Adventure subjects. Moving a leg, getting a bush out of the way, taking a second shot on activities that are over in an instant. Nope. You have to be ready all the time for anything that happens, without knowing what it might be or how instantly it will be over. I will say that this type of experience has helped me with my dog show photography.
TG: I’m sure many of our readers would like to know about your cameras. What do you use for show photos vs shooting in Africa? KB: We use Canon cameras for shows and wildlife. Other people prefer Nikon, It’s a personal choice. Both are good. We have used our experiences to plan and put together some amazing trips for other like-minded people. Last year there were 18 of us sharing an exciting adventure in Tanzania. Some with cameras, some with cell phones. Our purpose on these trips is to view, enjoy and photograph wildlife. This means we look at countries in East and Southern Africa. We have been to Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Our current favorites are Tanzania and Botswana. We make these choices weighing several factors that we research and monitor throughout the year. The season when we are going, stability of the country we are going, food (very important), lodging and quality of guiding.
TG: The challenges between show photography and photography in the wild must be great. Tell us about how you face the challenges of shooting in the wild KB: Photographing wild animals is completely different than dog show photography. First thing you notice is that you can’t adjust anything on wild
For shows we use a Canon 7D Mark II with a Canon 24 - 70 mm zoom lens. For wildlife we use a full frame Canon 5D Mark 4 with the main lens being a Sigma 150 - 600 mm and a second camera with a shorter zoom lens. Better to have a second camera at the ready so you don’t miss a shot while changing lenses, or get the inside of your camera dusty while changing to a different lens.
TG: Booth Photography is now a fourth-generation studio. Tell us about your daughter who has now joined the team. KB: Alyssia joined our team 11 years ago. She brought with her an amazing amount of photographic, artistic and creative talent that has been invaluable. I did not actively encourage her to become part of this crazy business. There are drawbacks to leading a life on the road all year and I did not think she would want to be a part of that. One day she surprised me and asked for the opportunity to join the team. It has worked out wonderfully.
TG: Do you see any changes in show photography in the near future or will it essentially move along as it is. KB: There have already been a lot of changes. For one, digital image sales now almost equal print sales. A lot of people are using their computers for social media and to archive photos. As for longevity - as long as you have skilled photographers willing to provide the service and as long as people are wanting photographs for memories, sales and promotion will go on. TG: Where can one find your
African photos on the internet and how can one contact you if they are interested in your work? KB: Angela and I currently share a lot of our images on our Facebook pages. We also have an Africa photo gallery set up where people can view and even purchase any they like on our Booth Photo website www.boothshowphoto.com.
Olga Foricz When I was packing for Westminster the news reported, time to time, about the coronavirus emerging in Europe, I thought it wouldnâ€™t hurt if I bought a face mask, just to have for the trip, but if I was going to buy one it had to have all possible filters so I could use it for bicycling in urban smog at a later date. I bought a nice looking and comfortable mask. It was pricy to the point that I probably believed in its extraordinary powers, because, to be totally honest, I used it only once while traveling to New York. Beyond that it was protecting me remotely from my backpack. Upon my return, Europe welcomed me with further reports of COVID-19, but the cases were located rather far away and mainly in Italy. However, it was only a matter of time before the virus approached to other parts of Europe. A few weeks later, however, I planned a trip to Crufts, which was becoming increasingly questionable by the day and until the last moment, the organizers themselves did not know whether the show would take place. The Kennel Club authorities were in constant contact with the state monitoring services, and the decision that the show would take place was made literally the day before it was to start, and discussions about whether to proceed with the event continued even during its duration of the show. Although the entry of handlers and dog owners from countries most affected by the virus was banned, it seemed like there was more space than usual between the rings. Crufts was visited by 155,000 people this year, which is comparable to previous years. Dog people are unstoppable! (And again my mask was there with me. Safely packed in my camera bag.) The first COVID case in Poland was recorded on March 4 and the weekend after Crufts the situation was getting worse and our government decided to close the borders. Within a couple of weeks these restrictions were followed by closing schools, universities, and later - shopping malls, cinemas, libraries...basically everything except for grocery shops and 24
pharmacies. In Poland even the forests and parks were closed! Yes, forests, you read it right! People were supposed to stay home - with only a few exceptions and one of them was walking dogs and all of the sudden this also became a way of earning money. People were renting out dogs! Dogs were being adopted from shelters just so someone would be able to go out from home without getting a fine. Selling puppies also increased when people were forced to stay home and had too much time on their hands. Iâ€™m afraid to think of the future of all those dogs when people get back to work... Most European countries have introduced similar restrictions with the exception of Sweden, which decided to deal differently with the virus and instead of isolating they were trying to introduce the herd immunity strategy. Time will tell who was right... From the very beginning all kennel clubs were reacting accordingly to the guidelines given by each country. Dog shows, first slowly, had been cancelling one by one, until they finally canceled all events for a certain period of time. The time might be a prolonged period depending upon the coronavirus situation in the specific country. Finland was the first country to announce show cancellation untill the end of June; Sweden untill the end of August. Others are still waiting to see how the situation will evolve. Unfortunatelly, as we know, there is no magic and the virus didnâ€™t get rapidly better. Shutting down businesses is having a huge impact on the economy. On a smaller scale it hit the kennel clubs as well. While most of the national clubs seem to be stable enough to survive a few months without arranging events that generate profit, some like the Norwegian Kennel Club got into big financial troubles and had to look for support and different sources of funding to be able to survive the corona crisis. Just a few days ago the Norwegian Kennel Club announced that their finances were secured for the next six months. So many of us miss shows! Unlike in the United States there are not many professional handlers in Europe that would suffer due to lack of work. But dog shows are a lifestyle for many, not only for entertainment but for socializing as well. As the situation is right now, no one can say
when we are getting back to all of the fun. The Irish Kennel Club has already decided to cancel all dog events until the end of 2020. UK is cancelling shows one by one, with the recommendation from the government not to arrange big events at all this year. It’s a very difficult situation as shows, for many clubs, are the biggest source of income and not being able to arrange any of them might result with a big economic crisis. We all hope the pandemic will soon stop and we can get back to our normal lives and our dog shows but no one can guarantee that. Keeping show grounds booked for the clubs might result in high costs which are often unrefundable. The situation is very dynamic and almost every day I’m getting news from around Europe about the changing situations. We are waiting for the sign, Our Show Is On! On the brighter side there are clubs that have already decided to go on with shows as planned.
The new reality brought about new solutions and the most popular seems to be attending online dog shows. In fact, those are nothing more but photo (or in some cases - photoshop) contests. It’s not really my kind of thing but I can understand why it brings joy to some and some of them are arranged to support the clubs and raise funds for charity. And as long as the competitions themselves are not taken too seriously - let’s have fun! But I’ve seen dogs being entered in different classes at the same online show, based on pictures from different stages of their lives. One dog could end up winning a puppy, junior and adult competition. And some of them have even died by now (rest in peace little souls)! Is this a fun thing or rather a desperation act? Things that were obvious in February are not so obvious anymore and making plans all of a sudden doesn’t make too much sense. The world has suddenly changed and so did the dog world.
AND THE EUROPEAN DOG SHOWS It’s been recently announced that in July, the four summer shows in Split, Croatia, will take place; most likely they won’t look the same and some safety rules will have to be obeyed (my face mask might come in handy), and there may be a few changes in the judging panel as not everyone from every country will be able to travel. Slovakia is bringing on the Nitra shows, but as the events in the country cannot gather more than 1000 people the show committee has decided that no matter how many dogs, only one person will be allowed to enter the showground, so one must think thoroughly before entering. As for now the European show in October is accepting entries and not planning to retreat. The World Dog Show was twice rescheduled and is now planning to host the biggest show in the world just a few days before Christmas, starting on December 17.
Perhaps a break, taking a deep breath and looking at things from a different angle might give us new ideas, new ways of solving problems, fresh vision for the future of our sport and the role and importance of the kennel clubs. And, by the way, have you noticed how much quieter Facebook is when there are no new show results to share...? In February I filled my calender with shows. I had plans to be at one almost every weekend, travelling around Europe. And I miss that - the travels, the excitement, the social side to it, but as they say - it is what it is. Accepting the situation, changing focus, staying united and supporting each other and being respectful - that’s what we should do right now. And remember to keep your terriers groomed, because when the shows are back - we will be there and we will be ready!
CANINE SPECIALISTS PROFESSIONAL DOG HANDLING
Lisa Farve Terriergroup is very pleased to have interviews with well-known handlers CJ and Lisa Favre and their assistant Angela Chase. All three participated and we will begin with Lisa Favre’s interview.
I bought my first Kerry in 1979, finished his championship and then competed in Open B obedience. In 1982 when I saw “Nellie” standing on a table at a show, I knew that was what I wanted in a bitch. So it goes… Lisiji, Kerry Blue Terrier. The Portuguese Water Dog and Kerry Blue Terrier have a lot in common. We were lucky to be involved with the PWD from the time they were recognized by the AKC and had their first national specialty. The work ethic of this breed is great for people who want to do performance. Of course, the Kerry can blow the trainer off and make everyone watching laugh. You must have a sense of humor with a Kerry as they are very creative and never plan on sleeping in as they are ready for a full day very early in the morning.
My first dog was a German Shepherd that I brought home from a part time job at a veterinary clinic that I worked at while in high school. When CJ and I were married and had our first fenced in yard, I had to have a GSD and CJ was given an Irish Terrier by a friend. When CJ visited an obedience graduation for my GSD, he said it looked like fun and he was hooked. An Irish Terrier in obedience, now that takes determination! We worked for the obedience club in the mid to late 1970s, competing in AKC obedience trials, and then we became interested in conformation. When I met the Kerry Blue Terrier I fell in love, went home, researched and found that with training and the Kerry’s natural instincts, the breed is one that can do it all. In addition, there is no shedding and no smell…wow!
We met Angela Chase when we became active in Kerries. We watched her and “Shay” in junior handling when she came to shows with Diane Harrison. Angela worked with us for awhile when she was in high school. After graduation, in 2013, she came to live and work with us. She has shown us that no matter the breed, she will work hard to train, groom and present dogs in a professional manner. My favorite shows were any specialties where Ruth Ann Reilly worked and also the Portuguese Water Dog national as they have a full week of conformation, performance, raffles, dinners and informative events, all at the same site. There is lots of time to socialize, meet people and talk dogs, kids, whatever. Of course, the Kerry national show is high on my list as I love to see all of the Kerries on exhibit and Kerryfest is also very special.
Favorite wins. That is hard to say. Merlin gave Lisiji some very nice wins, so in 1994 I saved his semen and used it 20 years later for a healthy litter of eight. In regard to the coronavirus, we are truly living in a strange time. There will be shows again and we will figure out a safe way to have them. I know many people are suffering and some may have to find other employment. I would like to thank some of the people who helped us over the years and trusted us with a bitch after I lost my breeding program in 1991: Kathy Bergan, Don Wilde, Ruth Ann Reilly, Douglas Holloway and Jean Underhill. Thank you to Ray and Lou Perry for their kindness when we were learning about the KBT.
CANINE SPECIALISTS PROFESSIONAL DOG HANDLING
CJ Farve We started attending dog matches and AKC dog shows for obedience showing. We watched the conformation aspects of the dog show and Lisa became very interested in the Kerry Blue Terrier. We purchased our first Kerry in 1979 and in 1982 we purchased our foundation bitch, Nellie, from Betancourt Kennels. In 1981, It was time to make a career change. I had been showing our German Shepherds, Kerries and also showing dogs for friends. We started Canine Specialists, a dog training and handling service in 1989. Making this decision has put Lisa and me on a journey that I will never regret.
My life with dogs started when I met Lisa and I was introduced to AKC dog shows through obedience. Lisa had a German Shepherd that she took to obedience classes when I met her. We became very active in the Montgomery Alabama Dog Obedience Club in 1976 where we served as board members, training director, and we also served in other positions.
The Portuguese Water Dog came into our lives. The curly coated Portuguese Water Dog and the Kerry Blue Terrier have the same type coat to work with for trimming. Exhibitors began asking us if we would trim and show their Portuguese Water Dogs. I met Colville Jackson, of Fercliff Portuguese Water Dogs, and acquired respect for this breed. We have been involved with Portuguese Water Dogs since their first national specialty.
TerrierGroup Interview and I have shown our Kerries to some very prestigious wins. My proudest accomplishments in exhibiting dogs: showing a Portuguese Water Dog bitch, Blaze, to her Platinum Grand Championship, one of six Portuguese Water Dogs to obtain this goal and the only bitch. Another proud event was winning the Portuguese Water Dog National with Zoe under the renowned Judge Ann Rodgers Clark. Our breeding program in Kerryâ€™s and Water Dogs has made Lisa and I very proud.
We have had our share of success in our breeding programs and we have been fortunate to have produced best in show winners and are well known in the dog show world. I met Angela Chase through Lisa as I had to deliver a Kerry to Angela. Angela graduated from high school in 2013 and she moved south to live and work with us. Not having kids, and having a teenager move into your life, is different! Angela is very dedicated to her chosen profession and she has been written about in Dog News and The AKC Gazette. During the Covid-19 shut down of dog shows, Angela has been maintaining coats on the show dogs and our pets.
We attend approximately 150 AKC dog shows annually and we have had the opportunity to attend Crufts twice. My favorite dog shows are the Montgomery County terrier show and the Portuguese Water Dog nationals. These shows allow me to see the changes in the breeds I love, and the changes are over all for the good. In my profession I have had wonderful opportunities to show some of the great dogs. I was asked to show the top winning German Shepherd bitch, Mystique, to her 198th and 199th best in show wins and Lisa
With the coronavirus I feel that dog shows and my profession will have a hard battle to get back to our pre-Louisville dog show days. Our biggest challenges will be to work around the social distancing and the mass gathering guidelines. I have been involved with two kennel clubs trying to put on dog shows this year. What has stopped us are the venues and the mass gathering guidelines. I think we will be lucky to have a Montgomery County show in 2020. As far as my profession, we will have to wait and see. Are the breeders/owners going to be able to afford to send their dogs to dog shows with a handler? These questions will only be answered after the economy opens up and we see how fast an economic recovery we will have. I know handlers that have gone to driving trucks, retiring, and opening up grooming shops, all to make ends meet while we are waiting for life to return to normal. We are in the process of getting our kennel approved to be a public facility and we will be doing some pet grooming. I wish to thank Melanie and Muriel for this opportunity to introduce Lisa, Angela Chase, and myself to our canine family. Everyone stay health and enjoy your canine friends!
CANINE SPECIALISTS PROFESSIONAL DOG HANDLING
Angela Chase get a foundation bitch of my own to maybe one day breed to “Zeus” (GCH CH Adare’s Top Hat and Tails) whom I co-bred with Joy. After that meeting, and talking with my parents, CJ brought Shay (GCH CH WIldside’s Shameless) north and I picked her up on the Cherry Blossom circuit. This started a 15-year partnership with Diane, co-breeding under the Wildside prefix.
TG: How did You get started in Dogs? AC: I got started in dogs through junior showmanship in 2005. My parents were never in dogs, so I literally learned from the ground up. After telling my parents “Daddy, I want to do this” at a local show, I narrowed my favorite breeds down to the Beagle or the Westie. After watching a handler put a Westie together, I quickly decided that grooming wasn’t for me and I picked the Beagle. That summer Ch. Brushyrun Felty’s Piccalilli came home to be my partner in crime. It was a good thing that she was trained because I wasn’t. I started attending several different local handling classes and read every book I could get my hands on. In Feb 2005 Lilly and I hit the ring and we placed second. We quickly worked our way through novice and qualified for Eukanuba (now Royal Canin) in our first year. I got involved in Kerries when Joy Ellewnger came to a handling class and asked if I wanted to help her train the puppies. Eventually I co-owned Athena (GCH CH Adare’s the Right Answer) and spot showed her in juniors. I really developed a passion for the breed when I started trimming her and saw how versatile the breed was. We were on the Florida circuit in 2009 when Diane Harrison offered to trim Athena for me and give me pointers. I had mentioned that I had wanted a Kerry of my own and was doing research and saving money up to
In 2009 I was given the opportunity to work and apprentice under Ernesto Lara at Greenfield kennels. Ernesto fostered my love for learning about terriers and also my love for teaching. After about three years I was experiencing some health issues and wanted a change of scenery and I wanted to move to a warmer climate then PA. This is when I asked CJ and Lisa if I could work for them as a live-in and the rest is history.
TG: Kerry Blue Terriers are your breed, but you also have Portuguese Water Dogs. What was it about both breeds that held your interest? AC: I never really got involved with water dogs until I came to work for CJ full time. I find the irony in that the first weekend I traveled with Ernesto he had me trim a water dog in a lion trim and I had only previously done one once in Joy’s grooming shop and now I can do them in my sleep. Both breeds are very versatile breeds. I love the devotion that the Kerries give you. Shay was literally my shadow. She couldn’t really stand being away from her people and was super protective. She also could sense when I wasn’t feeling good. And I’m lucky that trait was passed on to her kids and grandkids. Water dogs are a very fun but tough breed. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile. They are needy like Kerries, but in a different way. They love to work and could go all day and if they didn’t get a job, they would find a job and you usually wouldn’t like the results. I love their drive and their ability to do their job. They also have a sixth sense they can peer into your eyes and think “Ok, what is mom going to do now?” and respond to it, sometimes right and sometimes to humble you. Summer 2020
They always have a good time even though you don’t always think so. Both breeds require a firm hand with rules and boundaries, and I like that about both breeds.
TG: You have been working quite some time for CJ and Lisa Favre, how did you meet and how did your relationship develop? AC: I came to CJ and Lisa in 2013 and I had worked for Ernesto for four years before that. The first time I met CJ was when he transported Shay to me at the Cherry Blossom circuit and he and Lisa also bought a bitch from me from Shay’s first litter. Our relationship is more than a business relationship, but like a father-daughter relationship. There is more to professional handling than just showing dogs and I don’t think you get to see that until you have apprenticed and worked for a handler for more than a couple of months. By more, I mean several years. I had come down one summer for a brief period to see if I liked it, but the trip was cut short after I had some health issues that flared up. CJ and Lisa have always been supportive when I have had flare ups and have truly helped me define the person that I am today. They have taught me the business side of the trade and to run it as a business. Through them and their clients I have been able to learn to take care of myself both mentally and physically as well as to develop as a handler. We have had our rough patches, but have been able to work through them and I have grown as a person because of them. One of my favorite things about working for CJ and Lisa is that I get to meet and work for some amazing breeders who are at the top of their breeds, and I get to pick their brains and apply that knowledge to my own budding breeding program. If you told me that I would get to finish several Ladybug and Matisse kids or have dinner with Cathy Dugan and Donna Gottdenker, I would have not believed you, but I actually happened and it is still to this day one of my favorite moments in dogs. Another person is Elaine Paquette of Quiche Bouviers. Elaine showed me a few things when CJ had a Bouvier special that I was doing most of the trimming on. After a few years our relationship developed and I was slowly able to pick her brain over multiple dinners and weekends setting up together that I applied to my breeding program with lots of success.
TG: What was your favorite shows over the years and why? AC: Any national specialty because it’s a celebration of the breed, so the Montgomery County show and Kerryfest for Kerry Blues and the PWDCA. I also enjoy attending any breed national because I get to really learn about that breed and that is so crucial about being a handler. For all-breed shows the whole Montgomery county weekend is great, but also the Lima, OH show and any of the Monroe, Michigan, shows because of the things that happen after the shows when we all get together and cook out.
TG: And how about your favorite wins? AC: Most of my favorite shows have been from national specialties. In Juniors winning Best Junior at both the Beagle nationals and at Montgomery County were special. I have gone best junior at Montgomery County twice. The last time was my last year in Juniors and I did it with GCH CH Wildside’s No More Drama. That was a magical weekend as Janie had gone winners bitch from the bred-by class earlier that day. I’ve had the pleasure of going winners dog and winners bitch with two dogs that have been with me from birth. The first was Janie and most recently with GCH CH Lisiji Texas Ranger of Wildside. In PWDs it had to be campaigning Honey to number one bitch and going winners bitch and best of winners under Ed Bivin, as well as best in futurity at PWDCA in Monterey.
TG: And now to the corona virus which has caused a major upheaval throughout the world. How are handlers coping with the situation? AC: Handlers are having to find other sources of income. We were lucky in the fact that CJ had a small boarding and pet grooming operation that we do while we are at home. The pet boarding has gotten hit because of the travel bans and people sheltering in place but the grooming has taken off and has kept us busy. I have done a couple of online grooming seminars and hope to open an online school called “ Notes from an Apprentice” that will have grooming seminars and also videos of training and how dog shows work from a handlers perspective, to hopefully give people an insight on how to beat the professional and how much work and dedication we give to our charges.
TerrierGroup thanks CJ. Lisa and Angela for taking the time to give us these thoughtful interviews! All three of these individuals can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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TerrierGroup Publication Volume 5 Number 3 Summer 2020 Editor Muriel Lee • Editor email@example.com Designer/Illustrator Melanie Feldges firstname.lastname@example.org Special Contributors Dr. Barbara Gibson Ph,D Olga Forlicz Kris Kibbee Muriel Lee Jo Ann Frier-Murza Dr. Theresa Nesbitt MD Deb Bednarek email@example.com
Welcome to my world... Melanie Feldges “U’ Yer a wizard, Harry. I’m a what?” A wizard o’ course...and a thumpin’ good one. With a mum and dad like yours, what else would yeh be?” Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.
Where does the magic, the talent, come from? My father claimed that he cannot draw a straight line, yet he has the ability to machine a miniature cannon out of a hunk of brass and make it shoot. My mother tells me about a great Uncle who could mix paint to match the blue of a spring sky or the red blaze of a fall sunset. Wherever this magic comes from, I have truly been blessed. As a child I was allowed to explore the world in my own way. I was given the opportunities to experience and interpret what I saw in my own way and to draw or paint what was in my soul. I quickly realized that my soul had an unbreakable bond with the animals that I loved; horses and, of course, my dogs. This bond has continued and strengthened throughout my life. My first dog was a bright copper-colored Manchester terrier mix called Red. He was a streetwise dog that would disappear for days. Whenever he did come home, he barked his announcement and my Grandmother put a steak on the stove no matter if it was 2:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. My early drawings of him resembled a pig on sticks and were very similar to my horse art at that time. You have to start somewhere! My attempts at capturing Red’s image began to improve when I was nine years old and enrolled in Saturday morning art class at the American Academy of Art in downtown Chicago. I learned all about perspective, color charts, light sources and rendering. My stick figures were becoming a 32
thing of the past as they evolved into the indication of mass and structure. I am forever grateful to the “How To Draw...” books that were available at the art store. I grabbed every book I could on drawing horses, my first love. I lost my best friend Red when I was eleven. I am an only child making his loss incredibly hard for me. My parents bought me a new bike hoping to cheer me up. I immediately gave the bike a name and it became my horse. I am sure they thought it a bit strange as they then decided to take me to the stable for riding lessons. After many, many years of riding, I am proud to say that I was unbeatable in many show rings as an Equitation rider. My American Saddlebred, National Holiday, and I were state and national champions in both English and Western pleasure. We were quite
the pair for over 16 years; true soul mates. I lost “Wheeze” in 2003, the day my husband, Rick, and I came home from Montgomery. Wheeze was beautiful inside and out and his beauty greatly influenced my approach to my artwork. He taught me to look at the understructure, the bones related to the movement of an animal. He also taught me the importance of viewing the eye as the window to the soul and to the individual animal’s personality. Without portraying that certain look in the eye, you will not have the unique stamp on that particular piece of artwork that reflects what the owner would feel or see. Because of Wheeze, I became involved with different clubs and stables. This involvement gave me a chance to expose more people to my artwork. I have a few Equine art pieces hanging in galleries in Kentucky. A ton of t-shirt and sweatshirt silkscreen designs as well as colored pencil pencil drawings and oil paintings hanging in the home’s of people across the country. I remember presenting a woman an oil painting of her horses; she cried. There is no greater compliment to an artist! Through all of my “Rodeo” adventures my Miniature Schnauzers were faithfully at my side. Susie met me at the door when I came home from grade school and Holly was with me only for a short time during high school. Trina got me through a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and taking a bachelor off the market; Marriage! Nikki was in my life through the first 14 years of marriage and the introduction of the Kerries; she was Queen! My Kerry art really did not begin until 1996 when Kelsie came into our lives. A Kerry’s looks and personality always appealed to me. One day I answered an ad in the newspaper and there was Kelsie- I knew immediately I had to have her. The breeder that was selling the puppies was Summer 2020
TerrierGroup Interview a member of the Chicago Kerry Blue Terrier Club and soon I to became a member. The excitement I felt was overwhelming with Kerries dancing through my head day and night in different artforms. The call for raffle items for various Club events started me on putting these ideas into reality. One painted ornament and, blastoff! My Kerry Art was born. My canine adventures took off with the purchase of a second Kerry. Dylan came into our home and hearts in July of 2000. It didn’t take long before the two of us became a team and entered the show ring. My own show dog; how cool! He became CH. Kerrisel’s Turbocharged, my first finished champion, at the Pittsburgh Specialty. Dylan was the namesake of Turbo Kerry Blue Terriers. Tizzy, CH Kerisel’s Tiz Turbo Too! was then next Kerry to bless our home. A little spitfire who ruled. She also became my foundation bitch. We have several litters since Tiz, gracing the ring with her girly girl daughter Prada, GCH Turbo’s Excitations and her brothe Jett, GCH Turbo’s Thriller. Prada gave us Annie, GCH Turbo’s Pistol Annie and Valentina, CH Turbo’s Temptations...and the list goes on. Owning Dylan opened both my Kerry and my Art worlds beyond the Kerry Blue Terrier Club of Chicago. My artwork has been showcased at several United States Kerry Blue Terrier events,
primarily their Futurity and other Specialty trophies. For several years it has been one of the highlights of the October National USKBTC dinner to witness the auctioning of the original drawing created for the annual print. Winners at the National shows have taken home both the unique and the practical in the forms of trophies I have made. Styles have ranged from the “jeweled Kerries”, sculptures cut out of aluminum with glass gem details to Celtic framed pictures and Christmas Kerry ornament, painted furniture,
matted prints and wooden clocks and Four-season Kerry mirrors. What will be next? The future of my artwork in the canine community is bright. Visions once again are bouncing around in my head from 3-dimensional pieces taking shape, china painting on porcelain and glass and producing orginal decals for ceramic work. I am expanding my creative horizons by designing items for other breeds beyond the Kerry Blue. My professional field is Graphic Design/Illustration. This foundation has given me the experience and ability to create brochures, business cards, logos and marketing materials through my freelance business called Mac Graphic Design. My most recent great adventure is publishing my own magazine...TerrierGroup. I hope you like it! Melanie Feldges Mac Graphic Design firstname.lastname@example.org TerrierGroup email@example.com
Anyone Bring a Sport Coat? Dog shows… who hasn’t seen at least part of one? A person doesn’t even have to be a big dog lover to get some enjoyment out of seeing different breeds prance around a ring, observe the preparation some dogs go through before the show and to watch the people involved in the show itself. Just mentioning the movie Best in Show brings smiles to people’s faces. When my husband Russ and I were dating we went to a few dog shows and always seemed to focus on the terriers. We didn’t know much about most breeds, but had many conversations about which breeds were the most interesting. We knew there would be a dog in our future, but we had no clue we would eventually become involved in this sport! Our first dog was a Welsh terrier who was wild and full of fun. We loved her and enjoyed her even though we knew very little about training her and making her obedient. After she left us, Kerry Blue Terriers were our focus. Their distinctive look caught our eye and we tracked down breeders from previous dog show catalogs to try to find a puppy and we found a wonderful breeder in Illinois who had a litter of ten! Our Emma was purchased as a pet with no thoughts of showing. However, our breeder was also an excellent educator and advocate for this unique breed and she frequently invited the new puppy owners to her house to teach us how to groom our dogs and care for them. Before we knew it, the others who owned pups from this litter became our friends. What a fun bunch! Some of the pups were shown, so soon we started following their show careers. Dog shows are much more interesting when you know the cast of characters! Who knew that a dog show could be such a social event? Living 38
vicariously through our friend’s dog’s wins and losses was an easy way to be introduced to the dog show world. The more we went to shows, the more we realized we had a lot to learn. The process of showing a dog and making him/her a champion involves a combination of classes, points and major wins. Sometimes a dog will be in a ring all alone and get a ribbon but it doesn’t get him any points. Sometimes a dog will go into the ring several times in one show and get no points. Fortunately, our friends were willing to help us learn and it all became clearer. There were so many things to observe such as how a dog stands, walks and interreacts with its handler and the other dogs. Some of the terminology was confusing too… “what is a top line?” and “what is posting?” Much of what I’m saying is second nature to a dog show person but this was a whole new world to us and we were finding it quite interesting.
One fall we decided to take a long weekend and go to the Philadelphia area for the terrier show of all terrier shows…Montgomery County. This was actually four days of dog shows involving international entries and you would never see this many terriers gathered together anywhere else. Most dog show people travel in motorhomes for these events so each night after dinner we’d gather in the parking lot for more dog talk. Saturday evening someone asked if anyone not showing a dog had brought a sport coat as the following day there would be a class for a bitch to show her get and there was one more pup than handler. Russ had brought a sport coat along so he quickly got a lesson, right there in the parking lot, on how to handle or walk a dog in a show ring. He had a multitude of teachers and did just fine the next
day. On the flight home, all I heard was how much fun it was to walk around the ring with that pup. I might mention that, at this time, our own sweet pup, Emma, did not enjoy walking on a lead with Russ and it was a sore subject as she walked just fine with me! A few months later our breeder was going to do a repeat breeding using Emma’s sire and dam once again. We had a few casual discussions about getting a second dog but had made no decisions. In our household I’m the one who would have five dogs and play with them all and Russ is the practical commonsense partner, so adding another dog to our home wasn’t a decision taken lightly. We were both teachers and one day I ran into Russ’ principal and to my surprise she said “Russ tells me you’re getting a show dog”. Whoa baby! A change is coming!
Yes, we were taking the next step and becoming dog show people. Some people hire professional handlers to show their dogs but that wouldn’t be our style. Russ has always been involved in sports and loves competition.
For some reason that I’ve never fully understood, I’m the artist, but he took to grooming much more naturally and was already doing quite well in that area, so It was understood from the start that he would be the groomer and handler and I’d be the behind the scenes support system and cheerleader.
All of this is second nature to a seasoned dog show participant but we had so much to learn! Showing dogs takes a commitment of prolonged time and effort. Russ and our pup Raza took classes and worked on handling as well as grooming in one form or another every day. Our breeder’s husband told us from the start that, in the ring, you will very likely lose much more than you win, so do your best and keep at it. Working with a dog this closely builds a strong bond that is priceless. It didn’t take long for Russ and Raza to become a tightly knit duo in and out of the show ring. Once you become involved in dog shows, you start buying things you never thought you’d need: a grooming table, a portable exercise pen, a mat to go under that, a sunscreen, a portable crate fan, maybe an extra crate, water and food dishes, multiple combs, brushes, collars, leashes, towels, portable chairs for us humans, a cooler… the list goes on and on. You need to be ready for long days and all kinds of weather. You need to make sure you have food and water for the dogs, first aid kits, etc. The real trick is to figure out how to fit all of this into your vehicle each time you go to a show. We were excited about showing but not ready to get into purchasing a motorhome, so everything had to fit into our minivan. Many weekends were now spent travelling to dog shows. If you only enter shows in your home town, there is a very good chance your dog will never have a chance to win enough points to become a champion, especially in a breed like the KBT since they have to beat a certain number of dogs in their breed. Most shows we entered had shows on Saturday and Summer 2020
Sunday so it was a full weekend. And, no matter how long your dogis in the ring, plan on being at the show all day to support everyone else. The first time your own dog is in a show ring is like being a parent watching your child’s first recital. You know they are being judged by the breed’s standards but, in your eyes, how could any dog be better than yours? This sentiment is why I was never going to be the one to handle the dog. You need a calm, cool thinker on the end of that lead helping your dog show his best to the judge in the ring. Does it always work? Of course not! Do you always agree with the judge’s decision? No. However, the rush of excitement you get when your dog does win is like nothing else.
Our dogs will always be a huge part of our family whether they’re shown or not. The most important thing to us is to give our dogs the best life in every possible way. Showing a dog can lead to many rewarding experiences for all involved and it can lead to a lifetime of friends. We both enjoyed Raza’s show career, but first and foremost we enjoyed having him as our dog. The funny thing is the dog knows something good is happening when they win and everyone is cheering. I remember the day Raza became a champion and I screamed his name outside the ring. He heard me and looked at me as if to say “I’m right here, what’s wrong with you?”
Thank goodness there was a sport coat in the suitcase that weekend in Pennsylvania.
A Look at Books
GOOD BREEDING by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc, New York, NY, 1999.
This is a fabulous book – and by the cover photo you can tell that it’s not about dogs but about farm animals. However, good breeding of animals is good breeding whether it be cows, pigs, dogs or horses. Arthus-Bertrand is a photographer specializing in aerial photos, but over the years he became interested in animals and their owners. In a supurb introduction by Claude Michelet, he writes, “That is what animal breeding is mainly about – aiming for perfection without ever forgetting that, no matter how splendid the animal produced, its genes can always be used to obtain a more perfect offspring. “ The photographs are simply out-of-this world! The color is fabulous, the beautiful cows, horses, boars and what have you, and the owner/breeders, all beaming with proudness. The backdrop in all of the photos is a simple scrim that serves to enhance the animal being photographed. The photographs were taken at various agricultural venues: Royal Show England, Agricultural Show, Paris and La Rural, Buenos Aires. Arthus-Bertrand has received numerous awards for his work in agriculture, on the state of our planet and for the challenges that we face. He is on the board of directors of the Fondation Chirac which promotes world peace; he has had schools
in France named after him, and in 2009 he was officially designated as the U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador. Among the many books he has photographed there is also a book of cats and….a book of dogs. My favorite remains Good Breeding as each photograph of the animal and its owners is simply a work of art. Good Breeding can be found on the internet and prices will vary quite greatly. If interested, the money spent for the hard cover edition will be well worth it.
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