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March 1999 Newsletter - Volume 2. Issue 19

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.

THE AKC TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE
By Tom Crowe

What I write here is from my heart and from my long experience in the sport of Showing Dogs. I firmly believe what I have written. I am firmly committed to what I say and that it is for the good of the sport otherwise I would not have written it. I know everyone will not agree with me, but I do know that many feel as I do. I ask only that what I have written may inspire all listed below to make a combined effort to work together in a spirit of cooperation to return us to the grandeur and public respect of our past.

TO THE DIRECTORS The election of Directors to fill mandated Board seats is upon us. What transpires this month will be felt for the ensuing four years. I am, of course, not running for a seat because I am not eligible. I am, however, very interested in the outcome of the election because it affects the livelihoods of the 100 or so people in the organizations of MB-F, Inc. and InfoDog, Inc. as well as all other licensed superintendents, all exhibitors, breeders, handlers and the public at large. This article is not politically motivated nor does it recommend any one candidate over another. It is an appeal to the Delegates to exercise their good judgement in selecting candidates whose sole motivation is a business-like approach to end the stagnation within the present Board. Our sport is suffering from without and from within from negative publicity on a national level. Registrations are in a decline because the public has gotten the message from this PR that a registration is not worth the paper it is printed on. The public is also aware that this once revered organization has given the lame excuse that they only do the paper work and it’s up to the public to beware. Caveat Emptor. I don’t subscribe to this excuse. The Stud Book was the original reason for the founding of the AKC. The preservation of the purity of that book is the most sacred duty of the present Board. To those of you remaining on the Board and to those of you to be newly elected to the Board take heed lest you destroy the sanctity of this original premise. You all should set aside petty politics and unite in a unanimous effort to immediately resolve this situation by employing every method open to remedy the integrity of the registration process. You can and you must do this. The PR must be changed to public awareness of your efforts to restore the integrity of the AKC.

TO THE DELEGATES It is time to quit playing the political game and to pick from those seeking to represent us in a cooperative and business-like manner. This is the time to pick knowledgeable representatives. Our elections are not popularity contests. We need Board members whose only agendas are for the good of the sport not for their personal gain or ambitions. I have given 52 years of my life to the sport and I am proud to say that I have been instrumental in many ways to help improve entry systems, show conditions and other things pertaining to the sport. I have been around when the Boards consisted of many true sportsmen such as William Rockefeller, August Belmont Jr., George Hartman, and many others whose only interest was a well-run organization with a spotless reputation. I’m unhappy when I hear that reputation is now questionable. I have no favorites in the coming elections. I do not even know some of the persons running for the Board. I do hope and pray, however, those selected will be those who will end the deadlocks in the voting on vital issues. I hope the nonsense of personal agendas will disappear and the good of the sport will transcend over all.

A very famous and wise President once said, “ A house divided against itself cannot stand”. That statement holds as true today as it did in a much more serious situation. We, in a serious situation concerning our sport, would do well to heed that admonition. May the right persons win and may your consciences be your guide in the selection of our new or returning Board members.

TO THE STAFF Take the initiative of proposing new methods of managing the affairs of the American Kennel Club in a business-like manner. Everyone in the sport knows that registration fees raise the money and the administration of dog shows spends it. We cannot spend the necessary funds to police registrations unless we unburden ourselves of some of the administrative costs of dog shows. The Staff should prepare a strong case to the delegate body and present it in a real world manner. We are not living in fairyland and we cannot do all that is expected without proper funding. It appears the cart is leading the horse.

TO THE CLUBS I will probably get shot for bringing this up but I truly believe that dog clubs need to face up to the fact that they have taken an unfair advantage and are forfeiting our real life purpose. It is time that they begin to pay the piper. Of course they will say that they are suffering from lack of funds. They will say they cannot raise entry fees and dozens of other excuses, but I look at the other side of the coin. When an exhibitor is willing to pay a $40.00 entry fee plus another $40.00 to an entry service its hard for me to accept that entry fees are too high. When exhibitors of today willingly pay entry services fees of $5.00, Fax fees of $4.00, plus on-line entry fees just for the convenience of not filling out an entry it would appear exhibitors are more interested in things other than entry fees. Come on Dog Clubs, it is time that you bite the bullet and help where help is needed.

TO ALL IN THE SPORT I am not suggesting in any way that our past was better than our present. Quite the contrary. I am suggesting our future can be far better than anything past or present can. With the new methods of communications and computer growth we can project a millennium of wonderful growth and opportunity. My caution is that we may have lost our focus. I fear the loss of our integrity and responsibility to the public and the entire world of dog ownership. We have many problems requiring wise solutions. Petty bickering cannot resolve them. These problems must be addressed if dog shows are to continue and be all they can be in this wonderful future. We must be prepared to work together to resolve funding solutions and cut costs relative to the very expensive administrative costs of dog shows. We must invest in Public Relations campaigns to restore our integrity and public goodwill else we shall fail in our mission. We need solid business planning for the future and a solid relationship with all facets of the sport and the public. A cooperative and focused Board can do this. THINK IT OVER. DO WE GO FORWARD OR JUST SIT AND ARGUE ABOUT HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE?

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NOTICE OF CORRECTION *

In the article, "Another year - 1999", appearing in our February Newsletter we inadvertently printed the name of one of the clubs in the Chicago Cluster as South Shore. The correct name of the club is, of course, Park Shore. We want to acknowledge their participation along with Blackhawk and International Kennel Club of Chicago in the February 25th thru 28th, 1999 Cluster that will benefit the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

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The Electronic History of Westminster
by Bob Christiansen

In 1995 we announced the InfoDog electronic bulletin board at Westminster. InfoDog was a simple direct dial modem to modem system where subscribers received an account number and password for direct access to a server based system at MB-F. This system gave users access to judging panels, judging programs, show catalogs, and, in a few cases, show results after the show. The show results were keyed into a laptop in the arena office and printouts of the show catalog and results were furnished to the Press Room throughout the day. This was a revolution compared to the previous years when a typewriter was used to transcribe the show results from the judging sheets and eventually distributed to the press sometime later in the day. The entire Westminster catalog with results was available on the original bulletin board at the conclusion of the show in 1995.

In 1996 we announced the InfoDog home page on the Internet. All of the data and information previously available on the original bulletin board system was now available on the web site. The Westminster catalog and results were posted to the InfoDog web site a few days after the show along with a navigation menu where browsers could select the group and breed for specific results.

In 1997 InfoDog went completely “live” with show results and digital photographs. A computer was set up in the arena superintendent’s office and connected via modem to the main servers at MB-F. As the judging sheets were collected they were entered directly into the database in Greensboro and the web site was updated continuously throughout the day. The results sometimes lagged by an hour or so from the time the breed finished until we actually collected the sheets and entered the data. The photographs did not actually get posted until later that evening. We learned that the Internet users wanted instantaneous information. We also learned that we needed more Internet bandwidth and powerful servers to accommodate the vast volume of “hits” to our web site.

In 1998 we made another enhancement. We asked all owners to send us an advance photograph of their dog for inclusion with the on-line catalog. Since Westminster is a champions only show, we felt all dogs were actually winners and would like recognition with a “file photo” on line. This gave viewers at home the ability to see the competition along with the photos of the winners. We beefed up the server capacity and added a full T1 connection to the Internet (1536K connection). We continued with the process of live show results and updated the web site throughout the day. The digital photographs were posted in the evening after we had a chance to pull, crop, and post them to the site.

The 1999 show entered a new dimension. We streamed a live video feed of the closing of entries from our offices in Greensboro. I was at a dog show in Philadelphia on the day entries closed. I dialed in with my laptop and watched the door open and the delivery services and mailbags come in. It was really quite an experience to see our employees hard at work from a laptop screen. I could even see Tom and Lois Crowe and their Poodle, TJ, as they walked around the office that morning.

Westminster, with the help of MB-F and the work of the staff at USA Networks, developed their own domain on the web - westminsterkennelclub.org. This became the “official” web site for the club. It contains vast information about the show and many items of interest to the general public. We worked with the programming staff at USA to set up the electronic catalog prior to the show as well as the procedure to “post” the results, as they became available. We also developed a system where the advance file photos of the dogs as well as the live photos of the dogs could be linked and streamed from our servers in Greensboro to the servers at USA Networks.

Initially one and eventually two MB-F employees (Larry and Darlene Nichols) continually monitored the show floor and retrieved the judging sheets as soon as they were available. These sheets were delivered to two USA Networks employees who were stationed in our offices. These two workers phoned in the results to an operator back at USA headquarters where the web site with the pre-loaded catalog was actually updated. We engaged the services of two professional show photographers to continually take digital photos and deliver memory cards to our arena office. We were responsible for processing the photo data, cropping, optimizing and renaming the photos to a file name that corresponded to the dog’s registration number. We then transmitted the files to the MB-F servers in Greensboro. Once a batch of photos was complete, we would then notify the operators at USA. The direct links for the photos along with the show results would then become active.

The process was seamless. The USA programmers and staff quickly understood the concept of a dog show and proved to be very adept in using their skills to provide immediate show results to the world. Each year the process improves and I look forward to more improvements in the future years. I look forward to the day when we actually stream a video feed live from each ring throughout the day as well as the Groups in the evening. Who knows, maybe next year will be the year.

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Westminster Diary
by Dorie Crowe

Keeping in mind that we have done something regarding The Westminster Kennel Club nearly every day since the summer, here’s a bit of what actually happens during show week.

Tuesday (the week before): Our trucks, which we have been packing for weeks, arrive at Madison Square Garden with the Greensboro and Philadelphia setup crews. There are two flat-bed trailers and four of our normal straight trucks. We mark the floor for placement of benching, pull the trucks into the Garden and unload the benching and the myriad of boxes that contain entries, returns, office supplies, various forms for conducting the show, some of Fred’s flower arranging supplies, Jean’s ring supplies, etc. During the next few days we will have 34 of our employees arriving in New York City to help with the production of this show. We also work with several different unions within MSG. There are a number of things we do at this show that are not usual to our duties for other clubs.

Wednesday: The setup crew from Michigan arrives. Bob Christiansen and I come to NY in the MB-F plane bringing more equipment and supplies. We arrive and meet with the various MSG personnel with whom we work very closely to have a successful and smooth-running event. Their expertise and cooperation sure makes life a lot easier. I also receive what will become an appendage seeming to grow out of my hand and ear for the next week - my “walkie.” This is my communication with everyone within MSG that I may need to call upon; with both our offices and, of course, Chet Collier and Ron Menaker of Westminster.

We unpack the van with the various boxes we brought with us. Henry Odum is here today and touches base with everyone regarding Progressive, which he will superintend the next day. Benching is erected with our crew and MSG carpenters and laborers. We sort through the boxes, inventory and arrange so everyone will be able to get to their things. Part of our setup crew leaves between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm to set up Progressive Dog Club. We check into the hotel (our home away from home for the next week) and eat dinner at the hotel.

Thursday: All personnel not otherwise assigned arrive at MSG by 8:00 am. Jean Witt, Fred Lyman, Mike & Kathy Bowser, Larry and Darlene Nichols arrive today. Henry and one of the crew are at Progressive. Fred goes to flower district to confirm his pre-orders and add to his orders. We continue to dress benching area - overhead signs, wraps for columns, banners, etc., electricians begin with drop cords. As usual, due to power requirements, only one outlet is permitted to be used on each drop. They tape the other three outlets on the boxes. Bench cards layed out and stapled and flyers placed on benches giving important hours to note and various information exhibitors will need. Our benching office booth is set up. X-pens and trash containers put out.

PHA and DHG personnel (who handle the multi-breed benching during the “move-in” of dogs and handlers) arrive and we discuss the multi-breed benching set up. We give them the signs and various forms they need and they go to work making their plan. Set-up personnel must return to Progressive to load out. Part of the crew is getting sick. I have dinner and return to my room about 10:30 pm. I have message at hotel to call a reporter. All press is normally handled through the Westminster Press Office. They have genuine concern about anyone using the Westminster club name for whatever reason. They have given this reporter permission to interview us. It is too late to return calls and talk to anyone about anything.

Friday: Set-up crew arrives at 4:00 this morning at the Pier to set up Empire. All personnel not otherwise assigned arrive at MSG by 7:30 am. Fred was at the flower market at the crack of dawn to make selections. Jean, Henry and four set-up personnel are at Empire. Pop arrives today; Guy Walton, from our Michigan office, arrives today. I talk to my daughter this morning. She is at home and is now sick and in bed. Her father is coming to take her to his house for the weekend, so that’s a big worry off my mind, at least for the weekend. Fred takes his supplies and disappears to begin working his magic. We see him periodically the next few days.

Someone insults his fellow exhibitors who are going by the rules and lining up outside, by sneaking his dogs into the benching area. There is no place for him. This is an example of the difference between being professional and just calling yourself professional.

We finish up benching. From Noon to 2:00 pm we forklift dogs into MSG. We use two/three forklift drivers plus crate handlers at top and bottom of ramp. From 2:00 to 9:00 pm dogs and equipment may come up one of the elevators and crate handlers are available to assist. Vendors begin loading in. No vehicles are permitted up the ramp so order can be preserved and so athletes will not get hit or injured. (There is a track meet going on.) I get a call a guard has let a vehicle up the ramp. People begin arriving with benching problems. The problems are caused because they did not send a benching form, their entry service did not send a benching form, or the benching form was not completed correctly (predominately not enough qualifying breeds or all the dogs to be benched with them were not noted on benching form). Why are people always amazed they don’t get what they want when they don’t follow the instructions or meet the requirements?

Breakers begin blowing because people have removed tape and are trying to use four plugs in a power source that can accept only one. Press people, TV cameras, etc., are on hand. I have a phone interview for approximately 20 minutes with that reporter. Today is the first day of this week that someone mentions to me how pleased they are that Pop has won Dogdom’s Man of theYear Award. We’re very pleased, too, and looking forward to the luncheon next Wednesday when he receives this honor. Two superintendents are on the 11:00 am to 7:00 shift to assist with benching problems and help sign releases. Dogs are accepted until 9:00 pm and PHA will have the release responsibility between 7:00 and 9:00 pm.

Saturday: All personnel report to MSG by 7:30 am. Jean and Henry superintending Empire. We finish miscellaneous signage. Forklifting dogs 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Crew is scheduled so they may have some breaks, but there are overlapping times to cover everything (shifts 8:00 to 5:00 and 1:00 to 9:00). We deliver 10,000 show catalogs. We have a Board Meeting this morning. Trophies, medallions and Westminster pens delivered today and inventoried. Fred continues with flowers, ably assisted by his partner, Chris. Crew must load out Empire this evening after the show is over. People are trying to bring in Tuesday stuff. No, No, No. We are having a difficult time trying to get across there is no room for Tuesday stuff until Monday night/Tuesday morning. Only Monday stuff now allowed. See? In the premium list and judging program it says do not bring unentered dogs/paraphernalia. Tuesday dogs are not entered Monday. There is no room. More of the crew is getting sick, including Fred.

Sunday: All personnel report to MSG by 7:30 today. Jeff (our other data processing genius) arrives today. We forklift dogs from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm today. There’s another vehicle on the ramp that’s not supposed to be here. We continue to deal with benching problems caused by incorrect information or not following directions. Darlene and I count medallions and put into judges bags along with the Breed envelopes. Fred feels terrible but he and Chris continue with flowers (they will do over 100 different arrangements by the opening of the show).

We are getting terrific reaction to the launching of the InfoDog Winners and Bragging Rights program. We are also getting terrific reaction to our newly launched judging panel program that enables Show Chairmen to build their panels and forward to AKC. Various crew members stagger (some literally) out of the building at 5:00, 7:00, 9:00 pm. and 1:00 a.m. MSG hosts a Knicks game in the afternoon and then wrestling in the evening. Daughter is now back at home, still sick, still in bed. We wonder what time we will get the floor.

Monday: We get the clean floor at 2:15 this morning. When I arrive at 4:30 am the carpet is still being layed and they are still cleaning our rooms on the arena side of MSG. I begin delivering the various boxes needed to our arena offices, the Westminster offices and the Press Room. Part of our crew has been here through the night; the rest of the crew begins arriving at 5:00 am. We start forklifting dogs in at 6:00 am and stop at 11:30 am when the ramp is closed down.

We keep checking the arena floor. As signs go up and tables go up we drape the tables with the Westminster tablecloths, we put out the flowers (by now Fred is very sick but worked through the night and went back to the hotel). Chris arrives to help with the flowers for the judges’ tables, the lunch room, the Westminster booth and office, etc. Jean and Darlene have the hospitality bowls and ring trash cans ready; we put them out. The carpet is being vacuumed. Marvin (who is getting well by this time) is responsible for all ring judge signs during the day. By 7:30 am the arena looks like Westminster. A couple of minutes before 9:00 am the lights dim, the National Anthem plays and at the last note the lights come up and we’re off!

Once the ramp is closed down the crew that stayed through the night takes a break. The rest of the crew staggers a couple hour break throughout the day. The arena office (along with Bob Christiansen and Jeff) works with USA Network with results. Jeff is beginning to feel ill. We have two people assigned to pull sheets as each breed finishes. Larry is now doing this exclusively and the other is dividing time between the arena office and the arena floor. The rotunda benching office (Mike & Kathy, Tonya, Michelle, Henry and Guy) is handling any benching problems, doing the necessary bench checks and issuing violations, taking entries for future shows, distributing premium lists, answering questions, etc. Everyone knows their jobs and they are handling everything.

By today I have walked this building from one end to the other a gazillion times carrying out “missions”, putting out fires, etc., and have been unsuccessful in getting anyone to carry me even once. I see Marvin about 11:00 and we remark that “It’s only another 14 hours today and then we can go back to the hotel and sleep!” Lawrence is sick. When judging is completed we begin the changeover for the Groups. I leave at 5:00 to go back to the hotel and soak my feet in ice water so my dress shoes will fit. I change and return to MSG at 6:45. Fred and Chris direct the placement of the Group flowers and then Fred returns to the hotel. The ring looks wonderful. We dress the Westminster table, put out the rosettes and trophies that will be awarded that evening, along with the Best in Show trophies. Judges arrive and are wired for sound by USA Network, spectators get seated, and before you know it it’s 8:00 pm and The Westminster Kennel Club’s 123rd show is now being viewed by millions of households in their living rooms.

Jean is at her station in the marshalling area to be sure everyone has the correct armband and all are ready. Darlene is entering data into the laptop and handling the arena office. I’m at my station in the area behind the Westminster tables. Our guys look handsome in their tuxes (Carl, Jerry, John and Fred). The rest of the crew is in the benching area. At 8:00 pm dogs may be released from the benches and the exodus begins. We forklift Monday dogs down the ramp and Tuesday dogs up the ramp. All bench cards are removed from the benches and Tuesday’s cards are layed out and stapled. Monday’s overhead row signs are taken down and replaced with Tuesday’s. The end of row signs are changed. The broadcast ends at 11:00 pm. We repack and store the BIS and permanent trophies, finish in the rotunda, the arena change-over back to breed rings begins, and we leave the building between Midnight and 1:00 am.

Tuesday: How refreshing that three hours of sleep was! Back to MSG at 5:00 am. We begin again. By today more than half the crew is sick with flu, but they are doing their jobs and doing them well. Bob Christiansen and Jeff are still working with USA Network. Jeff now has to return to the hotel and get back into bed. No choosing what to wear this evening for Groups. Just pick whatever matches the shoes I can get on my feet. During Groups Darlene and Jean are packing up the arena office. We remark that none of us will be as famous as Earl, who has now scooped in the Group ring at Westminster on national TV. Also during the Groups the benching office is packing up their side, bench cards, signs, etc., are removed from the benches and at 11:30 pm the benching begins to be dismantled. Overhead signs are removed. The show is over at 11:00 and we repack permanent trophies and any leftover medallions.

Many of the superintendents have early (and I mean EARLY) flights, so once packing is under control they leave about Midnight. Bob and I go up to the Play by Play about Midnight and have a celebratory word with the Chet Collier and Ron Menaker and then seek out our much appreciated MSG key people and have a social drink with them. We are there about an hour total and then leave for the hotel because we have to be back at MSG in a few hours to help complete the load out.

Wednesday: Back at MSG at 7:00 am. Some of our crew has already been hard at work here stacking benching, wrapping and banding for load out onto the flatbeds. Some of our superintendents had 6:00 am flights out or early trains. Don’t forget some will have to head out for other shows Friday. I finish packing our arena office, check the Westminster office and our “judge sign office”. We remove the flowers from Fred’s “flower room”.

We take the arena side materials back to the benching area. The rotunda office has been completely packed. We take some of the smaller boxes and put them into bigger boxes so we won’t have so many to move around. More crew is coming in - our brains are mush. Larry and Darlene have a later train, so they are here helping as well. Bobby is flying us today, so he comes a little later and finishes packing our computers, printers, fax machine, etc. The remaining trophies and medallions are to be picked up this morning. The time we agreed on will give Bobby and I time to get to the restaurant for the luncheon and see Pop get his award.

Unforeseen problems cause a two-hour delay in the trophies and medallions being picked up at the agreed time. It’s now 12:30 and there’s no way we can make the luncheon. I go check out of the hotel and also get Bobby’s bags from hotel storage and meet him in front of the hotel. We load everything into the van and head for the tunnel and the Teterboro airport. We make our traditional stop at this little lunch trailer near our base and get our lunch. We load everything into the plane, get our flight plan okayed and take off. It’s now shortly after 2:00 pm. We get back home at 4:30. I walk into my door at 5:00 and see my daughter, who is still in bed and looking pitiful. After coming from the grocery store where I get comfort food and good ol’ chicken soup, she manages to get out of bed and have a bite to eat, then it’s back to bed for her. She has lost almost 10 lbs in the last week during her illness; I’ve lost eight at the dog show. I’m not feeling great.

Thursday: I sleep in and get to the office around 11:00 am. Fred is there, but only briefly. He’s on his way to the Doctor. Jeff is at home in bed. Jean is sick, too. I drop off some work, pick up some I can do at home and head back home to bed. One really pleasant side effect of being in bed is that I can now get my sneakers on more easily. My feet are getting back to normal.

Friday: I work on benching violations at home and spend most of the day in bed. I don’t have this crud as severely as many of the crew or my daughter, but it’s bad enough. I talk to Pop about the luncheon. He’s sick - he began feeling ill on the way home Wednesday; Ma is beginning to get sick.

It’s now a week later and I’m reflecting on our Westminster week. All of us are in various stages of recovering. There are tons of little things we do and tons of incidents both pleasant and unpleasant that surround the week that are not included in this diary. This is just meant as a brief overview of what it’s like for MB-F during this week. It is a very hard week for all of us who attend the show and those back at the office who have already done their share. It’s our job. But when those lights come up on Monday morning and the excitement of another Westminster hits the arena we are all thrilled at what’s been accomplished. When the Best in Show is picked on Tuesday evening we take a lot of pride in having arrived at that point smoothly and professionally. And, as soon as it’s over we’re on our way to your show with this same dedicated crew, both in the office and on the road, that’s focused on your event.

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The Process of Examing and Approving Judges
by Tom Crowe

It seems that everyone nowadays has an idea about how judges should be examined and approved. Many have recommended elaborate testing procedures taking too much time and too many arrangements for the Tester and the person being tested. Most of the time the procedures are inadequate as well as unsatisfactory to both parties. The Tester is bored and the person being tested is so nervous, because of the personal importance of their future in the dog business, they are unable to properly display their knowledge. The story is told over and over. “My mind went blank. I just couldn’t think”. Too bad! Failure! It has happened to me. It has happened to you. If not in testing of breed knowledge then in some other facet of life.

There is a better way. It’s the way it was with a new twist before all the fancy stuff became bandied about for testing judge candidates. It is so simple it’s really almost unbelievable. First of all many people have an eye for an animal and they have an awareness for a good dog, a good horse a good cat, a good cow, in fact, a good animal. These people only need to review and learn the standard requirements to be good judges. They are successful from their very first assignment. On the other hand there are persons with great ambitions and poor judgment or lack of that mysterious talent of an eye for a good animal. You are born with it or you’re not. Yes, with practice and looking at magazine pictures and memorizing the association of handler or exhibitor and dog one can fake knowledge. In my experience as a handler I have had judges slyly ask, “Is this the good one?” You of course can easily guess my answer. I was no fool. It was the best one I had on that day. Ask any handler and get the same story.

Now, to the point, a review committee comprised of Reps, mostly ex-handlers, should review all Judge applications. If they have doubts or reservations a personal interview can be arranged. The applicant can then be recommended or not to a provisional status for a period of one year. Their record of assignments can be computerized. The number of assignments, the average number of dogs judged, and any comments good or bad about their manners or appearance. In other words, let the exhibitors determine the applicant’s fate. It will happen. The applicant’s ability will very soon either rise to the top or fall by the wayside. At the end of the year they can either be approved as a licensed judge, continued as a provisional or dismissed as not acceptable. The review committee as a whole would make that determination based on verified, computerized results. Impersonal, not political and it’s verified. What could be simpler and completely incontestable? Everyone who has ever owned a dog is not a potentially good judge; only a gifted few. The secret is to find those few. It can be done scientifically and easily proven. If you are not sure this is a simplified system check the results system on the Internet at infodog.com it has the capability right now of analyzing and selecting the good, the bad and the popular judges. For clubs desiring to make up new panels check in the same place. You will be amazed with a “Show Chairman’s Dream.”

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Guy's Corner
by Guy Walton

This is an update on the status of Mrs. Grace Conally, our office manager. As a number of you are aware, Grace had a massive benign brain tumor removed at the beginning of January. We’re happy to say she’s in the process of making a speedy recovery. We’re all looking forward to having her back in the office.

I had hoped for this article to give some addendum’s to my last article plus a report on our very successful January Florida circuit and a short update on our Westminster Kennel Club show, however, due to the short time between our last deadline and this deadline and the fact that I came down with the flu virus that was going around and required a hospital stay for a couple of days, I have been unable to accomplish such and will have to delay the report until the next Newsletter.

G.W.’s Holistic/Homeopathic Corner

As you may know, I am a proponent of holistic and homeopathic remedies and from time to time I will report to you my discoveries. In that vein, I would like to give those of you who suffer from allergies/sinus problems some good news. I have suffered from allergies which have affected my sinuses all my life. As I’ve gotten older, I have found that I become more and more reliant on prescriptive medications to the point that I required prescriptive treatment year ‘round. Such prescriptive reliants can be extremely detrimental. I became aware recently of the healing power of the oil of wild oregano and started using it approximately nine months ago. I can happily report that I have not taken a prescriptive product for this condition since then. I will be happy to supply any of you who wish the information on how to obtain this particular product as it is only made by one company. The reason that I am not naming this source now is that as a past medical researcher, I would like to keep track of anyone that may want to try this product. I would like to keep your name on file and hear from you whether it has been any aid to your condition. I can assure you that I will in no way receive any monetary gain from supplying you with such information other than to satisfy my own curiosity and substantiate my confidence in this product. For example, while sitting at Westminster with my array of different herbal capsules laying on my table in preparation to ingest same, Judge and friend, Bob Condon happened by and pointed to one tablet and said, “Ah, ha! Oregamax!” I had recommended this product to Bob a number of months ago after he expressed to me that he was having serious sinus problems. I said to him, “If you recognize this you must be taking it.” I then asked him how he was doing and he said that he was having good results and was using it faithfully. You may contact me either by writing or e-mailing me at my MB-F Michigan Office: Guy Walton, MB-F, Inc., 32351 Edward Ave., P.O. Box 9999, Madison Heights, MI 48071 or e-mail at: Gwalton@webtv.com

Since I am not able to complete my planned Newsletter report for this month, it gives me the opportunity to fulfill numerous requests that I have had to reprint some of my earliest stories from our very limited editions of our first Newsletters. The following Walton’s Watermark story is from the January 5, 1993 Newsletter. I hope you enjoy.

WALTON WATERMARKS

I recently had quite an experience at the Hilton Hotel in West Palm Beach prior to the Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton shows in September. First, let me relate a side story to this. As most of you know my permanent residence is in Miami and my home was seriously hit by Hurricane Andrew. I was trying to clean up the mess in my yard and my house before these shows. I was sleeping on the floor in the only dry area of my house and working long hours. I had to park quite a distance from my home due to the many downed trees. As I started to my car to go to West Palm, the sky opened up and I got drenched. Stuck in a tremendous traffic jam on the Turnpike, I came to a complete stop.

I decided it was time to get out of my wet shirt and shoes. I got a dry shirt from the back seat and changed. I pulled off my left shoe and grabbed my shoe bag for my new sneakers. I only loosely lace my sneakers, part way up and leave them tied, so I can put them on like slippers. Well, just as I grabbed the new sneaker the traffic started moving, so I put the shoe on the car floor and shoved my foot in it as I drove. I thought at the time it felt a little tight. Being dead tired, I quickly forgot about it as I drove.

When I got to West Palm, I stopped at a gas station to ask directions to the Hilton as I had never stayed there before. There were a group of Hispanic men at the station and they all appeared to be staring at me and shaking their heads and as I walked away, I thought I heard “poor man”. As I continued walking to the car my shoe hurt like hell. When I looked down, I realized why it hurt and why they were shaking their heads in pity. I HAD TWO RIGHT FEET! I had put the right shoe on my left foot without relating the pain to that fact.

Now, on with the Hilton Affair. After checking in, I wasted little time in going to bed as tired as I was. It was so nice to have a warm bath and a dry bed. Well, I woke up at about 2:00 A.M. to the sound of a beeping noise. I thought maybe it was someone’s car alarm, but it kept beeping and seemed to get louder. I thought just what I need - a tornado warning. I decided if that was what it really was, then the front desk would ring my room.

Well, it kept beeping so I called the front desk and got no answer. I decided to get up and just as I did the Fire Alarm went off in my room. I soaked my shirt in water and also a bath towel to drape over my face and head, looked out the peep hole and observed there was no smoke and the door was not hot.

Like any good Superintendent, I grabbed the show layouts, show settlements and my money and went out. In the hall I encountered a rather befuddled man who asked me what all the noise was about. I told him it was a fire and we needed to get out of the Hotel. He pushed the elevator button and I had to tell him that was a no-no. I led him to the stairwell, put him in front and ran down the four flights of steps.

When we got to the bottom he came to a screeching halt and turned to me and said “we can’t go out this door” and I asked “why not”. He pointed to a sign on the door that read WARNING, DO NOT OPEN THIS DOOR EXCEPT IN AN EMERGENCY. BURGLAR ALARM WILL GO OFF. I replied “What the Hell do you think this is, you Twit? This IS an emergency!” and shoved him through the door. There were firetrucks and police all over the place, but no fire. We stood outside for a long time until I finally went in. The Clerk said it was just another of their false alarms. They never did bother to inform us of an all-clear.

Yes, I have gone back to that hotel as all in all, it’s a decent hotel - and it wasn’t a real fire.

LETTERS TO THE NEWSLETTER

Unless you’ve already done a story on this and I just missed it, how about a story on when AKC changed the point system to allow winners to count champions defeated in figuring points won. I’ve told many newcomers to our local Weimaraner club about this and they find it incredible. Did I imagine this change? Also, how about some debate on the subject of major win requirements? Wasn’t it Herman Cox who wrote and spoke about this issue in years past? Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Regardless of original intent, doesn’t insure quality of dogs being awarded championships. Judges control the quality of dogs being awarded titles.

2. Distorts real figures of dogs entering under judges used as means to determine which judges exhibitors respect and want to enter under as well as which judges will draw good entries.

3. Need to change current system to allow for a partial refund of entry fee (processing fee to be retained by superintendent or show secretary) to owners with dogs needing only major win(s) if a major win entry is not possible (barring absences) at breed level at that show. Need some way to verify dog’s point status.

4. By eliminating major win requirements, exhibitors would be free to enter under those judges they respect regardless of entry size. Place a limit on the number of points that can be won under any one or two judges. We also need to have a system whereby dogs would be independently certified as having no disqualifying faults under their breed standard.

5. By eliminating major win requirements, a higher quality of dogs would be free to enter any and all shows using judge select as reason for entering and not whether show will draw a major entry.

6. Major win requirement too often eliminates better quality dogs (who only need a major) from competition at too many shows thus allowing lesser quality dogs to win.

7. How about creating an additional type of championship without major win requirements; a title acknowledging that the dog meets the breed standard within a certain point range? This title could be used as minimum proof of conformation breeding quality and to raise the dog breeding standards of the American public.

Thanks for the opportunity to voice my opinions and keep up the good work with the Newsletter.

Constance Comments from Kentucky Constance D. Morris kyweimcm@iglou.com

We would like to

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wpe9.jpg (1939 bytes)    The Shaggy Dog Stories

David’s Parrot

David received a parrot for his birthday.

This parrot was fully grown and had a terrible vocabulary. Every other word was an expletive. Those that weren’t expletives were, to say the least, rude.

David tried hard to change the bird’s attitude. He used polite words and played soft music; he did everything he could think of, but nothing worked.

When he yelled at the bird, it just got worse. If he shook the bird, the bird got madder and more rude.

Finally, in a moment of desperation, David put the parrot in the freezer. For a few moments he heard the bird squawking, kicking and screaming and then suddenly, there was quiet.

David was frightened that he might have actually hurt the bird so quickly, he opened the freezer door. The parrot calmly stepped out onto David’s extended arm and said: “I’m sorry that I might have offended you with my language and actions, so I ask for your forgiveness. I will endeavor to correct my behavior.”

David was astounded at the bird’s change in attitude and was about to ask what had changed him when the parrot continued: “May I ask what the chicken did?”

Well Trained Dogs

Four men are bragging about their dogs and how smart they are. The first man was an engineer, the second an accountant, the third man a chemist and the fourth a government worker.

To show off, the engineer called his dog. “T-square, do your stuff.”

T-square trotted over to a desk, took out some paper and a pen and promptly drew a circle, a square and a triangle. Everyone agreed that was pretty smart.

But the accountant said his dog could do better. He called his dog and said “Spreadsheet, do your stuff.”

Spreadsheet went out into the kitchen and returned with a dozen cookies. He divided them into four equal piles of three cookies each. Everyone agreed that was good, too.

But the chemist said his dog could do even better. He called his dog and said, “Measure, do your stuff.” Measure got up, walked over to the fridge, took out a quart of milk, got a 10 ounce glass from the cupboard and poured exactly 8 ounces without spilling a drop. Everyone agreed that was really good, too.

The three men turned to the government worker and said, “What can your dog do?”

The government worker called to his dog and said, “Coffee Break, do your stuff.” Coffee Break jumped to his feet, ate the cookies, drank the milk, dumped on the paper, sexually assaulted the other 3 dogs, claimed he injured his back while doing so, filed a grievance report for unsafe working conditions, put in for Worker’s Compensation and went home for the rest of the day on sick leave.

 

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.

Send to:

MB-F, Inc.
c/o The Shaggy Dog
P.O. Box 22107
Greensboro, NC 27420

e-mail: mbf@infodog.com



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