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January 2000 Newsletter - Volume 3. Issue 1

In This Issue

1999 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.

We Have Met The Enemy And They’s Us.”
by Tom Crowe

The American Kennel Club is a club of member clubs. Do people belong to the American Kennel Club? No, only clubs belong to the American Kennel Club. Can people belong to these clubs? Yes, people can belong to these clubs. Are employees of the American Kennel Club members of the American Kennel Club? No, only clubs can be members of the American Kennel Club, not people.

However, clubs can be members of the club to which they belong and a Delegate can represent the member club to the American Kennel Club. Is the Delegate then a member of the American Kennel Club? No, only clubs can be members of the American Kennel Club. Well, then, who owns the American Kennel Club? People who belong to the member clubs I guess own the American Kennel Club, not exactly, but close.

Where, then, do all the people in this sport fit in and how does it work?

Since there are no people members evidently no one owns the American Kennel Club. No one owns. But every individual that shows a dog, every club (either member or licensed), every judge, every handler, every delegate, every superintendent, the elected Board members and officers, in fact anyone associated in any way with the American Kennel Club, has the responsibility for the operation of the American Kennel Club.

The Staff is paid but they have no rights of ownership. They are hired to do the grunt work necessary to keep this large organization running. Their responsibility is to supervise and administer the will of the Board and the Delegates of the clubs and ultimately of the various clubs’ members.

So I guess we, you and I and all those mentioned above, are the “American Kennel Club”. Let me repeat that. WE ARE THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB. It is our responsibility to keep the faith, to observe the rules, to fight the wrongful threats and the undeserved bad publicity. It is our responsibility to see that the registration system is kept intact and purified and to assist in the reporting of charlatan breeders and puppy mills that will certainly wreck all of the good we have done in our attempt to keep the registration system sacrosanct. YES, WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND THEY’S US.

It is up to each of us to join with OUR club and assist in every way we are able to fight the bad press and the wreckers of our wonderful family sport. Those among you who criticize and blame the American Kennel Club for the turmoil facing us should look inward and ask, “What have I done in support of our Club of Clubs? Have I ever bent the Rules or provided wrong information or know of others that have and done nothing about it?” If you have then you are the enemy within and POGO is right.

A NEW CENTURY has begun and we the American Kennel Club (that’s us, we, you and I) has the duty to join with our selected Officers and Board members to cooperate and put forth our best efforts to right the wrongs thrust upon us. Most of us are volunteers and we rank highly among some of the largest volunteer organizations in the nation. Let us use that clout and move into the fray to protect our sport from further reckless press and common gossip and slander.

What can you do as an individual? Easy. First, if you belong to a club get the members together and sign a petition and send it to the American Kennel Club pledging your support and offering your services as individuals or as a club. That kind of an offer will be more than well received. It will give the Board and the Staff the confidence to fight the bad press and face up to those assuming we are the bad guys when we are in truth the only organization really working to protect the public from unscrupulous persons and organizations that are bilking the public. Petitions numbering hundreds of thousands of names can gain us (The American Kennel Club) support from many areas including Dog Food Manufacturers, Pharmaceutical Companies and others. It will also get us attention in the press and on websites of AKC, AKCCHF, INFODOG, and ALL SUPERINTENDING ORGANIZATIONS. It’s the kind of news that will be picked up on browsers like YAHOO etc.

We can win if we stand together.

We can fail if we ignore our problems and just sit and wait for them to go away. It’s your call.

WE ARE THE AKC. WE MUST DEFEND IT.

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From Where I Sit
by John S. Ward

In 1983 the AKC Board of Directors commissioned the McKinsey Company, a management consulting firm, to conduct a management and operations survey of the activities of the AKC in the Sport of Purebred Dogs. In the course of the survey approximately 250 people of the Fancy were interviewed and asked their opinion and comments on how the AKC was conducting the affairs of the Club. All aspects of the Sport were considered, and individuals such as judges, handlers, superintendents, and of course exhibitors were questioned in depth. In January 1984 the company submitted a thoughtful and thoroughly researched report. Leading the list of topics with the highest percentage of negative comments was the subject of Dog Show Judging.

So what else is new? Here we are just about 16 years later and that topic seems to be the No. 1 subject of ringside gossip. In the intervening years the AKC Board has made valiant attempts to improve the quality of judging through judges’ education and various methods of testing the ability of judge candidates to carry out the job. Dog judging will remain a highly subjective process and of course it will never be possible to satisfy everyone since on any one day there are many more losers than there are winners in the dog ring.

If one were to plot a graph of all AKC judges ranked by ability I am sure we would come out with the usual Bell curve, that is, a small number of very poor judges, an equally small number of brilliant judges, and the great majority of judges falling in the middle and being rated as competent. In my opinion, any program designed to raise the level of public confidence in the judging process should have two objectives, the first of which should be the elimination of that small number of poor judges followed by a program to raise the general level of knowledge and ability on the part of the judges we now rate as competent. One need not worry about those judges which we rate as brilliant, since they are naturals and will rise to the top in any system.

It would be fatuous on my part to pretend that I have anything approaching an overall plan for selecting and moving up individual judges. Nevertheless I would like to discuss two aspects of any overall plan that I consider to be lacking at the present time.

Dog Show Judging is of course both an art and a science. In almost any human activity or occupation there are certain individuals who seem to have the innate abilities to be successful. In most human resource management programs tests have been developed to measure whether an individual possesses the necessary skills that are required in a particular occupation. A typical example would be a mechanical aptitude test given to any individual applying for a technical position in a large manufacturing organization.

I believe that a similar test or tests could be developed for each individual when initially applying for approval as a Dog Show Judge. For example I believe that the quality known as structural visualization, otherwise known as the ability to think in three dimensions, is an essential characteristic of good dog judging. Also, the ability to correlate motion with skeletal structure is important. Specifically, I would suggest that the AKC utilize the services of human resource consultants to devise a series of such tests.

The other aspect of the judges approval program on which I would like to comment is the lack of what I consider to be a formal educational program carried out in one or more schools subsidized or managed by the AKC. There are literally dozens and perhaps hundreds of judging symposiums being conducted all over the United States but it seems to me that these efforts are poorly coordinated and that there is a lack of quality control with regard to the instruction itself. I believe there is no substitute for typical academic or vocational instruction carried out in a school setting with standardized lesson plans, oral and written testing of the students periodically, carried out by competent professional instructors. This of course could be a costly process, but I believe the results would be well worth the effort. I should also like to point out that Dog Show judging has become an economic activity, inasmuch as most judges are charging a fee above and beyond their actual expenses for the services. I therefore do not consider it to be unreasonable to suggest that would-be judges share the cost of the above-described scholastic approach.

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At The Crossroads?
by Dorie Crowe

Elsewhere in this issue of the Newsletter there is a line quoted from the Pogo comic strip. Over the years “Pogo” or the other characters had some very insightful things to say. Another of their insightful utterances went something like this, “We are faced with insurmountable opportunity.” In this new century my belief is we ARE at the crossroads and faced with insurmountable opportunity.

Right now we have the technology, we have the drive, we have the support, we have the cause and we are poised on the brink of making extremely good things happen within the sport.

At some point you have to stop whining about what’s wrong and get off your butt and begin doing something. It starts with one person with one idea. It ends with a thunderous roar and positive change.

I am not talking about changing things just for the sake of change. I am not talking about making completely new systems. I AM talking about working within the systems in place to make things better. It CAN be done. We’re on our way to doing it right now.

If you’ve ever been involved with something like a computer program – or writing an article – you know you start with some facts, a direction to go and you eventually have a finished product. However, along the way, things need tweaking, adjusting, different words are put into play, different options become available – you still end up in the same place, usually with a better result than you hoped, and you’ve arrived there in a better fashion.

We began with one idea – No More Puppy Mills. From that has come a plan for a National Breeders’ Alliance. Now there’s a National Breeders’ Directory forming. From these discussions come ideas regarding registration. From these ideas come suggestions on how Breeders and AKC can work together to benefit our canine companions and the sport. From these discussions come do-able ideas on education, and the list continues to grow.

It’s time for you to take stock of the things you bitch about regularly. Prioritize them and begin doing something to constructively change the situation.

Join with us. One person can be a small voice at the beginning; several thousands are a strong voice that can be heard around the world.

It’s your chance to make a difference in the sport. It’s your choice.

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Genetic Knowledge Is For Breeders
by Tom Crowe

One hundred and sixteen years ago a distinguished group of gentlemen met on Long Island and decided to form a club of Gentlemen Hunters and Breeders of dogs as part of their stalking of game and riding to the hounds. They were very proud of their dogs and of the part they played in this Gentlemen’s Sport. Eventually the bragging of the prowess of the dogs and their conformation led to the comparison of the different packs. The Kennel Managers became the judges of the dogs while the Gentlemen watched and cheered for the best performers and the handsomest of the pack as individuals.

Thence came the idea of producing charts (pedigrees) of the lineage of the top dogs of those days and their outstanding traits. From this simple beginning the American Kennel Club was born to maintain these records with the purpose of “Improving the Breed by selective breeding of these top specimens”.

A short step away, when comparisons needed to be made, the Kennel Managers mostly became the judges and Dog Shows were born. The sole purpose was “The Improvement of the Breed” and so it is today. It’s quite true, we have slipped a bit in our motives for showing, but nevertheless if you want to win in the show ring you must have a better dog and we all therefore try to improve the breed with our own outstanding specimens. When this occurs we really are carrying forward the original premise of our forefathers, “Improving the Breed”.

So where’s the problem? The problem is that many of the large well-managed Kennels and Kennel Managers have disappeared and too many people have fancied themselves as breeders. Many well-meaning persons, anxious to rush headlong into the Sport, believe all one has to do to become a breeder is to choose a dog and a bitch of the same breed, mate, them then wait and hope for a top specimen. Surprisingly this sometimes works, but very rarely. Another idea that has many followers is that inbreeding and line-breeding produces top specimens by multiplying all the good points. Unfortunately, quite the opposite usually occurs. Two poor specimens will not produce a better one and the faults and weaknesses are doubled and quadrupled.

The Canine Health Foundation, in their quest for knowledge and the study of genetics and research, has a better way. They are funding research within the Veterinary Community and the Veterinary Schools. With your help it is the right way of “Improving the Breeds”. There is no better way. As a result of the long-term amateurish handling of breeding without sufficient knowledge we have come to a situation that has foisted untold misery on some breeds and is quickly bringing most other breeds into this quagmire.

Help is available for those of you who really want to become educated and recognized as top breeders. Learning and education is the answer and the Canine Health Foundation can lead you in that direction. A NEW publication is hot off the press and it is a primer for those wanting to become serious breeders. Its title is, Future Dog: Breeding for Genetic Soundness (Foundation members, $17.95, non-members, $19.95, including tax and shipping costs). If you have not seen this book or you do not own it you are missing an important link in the breeding and showing of dogs

The author is Patricia Wilkie, Ph.D currently a researcher in the University of Minnesota Department of Genetics and Cell Biology. She has been involved in breeding Shelties since 1962 and enjoys training and showing her six Shelties in herding, conformation, agility and tracking classes. For information on obtaining this well-written treatise, contact the AKC Canine Health Foundation, 251 West Garfield Road, Suite 160, Aurora, OH 44202 or to order, call toll-free 1-888-682-9696 or e-mail: akcchf@aol.com. I guarantee you will be well rewarded.

 

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Clinic For Beginning Juniors

The South Windsor Kennel Club sponsored a handling clinic for beginning Juniors in August in Manchester, CT. The clinic was designed for children who had little or no handling experience and were interested in learning more about the sport.

  Karyn (left) and Chris Ryan go over some fine points with their registrants.

South Windsor Kennel Club heavily subsidized this clinic in order to keep the price down to $15 per handler and in the realm of affordability for the Juniors and their parents.

Participants from three states attended and dogs ranged from huge Mastiffs on down to a small Pug. Instructors Chris and Karyn Ryan established a rapport with the dogs and their young handlers to introduce them to the ways of the Juniors’ ring.

Both Chris and Karyn have an extensive background in Junior Handling and their firsthand knowledge of that arena was communicated to the beginners.

Chris and Karyn gave the youngsters quite a workout as they taught them to gait and stack their dogs. Advice was tailored to the individual teams, with an understanding of how each breed should be presented. The results were impressive – there was a definite difference in the ability and confidence levels of the handlers as the day progressed.

Finer points of baiting and presenting the dog’s outline were discussed as we read placement and use of the table (for smaller breeds). Juniors were instructed on how to take directions from the judge, what ring procedures normally occur, and what judges are looking for in a good handler. Chris was particularly adept at the latter as he is an AKC provisional judge for Junior Handling.

Chris and Karyn did not only limit their discussion to the ring experience. Such important points as sportsmanship and practicing regularly were stressed, as well as some key points of general dog care and grooming. The key theme of the day was Junior Handling is supposed to be fun for the dog and the handler. If one or both are not having fun, it is time to re-examine priorities. After all, the same dog that is presented in the Juniors’ ring is the companion at home.

The feedback from the handlers and their parents was very positive. The children left the seminar bursting with plans to practice with their dogs and maybe enter some upcoming shows. Their level of enthusiasm and their confidence in themselves was bolstered by their new knowledge. The South Windsor Kennel Cub will definitely consider plans for more such lectures in the future.

Chris and Karyn discuss some of the individual breed characteristics in relationship to exhibiting.

One of the registrants practices what he’s learned.

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A Word From The AKCCHF

VETERINARY PET INSURANCE THROWS ITS SUPPORT BEHIND CANINE HEALTH FOUNDATION

Aurora, OH, December 1, 1999... The nation’s leader in pet medical insurance is proud to announce that it will now provide financial support to a Foundation dedicated to improving canine health. Veterinary Pet Insurance, the nation’s oldest and largest pet medical insurance provider, has formed a strategic relationship with the Canine Health Foundation. Beginning January 1, 2000, Veterinary Pet Insurance will make a donation for every policy purchased by a new, American Kennel Club dog owner to the Canine Health Foundation. Additional donations will be made each year as these policies are renewed.

The Canine Health Foundation, founded in 1995 by the American Kennel Cub, is the only national foundation with the exclusive mission of advancing canine health. The organization identifies and sponsors research and education programs, with particular emphasis on canine genetics. Other responsibilities include making research results public through scientific journals, and other materials geared towards dog owners and breeders.

“Because of the millions of dollars the Foundation has raised, scientists are doing vital research that could someday lead to life-saving treatments for canine genetic disorders,” said Jack Stephens, DVM, President and Founder, Veterinary Pet Insurance. “This relationship is another way for us to help dogs of all breeds lead longer, healthier lives. We are currently working on a hereditary endorsement which pet owners could add to a base policy to help pay for treatments of hereditary conditions, and we plan on making that endorsement part of this new program as well.”

“This is the first time our Foundation has supported a pet medical insurance company,” said John Studebaker, Vice President of the AKC Canine Health Foundation. “We looked at several companies in this industry, and chose Veterinary Pet Insurance because of its longevity and outstanding customer service record, as well as the company’s dedication to the wellness and veterinary care of dogs. No other company even comes close.”

Founded in 1980 by 750 independent veterinarians, Veterinary Pet Insurance is the nation’s oldest and largest health insurance provider for dogs and cats. Policies are licensed in 47 states and the District of Columbia. More than 850,000 Veterinary Pet Insurance policies have been sold and are exclusively endorsed by the American Humane Association. For more information, call 1-800-USA-PTS (in Texas, call 1-877-PET-HEAL) or visit www.petinsurance.com.

The AKC, which initiated the Canine Health Foundation, continues to be the Foundation’s largest donor. The mission of the Canine Health Foundation is to develop significant resources for the basic and applied health programs to improve the quality of life for dogs and their owners. Since 1995, the foundation has raised more than $2 million in planned gifts and bequests for the Foundation from their estate plans. The majority of these gifts are pledged to the Foundation endowment and will assure the continuation of canine health research and education.

DNA SAMPLES NEEDED FOR CANINE GENOME RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-DAVIS

Aurora, OH, November 30, 1999... If you are the owner of one of the following breeds: Chow Chows, Keeshonden, Jack Russell Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Papillons, Pugs – you can help a canine research project. The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California-Davis is presently involved in an ongoing research project funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

The primary goal of this project is to establish panels of microsatellite markers which are in total representative of the 39 linkage groups (one X and 38 autosomal chromosomes) of the canine genome. The secondary intent of this project is to determine allele frequencies for each of 21 breeds, representing at least three breeds from each of the seven AKC recognized Groups. The database for each breed is to consist of a minimum of 50 dogs unrelated within the first generation.

This work contributes to the ultimate goal of genome screening for linkage to disease associated genes. The research will provide a most cost-effective and expedient means of screening the markers characterized in this project against affected pedigrees and will be available to researchers pursuing genetic disease research within these and other breeds.

Currently, DNA samples are still needed from the above-recognized breeds of dogs. Sampling is simple and harmless, requiring only a cheek swab of your dog. Any information associated with the samples is held in the strictest confidence and is solely used to determine the genetic profile of the breed as a whole. Animals in this study are not analyzed individually and no data will be available on specific dogs.

Your breed can directly benefit by participating in this research project. Once a genetic profile of your breed exists, researchers worldwide are in a position to begin looking for markers linked to a specific disorder. At that point, they would simply need pedigrees to confirm that the trait is of genetic origin and to collect additional DNA from affected dogs.

For more information or to request a free DNA sampling kit, visit the web page of the Veterinary Genetics Lab at www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/research/canine or e-mail dogdna@vgl.ucdavis.edu or call 530-752-8312. PEDIGREES AND SAMPLES NEEDED FOR EPILEPSY, HIP DYSPLASIA AND SKIN DISEASE RESEARCH

Aurora, OH, November 30, 1999... Two institutions funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation are in need of samples to continue their research. If you have two or more dogs in a family in which a clinical diagnosis has been made for the following diseases, you can help.

The University of Michigan needs samples from nuclear families (parents and/or related offspring) for epilepsy and hip dysplasia research. Breeds for which samples are being sought for epilepsy include Australian Shepherds, Beagles, Collies, Dalmatians, English Springer Spaniels, Irish Setters, Shetland Sheepdogs and Vizslas.

Breeds for which samples are needed for hip dysplasia include Airedale Terriers, Alaskan Malamutes, Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherd Dogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, Old English Sheepdogs, Portuguese Water Dogs, Rottweilers and Samoyeds. Contact Dr. George Brewer at 734-669-8440 for more information.

The University of Missouri needs samples from Keeshonden and Pomeranians for a skin disease called adult onset alopecia. This condition is characterized by a loss of hair on the back of the legs, followed by hyperpigmention and the skin turning dark. Hair loss can also progress over the body. Pedigrees and samples from nuclear families are needed to continue this research. For more information contact Dr., Gary Johnson at 573-882-6723.

Since 1995 the AKC Canine Health Foundation has raised over $3.8 million to fund 60 canine health research projects. For information on donations and membership, log onto the AKC Canine Health Foundation website www.akcchf.org or call toll-free 1-888-682-9696.

 

Contra Costa County Kennel Club joined their local Marine Corps Toys for Tots program after they decided that instead of exchanging gifts with each other they’d do something meaningful for their community. Their local Concord Detachment was in the midst of processing toys for 61,000 kids in Contra Costa and Solano counties and used the CCCKC’s collection for a local hospital’s children’s ward. They filled their barrel to over-flowing and didn’t spare the dollars. The Contra Costa membership liked this first-time project very much – many of them said it was the first time they’d been in a toy department since their own kids left home. (l to r, Mary Cook, Bob Asztalos, Ryan and Heather Hutchinson.)

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Spotlighting MB-F Employees (Part II)
(Click here to view this page)

 

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wpe9.jpg (1939 bytes)    The Shaggy Dog Stories

FEELING STRESSED?

Picture yourself near a stream.

Birds are softly chirping in the crisp, cool mountain air.

Nothing can bother you here. No one knows this secret place.

You are in total seclusion from that place called “the world.”

The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.

The water is clear.

You can easily make out the face of the person whose head you’re holding under the water.

There now......feeling better?

THINK

Jon’s working at the lumberyard, pushing a tree through the buzz saw, and accidentally shears off all 10 of his fingers. He rushes to the emergency room.

The doctor says, “Yuck! John, give me the fingers, and I’ll see what I can do.”

Jon says, “But, Doctor, I haven’t got the fingers.”

The doctor says, “What do you mean, you haven’t got the fingers? It’s 2000. We’ve got microsurgery and all kinds of incredible techniques. I could have put them back on and made you like new. Why didn’t you bring the fingers?”

“Well, Doc,” Jon says, “I couldn’t pick ‘em up.”

ALERT!

If you receive an e-mail entitled “Badtimes,” delete it immediately. Do not open it. Apparently this one is pretty nasty.

It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer.

It demagnetizes the strips on ALL of your credit cards.

It reprograms your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD’s you attempt to play.

It will re-calibrate your refrigerator’s coolness settings so all your ice cream melts and your milk curdles.

It will program your phone autodial to call only your mother-in-law’s number.

This virus will mix antifreeze into your fish tank. It will drink all your beer. It will leave dirty socks on the coffee table when you are expecting company.

Its radioactive emissions will cause your toe jam and bellybutton fuzz (be honest, you have some) to migrate behind your ears.

It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with Rogaine.

It will date your current main squeeze behind your back and bill their hotel rendezvous to your Visa card.

It will cause you to run with scissors and throw things in a way that is only fun until someone loses an eye.

It will give you Dutch Elm Disease.

It will rewrite your backup files, changing all your active verbs to passive tense and incorporating undetectable misspellings which will grossly change the interpretations of key sentences.

If the “Badtimes” message is opened in a Windows95 environment, it will leave the toilet seat up and leave your hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub.

It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, but it will replace all your luncheon meat with Spam.

It will molecularly rearrange your cologne or perfume, causing it to smell like dill pickles.

It is also a rather interesting shade of mauve.

These are just a few signs of infection.

(all the above items submitted multiple times via the Internet)

DOWN IN FRONT

Two guys, who obviously partook of way too much New Year’s Eve punch, find themselves at the zoo.

They wander into a cage and have to sit down. At that moment a very large lion stands up in front of them and lets loose with a mighty roar.

“I believe we better get outta here quick,” says the first.

“Not me,” says the second, “the movie’s just about to start!”

 

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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