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February 1999 Newsletter - Volume 2. Issue 18

Table of Contents

1998 MB-F, Inc.

You may use this paragraph as permission to reprint any article in the MB-F Newsletter providing 6rticles are printed in their entirety, proper credit is given to the author and to the MB-F Newsletter, and a copy of the publication in which it was reprinted is sent to the MB-F Newsletter, P.O. Box 22107, Greensboro, NC 27420. Opinions expressed by authors in this publication are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. Publisher reserves the right to edit.

A Show Chairman's Dream Come True (Part ll)
by Bob Christiansen

In July, 1998, MB-F and InfoDog announced the Judges Availability System which allows inquiry for available judges within the AKC rule of 30 days and 200 miles. We also promised to provide a future enhancement to allow a club to completely build a panel of judges based on that availability and submit it directly to the AKC. That day is finally here!

The Judging Panel System works this way:

1. Access your Club’s “InfoDog Home Page”. InfoDog has a complete list of home pages for all AKC clubs. It’s free! Club Home Pages can be accessed through the Calendar of Shows, searching panels by show name or directly at infodog.com/clubs/##########.htm where ########## is the new 10-digit AKC event number. (The first four digits are the year, i.e. 1999, AKC previously used only eight digits for event numbers where the first two digits were for the year, i.e. 99)

2. The original Judge Availability System is still accessible at the bottom of each individual club. This system requires at least four letters of a judge’s last name to be entered and submitted. The InfoDog system will find and display a list of all matching judges’ names. The list is clickable to display the breeds your selection judge is approved for and eligible to judge, as well as possible conflicts within 30 days and 200 miles.

3. The Judging Panel System requires you to enter a four to eight character password of your choice. This password provides security and access for you, and only you, to see and build your panel. This password will be stored and related along with your club’s 10-digit event number. After the password has been entered and submitted, a screen will display an input box for a judge’s last name along with a list of all possible breeds and the number of entries from your previous event if it was an MB-F event. If the entries from your previous corresponding event are not available, zeros are displayed and you have the opportunity to key them in. Enter at least four letters of a judge’s last name and click submit. The InfoDog system will find and display a list of all matching judges’ names. The list is clickable to display the breeds your selection judge is approved and eligible to judge, as well as possible conflicts within 30 days and 200 miles. To assign the available breeds to the current judge you simply click the check boxes next to them and click submit at the bottom. Throughout the assignment process you also have the ability to display your panel sorted by judge to see the total dogs assigned to a judge based on the entry numbers from your last corresponding event.

4. You can work on your panel as often as you like. InfoDog will store your password-protected data indefinitely. Once you have completed your panel, simply click on “E-mail this panel to AKC”. The system will display a form for your name, address, and phone number, fax number, and e-mail address along with any comments you care to pass along to AKC with your panel. Once this screen has been submitted, an immediate e-mail message of your complete panel will be sent to AKC along with the date and time you submitted it. Although your panel will still be stored at InfoDog, you should also print a hard copy of what you have submitted and mail it via regular mail to the AKC. E-mail is very reliable but has been known to occasionally get “lost”. Your hard copy will provide a good back up.

* Please note: Although we are still in the process of loading and updating all judging panels, the majority are already on-line. It is possible a conflict exists for a judge and InfoDog doesn’t know about it yet. If InfoDog does tell you there is a conflict it is most likely correct. We should have all panels back on-line by late February. Just imagine! No more long delays and painful calculations. Building a judging panel will take minutes instead of hours or even days. InfoDog really does do (almost) everything except take your dog into the show ring!

Try It From Here

Please enter some portion of your show name:

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Westminster Floral Decorations
By Fred Lyman

A big hello to all of my dog show family and a thank you to everyone who has admired and commented on the floral designs at Westminster shows over the last five years.

Have you ever thought about what goes into the preparation for the Westminster Kennel Club show? Many hours, days, weeks, and months of preparation go into what is seen during this two-day event.

The following are some of the items that require attention for one part of the show - the floral decorations.

Throughout the months following Westminster each year, I continuously watch for ideas for the coming show. I look through decorating magazines, attend floral shows, attend and buy items at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC twice a year and also keep my eyes open as I travel across the country for company business and also travel to some European countries for my personal vacations. It also helps to have an interior decorator as my assistant, Chris Edmonds of Burlington, NC whom many of you know.

Beginning in October, many trips are made to the wholesale florist to keep in touch with what will be available following the big Christmas rush. Each year I try to have a design that is different from previous years. This year’s designs will be created using the urns that I have used a couple of times in years past. They will be painted purple and marblized with gold. I plan to do a more open and airy arrangement than in the past. Purple and yellow Bearded Iris will be the main flowers used with Forsythia, Tulips, and Daffodils used as filler flowers. I am still working on a design with the foundation being a pyramid shaped topiary form. Please take a look at the designs for this year and let me know what you think.

Now that I have the arrangements under control for the Group floor, it is time to start thinking about the fresh flowers for the judge’s tables, the official’s offices, and the club lunch room. I will be arriving in New York on February 4, and my first official business will be a visit to the flower market on the Avenue of the Americas to begin selecting fresh flowers for these arrangements. This year will be easier since Valentine’s Day is not so close to the dates for the dog show. Everything must be in shades of purple and gold and at the same time be able to remain fresh looking for four to five days. Hopefully there will be a good supply of Gerbera Daisies, French Tulips, Carnations, Liaotris, Fresia, Monks Hood, Button Mums, Dendrobium Orchids, and various other purple and yellow blossoms.

The fresh flowers are delivered to Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon. The entire day Sunday will be spent making fresh arrangements for the show. We usually work into the night to have everything ready for delivery by 7:00 AM Monday morning.

The arrangements for the Group ring will be started on Sunday and finished during the day on Monday. Would you believe a full fledged flower shop somewhere in the halls of Madison Square Garden?

So as you see for this particular piece of the show, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes. When everything is in place and the dogs bound into the Group ring for judging and the crowd roars, it is all well worth while.

Please let me know what you think of the 1999 designs.


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Needle's Stuck
by Dorie Crowe

What do you think of the statements below?

1. “In one instance...dogs were led into the ring with the names of their owners prominently attached to the collars, rather than anonymous numbers.”*

2. “In an effort to save time, overworked judges sometimes arbitrarily combined classes, judging Retrievers against Setters...dogs from other countries were lumped together in a “Foreign Dog” class without discrimination as to breed.”*

3. “The fancy outwardly touted itself as the very model of gentility, while in actuality exhibitors could be quite deceptive. Much of the judge’s time was consumed in the search for “fakers” - dogs with flaws deliberately disguised by plucking, dying, clipping or even surgery.”*

4. “Handlers obstructed one another in the ring or attempted to distract judges with derisive gossip about fellow exhibitors.”*

5. “Ink was splashed on unattended dogs or huge clumps of their hair were cut out.”*

6. “Even the most highly respected breeder was not above padding his or her wallet by selling or standing at stud animals of dubious parentage, as evidenced....by the wave of complaints of black, Curly-Coated Retriever puppies with docked tails being passed off as Standard Poodles.”*

7. “Poor sportsmanship and corruption threatened to end the fancy.”*

8. “The best interests of the dogs had been compromised by obsessions with trophies and acclaim, not to mention the spectacle of profits to be made from fleeting consumer fads for certain breeds.”*

9. “...the working instincts of hunting dogs [are] being undermined by the fancy’s preoccupation with looks.”*

10. “...rewarding dogs who conformed to a tighter set of physical parameters would steer breeders in a more sensible scientific direction and hasten the ‘improved’ form....though judges couldn’t help rewarding dogs who appealed to their personal preferences....When such dogs garnered top honors fanciers revised or scrapped their written standards....”*

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THE CANINE HEALTH FOUNDATION
OF THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Betty Moore AKC Canine Health Foundation 251 W. Garfield Road, Suite 160 • Aurora, OH 44202 PH: 330-995-0807 • FX: 330-995-0806

January 23, 1999

AKC Canine Health Foundation Chicago Breeders Seminar To Include Dr. George Brewer, Dr. Francis Smith and Panel of Nationally Recognized Dog Breeders. A Breeders Seminar will be held in conjunction with the International Cluster of dog shows in Chicago. The date for the seminar is Friday, February 26, 1999. Starting at 9:00 AM and running through 3:00 PM the seminar will include nationally prominent experts on canine health and reproduction. The seminar will also feature a panel of six of the nations most prominent dog breeders. Cost of the seminar is $20.00 for the day, including lunch. Individuals can register by phoning toll free; 1-888-682-9696. The panel of speakers will include Dr. C. Richard Dorn, Science Officer, and Deborah Lynch, Executive Vice President of the AKC Canine Health Foundation. They will be speaking on the top ten diseases in dogs and sponsored research studies addressing these problems. Dr. George Brewer of the University of Michigan will give an overview of current progress in canine genetics. Dr. Brewer and his group recently announced three new genetic tests for canine vonWillebrand’s disease in Poodles, Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Manchester Terriers. He will discuss newly available tests and technology and what breeders can look forward to in the future. Canine reproduction will be the focus of another session led by Frances O. Smith, DVM. Dr. Smith is one of the few veterinarians in the U.S. with board certification in animal reproduction. In addition to her practice, Dr. Smith is also a leading breeder of Labrador Retrievers. She will be discussing reproductive problems in the breeding program and recent advances in breeding technology. The final session of the day will conclude with a panel of some of the most distinguished dog breeders in the nation. They will discuss how they developed their successful breeding programs. Participants include Marjorie Martorella, Marjetta, Reg., Pointers; John Buddie, Tartanside, Reg., Collies; Debbie Buttts, Sporting Fields, Reg., Whippets; Susan Hamil, Quiet Creek, Bloodhounds, and Dr. Frances Smith, Danikk, Labrador Retrievers. Space is limited. Registrations should be made by February 20, 1999. The seminar will be held in Chicago at the newly decorated McCormick Place South - Room S103BC. Those wishing to register by mail can send their check or money order to: AKC Canine Health Foundation, 251 W. Garfield Road, Suite 160, Aurora, OH 44202.

Lost History of the Canine Race

How many of these statements, or variations on these statements, have you heard or repeated recently?

Would it surprise you to know these statements reflect the state of the Fancy in Britain during the period of time from the mid-1800s to early 1900s?

These observations appear in “The Lost History of the Canine Race, Our 15,000-Year Love Affair with Dogs,”* by Mary Elizabeth Thurston. The book, published in 1996, is an interesting read and, I’m sure, today’s dog people would find much to discuss, debate, and disagree. There is factual data and there is much conjecturing through available research (where there is research), and theory where there is not much research.

I read things that were interesting; ideas that were new to me; items that seemed not well researched; items that seemed to show only one side; things that were compelling - but on the whole it was time well-spent reading an ambitious project. The book goes from pre-Columbian North America through modern times detailing the history of our relationship with our canine companions.

That being said, isn’t it intriguing that for more than 100 years of involvement in the Fancy in this country we haven’t moved very far beyond talking and/or complaining about those very same things that seemed to plague the sport waaay back then?

Oh, sure, there have been great changes; there have been many improvements, but, when it comes right down to those little everyday conversations regarding our sport we do seem to be in a rut. What do you suppose it will take to launch us forward? Sometimes you just have to get a grip and get over! Do you think the Fancy is ready for that? Can we do it? Well, then, Go For It!

*The Lost History of the Canine Race, Our 15,000-Year Love Affair with Dogs, Mary Elizabeth Thurston, 1996 by Andrews and McMeel, A Universal Press Syndicate Company.

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ANOTHER YEAR-1999

By Tom Crowe

Another year has passed and another year begins. In the beginning of my life this had little significance for me Each day was just ho-hum. Where’s my bottle? Please change this uncomfortable rag tied around my bottom. Ho-hum, I think I’ll take a nap. Just one boring day after another until I began to recognize a day called Christmas. It didn’t happen very often but it certainly was exciting.

I remember I couldn’t wait for the day to come, and it took so long to get here. Well, I finally got the hang of it and realized it only happened after a very long time. Also, around this time it seemed as though my father’s family, 18 brothers and sisters, and my mother’s family, 12 brothers and sisters, (small wonder I was an only child) usually had some kind of gathering called a New Year’s Eve party. There was a lot of noise and drinking of something that certainly wasn’t milk. There was a lot of loud talk with everybody singing and kissing everybody and shouting Happy New Year. I really didn’t figure this out for awhile but then it came to me. ANOTHER YEAR or a long time until the next Christmas. So it is still and much will happen in this coming year of waiting.

There have been many Christmases past for me and I still hope for many more to come. Since 1947, when I first discovered Dog shows, even though a dog always seemed to be part of my life, I was not aware such a sport existed.

It all began after World War II and my stint in the Air Corp. I was on a business trip driving through New Jersey when I saw a sign along the road. It read, "AKC REGISTERED GREAT DANE PUPPIES FOR SALE". I had always admired the breed and here was a chance to own one. The owner showed me a female (bitch was not in my vocabulary at that time). Lord, she was beautiful. Nothing could have stopped me from owning that beautiful puppy. I was driving a rented car and I lived in Canonsburg, Pa. How to get her home? I talked to the breeder about my dilemma and he said he could build me a crate the airlines would accept. We made a deal and later that day I picked up my prize and headed for home via the airlines. I couldn’t wait to see the expressions on the faces of Lois and my two little girls. Hey, we lived in an apartment!

It didn’t take long to find out that Great Danes were not easy keepers in an apartment. So off to my folk’s farm 20 miles away. Then, of course, the thing to do was to breed and raise beautiful puppies and sell them and make tons of money. I didn’t really know how all of this worked but I was sure ready to try. At this point an event called a Dog Show was introduced to me by an acquaintance. There was a show in Wheeling, West Virginia about 50 miles down the road and off we went to see our first Dog Show. It was exciting and I certainly wanted to be part of it.

I started showing my own dogs then began taking other persons’ Danes into the ring and winning. Hog Heaven. I had a kennel and a small reputation. A few years later, with recommendations from two licensed handlers that I worked with, I applied to the AKC for a Handler’s license. I was accepted and received my license in early 1950. For the next 13 years I lived the life of a gypsy traveling the entire country and showing beautiful dogs. The life was hard and I loved it but another opportunity presented itself.

Helen Seder, President of the Bow Dog Show Organization, asked me if I would be interested in owning part of that organization. She was aware that my previous experience was in a large business. I had to think it over but I finally accepted. It was a decision I have never regretted. It gave me the freedom to perform on my own and I was still in the business of Dog Shows. You all know the rest of that story.

Back to the title of Another Year. It’s 1999 and the beginning of 12 more months of shows and for all that they bring to us in pleasure and in sadness. Pleasure from the wins and great friends, sadness from the losses in the ring and from the passing of many of those friends. The Florida Circuit is over and the vans and motor homes will shortly be on their way to winter and three of the few great Benched Shows still surviving, The Westminster Kennel Club, The International Kennel Club of Chicago and The Detroit Kennel Club.

Most people of this day and age really have not captured the significance of a benched show. A benched show is a Dog Show for the public. The public loves benched shows. Benched shows are the best PUBLIC RELATIONS tool that breeders, exhibitors and handlers have to show off their wares. The laxity of unbenched shows has caused all of us to withdraw from the public and the importance that general public participation brings to the sport. A benched show presents a venue where the public can become involved in one-on-one conversation with exhibitors. We really have a necessity during these times of adverse publicity to get out the message of our good side to the public. A benched show partially fulfills that obligation.

The "Garden" entry is set. It closed in a brief flurry with no fanfare. Nearly 5000 entries were received in minutes. As they were handed to the MB-F clerks at the entrance the time was recorded on each batch and that batch was placed in a box with time received recorded thereon. When the initial jam of batches was deposited; the clerks opened each envelope within each time marked box and the number of entries was counted, coded and processed. This method continued until the count reached 2500. The balance of the envelopes were opened, counted and coded, but put aside for about a week while the 2500 counted entries were worked though the system and the owners notified of their acceptance. The balance of the envelopes were then processed for return to their owners.

The International Kennel Club of Chicago and its cluster of South Shore and Blackhawk will close on Wednesday the 10th, the day following Westminster. Entries can be turned in at Westminster. Only the two days of the International will be benched. South Shore and Blackhawk will be unbenched.

This year the Saturday event of the International will be dedicated to the AKC Canine Health Foundation. The International and Ralston Purina have combined their efforts to make this an "Affair to Remember". For every dog entered $10.00 will be donated to the Canine Health Foundation, courtesy of Purina and the International. They are looking forward to raising a minimum of $50,000.00 to aid the Canine Health Foundation. If you haven’t yet received a Premium List you’ll find it on InfoDog on the Internet. There’s also a terrific dinner dance following the Saturday show with a live Top Band and entertainment. The net proceeds will also go to the Canine Health Foundation.

The third member of this triumvirate of benched shows is the Detroit Kennel Club which follows the International Kennel Club two weeks later with back-to-back shows March 13 & 14, 1999. If you have never witnessed this spectacular you owe it to yourself, by all means, to attend a show that attracts up to 60,000 spectators in one day. They occupy Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit and it is a magnificent show site. The Club offers great hospitality and easy access to the rings with close-by grooming areas. All this plus super wide aisles with easy access to the comfortable benching layout.

So, it’s another year, with a great beginning and I look forward to my 52nd year in a sport that has thrilled me and saddened me on many occasions. However, it has always been my inspiration and what I regard as my special opportunity to try to make the Sport better by my having been here. Have ANOTHER YEAR-1999 of excellence and fun and above all "KEEP ON GOING TO THE DOGS".

Guy's Corner
by Guy Walton

The most common questions I get when I tell someone I am in the dog show business:

What kind of dogs do you own and show? What kind of dog should I buy?

There is no real answer to that last question if you want to be honest with the person. A lot of people would tend to name their own breed. There are so many determining circumstances such as where do you live (city, country), apartment or house (if house what size yard)? Do you like large, medium or small dogs? Do you like long or short haired dogs? How much time can you devote to your dog particularly from a grooming aspect? Do you have any family allergy problems? Do you want a protective or guard type or a loving, gregarious type? Do you have children? If so, how old and how precocious are they? Can you tolerate barking or do you prefer a laid back dog? When I get the answers to these questions and others, I can normally name a few breeds. I never just name one breed. If I get sporadic answers, I normally tell them they are not ready for a dog or tell them to get a Siamese cat that thinks he’s a dog (Like my old cat who was born in a veterinary clinic specializing in dogs only).

Question

Why would a hospital carpet their hallways? It’s hard enough to sanitize marble or tile floors. I actually don’t like house carpeting for pets. Why create a media for fleas to breed.

Speaking of Fleas

When I was in the veterinarian field, we made a very high quality shampoo to which we added Licorice or Anise oil. It killed fleas on contact. Many people would ask me for advice on flea problems and I would put them on our insecticidal shampoo. I, additionally, would tell them to put a bowl of soapy water with licorice or Anise oil in it and put a lit desk lamp over it and turn off the room lights when retiring. You had to remove your pets from the room when doing this. In the morning, they would find a bowl of dead fleas (floating on their backs with feet in the air like they died of a heart attack while doing the backstroke).

Walton Tales

I have always been known for my activities in Irish Setters, Whippets, Professional Stewarding, and Superintending. I’ll bet that no one knows that I almost started with WEIMARANERS which will require the relating of one of my episodes later in this column. Weimaraners have had an association with Moss Dog Shows, Bow Dog Shows, and Foley Dog Shows when they were separate companies.

Tom Crowe, the Chairman of The Board of Directors of MB-F, in his professional handling career exhibited a number of WEIMS, including some of those owned by Ted Bloomberg who became his partner in creating Moss-Bow Dog Shows. Tom handled the all-time winning Weim until his records were surpassed many years later by the Weims handled by Stanley Flowers. Durwood (deceased) and Dorothy Van Zandt bred and professionally exhibited the breed. Norman (deceased) and Barbara Zuchelski also bred and exhibited the breed. Robert Einig, one-time MB-F Superintendent, handled many Weims as a professional handler including those of Rusty Jenerette of Miami.

When I moved to my home in unincorporated South Miami in 1965, I was practically surrounded by Weimaraner breeders and exhibitors including those of the Twomey’s, Stein’s, and Levy’s (Mrs. Jane Kay, then professional handler, now American Kennel Club judge, was their handler.). I had a hand in the establishment of the Weimaraner Club in Miami and judged many of their matches and sweepstakes.

I also had a funny experience involving a Weimaraner in the group ring. In the early 1970’s, I was showing a large, free moving, group winning, Irish Setter. Back in those days it was almost traditional that the Irish Setter would be the first dog in line in the Sporting Group. At a Greater Miami Dog Show, Jeff Brucker entered the ring with a Weimaraner and put his dog first in line. He was once again exhibiting dogs in the United States after a tenure out of the country. I came in and naturally headed for the front of the line and Jeff informed me that he was there first. I told him that my dog consumed and covered a lot of ground and that I didn’t want to run over his dog in the process. He stated that his dog could handle it. The judge proceeded to tell us to take our dogs around the ring twice and stop. Jeff took off and cut the corners of the ring in order to stay ahead of my dog who I had trouble holding back, even though I was not cutting corners. At the second go around, I think Jeff realized that he should not have been first in line. He started looking back at my dog and me. Halfway down the first side of the ring, Jeff swerved off of the matting while looking back at me and collided head on with an examination table. He did a complete flip head-over-heels over the table, landing on his feet while his dog passed the table on the right (It was the most agile, clumsy thing I had ever seen.) At this point in time, I could no longer constrain my Setter and passed Jeff and I believe won the Group and I was rather embarrassed about the situation as I never was a dirty handler. This happened prior to Jeff giving handling classes around the country at which, incidentally, he is very good.

Now, let’s get on with my tale. Around 1958, during my presidency of the Social Fraternity Pi Kappa Phi, I had a class of 22 new pledges (composed of a lot of athletes - football, baseball, basketball, and crew, etc.). While attending a homecoming football game, one of our rival fraternities displayed a float at half-time with a huge (liberty-type) ringing bell. They regrettably, challenged all other fraternities to steal it. That, of course, did nothing but to challenge my crazy crop of rowdy pledges. The evening after the game, one of the pledge class, who I endorsed as a little brother, enticed me (it wasn’t hard) to go to our local Tampa Pub, The Trophy Room, for some suds (you know, pearl pop with foam on top). Little did I know, he was acting as a decoy.

While sitting there watching T.V. price fights, I heard a bell clanking. When I went out to investigate, I was confronted with a flatbed truck on which sat this bell and 21 of 22 of the pledges. Needless to say, I was very proud of them, but did not exhibit it and told them they had to return or dispose of the bell immediately. Rather than returning it to campus, they took it to Tampa Mayor Nick Nuccio’s new amusement attraction (Fairy Land Park) and deposited it in the brand new pond which was built to be illuminated. They did the initial test of the underwater lighting system the next day and, unbeknownst to them, the bell had severed the electrical line. When the park manager turned on the electricity, all of the ducks, geese, swans and other water birds had the feathers on their rumps singed.

The next day I was called out of class to report to the Dean of Men’s office and as I entered, I saw the University President, Dr. Delo, the Dean of Men, Dr. Rhoades, Mayor Nuccio and the executive secretary of our national fraternal group. I was informed that they had done an extensive investigation and concluded that my fraternity was responsible for the confiscation of the bell. Mayor Nuccio had promised to donate some additional property adjacent to the school for its expansion, but due to our dastardly deed was withdrawing his pledge and recommended that we be strictly punished.

The University President and Dean of Men put us on one year social probation which was outwardly approved by our executive secretary Durwood Owen (even though he could see the comedy in the situation). My fraternity undergraduate and graduate membership were very influential business and political wise in Tampa. I requested a hearing with Mayor Nuccio and was accompanied to the meeting by a number of our important alumni. We pointed out to Mayor Nuccio this was a college prank carried out to the extreme, but it was a reaction to a blatant fraternal challenge. Fortunately, for us, Mayor Nuccio was running for re-election and politically could see the handwriting on the wall and condescended to renewing his pledge of property to the university. That, in itself, was not enough to rescind the university’s social suspension executed on us. We were not allowed to be seen in groups greater than three and could not have any social functions, however, we were permitted to attend any dances or events of other sororities or fraternities as invited guests.

At one of these such events, one of my fraternity brothers, Jim, came with a new date who I was immediately smitten by. At an event several weeks later, he was in attendance with another date and I inquired as to the whereabouts of his previous date. He informed me that they were not compatible and I inquired if he would mind if I asked her out (that was the custom back then. You did not steal some other party’s date without permission). Even though we were not permitted in groups of more than three, we devised a scheme to accidentally visit a picnic area on the Clearwater Causeway at designated times. I would purchase kegs of beer and take them out to the site, wait for low tide, dig holes in the sand, and deposit the kegs in the holes surrounded by ice cubes and cover them again with sand. When the tide came back in, the kegs were submerged in a natural refrigerator.

Prior to one of these parties, I called Jim’s ex-date, who was studying to be a registered nurse, and asked her if she would like to come to our gathering. I explained to her that I had to go out there early to retrieve the now ice cold kegs of beer and to tap them with an old fashioned picnic pump which I learned how to operate from an old alumnus. I was the only one in the fraternity who knew how to tap a keg. She said she was not that fond of drinking beer, but loved gin Tom Collins which I also liked. I purchased two tall frosted Collins’ glasses which were decorated with multicolored polka dots and several bottles of gin (my favorite Gilby’s Gin) and we went out to the Causeway. All of our brothers and friends sporadically appeared accidentally (sic) and we proceeded to party. Suddenly my date screamed, “It’s going to get killed!” I looked out on the highway and there was an extremely large goose in the middle of it with cars whizzing by at high speeds. She said, “Someone’s got to save that goose!”

Trying to make an impression upon her while I was wearing my brand new Pennsylvania State University jacket (obtained in summer school), I threaded my way through the traffic to the center median and grabbed the goose from behind and returned to the picnic area to discover that the goose out of fear had emptied its bladder all over my new coat. We proceeded to wash the coat in the clean waters of Tampa Bay and hung it out to dry. After nightfall, we built a large bonfire for warmth and the toasting of marshmallows, etc. I was implored as President to give a speech to the gathering. Reluctantly, I mounted a concrete bench inlaid with multicolored Cuban tile which had a defect. During my speech, the bench broke into two pieces hurling me into the fire. I had re-adorned my then dry jacket which caught on fire and was ruined, but they pulled me out before I was seriously burned.

My date just rolled her eyes and we continued to party. I eventually had a call from “mother nature” and as there were no outhouses there, I crossed the Causeway to a Mangrove treed area. I proceeded to the edge of the water and grasped one of the thinner tree trunks for support little knowing that they bend like rubber and it collapsed throwing me into muddy water. I emerged covered from head to toe with mud and algae and suddenly heard a chant of, “Guy Walton, where are you?, Guy Walton, where are you?, etc.” I was somewhat disoriented and prayed that they kept up their chant so I could find my way out of the swamp. I crashed out of the grove looking I’m sure, like the Creature From the Black Lagoon. I proceeded back to the picnic area where I had to change clothes and wash up again. I thought my date had rolled her eyes before, but was unaware that she could do it more extensively while shaking her head. We partied until the wee hours of the morning and I had no more weird happenings. We decided not to attempt to drive home and broke out blankets and slept around the bonfire until daylight. I returned my date to the nurses’ residence. I thought she would never give me a date again, but she said surprisingly that she would because no one could ever have that many mishaps again. When I called her the next day to establish the day of our next date, she informed me that she was grounded for two weeks for missing curfew.

Now I know you’re thinking, “What the hell does this have to do with Weimaraners?” As I continue with this, you will get the connection. I’m relating this true story in total as I have been beseeched by a number of people to write a book which I have concluded that I will eventually and this story needs to be related in full.

We established that we would go out two weeks later. By then, the American Royal Carnival and Side Shows were booked into the Tampa Fairgrounds. We decided to take in the fair and enjoyed it. In particular, we were intrigued by the side show Freaks of Nature. With my pre-med, zoology, and clinical psychology interests and her nursing knowledge, we tried diagnosing the causes of these unfortunate peoples’ afflictions, including the mule faced woman (advanced case of syphilis), the snake skin woman (advanced case of psoriasis), the fat lady and fat man (endocrine gland problem) and the giant (who suffered giantism due to acromegalia - a condition due to endocrine gland malfunctions). They also had the four-legged woman and a five-limbed woman who were, I’m sure, Siamese Twinism gone astray. After the show, we visited all of the huckster booths with their various games (i.e. the pea and walnut shell game).

We found a booth that contained a crate with a young puppy dog and beseeched the owner to let us see it out of the cage. We were confronted with a gray, drop eared, tail-docked dog with light amber colored eyes. It was a Weimaraner puppy, a breed which I had never seen before. He immediately rushed to my date and we had trouble detaching him from her to give him back to the owner. After the fair, we went out dancing at the Rose Room Lounge on Davis Island and enjoyed ourselves even though she did nothing but talk about the puppy. The next day, I went back to the fair and asked the concessionaire if he would sell me the puppy. He said he was reluctant to do so and gave me the speel about how rare it was and that the Weimaraner Club of Germany prohibited its importation into the States which I am sure at one time was true. He finally gave me the price of $1000.00 which blew my mind as that was a very, very high puppy fee at the time. I, however, agreed to the fee and informed him it would take me a little while to gather the money. He said their event would be at the fairgrounds for approximately two weeks and he would hold the puppy for me.

About eight days later, I had gathered the $1000.00 with an advance check from my parents, fees from the university for instructing science lab classes, and my managerial salary from the Temple Terrace Hardware Store that I was running. My only problem with this was that I now had the necessary funds to purchase the puppy, but had discovered a veracity problem with the nurse which I could not handle and I broke off the relationship. I was torn between honoring my commitment to the vendor or leaving him stuck with the puppy which I did not think was the proper thing to do. I opted to go and obtain the puppy. Arriving at the concessionaire’s stand, I discovered that he was not as honorable a man as I was. He thought I would never be coming back and sold the puppy to another party. I never indicated to him how happy I was not to be the puppy’s new owner.

That’s all for now folks!!!!!

More to come in the next Newsletter.

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wpe9.jpg (1939 bytes)    The Shaggy Dog Stories

From A Dog’s Perspective

“Some days you’re the dog; some days you’re the hydrant.” — Unknown

“Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot about puppies.” — Gene Hill

“In dog years, I’m dead.” — Unknown

“Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.” — Dave Barry

“Outside of a dog, a book is probably man’s best friend; inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” — Groucho Marx

“To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.” — Aldous Huxley

“A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.” — Robert Benchley

“Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that’s how dogs spend their lives.” — Sue Murphy

“I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven’t got the guts to bite people themselves.” — August Strindberg

“No animal should ever jump up on the dining room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation.” — Fran Lebowitz

“Ever consider what they must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul — chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we’re the greatest hunters on earth!” — Anne Tyler

“I wonder if other dogs think Poodles are members of a weird religious cult.” — Rita Rudner

“My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to 99 cents a can. That’s almost $7.00 in dog money.” — Joe Weinstein

“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.” — James Thurber

“You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with pets.” — Nora Ephron

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” — Ann Landers

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.” — Dereke Bruce, Taipei, Taiwan

“Of all the things I miss from veterinary practice, puppy breath is one of the most fond memories!” — Dr. Tom Cat

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” — Ben Williams

“When a man’s best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.” — Edward Abbey

“Cat’s motto: No matter what you’ve done wrong, always try to make it look like the dog did it.” — Unknown

“Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of his tail.” — Unknown

“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.” — Christopher Morley

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” — Josh Billings

“Man is a dog’s idea of what God should be.” — Holbrook Jackson

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” — Andrew A. Rooney

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” — Unknown

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.” — Mark Twain

“Things that upset a Terrier may pass virtually unnoticed by a Great Dane.” — Smiley Blanton

“I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.” — John Steinbeck

(Submitted by Angela Porpora, via internet)

Humor is a good thing.

If you have a favorite doggy laff
-- particularly a true story --
please send it in and share a good laff with fellow dog enthusiasts.

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Greensboro, NC 27420

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