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February 1998 Newsletter Volume 2. Issue 6

Something new

Something new with our newsletter is being added as a first in this issue. We have reached an agreement with a fine new magazine called "Dog & Kennel". They will allow us to reprint articles of interest to the dog fancy.

In this issue you will find a special report on a new treatment for arthritis on page 15. Those of you with older dogs will find it of great interest.

Select an Article

  • Purchasing a PC for the Dog Fancier
    By Jeff Trull


  • What’s New
    InfoDog During Westminster

    By Bobby Christiansen

    InfoDog was first introduced at Westminster in 1995. Each year we try to unveil a new feature for the InfoDog website. Last year we recorded the results "live" from the garden along with digital photographs of the winners. InfoDog will contain "live" results again this year along with an archived photograph supplied in advance by the owners, exhibitors and handlers. The catalog and these photos will be accessible beginning at 8:00 AM on Monday, February 16th. The results will be input throughout the day and a table of available breeds will be updated. Due to the overwhelming response last year, we have upgraded our bandwidth to a full T1 (1536 kbs) and added additional Internet servers to handle the volume. InfoDog will be the only web site with "live" official results from Westminster.

    InfoDog will also have an entirely new look. The main menu screens have been revised to include better graphics and an easier user interface for navigation throughout the thousands of InfoDog information pages. InfoDog will also unveil a new corporate sponsor. This new sponsor will be the beginning of many exciting enhancements. InfoDog will also enter a new dimension of information exchange. Watch for exciting video clips and a tour of the MB-F facilities in Greensboro, North Carolina and Detroit, Michigan. These clips will also incorporate footage from some selected dog shows. We will also have an ISDN high speed connection to InfoDog and the Internet at the MB-F superintendent’s office in the rotunda of Madison Square Garden. If you are planning to attend Westminster, please feel free to drop by for a browse.

    Something new

    Something new with our newsletter is being added as a first in this issue. We have reached an agreement with a fine new magazine called "Dog & Kennel". They will allow us to reprint articles of interest to the dog fancy.

    In this issue you will find a special report on a new treatment for arthritis on page 15. Those of you with older dogs will find it of great interest.

    Check it out with your veterinarian.

    Top of Page


    Purchasing for the Dog Fancier

    By Jeff Trull

    "I’d like to use InfoDog, but I don’t know anything about computers, much less the internet. What should I buy? Where do I start?" This scenario comes up quite often between dog fanciers and MB-F personnel. There are many services now offered on InfoDog to make a dog fancier’s life easier including show information, panel searches by breed and judge, and even online entry of dog shows. I’d like to offer some guidelines that may make the seemingly daunting task of purchasing a new computer and delving into cyberspace more of a reality for the technically challenged. In essence, bridge the gap between how to purchase the tools one needs to access the services one desires. Computers come in many varieties and price ranges. Having good information before going out to buy is key in being able to sort through the jargon and make a wise purchase. Two important considerations to keep in mind are what will be the computers central purpose and what type of budget is available for the purchase.

    Let’s spend a moment discussing the particular components that are necessary to consider when purchasing a computer. These components are presented as big, bold descriptors on flashy ads and signs wherever computers are sold enticing eager consumers to buy, buy, buy. But what do they mean? What is enough? There always seems to be something better and faster.

    First, let’s discuss the brains of the computer or the processor s it’s known. The processor is rated in terms of megahertz (mhz) and, to put it simply, the more megahertz the faster the computer thinks. The most popular processor today is known as the Intel Pentium processor and it comes in many speeds. For home use a 166mhz or 200mhz Pentium processor is plenty of power for a user who wants to surf the web and maybe run a financial application like Quicken or Microsoft Money. While this is quite a bit of power, the market does not stand idly by. By the time this article is published a 200mhz Pentium may be the least amount of power available in a new home PC even though it’s more power than most people need. The exception here is games. If the computer will be used to play games then the extra mhz are a good investment.

    If the processor is the brain, then RAM (random access memory) is a high octane energy drink that lets the PC "think and act quickly" while working, surfing, or playing games. This type of memory is used only when your computer is powered on and it stores no data otherwise. Get a minimum of 16MB (megabytes) of RAM and seriously consider 32MB for a significant performance boost, especially when surfing the internet or playing games.

    Another type of memory is for permanent storage and is referred to as a hard drive. This memory is for storing files like travel plans for the upcoming national, pictures of the family, or a champion’s pedigree. Think of it as a filing cabinet where all information is stored even when you turn off the computer. It’s usually measured in megabytes (MB) and again, more is preferable. Get at least a 1GB (gigabyte, equal to 1000 megabytes) hard drive. In today’s market the minimum available may be 2GB and that’s okay. It’s like a closet in your home, the more storage space the better.

    "What big eyes you have. All the better to see you with." is how the story goes. What good is a computer without being able to see what is going on? The monitor will capture and hold one’s attention each time the computer is used. Prevent eyestrain before it happens by purchasing a decent monitor. Don’t get less than a 15 inch screen with .28 dot pitch. (Additional hint: The lower the dot pitch the clearer the picture.) Squinting is no fun and using a computer is no fun either if looking at it is a strain.

    Another important element of the computer’s display is the video card. This card sends a video signal or picture to the monitor. A video card comes with its own built in ram often referred to as DRAM or VRAM. The important thing to remember is to make sure the video card has at least 2MB of this onboard memory.

    What about modems? Think of a modem as the lifeline to the online world (it’s where the telephone line attaches to the PC). This is an area where trying to cut costs is ill-advised. I recommend the US Robotics Sportster modem period. It’s probably $20-$30 more than some of the bargain brands and it is worth every penny to make this investment. Get the 33.6kbs or the 56K version and you will not be disappointed. This excellent product may now be sold under the 3COM name because of their recent buyout of US Robotics. If the computer comes with another type of modem preinstalled ask the seller to replace it with a US Robotics model.

    No PC today would be complete without multimedia hardware such as sound cards and CD-ROM drives. These components help make the computer more interactive, friendly, and fun to use. Important things to consider in this area are that the sound card is Sound Blaster® compatible and the CD-ROM drive is at least 12 speed. No PC today should be without these two items.

    A brief word must be mentioned about backups. A tape backup unit is rarely included with a new computer system and that is a shame. My philosophy is if something is worth saving on a computer then it is worth backing it up. Any company selling new PC’s will add a tape backup unit to a system if they are asked to do so. It adds about $100.00 to the system and that’s why it’s not included with the base unit. I’ve been through the frustration of hard drive failure and deleted files and I have no desire to experience it again. Performing religious backups is an excellent habit to develop early in anyone’s computer career. A model I like for home PC’s is the HP Colorado T3000 by Hewlett Packard. It’s easy to set up and it will run automatically, all the user needs to do is change the tape weekly and put it in a safe place.

    Now that some important computer terms have been demystified, let’s examine what I would consider a minimum recommended configuration for a new PC that makes for happy internet surfing: A Pentium 166mhz processor, 32MB RAM, 1.2 GB hard drive, video card with 2mb of onboard memory, 12 speed CD ROM Drive, 16 bit Sound Blaster® compatible sound card with speakers, mouse, keyboard, 33.6 US Robotics modem, and a 15"monitor. It’s quite possible to surf with less, but it will be hard to find a new system that doesn’t closely rival this configuration.

    Now that a component list has been created, where should the purchase be made? There are two main avenues for purchasing a new PC, a retail store and through mail order.

    The nice thing about retail stores is they have many models on display in their showroom where one can go and look at the different configurations and brands and try them out. They usually offer services like home delivery, setup and optional training classes that new users can take advantage of if they are a little nervous about using computers. They also offer attractive financing options like no payments or interest until 1999. Their inventory is almost all aimed at the home user and they offer systems from the low end to the high end of the spectrum. Their salesmen can be quite persuasive at times so remember to keep in mind what the computer will be used for and the budget set aside for the purchase. Retail stores will advertise systems for $899.00 and in small print will state: monitor not included or monitor sold separately. Beware, because if a deal sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Another trick the retail stores like to use is selling extended warranties. Any new computer system should come automatically with a one year parts and labor warranty. If it doesn’t, then walk away. Extended warranties are up to the individual user. They can be a life saver for new computer users, but remember they can be purchased in yearly increments so don’t give the store all of the money up front for a three year contract. If the PC is replaced before the warranty expires that is money wasted. Retail stores often carry many brands. I like HP, Compaq and Dell in the retail market because they have a history of making quality, reliable products.

    Mail order is a nice alternative to the retail megastores. Their prices tend to be cheaper than retail stores and their warranties tend to carry longer terms. There is no hands on examination of systems through mail order, just a picture, description, and price, so it’s important to order from a reputable company like Micron, Dell, or Gateway 2000. These companies publish elaborate well organized ads in magazines like The Computer Shopper, which may be purchased wherever magazines are sold. These companies have many configurations available that will not be seen in retail stores and they will even build a custom configuration to meet an individual’s needs. They also tend to have around the clock technical support seven days a week. All that is needed is a telephone and credit card. The downside to mail order is complete payment is due up front, there is no "try before you buy", and all customer service is handled over the telephone, there is never any face to face contact with these companies. I have had good luck with mail order, but it is not for everyone.

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    A Designing Superintendent

    By Fred Lyman

    In the late Summer or early Fall of each year, I begin to think about what type of arrangements to create for the floor during group judging at the Westminster Kennel Club show at Madison Square Garden in New York. After pouring over many home decorating, gardening, and landscaping magazines as well as clippings that I have taken out of magazines earlier in the year, I make my decision on what style of arrangements I would like to create. Oh! by the way, decorating, gardening, landscaping, and floral design are some of the hobbies that fill my free time away from dog shows. I have been involved in the floral business for almost thirty years, at one time full-time.

    Once the decision has been made on design, it is then time to locate all of the materials needed for my creation. I rely on floral supply houses, garden centers, and retail stores in the Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham areas for my floral containers, supplies, and silk flowers. The fresh flowers and foliage are bought in New York City from supply houses in the florist district on the Avenue of the Americas and delivered to Madison Square Garden.

    I usually arrive in the City early on Thursday morning. After checking in at the Hotel, I am off to the floral district to visit my suppliers and check out what is available this year in purple and gold or yellow. Needless to say, everything must be purple and yellow. Then on to Madison Square Garden to check to be sure all of my supplies have arrived on the trucks from Greensboro and get them organized.

    Friday morning 5:00 AM, I am off to the Avenue of the Americas to select flowers for the fresh cut arrangements. What a sight to see, thousands upon thousands of bunches of different kinds of flowers. It seems as though this would be easy, but it really is not. You have to keep in mind several factors. Will the flowers last from Saturday through Tuesday, will the color show up well on television, and most important are they purple and yellow? After an hour or so of selecting flowers, I am off to Madison Square Garden. Shortly after lunch, it is time to move into my room somewhere in the Garden to start getting the containers ready for the silk arrangements for the group floor. Around 5:00 or so, it is time to stop for dinner and an early turn in.

    Saturday morning 5:00 AM, back to the flower market to select the last flowers and make arrangements for them to be delivered to Madison Square Garden. Around 1:00, just after lunch, everything arrives. Time to go off to the flower room to recut all of the stems and place them in water to keep them fresh and beautiful for the arrangements. When everything is in water, it is time to continue working on silk arrangements for the group floor. Around 7:00 PM it is time to stop for dinner and regroup for an early morning start.

    Sunday morning 6:00 AM, off to Madison Square Garden. Back to the flower room to swing into action making fresh cut arrangements. Arrangements are made for the judge’s tables, the Westminster Office and Booth, the Superintendent’s offices, the Club’s lunch buffet, and the tables in the Club’s lunch room. A total of fifty six fresh cut arrangements are needed. At 8:00 PM everything is ready for delivery early Monday morning. Off to the Hotel for a quick dinner and some rest.

    Monday morning 5:00 AM, off to the Garden. The rings are all set up, so it is delivery time. Flowers are placed on the judge’s tables and delivered to all of the offices. Back to the flower room to continue work on the silk arrangements for the group ring for tonight. Around 10:00 it is time to stop and deliver the arrangements to the Club’s lunch room. Back to the flower room to finish the silk arrangements for tonights group judging. Usually around 2-3:00 the group arrangements are complete. Now it is time to decorate the columns for the group winner picture area and make a large arrangement of fresh cut flowers for the photographer’s area. Time to cleanup. Around 7:00 PM it is time to deliver the arrangements to the group ring and help the setup crew set up the arrangements. Looking back at the floor all setup, it looks really great. I only hope the Westminster Club, the exhibitors, and the spectators will be as pleased as I am.

    The end of the job? Not yet. On the completion of group judging, all of the arrangements must be removed from the floor and restored in the flower room. Around 11:30 PM, with everything back in the flower room, I am off to the Hotel for some rest.

    Tuesday 5:00 AM, off to the Garden to freshen up the arrangements for the judge’s tables. After everything is delivered, back to the flower room to freshen up the arrangements for the group ring for tonights judging. At 6:30 PM it is time to deliver the arrangements to the floor and help the setup crew display the arrangements. While group judging is in progress, it is time to repack everything and get it ready to go on the trucks to come back to Greensboro.

    A lot of thought and work goes into this project. I do have the help of Chris Edmonds who is an interior designer in Burlington, NC. He has been a tremendous help in giving ideas and opinions about my creations as well as helping with the actual work in progress at the Garden.

    Sneak Preview: This year the arrangements will all be different. The containers will be square. Some arrangements will be topiaries. The flowers will be purple and yellow Tulips, Daffodils, Forsythia, and other spring flowers. Please let me know how you like them.

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    ATTENTION ! ATTENTION !

    By Bob Carlough

    To all dog show exhibitors, we need your help! That’s right, you! Help with what you ask? Well please read on as I attempt to explain some of the problems we face each and every day in the Entry Department here at MB-F.

    Let me start by giving you some figures which many of you may not realize. Some weeks of course are busier than others, but on an average, we have approximately ten shows closing in a week. And some shows have larger entries than others. But as an average, 1440 entries would be a fair estimate. As you can see by doing quick math we handle quite a few entries every week. Now comes the part where all of you can help.

    If you do the old fashioned way of writing out your entry and mailing a check, before "tucking it into an envelope and mailing it, please look it over, honestly look at your handwriting. Like most people you may be very smart because you know Latin, but chances are we are not going to be able to read it. Remember, we handle thousands of entries every week. We do not have time to sit and analyze every word and letter on all of those entries. Please, please write legibly. Take a moment or two extra to make things clear.

    Another problem that comes up constantly with which you can help, if you move, make sure your correct address is listed AND highlight it, or add a note to bring the change to the attention of the data entry operator inputting your entry. Do this also for any new titles your dog, or your dog’s sire and dam may have earned. Sometimes some of you are in such a hurry, that you even leave out one of the most important pieces of information. Believe it or not, many entries arrive without a class. Again I urge you to read over your entry before sealing that envelope.

    Let’s talk about that newfangled thing, the fax machine. I feel sorry for those poor things! They are on 24 hours a day and they are worked to death! But seriously, the fax machine is great. A fast way to get your entry in and with relative ease, too. However, there are problems with this mode of communication also. Many times we get black sheets; blank sheets; sheets with the information so badly blotted we cannot make out what you are trying to convey. Sometimes we only get half sheets of information. Here again, plan ahead. Send your entry as soon as you can. Then CALL our fax department to see if we received it. If there is a problem we can then suggest that you re-fax. If you are like many who wait until just before noon on any given Wednesday, you will be out of luck. You will not have time to re-fax because the chances of you getting through before the closing hour will be very slim. Those poor machines are running constantly and it will be very hard for you to complete your transmission before noon. And please remember, it is not when you started to send your entries we go by. It’s when we receive your entries. If the entry is not received until after noon, it’s too late. Remember to send a cover sheet with each transmission. On this cover sheet, plainly print your name, credit card number with the expiration date. Also include the dog’s registered name, not what you call him/her at home, the AKC registration number, the class you would like to enter and each show you would like to enter. If we have this information, we can at least help you to get your entry in if the rest of your transmission is perhaps illegible or incomplete. If you are faxing entries for your friends along with yours, you are to be commended for helping out your fellow dog exhibitors. But please be clear in saying which entries go with which credit card. Remember the volume I told you about earlier, it goes for the fax entries too. These are sorted by hand and it slows down the process if we have to try and put together which entries go with which credit card. We do our best, but because of sheer numbers, we sometimes are rushed, and this is where errors occur. Please help us to eliminate these unnecessary errors.

    One of the most important ways for you to help us would be for you to include on every entry a daytime phone number where you can be reached and that will accept a collect phone call. If we have time, we try to call and get problems taken care of with your entries. We do this as a courtesy, not because we are obligated, but because MB-F and the show giving club would like every entry possible. And when we attempt to contact you the exhibitor, we do call collect. If you are not at the number given to accept the call, then we are not able to get the information we need in order to accept your entry.

    The newest mode of making your entries is the internet (InfoDog). There is one very important thing you all need to realize. When you dust off that PC and sit down to make your entry, whatever you type, is what will be accepted. In other words, no one here at the office goes in and adjusts your entry. If you put Open as a class, that’s where your dog will be. If you mean Open A obedience, make sure you put that. If you put Puppy and then realize that your dog is too old, you need to change it. Providing it is before the entries have closed. Do not assume we will change it for you. We will not. As the exhibitor, you are responsible for the information on your dog’s entry.

    Because of jobs and other busy events in our lives, we are all rushed at one point or another. But if you take the time to think about what you have just read, you will see that all of what I have mentioned is very cut and dried. Take a moment to make your entries clearer. Make sure all of the information is included. Give us a way to contact you if we need to and help us in our jobs to make your dog showing experience fun. Hey if it’s not fun, what’s the point?

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    Confict of Interest

    By Tom Crowe

    The words Conflict of Interest as defined by Webster are as follows: "A conflict between one’s obligation to the public good and one’s self interest, as in the case of a public officeholder who owns stock in a company seeking government contracts."

    It is pretty clear in the above definition that money is involved as well as other interests through which the position of a party might benefit. How does all of this pertain to the sport of showing dogs? Let us take some examples: You are a dog food salesperson and an AKC licensed judge. It’s easy to see that you could have a Conflict of Interest if a large kennel owner were to show under you. You might lose a large contract for a food sale, money is involved. On the other hand, suppose your life long friend brings a not too wonderful specimen under you in an average class, would you have a Conflict of Interest? Morally, you bet your bippy. On the other hand would you have a Conflict of Interest if you were a Delegate or a Board Member of the AKC and charged a fee for judging as a professional judge? From a practical point of view I can see no real conflict. Additionally, I can see a real benefit of a professional opinion to have more professionals as delegates and/or board members. The professionals in our sport are the backbone of the sport along with the long time breeders and hard core exhibitors.

    The turnover rate of the average exhibitor is much greater than you would think. We at MB-F estimate it to be approximately 40% each year. We know that 40% of the dogs being shown this year will not be shown next year. We also know that our mailing list is in a constant state of flux. Here today and gone tomorrow is normal except for the hard core and many of those are dying, losing interest, or becoming disillusioned by poor leadership.

    But, back to Conflict of Interest. Who is to define Conflict of Interest? Can it truthfully and realistically be defined? In some instances, "yes", but in most cases "Not Exactly". Is a person making a living in the business of dogs and serving on a committee or as club officer, spending his/her own money to attend meetings etc. and receiving no

    compensation except the good will of the organization he attends, in a Conflict of Interest? To some envious or jealous souls yes, but to the organization he serves NO. Who amongst us should make the determination? Who should cast the first stone? "Not I", said the first little piggy, nor I and so on. Much easier to sit back and whisper to others he/she has a Conflict of Interest than to stand and be counted. If one serves on a Board where all members are selected by committee based on their talents and history of performance to a common cause, are they in conflict because they gain popularity or praise for the work they are doing as a Board Member? Should his/her services be lost because of foolish assumptions by those who are really not aware of the facts and the values gained by their volunteered services? You answer that question. You be the judge.

    It seems to me that we all have conflicts of interest at many points in our lives. For instance, my wife says to me, "You’re more interested in the #*! Dog business than you are in me." Now there’s a for real CONFLICT OF INTEREST. How does one handle that sort of conflict? Flowers, Candy, nights out or take her to a DOG SHOW? Conflict resolved. If things were only that simple.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that, no matter what the situation, conflicts do arise. Some are real and some are imagined. However, each situation should be handled on an individual basis. Many times things are not what they seem but all’s right with the world. Have faith the game is not lost in spite of the rumblings of defeat. The Dow will rise again along with the Sun and the Moon. The Dog Sport will in the end profit by the present turmoil caused by dissidents. So it has been in the past 100 or more years with thousands of important players but it will all pass and we will have new players and new problems.
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    The Way It Was (And The Way It Is Now)

    By Tom Crowe

    Let’s talk about show sites. Many years ago there were very few good show sites. Off hand a few of the better sites were The Old Garden. Not the old, old Garden but the one before the present Garden. All of the dogs were benched down stairs. Oh those stairs! After two days one was completely wiped out with Charlie Horses in both legs and lungs full of smoke and chalk. However, in many respects except for the stairs it was in many opinions better than the present venue. It easily accommodated more than 3000 dogs. The quiet of the show ring area was almost mindful of a chapel. The Taft Hotel was only two blocks across town and it was sumptuous when compared to today’s Pennsylvania. (To be fair in those days the Pennsylvania 2-5000 was in its’ heyday and too expensive for most doggie folks.) The Taft Hotel was headquarters. No matter who you were looking for, if you waited in the lobby, sooner or later they would come traipsing by. Those who are old enough to remember sorely miss it. The benching area was divided in Group Areas with large signs over each area to make it easy for spectators to spot the breeds they wanted to see. All in all it was a good venue in those days.

    Today the New Garden, which to some is really old, is still the New Garden to us old timers. The New Garden has many pluses and negatives but all in all it’s an easier place to work. It’s all on one floor, the benching is a bit crowded, but workable and the multiple breeds benching has solved many problems concerning the care and handling of the dogs. The rings are better controlled but are in a smaller area than the Old Garden and accessibility is easier coming from the benching area.

    One of the best ever dog show sites was in Chicago in back of the Stockyards. The main ring area was the International Amphitheater where Franklin Delano Roosevelt was nominated to be president of the United States in 1932. I was always humbled in that place knowing it played such a great part in the history of our country. All of us Depression kids remember the rough times that came to an end under FDR. There were many other areas in the acres of area available for rings and special events. There was never a question of ring sizes. The only query was how big do you want it? The acoustics in the amphitheater were above average for the time. The hotel accommodations were not great but if you wanted convenience they were part of the complex. The beds were horrible and the bathroom was down the hall, but they were for the Cowboys that drove the herds to the yards. One thing I’ll always remember was the "The Stock Yard Inn". One of the best and fanciest restaurants in which I have ever had the pleasure of dining. The help were dressed in very fancy "King something" or whatever and featured knee britches. If you were a steak lover you would have realized immediately that you were in Steak Heaven. The service was outstanding and the decor sublime. After a few drinks and good conversation, and a good cigar (Cuban), it was time to go back in time and find out first hand how sleeping on the range must have been. Well not quite that good but the convenience of the nearby bushes would have made the difference in favor of the great outdoors. What happened to this marvelous place? The neighborhood became dangerous, the yards closed, the other attractions fell off and they closed it to the public. I last heard they now use it for a warehouse if it hasn’t been torn down. "That’s progress" as Lois says.

    The International Kennel Club of Chicago in the newly built McCormick Place is a gorgeous building of nearly one million square feet and they love dog shows. You should never miss this one. They are planning an outstanding celebration to be held there in February of 1999 and it will be one you certainly do not want to miss even if it’s just to see this beautiful building. Of course if you want to bring a dog or two they will certainly make you feel welcome. A brand new hotel has also been erected on the site and you can walk inside directly from the hotel to the show. At least three large dog shows could be held in this facility at the same time and they would be entirely separate from each other. Mr. Auslander really has his chest puffed out on this one and rightly so.

    Chagrin Falls, Ohio one of the great outdoor events of the Midwest held on a beautiful Polo field in Chagrin Valley just East of Cleveland. It became harder and harder to compete with the local officials until the club finally disbanded when they lost their leadership. It now is part of Western Reserve KC in the old Chrysler Tank plant at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

    Detroit Kennel Club, a real survivor moved from a small Civic Center building in a Northern Area of the city to the newly built Cobo Hall and recently almost doubled in size. They have without a doubt one of the finest venues of any Kennel Club today. If you have never been to this show it is well worth your effort to go. I almost forgot to mention the place is so large that an elevated train runs through the building overtop the show and you don’t even know it’s there unless you happen to be looking toward the roof of the building. What hath God wrought in Detroit?

    In our next issue I’ll try to give you some of the flavor of the Old South and the beginning of circuits and clusters including the old January Florida Circuit when a ball of twine and a suitcase was the total equipment of the Superintendent.
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    A Tale of  Two Dogs

    By Tom Crowe

    I want to tell you a story, a very personal story and I want you to repeat it and repeat it to everyone who will listen. It’s a tale of Two Dogs that have shaped my life.

    DOG NUMBER ONE:

    Ch. Highland Sand George

    Many years ago when I was a struggling handler an opportunity came to me from a lady by the name of Dorothy Thompson. Ms. Thompson was a very wealthy lady, the sole heiress of a large corporation. She was also a poodle breeder of some renown. She was the lady behind the famous Highland Sand Kennels. It seems Ms. Thompson had seen me at some shows with poodles and she liked what she saw. She called me out of a clear blue sky and asked if I would like to handle for her. I jumped at the chance and she had me fly to Chicago to meet her kennel manager and to look at some puppies she thought would be future champions. One dog named Highland Sand George and one bitch named Highland Sand Georgia. She asked which one I liked most and I said the male. These pups were only 5 months old and little did I realize what the future would bring. Ms. Thompson said, "Take him back with you and get him ready, call me when and where you decide to show him".

    The first show of a two show weekend he went reserve from the puppy class and at the second show he went BOB and on to win the Group. I was elated. He was in full bloom of coat so I took him home and put him into an English saddle trim and entered him again this time in the open class and he went from there to Best in Show. The rest is history. He became a top poodle winning many Groups and Bests. My career was launched as a top poodle handler even though sporting dogs were my primary breeds. Several years after George’s career ended and he was still in my kennel and owned by a fine gentleman and a good friend by the name of James Farrell.

    When I announced I was leaving the handling profession behind and that I had purchased a share of the Bow Dog Show Organization. Jim came to me and said, "Tom what’s going to happen to George? He has never been in my home and he has really always been your dog. Would you care to own him and take care of him?" My answer," I was hoping you would ask". George was part of my life for nineteen years. I cried when he left me for Doggy Heaven and I still get a lump in my throat when I think of him. He loved me and I loved him and I will always remember the times we had together. His picture, done by "Tauskey" has a prominent place in MB-F headquarters in Greensboro and he will forever be part of our MB-F heritage.

    DOG NUMBER TWO:

    Louis and T. J. Fuzzie, Esq.

    It took eighteen years for me to get over George. I had retired from the everyday life of dog shows and suddenly I realized something was missing in my life. I had never in my memory been without a dog except for those past eighteen years. I talked it over with Lois and we decided to look around and maybe get a dog but not a poodle. I didn’t want to be reminded of George and I didn’t want the grooming or the care that goes into the proper care of a poodle. We let the word out that we were looking for a dog, a Min Pin or some such breed with little grooming and small enough to carry around with us wherever we would go. One day we walked into the office in Greensboro and were told that we were wanted in an office down the hall. When we walked into that office Lois was handed a white ball of fluff and we were told it was our dog. Not exactly what we were looking to own, a white toy poodle. Well you know the story, Love at first sight. That puppy was all over Lois. He was in love and no doubt about it, so was Lois. I cringed at the thought of all that grooming at this late stage of my life. Long story made short he went home with us when we returned to Florida. That was nearly six years ago. He rules the Crowe’s nest. I have never in all my life met an animal so eager to please and so quick to learn. Show him one time and he forever remembers. Sometimes I believe he is George reincarnated and I don’t even believe in reincarnation.

    Now comes the sad part and the real reason for this Tale. Fuzzie is one of those dogs that has some genetic problems. Poodles as a breed have 26 known genetic defects. All breeds have genetic defects, some more than others. Any one dog of course does not carry all of these defects. But every breeding produces and carries on some of the defects. Fuzzie has three of the poodle defects. One is cataracts. At five he was rapidly going blind and becoming listless and not able to find his way around. We contacted the Vet School at North Carolina State, friends of MB-F, and told them of our problem. They arranged an appointment with their chief eye surgeon and we had both cataracts removed. Fuzzie now sees fine and we and he are almost back to happy times except; occasionally he pops a stifle joint and we must rush to his aid and maneuver it back into place. The first time it happened he screamed with pain. I recognized the problem and quickly corrected it. Now when it happens he grits his teeth and hobbles to me on three legs and waits for me to fix it. It tears my heart out. The third problem is one that is common in poodles and that is Epilepsy. He has had a Petite Mal seizure but we have that under control, for the time being, with diet and other proper measures. He is the greatest dog we have ever owned and we are at a loss to help him.

    Because of this dilemma we have become very much involved with the AKC Canine Health Foundation. I am on the Board of Directors and on the Founders Roll. I believe this organization is the greatest single thing that has ever happened to our Sport. At the recent Parent Clubs meeting in St. Louis the world was informed as to what’s occurring as a result of the research now underway. It is also amazing how much has been accomplished. It also makes us aware of what can be done and how soon results are beginning to become known.

    THE AKC CANINE HEALTH FUND NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT.

    Clubs can make a TREMENDOUS contribution if they will do one single thing. Raise your entry fee by $1.00 and donate that dollar to the AKC Canine Health Foundation. Inform all exhibitors what the increase will accomplish. Put the information in your very next premium list and judging program then do it. MB-F will help you with the accounting and send the funds directly to the foundation and you will receive a certificate of appreciation suitable for framing in the name of all dogs, all breeders and exhibitors. As an example of this small effort:

    MB-F last year processed 750,000 entries nearly half of all entries processed. That translates into $750,000.00. If every club and every superintendent will participate in this effort the Canine Health Fund would be self sufficient and we would have the research assured to remove this terrible tragedy from our canine friends. If you don’t think that’s the greatest thing to happen in our sport then I believe you show dogs not for improvement of the breeds but rather for that ego trip that everyone talks about. Write to me at MB-F, P.O. Box 22107, Greensboro, NC 27420. Tell me you believe what I say and Fuzzie and I will be forever in your debt. And the Dog World will know your club is a true member of the Sport of Showing Dogs and improving the breeds, their health and well being. PLEASE HELP!

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    CANINE HEALTH FOUNDATION NEWS

    American Kennel Club

    January - March 1998

    BUSY FEBRUARY and MARCH FOR CHF!

    Monday - February 16, 1998

    11:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M. at the

    Southgate Tower Hotel

    AKC Canine Health Foundation

    Luncheon at Westminster

    Sponsored by the Iams Company

    A silent auction will be held.

    If you would like to donate a special item of art work or memorabilia

    - please call the Foundation Office

    - (330) 995-0807

    March 7 and 8, 1998 -

    DETROIT KENNEL CLUB - The dates for the Detroit Kennel Club are Saturday and Sunday March 7 and 8, 1998. CHF will have a booth at the show and a portion of the proceeds of this event will benefit CHF research. If you attend please plan on visiting the AKC/CHF Booth for information.

    March 26 - 29, 1998 -

    INTERNATIONAL KENNEL CLUB will have their show these dates. They have provided CHF with booth space. Please visit the CHF booth let staff know if you are planning on attending the show.

    February 25 - 28, 1999 -

    INTERNATIONAL KENNEL CLUB will be hosting a four day spectacular in 1999 to benefit the AKC Canine Health Foundation. The Co-Ordinating Chairman of this event for the Foundation is Bruce Korson (516) 922-5160. Parent clubs and regional specialty clubs are invited to host specialties and supported entries at this event which will help build health fund.

    AKC Board Approval of 1998 Budget Request -

    On January 13, 1998, AKC/CHF Treasurer, Alexander F. Draper, and Executive Director, Deborah Lynch presented the 1998 budget request to the AKC Board of Directors. The AKC Board approved the administrative budget request and approved $500,000 for grants in 1998. This is an increase of $100,000 over the 1997 grants amount.

    1997 Fund Raising Goal Reached and Passed -

    The 1997 CHF goal for fund raising was $600,000. The year will close at over $670,000 in funds raised for canine health and education programs. Hurrah and thank you to all board members and volunteers who worked so hard to help us get there!!

    Canine Health Foundation

    WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE HEALTH OF YOUR DOGS

    January 28, 1998

    The important word to consider here is TOGETHER because without your commitment to the AKC Canine Health Foundation our goals for the future health and well being of our dogs will not be realized. As we move into the millennium not only will the century change but the entire scientific community will change as well.

    Genetics is the future not only as it concerns canine health but human health as well. I mention human health as because many of the diseases that plague our dogs can be equally as devastating to humans as well. To date the AKC Canine Health Foundation has funded in excess of one million dollars in research projects that will hopefully find the answers to unravel the mystery of some of the devastating diseases that we now have to face on a daily basis.

    The various Parent Clubs, all breed and individual donors have made the difference in getting these projects started, but this is only the beginning we need your support to keep these projects moving forward. The Canine Health Foundation is your legacy to the future health of the dogs that we love and care for. I think it is more than safe to say that there would not be one of us who has not experienced the unnecessary loss of an animal before it's time.

    I am pleased to announce that on February 25, 26, 27 and 28 in 1999 The Ralston Purina Co. will sponsor along with The International Kennel Club, Park Shore Kennel Club and the Blackhawk Kennel Club a four day extravaganza for the benefit for the Canine Health Foundation. Included in this weekend our plans are to hold a major dinner dance at the show site an event that hopefully everyone will support. Letters have gone out to all of the parent clubs with details on the show so contact your club secretaries for more information. Or you can contact me directly at (516) 922-5160 or the Canine Health Foundations offices Mrs. Deborah Lynch (216) 995-0807. Of all of the things you have done in your years in dogs be assured that the part you play in the success of the Foundation will be long remembered in annals of the history of our canine friends.

    Bruce Korson

    Chairman of Presidents Council of the AKC Caine Health Foundation

    CANINE HEALTH AROUND THE UNITED STATES

    OHIO - Irish Wolfhound Club of America - The Board of Directors of the Irish Wolfhound Club of America will hear about the AKC CHF and the Parent Club Partnership Program at their Board Meeting on January 31, 1998, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    OREGON - Portland Kennel Club - CHF Director, Susan Hamill visited Portland Kennel Club shows to host information sessions on the Foundation and to present a booth with information on CHF at their shows which were held January 15 - 18, 1997. The National Animal Institute Alliance also held a breeders seminar on January 14, 1998 - attended by 50 of the leading breeders and exhibitors in the area. CHF Executive Director, Deborah Lynch presented a program on the Parent Club Partnership Program at the seminar.

    NEW JERSEY - Ramapo Kennel Club - CHF Director, Asa Mays and other directors will visit the March 11, 1998 meeting of the Ramapo Kennel Club and present a slide show to the members that describes the work of AKC/CHF. Twin Brooks Kennel Club will hear a presentation including slide show on AKC/CHF on March 22, 1998.

    ALASKA - Anchorage Kennel Club - Jocelyn Barker, President, of the Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America, will present at the 1998 slide show on AKC/CHF at the February 1, 1998 meeting of the Anchorage Kennel Club and distribute material to the member on CHF research projects.

    THE 1998 CHF SLIDE SHOW IS READY.

    IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A

    PRESENTATION TO YOUR LOCAL CLUB -

    CALL THE OFFICE TO RESERVE

    YOUR MATERIAL

    OUR AREA CODE IS

    CHANGING - FROM 216 - 330

    AKC Canine Health Foundation -

    Phone (330) 995-0807 Fax: (330) 995-0806

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    AKC CANINE HEALTH FOUNDATION RESEARCH UPDATES

    BLOAT STUDY - ENTERS DATA

    ANALYSIS PHASE

    Follow up of dogs in the AKC/CHF funded bloat study being conducted by Dr. Lawrence Glickman at Purdue University is progressing on schedule. Nearly 2,000 dogs from eleven breeds have been enrolled in the study. The study is designated to estimate the incidence of bloat in each of the participating breeds and to evaluate the relationship between bloat risk and body conformation, family history, diet and behavior factors.

    Breeds participating in the bloat study and number of dogs enrolled include the following: Akita (116), Bloodhound (133), Collie (212), Great Dane (228), Irish Setter (271), Irish Wolfhound (183), Newfoundland (303), Rottweiler (120), Saint Bernard (186), Standard Poodle (137), Weimaraner (100).

    Preparation for data analysis will begin in January. Dr. Mark Tetrick, The Iams Company, will advise on how to evaluate the large amount of dietary information provided by owners. A final report to each of the participating breed clubs and the AKC Canine Health Foundation and the Morris Animal Foundation will be ready in one year.

    SURVIVAL OF CANINE BLOAT

    In a separate study Dr. Glickman is analyzing the short and long term factors that will predict survival for dogs with bloat. The results of the final analysis will be published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association. Dogs in this study were recruited for a case control study of bloat risk factors. Points to remember from this study are:

    Canine bloat is an emergency and must be treated immediately.

    In general, once dogs make it to surgery, their changes of surviving in the near term are about 85%.

    Therapy for shock and gastric decompression should be considered only as first aid for dogs with bloat. Some form of gastropexy is needed toprevent a recurrence. After gastropexy, bloat recurrence is rare and most dogs lead normal lives.

    Although bloat can occur in young dogs, the risk increases significantly, as dogs grow older. A retrospective study of VMDB showed that overall, 78.8% of dogs were at least 4 years old before they bloated.

    Since the introduction of improved techniques for treatment of shock and for gastropexy, case fatality rates have improved from a high of near 50% in 1977 to below 30% today.

    (Bloat Notes, Issues 98-I, January 1998)

    HEART CASES NEEDED FOR STUDIES OF CANINE CARDIOMYOPATHY AND SUB-AORTIC STENOSIS

    Kathryn Mears, DMV, DACVIM, PhD and Linda Lehmkahl, DMV, DACVIM of the Ohio State University are conducting two separate studies of canine heart disease. Additional cases are needed for both studies which will investigate the mode of inheritance and genetic causes of cardiomyopathy and sub-arotic stenosis. Participation of families of dogs with related symptoms are particularly helpful for these studies. Confidentiality will be strictly maintained. Dogs need to visit the clinic at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio for evaluation which will include non-invasive testing and a blood test. Interested individuals should call Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital - Phone: (614) 292-3551 and have Dr. Mears or Dr. Lehmkahl paged.

    CARDIOMYOPATHY - Breeders and owners of Boxers and Dobermans of dogs with diagnosed cardiomyopathy, a history of fainting or exercise intolerance may have dogs that qualify for this study.

    SUB-AORTIC STENOSIS - Breeders and owners of Newfoundland and Golden Retrievers with diagnosed or suspected sub-arotic stenosis, or dogs that have a history of heart murmur may qualify for this study.

    These heart studies are supported by the AKC Canine Health Foundation and the American Boxer Charitable Trust, Newfoundland Club of America, New PenDel Newfoundland Club and the Golden Retriever Club of America Health Fund in honor of Carol Buckmann.

    MB-F, Inc. fully supports these worthwhile projects. We are proud to be part of the Canine Health Foundation and have pledged both time and money to the success of these endeavors. What better way to show our appreciation of the sport we cherish and promote. In turn we encourage support from all Dog Show particpants in this most worthwhile cause.

     

    Tom Crowe, Chairman of the Board MB-F, Inc.

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    A Dog & Kennel Special Report
    Wedding bells for ADEQUAN Canine

    By Kelly Stevens Childs

    In case you missed the Federal Register for August 26 this year, pages 45157-58 served notice that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was amending its animal-drug regulations. That change was made "to reflect approval of a new animal-drug application filed by Luitpold Pharmaceuticals." The newly approved drug is known commercially as Adequan® Canine, but if you prefer long scientific names, feel free to call it polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. Delivered in an intramuscular injection, Adequan is an osteoarthritis drug that slows the cycle of joint degeneration by facilitating the repair of damaged cartilage and the replacement of played-out joint fluid - while also providing relief from pain and inflammation.

    The FDA’s approval of Adequan for use in dogs is somewhat reminiscent of a wedding between two people who have been living together quietly for some time. Adequan, to be sure, has been approved for treating horses for more than a decade, and many veterinarians have been using it to treat canine patients as well. At a seminar at the North American Veterinary Conference in 1992, the year that formal testing of Adequan with dogs began, veterinarians were asked to raise their hands if they were using Adequan to treat dogs. About half did. One vet attending the conference, Robert Goring, a veterinary orthopedic surgeon, quipped, "I suspect the real number is closer to 75 percent." This crossover prescription is an example of one kind of off-label or extra label drug use, a practice wherein veterinarians may prescribe an FDA approved medication for a Species other than the one for which that medication has been approved - if there is no comparable approved medication available. Another kind of off-label use occurs frequently in our own species when people take aspirin, a medication approved for treating headaches, to prevent heart attacks. While looking benignly for the most part on these kinds of arrangements, the FDA sternly forbids drug manufacturers from advertising unapproved drug uses, but even that proscription is softening. Legislation making its way through congress would allow drug companies to distribute professional information on off-label drug uses under certain conditions.

    Getting Hip

    Adequan is made of the same material present in joint cartilage. After entering the bloodstream, Adequan is carried to the various joints of the body, primarily the hip joints. If one of those joints is arthritic, Adequan goes to work; but before discussing how it works, we should consider the way a hip joint works. The hip joint is a ball-and-socket arrangement in which the ball (the end of the thighbone, or femur) sits in the hip socket. Normally the surfaces of the hip socket and the femoral head are smooth, covered by tough, slick cartilage that allows the bones to glide past each other without undue friction when a dog moves. Otherwise dogs would squeak when they walk. In addition, the hip joint is surrounded by a durable, fibrous sack called the joint capsule, which is filled with synovial fluid, a thick substance that lubricates the joint, and functions as a fluid-filled shock absorber.

    When arthritis strikes - often,, but not always, as a result of hip dysplasia - the bone surfaces of the hip joint and femoral head become rough. They grate and grind against each other. At the same time the cartilage surrounding the bones wears out. This roughs the way for more grinding, which, in turn leads to more arthritis. Meanwhile, the joint fluid becomes thin and watery, causing increased friction in the joint and yet more arthritis and pain.

    Rebuilding Blocks

    Upon arriving on this scene, Adequan stimulates chondrocytes and the cells of the synovial membrane. Chondrocytes produce new cartilage that replaces worn-out cartilage in the joint. The cells of the synovial membrane replace degraded synovial fluid with hyaluronic acid, thereby lubricating the joint and separating bone surfaces to prevent their

    rubbing against each other so much and so painfully. What’s more, Adequan puts paid to the roguery of inflammatory agents that invade a joint in response to stress or injury. Thus does Adequan control the pain, lameness, reduced range of motion and disability associated with osteoarthritis.

    Eight Is Enough

    The recommended dose of Adequan is two milligrams per pound of body weight twice weekly for up to four weeks. The cost per injection usually runs between $20 and $30, a cost that will most likely be accompanied by the cost of an office visit. "Adequan is a recommended onetime therapy," says Dennis Nelson, DVM, director of sales and marketing for Luitpold’s animal health division. "In our clinical trials about 80 percent of the dogs that responded to Adequan were still showing a positive response at six months. Sometimes, depending on how severe the arthritis is and exactly what is causing it in a dog, you may have to come back and get periodic booster injections of Adequan. We do not have that on the label because individual cases vary so much. There’s no way to make a hard-and-fast recommendation.

    We leave that to the discretion of the veterinarian, the owner and the pet."

    Additional Players

    Adequan™ is the second arthritis medication to win FDA approval this year for use with dogs. The other is Rimadyl antiinflammatory drug that neutralizes the effect of cyclo-oxygenase two, the enzyme that produces inflammationand damaged tissues in arthritis victims. Adequan, by comparison, is a disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug.

    "Taking Rimadyl is like taking aspirin," says Nelson. "It strictly takes care of inflammation and, as a result, pain, but it doesn’t do anything to interfere with or to modify the disease process."

    This difference does not preclude the use of these drugs in concert, however. One veterinarian of our acquaintance reports that she will begin Adequan injections with a dog suffering from severe arthritis. After the dog has shown signs of improvement, this veterinarian might then prescribe Rimadyl and either Glycoflex™ or Cosequin™. The last two are oral drugs with effects that are similar to, but slower acting than, Adequan’s. Rimadyl may be discontinued if the dog’s response to Glycoflex or Cosequin - or to periodic booster shots of Adequan - warrants.

    No matter what the treatment strategy, the earlier it begins, the better a dog’s chances of improvement. If your dog seems sluggish when it gets up in the morning or after a nap, if it walks stiffly or is reluctant to climb stairs, to jump onto furniture or to lark about as much as it used to, consult your veterinarian. If arthritis is the problem, there are effective solutions at hand.

    KELLY STEVENS CHILDS is a writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

    (Reprinted from February 1998 issue with the permission of "Dog & Kennel" magazine.)

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