November 1997 Newsletter,
Volume 2. Issue 3
If you have called the MB-F offices at some point during the last two weeks you will have noticed a distinct change in the telephone system. The new phone system was installed to more efficiently process the high volume of calls received on a daily basis at the MB-F offices. The toll-free club line has direct lines to those departments clubs routinely need to contact to conduct club business, bypassing the switchboard completely. If the person with whom you need to speak is on another line their voice mail will kick in, you can leave a detailed message and a number where you can be reached and they can return your call with information to answer your question at their fingertips.
Exhibitors calling the regular MB-F line can now be connected directly with the person who will have the answers to their questions. If requesting a premium list they can connect with a voice mail that will take their name and postal address for forwarding any premium list they want - they don't have to hold for the next available operator.
Like any change, the new system will take some getting used to by us "old dogs" and some time to fully realize its capabilities. It is a change for the better. However, the most important ingredient in this (or any) communication tool is LISTENING. Please listen to the prompts at the beginning of the message. It is not complicated, just different from our old system. Barring any unforseen technical difficulty you will reach your party and have your answers promptly.
Premium List Copy on the Net
InfoDog and MB-F have announced a new premium list copy system for kennel clubs on the Internet. The popular infodog.com website now allows any approved AKC conformation or obedience event to access an online premium list copy submission system.
This system is accessible from the individual kennel club "home" pages on the InfoDog system. The individual club "home pages" are accessed throughout the InfoDog website by accessing the calendar of shows, searching panels by breed, judge, or individual show name. The individual club home pages can also be accessed directly at http://www.infodog.com/files/evndat.prg;meventno=######## (where ######## is the 8 digit event number assigned by AKC).
At the bottom of the club page there are now two submission boxes where a user can enter a 4 to 8 character password of their choice to access the premium list copy and prize copy systems. These passwords secure the premium list data submitted and prevent other users from accessing and altering the information.
The premium list copy system will display a complete input form with all information required by the AKC Rules and policies to be included in an official premium list. The prize copy system allows individual breeds to be selected for trophy and prize information. The data is written to a database when these forms are submitted. The data can be retrieved and edited as necessary and printed for review by selecting the print option on your browser.
There is an option to flag the data as complete. Once this flag is marked the system will automatically notify the MB-F premium list department to retrieve it for further composition and editing. No more paper forms and delays with the postal system! The data goes directly from your computer system to ours!
This system also allows non-MB-F customers to access and use the system. All approved AKC events are accessible. A non-MB-F club can input the data the same way and use the "save as text" option on their browser to create a local copy of the data on a diskette. This diskette along with a printout from their browser can be submitted to their superintendent or local printer. The judging panel is also accessible from the club home page and can be printed and saved in the same manner for submission to another superintendent or printer.
InfoDog really does almost everything except take your dog into the ring!
With the advent of the immensely popular InfoDog web site a whole new era of communication was established that defies description, logic or imagination at times. Folks who would never think of picking up the phone to say "Thanks" for receiving their acknowledgment regularly send "thank you's" for receiving their e-mail. Folks who would never think of calling you back and thanking you for answering their question regularly e-mail back.
It is not unusual for us to receive SEVERAL HUNDRED e-mail messages overnight. This means someone must open each one, read it, forward to the appropriate department or person for an answer, the answer must be found, typed and transmitted. This is a time consuming process and precludes having "instant" replies. We try to answer within 24 hours, depending upon the volume, using the automatic reply option that fills in the e-mail address submitted by the person who sent the original message. All e-mail messages received that ask a question are answered. FULLY ONE-THIRD OF THESE ANSWERS ARE RETURNED AS UNDELIVERABLE for any number of reasons. Most are returned as "user unknown"; some answers cannot even be transmitted due to an unknown or invalid domain.
Many believe someone is sitting here monitoring the e-mail 24-hours-a-day. This is not so. Depending upon the volume received, we try to pull e-mails twice a day - once in the morning and once after lunch, during the normal work week. However, due to the sheer volume of messages received, this is not always possible as it may take hours. There is no e-mail pulled on weekends or holidays.
Perhaps because the medium is so "instant" there seems to be a feeling of face-to-face contact, or, at the very least, the feeling of talking with someone. Because of this people do not communicate in such a way as to give the complete information needed to answer their question or request. It is a common occurrence to receive e-mails that say: "Please send me the premium list." That's it. No show name, no date, no name or address to send it. Or, how 'bout this one? "Please correct the spelling of my name to........" No clue as to where we might find the spelling of the name....no show name or date, no breed, dog's name or AKC #. What about, "we would appreciate it if you could schedule *** late morning or early afternoon each day." Okay, is that for a certain show weekend or is that forever? "I believe there are two shows coming up in October, when are the closing dates?"
We also regularly receive messages such as: "I'm from Brazil and ...... I have ** and I want to know more about this breed."; "Do you know anywhere I can purchase various types of gifts with *** on them?"; "I'm very worried with the color coat of the future puppies that my female dog is waiting for.....please answer me as soon as possible."; "I have a *** who is incredibly smart. I can teach him any trick........how could I get him on a commercial?"; "Where can we visit a draftshow of *** next year...?"; "I'm trying to get some real information on taking my dog on an airplane with me."; "What exactly are 'the nationals'...?"
We receive questions on breed specific diseases, kidney stones in dogs, feeding questions, breeding questions, questions on how to resolve conflicting info from breeder and veterinarian, where to find a dog, how to get a dog, should I breed my dog?, I just lost my dog where can I get another?, how can I get started showing?, and on, and on, and on.....
Then we get notices that we have posted something incorrectly - which we really appreciate - but we get hundreds of them before we have a chance to investigate and correct.
We also get suggestions.......lots of suggestions....... some of which are really constructive and a help to us in the development of the web site. We appreciate any constructive criticism or suggestion.
If you should need to e-mail us with a question, please be specific. Remember, we don't see you; we don't know who you are; we have no frame of reference to your message. If you have a question regarding an entry we need to know the show name and date, dog's breed, name, AKC #, your relationship to entry, in addition to your question. Also remember, if you are inquiring on a show that has not closed yet, we are not permitted, under AKC policy, to check entries until they close. If you are inquiring on something for which you have received an e-mail confirmation it is helpful to attach that confirmation to your message. We have no way of knowing what you may have received from us previously.
Remember, if you don't get your e-mail confirmation SOMETHING IS WRONG......and it could be your e-mail address. It may be wrong the way you submitted it; it may have been input incorrectly because we couldn't read it or there may have been a typo. If you don't get an answer to a question SOMETHING IS WRONG....and it is most probably your address. I'd like to have money for every time we are told an address is correct and it comes bouncing back to us....and there's no way to get back to that person. We get so much "undeliverable" mail returned we just automatically delete it - we no longer open it.
If you are requesting a premium list we need to know the show name and date and we MUST have your name and postal address in order to send it to you.
If you are requesting to be added to the mail file we need your name and postal address in order to forward the appropriate form to you. If you want to change your address, please remember all our records are kept BY DOG. In order to locate your old address to correct, we need your dog's breed, name, AKC # too.
If you are sending club information, please include your club name, show date, your name and a telephone number in case it is necessary for us to call you. Also, when you send in your premium list material by regular postal mail, please include an e-mail address so we will have an alternative method of reaching you.
Please remember the volume of messages we receive. Sending the same message every two minutes will not enable us to answer you any quicker; it will, however, delay us as we must open each one of those messages, read it, determine where it goes, etc.
Finally, people also share their humorous messages with us as well. Here's the latest we received:
Pointer + Setter = Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet
Kerry Blue Terrier + Dachshund = Pyradachs, a puzzling breed
Pekingese + Lhasa Apso = Peekasso, an abstract dog
Irish Water Spaniel + Curly Coated Retriever = Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists
Newfoundland + Basset Hound = Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors
Terrier + Bulldog = Terribull, a dog that makes awful mistakes
Bloodhound + Labrador = Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly
Malamute + Pointer = Moot Point, owned by.... oh, well, it doesn't matter anyway
Collie + Malamute = Commute, a dog that travels to work
Deerhound + Terrier = Derriere, a dog that's true to the end
& Dog Shows
There is a saying in business "Keep up or get out". MB-F, Inc. has lived by that saying for many years. We have embraced the future with our advances in computer technology and in our constant ways of exploring new ideas to make dog shows more interesting and more fun for the exhibitor.
We have invented new ways of making entries into shows. Some examples: Rolf our telephone computer oriented method of using your touchtoner telephone pad to provide the information for an entry. It is secure and also provided other information such as judging information, premium list information, etc. This was a very early method to help exhibitors and judges get show information. Even before Rolf we designed a secure entry system to aid exhibitors in making entries. This system is called Dial-N-Entry. It took nearly a year for us to convince the AKC Board that this was a legitimate system. The introduction of credit cards was the clincher. (The rules state that all entries must be accompanied by the correct fees). The credit card had become legal tender.
We are now in an advanced stage of receiving entries called the InfoDog entry system. It is a system on the internet whereby we can receive entries for any dog show held by any club using any Superintendent or Show Secretary. A confirmation number is receivable immediately verifying we have received the entry. After authorization is received the entry is forwarded to the proper Superintendent or Show Secretary.
In addition, InfoDog has all the show information available for every show which is AKC approved including specialties, obedience and even matches. Other information includes judges' names, addresses, breeds approved to judge and any and all assignments within a given period of time, past or present.
The other items on InfoDog are too numerous to mention such as premium lists, judging programs, etc. A trip onto this vast website is truly an adventure to dog show persons as well as the general public. I have many friends not in the dog show world but who are dog lovers and when they are introduced to InfoDog their reaction is "WOW!" Try it. You'll like it.
Within the last year we have been working with the American Kennel Club to expedite a system where Show Results would be obtainable almost immediately at the conclusion of a show. We have made great progress in that direction and we are actually able to forward such results electronically to the AKC and to our internet site within one day of the show's finish.
These results are distributed Worldwide for all to see. It has been mandated by AKC that all Superintendents must be able to provide this service by the year 2000. We are working with the AKC toward ensuring that this goal is achieved.
So, you see we are working to keep up. We are pedaling as fast as we can and we have oiled our bikes to operate smoothly in this changing world. We do not live in the past nor do we intend to rest on our laurels. We face each day with its new challenges and we look forward to a bigger, better and brighter future for the Sport of Breeding and Showing Dogs. It's our Business.
This newsletter, recently reintroduced by us, is another way we hope to get news to the dog show world. We do not intend to get into the gossip business. "Just the facts ma'am" We look forward to hearing from anyone having something of importance to say. We will not publish rumors, slander or any unsigned letters or articles. We are looking for information on the positive side to benefit all of dogdom. We look forward to hearing your constructive comments or to publishing your articles. May we hear from you?
Visiting Switzerland in October for pleasure is fun. Visiting for business reasons can be rewarding as well as fun.
Bob Christiansen, Lois and I went for business reasons at the invitation of Raphael de Santiago. Since we recently did a World Show in Puerto Rico, Raphael wanted us to witness a new format developed by FCI for a Supreme World Championship Show. We accepted the invitation and were well rewarded. The format of the show was excellent, including ring layouts and judging procedures. We are encouraged to try some of those new ideas and will probably do so in the future when we do another world show. Perhaps we may even introduce some of the ideas into our regular shows. Aside from learning new ways of doing dog shows we had the opportunity of meeting many leaders and dignitaries of foreign kennel clubs. A simplification of the show format was to bring the top 10 dogs of each country together and choose the Supreme Champion. Five hundred and fifty nine champions from 30 different countries participated. They came from as far away as Japan, South America, Russia and most all of Europe. A great success and a great beginning of a world type championship Dog Show. Only two dogs from the U.S. participated and they were only entered in the open challenge qualifier rounds which were open to entrants other than the top 10 from each country. The winners in these classes became eligible for competition in the Supreme Championship classes. The Supreme Champion was a Border Terrier, named Int. Ch. Larry D'ella Collinetta.
Other End of the Spectrum
The little boy was assured by his mother, as she cut the light off, that everything would be OK and God was right there with him. Five minutes later the little boy shouted from his bedroom, "Mom, I really need somebody with skin." While you are going to read many articles about new and improved techniques and ways of doing things in the "dog business" here at MB-F, there are those occasions that you just need to talk to somebody with skin.
Over the past few years (actually about 30) I have watched us grow in every aspect. However, I still like to think that the best thing about our company is the "personal touch" feeling that we offer. When asked to write an article about what I do, I realized that just saying that I did premium lists hardly seemed sufficient, soooo -- here are a couple of stories you might enjoy.
First, there was the lady who called in and told me that she wanted a "mild shade" of blue for her premium list. I suggested that she send me a sample color. A few days later an envelope arrived with the samples. One piece of material, the lady explained, she had cut from her husband's underwear and the other was toilet tissue. She further explained that she did not want the premium list to be as light as the toilet tissue nor as dark as the underwear. At this point I sent her a color chart and asked her to select what she needed. You guessed it, she picked two colors and wanted lighter than one and darker than the other.
Then there was the gentleman who did his entire premium list in crayola because he was babysitting his grandchildren and crayons were the only writing instruments in the house and he did not want to be late submitting his material. Of course I really loved the gal who mailed in her grocery list asking that it be added to the trophies for Rottweilers. Needless to say, it took a little time to figure out what was going on since there was no phone number and no show indicated.
While these are pretty extreme cases, things do happen and you may feel that you just need "somebody with skin" to help with details, rules, layout or paper and ink. Premium lists can be overwhelming at times, even with all of the aids we try to provide to clubs to make their job easier and faster. And, that's the other end of the spectrum because we are here for you even if it is just to assure you that.......You were right in the first place.
I'll never forget what happened after GREATER ORANGE PARK'S very first show in Green Cove Springs outside Jacksonville, FL. Everything went well at the show, which pleased me as Peg Hohl, Ed King and Gail Cooper were so anxious to do everything right. My problem involved a rental car that was just not running right. Our show the next day was in Ocala, about 80 miles away and, fearing problems, I left after the start of the last Group, leaving Durwood (now deceased) and Dot VanZandt to finish the show.
I gave 'Dur' and our set-up crew (Jerry and Bill) instructions to keep a watch out for me along the side of the road, in case I broke down. Well, halfway to Ocala I lost all power in a very wild and desolate area. I pulled off to the side of the road and, looking around, saw a building on the other side of the road that sold guns and knives. I started toward it to find a phone. As I approached, a man came out and got in a truck and drove off, ignoring my calls. They were closed and it was almost dark. Looking around again I spotted a small filling station (1 pump) and store across a small canal on a side road.
I went there and the lady owner let me use her private phone to call Hertz Road Service. They told me they would have to do some consulting through their system to come up with the best plan to help and to call back in 45 minutes. I started talking to this lady and she asked me a lot of personal questions, "Was I married?", etc. As we talked, two pickup trucks pulled up with a group of camouflaged dressed, longhaired, bearded Florida rednecks, with knives strapped to their sides and guns mounted in back of the trucks. They were frog hunters (although I think they really were 'gator poachers) and needed to stock up on beer, cigarettes, etc. They asked if I needed help and I told them, "Help was on the way."
I decided to go back out to the car to get away from them and wait for 'Dur' to come by. Well, 'Dur' never came by and I figured the truck would still be 30 minutes or so away and went back to the store again to call Hertz. The frog hunters were gone. Hertz had good news - they were sending me a car from Gainesville, but it would take an hour. This lady told me her husband was dead and she and her beautiful daughter ran the store, but it was lonely and scary at times. Well, by then I figured our truck was due by and she told me she would stay open until I got help.
As I got to the road I saw our yellow truck coming with it's running lights on and I started jumping up and down, waving my arms and I was still jumping up and down when it passed me in a cloud of dust. Damn!!! Back to the store. When I went in the lady said she had called her daughter to come meet me and if we hit if off she would give us the store for a wedding gift and we could take care of her. ( I kid you not!) I was in trouble. Then two more trucks pulled up with even rougher looking frog hunters who told me their friends had told them about me and was I sure I didn't need help. Well, as Ollie Hardy would say, "What a fine mess!" I was either going to get married or killed and robbed by frog hunters. I opted to go back to the car and take my chances on the froggers. I locked myself in the car and prayed for Hertz. They came shortly thereafter and I was saved. I often think maybe those froggers were just Good Ol' Boys and they probably were, but they scared me.
Whenever I get frustrated with this business, I also wonder if the daughter was really beautiful.
When I got to the motel, I asked what room Durwood was in and was informed he hadn't arrived yet. After all my problems, I beat him to the hotel. "Wrong Way Dur' had gotten lost, headed to Gainesville and then took I-75 the wrong direction and almost ended up in Georgia!! That was 'Dur', and that's another story.
Comment by Michael Sauve discussing his golf interests: "When I moved to Florida I purchased NEW USED CLUBS!" - Speaking of Golf, how about METAL WOODS!?! One of the SESA Stewards taking a piece of candy from our bowl exclaimed, "Look! A new kind of VANILLA CHOCOLATE!" - Radio Commercial on WJR in Detroit - FREE RENT. Or, how about JUMBO SHRIMP - DISASTER RELIEF - TAME WILD ANIMALS - GO AHEAD, BACK UP - TURN LEFT, RIGHT? - HURRY UP AND SLOW DOWN - UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE - and finally, MILITARY INTELLIGENCE HEADQUARTERS.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation, The American Kennel Club and The AKC National Parent Clubs met in St. Louis, November 2-3, in a conference sponsored by the Ralston Purina Company. The entire theme of the conference was dedicated to the study of genetics as related to the health and well-being of dogs.
The Parent Club portion of the program was preceded by a two-day conference of veterinary and other research scientists reviewing their research results in reference to the various Canine Health Foundation funded projects.
We have copies of most of the material discussed and will, in the next several issues of the Newsletter, bring that material to you. It is without doubt the most informative and positive advance in the history of dog health and genetics. We are proud to be able to present some of the results of this conference to you and are very proud to be listed as a Founder of the Canine Health Foundation. We are also deeply interested that each of you as individuals, clubs, superintendents and corporations or companies take part in the success of the foundation by promoting and contributing to the greatest project that has happened in the history of our sport. The research indicates you will not only be doing your dog a favor, but yourself as well. Many of the discoveries being made affect humans as well as dogs. Below is the first excerpt from the program.
THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB AND THE FOUNDING OF THE AKC CANINE HEALTH FOUNDATION
When the Board of Directors of The American Kennel Club acted to found the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, and endow it with one million dollars, it represented the culmination of many years and factors all of which had been directed at supporting research to benefit dogs. AKC itself had contributed millions of dollars to research since 1952, while dog clubs and individual fanciers had contributed untold millions.
The final steps leading to the creation of the AKC Canine Health Foundation began in early 1993. Following a discussion between Dr. Robert Hritzo, then chair of AKC's Board Health and Research Committee, and John Mandeville, then AKC Vice President of Planning, the decision was made for The American Kennel Club to host a conference for scientists doing research in canine genetics. AKC's hosting of such a conference had long been a goal of Dr. Hritzo. This conference, the first Molecular Genetics and Canine Genetic Health Conference, was held in October 1994.
Preparation for the conference revealed two very important facts. First, there were more scientists actively working in the field of canine genetics than might have been thought. Second, there was a clear need for a mechanism to raise money to help fund the important research to be done. As the fancy became aware AKC was going to host a conference for scientists doing canine genetic research, many suggested AKC should take the lead in creating a foundation to support research. In the late summer and early fall of 1994, as the Molecular Genetics and Canine Genetic Health Conference was being finalized, initial work on what was to become the AKC Canine Health Foundation was done.
The 1994 Molecular Genetics and Canine Genetic Health conference was an overwhelming success. The conference made it apparent that the potential for breakthroughs which would offer tremendous benefits for helping breeders deal with genetic problems would be a reality, especially if significant funding could be made available.
In December 1994 the Board of Directors of The American Kennel Club created The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. Dr. Robert Hritzo was named the Foundation's first president. The American Kennel Club initiated the AKC Canine Health Foundation with a one million dollar endowment. The first Board of Directors was organized and the Foundation's first Executive Director, Deborah A. Lynch, was appointed in mid 1995.
The foundation was created to better focus and facilitate more research to benefit dogs, to better identify research topics and to provide dog clubs and fanciers with support in their efforts to improve the health of their dogs. Additionally, the Foundation was created so that the scientific community would know that a regular source of funding was available.
In its less than three years in existence, The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation has done a remarkable job. The support of dog clubs and fanciers has been extraordinary. The AKC makes annual contributions to the Foundation for research and administration. Already the scientific community looks to the Foundation as a primary source of funding. Everyone who is seriously committed to the welfare of purebred dogs should redouble their efforts on behalf of the Foundation. If the Foundation's first three years are an indication of the future, the hopes of The American Kennel Club in creating it will certainly be fulfilled.
The mission of the AKC Canine Health Foundation is to develop significant resources for basic and applied health programs with emphasis on canine genetics to improve the quality of life for dogs and their owners.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation will achieve the following goals:
* To help dogs live longer, healthier lives.
* To respect the dedication and interest of dog clubs, breeders and owners in canine health and continuously seek ways to involve them in the work of the Foundation.
* To identify health issues of concern to dog owners and breeders.
* To identify and sponsor research and education programs, with particular emphasis on canine genetics, that:
~ Meet the highest scientific and educational standards.
~ Have the greatest potential for advancing the health of dogs.
~ Have expectations for producing materials and applications that are reasonable and affordable for breeders and owners.
* To seek ways to integrate the observations and knowledge of dog owners, breeders, veterinarians and other scientists for the purpose of advancing the health of dogs.
* To responsibly monitor grantees and make the results of their work available for public use through publication in scientific journals, and through sharing and dissemination of information and education with dog owners, breeders and veterinarians.
* To raise endowment funds for the Foundation's programmatic purposes and to invest these funds for both growth of principal and income adequate to advance the Foundation's purposes.
1997 Board of Directors
Dr. Robert J. Hritzo -
Dr. Sheldon Adler
AKC Canine Health Foundation Staff
Deborah A. Lynch -
Founders of the AKC Canine Health Foundation Individuals
Mr. Alexander Fraser
American Kennel Club
October 22, 1997
Dear Club President:
MB-F is very excited about the new things available to your club now and in the near future.
As an MB-F customer, information about your club is available to millions of people through the MB-F Internet Site http://www.infodog.com now. Your club page will reach these people 24-hours a day at no cost to your club. Yes - a two-page ad for your club - FREE!
With the click of a mouse button people will be able to access such information as when you hold your meetings, when you hold your shows and matches, the name of a contact person for your club, and your clubs breeders directory!
Exhibitors are able to access information on your upcoming shows, such as location, date, judges, directions to the show, hotels/motels, and make an entry and receive immediate confirmation of acceptance of that entry! Potential spectators are able to access the same information and be able to plan to attend your show.
People looking for a purebred dog will be able to access the breeders directory in their area. People looking for a place to train their puppy or learn how to handle their own dog will be able to get information on training/handling classes. Potential new club members will be able to access information on your club and get in touch with you directly.
People will be able to get your show results within hours of your event!
Your show chairman will be able to submit premium list copy directly to usNo More Forms!!
Please take a look at the enclosed sample of a club page on the MB-F Internet. Discuss this with your club and determine what information your club wants to include on its page. Send us the typewritten copy, or call our toll-free number (800/334-0813) and ask to speak with Jeff for instructions on how to make a diskette our system will accept. Or, you may E-mail your information to us at our current E-mail address: http://www.infodog.com to communicate with us via computer.
As an MB-F customer you know we are always thinking of ways to help your club produce your show in the most efficient, cost effective manner. You know, too, we are always on the lookout for ways to make our services more meaningful to you and easier to use.
As we stand on the threshold of the 21st Century, MB-F is poised to make that leap and we are inviting you to come along.
Information | Winners and Bragging Rights
Questions or Comments?