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May 1999 Newsletter - Volume 2. Issue 21

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.

WAKE-UP CALL
By Tom Crowe

The alarm has been ringing for more than two years, but no one has been listening. Registrations were down in January and also February. March and April will probably follow suit. The records are not yet completed as of this writing. Has anyone stopped to ask why? Last year, on average, Dog Show entries were down. So far this year, entries are inconsistent and rollercoastering with many shows still experiencing a drop in entries. Something is surely amiss. What was a rapidly growing sport has slowed to a snail’s pace. Why? We think we may have some answers. Maybe we’re right and maybe we’re wrong but at least we are looking ahead and trying to face the problems. Some things we can resolve; others must be resolved at higher echelons such as the Delegate body and the AKC staff.

Clubs must begin looking at shows as a public education event rather than a money-making event. True, they need to make money in order to survive but membership can be increased by actually having sign-up booths at their shows where they can distribute AKC literature, talk to spectators and solicit memberships. We think few people showing dogs realize that in the entire U.S. there are fewer than 150,000 persons showing dogs and that number is not increasing year to year. We estimate the turnover rate of new people entering the show world at about 40%. In other words 40% per year come and go. Haven’t you ever wondered how it is, if you have been around for awhile, that you know most everyone at the shows you attend? We are actually a rather small fraternity.

New people are our lifeblood and membership drives can interest them and bring them to meetings and make members of them. Invite a stranger interested in dogs and you may find a new worker, a new idea, a new friend and a credit to your club and the Sport. Take a dog to the local newspaper and solicit advertising for your club and your show. Pay for the ad if you have to but make sure it’s not in the classified section. Dog Shows are a sport and most clubs support some charity and that’s news. If you haven’t got a charity the AKC Canine Health Foundation is an excellent one with a national reputation in the genetic field extending to human research in many instances. Contact their office in Aurora, Ohio and they will furnish you with newsworthy articles for your local paper. The more Clubs publicize their shows and the good they do the more people will accept what Dog Shows are all about. Examples: Detroit Kennel Club with upwards of 60,000 spectators and The International Kennel Club of Chicago even exceeding that number — all for a good cause. The more we do as clubs the more we will be recognized for the good we do and the more people will want to be part of our sport. There are more than 43,000,000 households in the U.S. that are owners of one or more dogs. We need more than just a small part of them to join with us. Registrations will rise. Entries will rise and Fideaux will profit from your efforts.

The AKC has a very difficult task ahead. Recent publicity, from poorly researched articles in several magazines and newspapers and programs appearing on TV, has created damaging opinions within the general public. It will take some effort on the part of AKC, all exhibitors and clubs to turn this undeserved public opinion around. The AKC Canine Health Foundation can be a very stimulating tool when it is used as a catalyst to bring attention to the good the AKC does for the protection of the public trust where dogs are concerned. It is time for the AKC to make known to the public, by whatever means available, that they are aware of the problems of bad registrations made by unscrupulous shysters. They need to publish news articles in the Times and other major and syndicated papers that report on how they are addressing these problems and each month are assessing huge fines and suspending dozens of these individuals that are falsifying records. The extreme costs associated with kennel inspections and investigations of these violators are a great hindrance to instant success. The possibility of lawsuits by suspects is also a deterrent factor demanding extreme caution before action can be taken.

There are also problems associated with restructuring an outdated computer system with a completely new system with updated equipment and a new approach to computerized records and their recording. This cannot be done overnight and it requires much planning and oversight. With a database as large as the AKC has it can take many months and even years before the system will begin to operate properly at 100% efficiency. However, it must be done and done right otherwise the value of the database will deteriorate and become worthless. If you have never been involved in such a situation do not criticize. It’s not an easy task and failure can have irrevocably dire results. All in all the progress we have witnessed is very well thought out and the new COO and CIO have excellent backgrounds and much experience in solving and correcting the problems that have been introduced to the system over the years. Patience and understanding on the part of all concerned will be rewarded by a properly restructured system.

Finally, dog shows are the largest expense of the AKC with the least income. In the early years of the AKC the plan was to have breeding records available to the members for their use. Shows were an afterthought and a fun thing with tailgate parties and friendly competition among the breeders (mostly sportsmen with hunting strains). Over the years the plans have changed to the point shows are the main premise and registration records are now the prerequisite to showing a dog. Shows promote registrations and having a winning dog becomes a status symbol. They are like love and marriage, you “cain’t have one ‘tout tuther”. Some real thought should be given to equalizing the costs relative to both and adjusting them for each to bear their fair share. This is not an easy thing to do because it runs against the grain of exhibitors and clubs who already believe the costs of showing a dog are too high. However, today the cost of groceries, clothing, automobiles and everything one does is too high. That my friends is the cruelty of inflation. Your dollar does not buy as much as it did even five years ago. You have more dollars but they buy less and that takes some getting used to. All of this affects the AKC, shows, travel and everything one does. Now to the point, the recording fees paid by exhibitors are not even remotely sufficient to maintain the service exhibitors and clubs expect from the AKC. It is not possible to provide all the good stuff now being given at the same established cost of more than 10 years ago. Recording fees should be raised at least $1.50 and that is not really enough for the multitude of bargain services rendered nor will it retain the status quo.

The jury is still out. However, you are the jury and the verdict for future growth and successful operation or lack of interest and failure is yours to make. Give it some serious thought.

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FROM WHERE I SIT
by John S. Ward

Published statistics have shown that there has been a slow but steady decrease in the number of dogs individually registered over the past few years. While this trend is a matter of concern there is an equally disturbing statistic which has not been given much publicity. Specifically, it is the fact that only about 50% of the purebred dogs eligible for registration are in fact so registered. To put it another way, only half of the blue slips included in Litter Kits are filled out by the owners and forwarded to the AKC for individual registration. At first glance this is confusing. Why would the proud owner of a purebred puppy fail to follow through? It requires very little thought, however, to realize that the new owner, in many cases, sees no benefit to him or her in spending the money necessary for the individual registration. The new owner, for the most part, has no intention of breeding the dog and, in his mind, that is the primary reason for registration. I know from personal knowledge that many of these owners regard the pedigree as a much more interesting and important document than the individual registration. It seems to me that this problem can be at least partially solved by a change of attitude on the part of breeders and by adopting a new approach with the purchasers of our puppies.

To begin with, we must recognize very clearly that the objective of breeding purebred dogs should be to demonstrate the utility of the purebred dog as a companion to man. This companionship can take many forms, but unfortunately some breeders do not take this broad view and simply categorize their puppies as "show" dogs or pets. This approach woefully understates and underestimates the potential of the puppy being sold.

One of the publications of the AKC points out that "competition in conformation and performance events can best demonstrate the progress that has been made in breeding for type and quality and/or for practical use, stamina and obedience." Historically, dog events have been divided into conformation shows, field trials and, more recently, obedience trials. For many years performance events encompassed only field trials and obedience trials. In the past 10 years or so, however, the AKC has dramatically expanded the number and type of performance events. It was recognized that each individual breed was developed for a purpose and that forms of competition or testing could be developed to show the ability of a breed to perform the tasks for which it was bred. We now have hunting tests, lure coursing, herding events, and many other similar activities, including that form of competition whimsically known as "Agility". Best of all, these forms of competition and fun are available at very modest cost to the one-dog owner.

To enter these newer forms of competition, however, the dog must be individually registered with the AKC. Obviously, if we can persuade the dog buying public that a new world of fun and recreation for both the owner and the dog is available the percentage of dogs being registered individually should rise significantly. How do we go about this process of education? It requires a joint effort on the part of the AKC and the individual breeders to achieve these goals.

The AKC should make available to breeders information packages by breed on the specific performance events open to that breed and also information on activities open to all breeds, such as obedience trials and Agility. Breeders should not only take full advantage of the information provided by the AKC but should also have at their fingertips names, locations and phone numbers of dog clubs devoted to training handlers and their dogs in the skills necessary for engaging in performance events. Giving this kind of information to the buyer should be just as routine as furnishing a pedigree and a blue slip.

A personal note: I was introduced to the wonderful world of purebred dogs by the breeder of my first Cocker puppy who insisted that I take him to an obedience class. I followed his advice and have been eternally grateful to him.

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BENEVOLENT DICTATORSHIPS AND CLUSTER SHOWS
by Dorie Crowe

Cluster shows have only been in existence since the 1970’s. We had a hand in the first cluster, which was held in Raleigh, NC during the Tarheel Circuit during the big gas crisis. Since that time clusters have enjoyed remarkable success.

Personally, I like clusters. I believe they can be likened to the benched shows of the “old days”. Because they do not have to move on to the next location exhibitors are encouraged to stick around, talk to other exhibitors, participate in any planned cluster activities, etc. By God, there may be actual learning experiences happening at clusters! I think there is also less stress on the exhibitor and the dog, less travel expense, and increased safety. (And, for purely selfish reasons, we like sleeping in the same bed more than one night and not having to pack and re-pack every day.)

All that aside, clusters take a lot of work, cooperation, and the additional skills of a “benevolent dictator” to keep it all in focus. Many clubs think holding a cluster is the right thing to do for their club(s), but it takes well-thought out, well-planned meetings and committees and focused discussions to bring it off successfully and still maintain that close relationship with the clubs that brought you all together in the first place.

Here are some things to consider if you are planning to have a cluster.

Communication, communication, communication and communication – You must sit down with the other clubs involved and have candid discussions on why you want to cluster, what you are hoping to accomplish and how you want to proceed. Do your homework. These meetings also need to cover who is going to be responsible for handling what items, how things will be shared, such as work (including parking, ad sales, stewards, cleaning, hospitality, etc.); expenses (facility, motels, dinners/hospitality rooms, judges, veterinarians, EMT, etc.); judges (whom you are willing to share and whom your club may want for a specialty or certain breeds), formats (will you have a combined premium list or not, a combined catalog or separate; depending upon the day of your cluster, will you have a common closing date or maybe an earlier closing), and revenues (from entry fees, gate, catalogs, booth space, etc.).

Everything needs to be thoroughly discussed and agreed to before you proceed. And, it needs to be written down with all clubs having a copy. I know this sounds unnecessary, especially if you have been working with a club in a circuit or in other projects, but it is an invaluable tool. Everybody is sure of what is expected, everyone has agreed, and if personnel changes occur you can be reasonably sure of consistency. It also helps insure there is no misunderstanding on how things are to be handled. Remember, no matter how friendly your clubs are and what may have been agreed to perhaps in an informal conversation or a brief conversation, could be forgotten. I know how it is. People mention things at shows all the time – they see me, they think of something, they mention it in passing – I try to write a note to take back to the office with me so it won’t slip ‘tween the cracks. People see me with little pieces of paper all the time.

Other things that need to be discussed are things each club might do to retain their individuality (club banners, tablecloths in club colors, club displays, etc.) and pre-show or after-show activities that may be offered to exhibitors (pig-pickin’s, buffets or bar-b-cues, benefit activities, contests, matches, etc.) Keep in mind the hour your shows begin and end. If you have relatively early Groups/Best in Show certain activities will probably be well attended; while, if you have late Groups/Best in Show judging, different activities might be better appreciated. Exhibitors do appreciate knowing you have thought about them.

Try to choose cluster committee personnel who can work together. Have respect for your choices. Choose the person to be the Cluster Coordinator based upon his or her experience with handling the myriad of details that go into a show, ability to deal with many different people, ability to reason, ability to focus on what’s best for the cluster, trustworthiness – your Benevolent Dictator. No Prima Donnas! Because you’ve had the above meetings, everything is spelled out, now let him or her do the job. Don’t get your nose out of joint if decisions have to be made based upon the good of the cluster. A cluster is not about one club – it’s about the success of the whole entity, yet every club must be successful in some aspect for the entire event to be memorable and to grow. And everyone in each club should be working toward that goal.

If your cluster includes weekdays as well as weekends (for example, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday) it is reasonable for clubs to rotate at least the weekdays each year. That way every club has a chance to have a shot at a more financially successful year. But there are, of course, clubs that prefer to have the usually smaller weekday show. What you do will probably be based upon how clubs share their revenues and club preferences.

Clusters are prime examples of teamwork. There are many successful clusters all across the country. There are clusters that have bought their own sites. There are also many clusters that have been unable to sustain their relationships among the clubs involved for various reasons. Too often the break results in hard or bitter feelings between the members of all the clubs. Maybe the clubs may not be as successful apart or may have to struggle for awhile. Another real result can be hardships created for the exhibitors and their dogs because the cluster is no longer in existence.

Yes, clusters are a great deal of work. Yes, they can do a great deal of good. Yes, they can be successful and positive experiences for the clubs and for the sport.

Yes, clusters can cause the break-up of club-to-club relationships. Yes, they can be disasters and the worst experience of your club’s existence.

How you handle the front-end of the endeavor can make all the difference in the end result.

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DOGS IN THE COMMUNITY
by Dorie Crowe

At the Old Dominion Kennel Club’s April 24, 1999 show, just prior to Groups starting, exhibitors were introduced to two law enforcement dogs that are sponsored by the Old Dominion club (the club pays their food and veterinary expenses). This is just one of the many charitable and community projects done by this hardworking club. One dog, a Belgian Malinois, is a bomb sniffer; the other, a black Labrador, sniffs out fire related chemicals.

Several years ago the Cheshire Kennel Club purchased a tracking Bloodhound for their local law enforcement agency. I’m also aware there have been clubs that have purchased service dogs (both seeing eye and hearing companions). What wonderful community projects!

Certainly, in light of recent history, the world has been exposed to the work of bomb sniffing canines, search and rescue dogs, drug dogs, etc. They are considered an extremely valuable part of law enforcement and search and rescue efforts and their worth and efficiency are proven over and over again so that we sometimes wonder what communities without these assets do. Are there many who do not have vivid pictures of those working dogs at Oklahoma City? I have to admit I wondered and listened for how long those officers in Littleton would work to find all those explosives without the help of one of the fine canine bomb detectors at hand.

A generous pat on the back and hearty handshake to all those clubs who have provided or support these fine animals in their communities. What a wonderful, positive advertisement for purebred dogs as protectors and helpers and indispensable companions at work in their local communities.

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MORE ABOUT ENTRY FEES
By Tom Crowe

In response to several e-mails that have been directed to me concerning my remarks about raising entry fees, please do not think that I relish the thought of entry fees going up. Far from it. Whether entry fees rise or fall is really of little consequence to superintendents. Our main concern is to help clubs, the AKC and all other related entities in their quest for improvement of dog shows. Along with these goals consideration must be given to the welfare of the sponsoring organizations of these events. Unless they are profitable they cannot remain as viable parts of the Sport of showing dogs. Millions of dollars are spent each year by the clubs and the AKC to promote and manage the close to 17,000 events held each year for the benefit of enthusiasts of the Sport. The exhibitors are the recipients of these large expenditures.

If one wishes for the Sport to continue even as it is today without improvement in the future someone has to pay. Club monies as well as AKC monies do not just fall from trees. Registrations were and still are the main income of the AKC. Show department expenses are the largest expenses of the AKC, far exceeding the income from the show events they approve and supervise. Clubs, on the other hand, have their own problems and expenses such as superintending, facilities, judges, veterinarians, emergency personnel, insurance costs and a hundred other items that contribute to a show’s success. On top of all this the rising cost of living increases each year by about 3% per year at present rates but at double-digit rates in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Clubs and AKC and all other participants in producing shows as well as individuals are affected by this problem. There is no escape from this problem.

What is being done to counteract this inflation situation? I can tell you a great many things are being done within all facets of the sport. The AKC has made great strides in the automation of its processes by computerization. The same applies to superintendents and this all shows in the years of applying modern business methods and computerization to all facets of the sport. If no adjustments had been made and methods of 20 years ago were still the norm the then $5.00 entry fee of that period, adjusted for inflation only, would now be more than 10 times that fee or $50.00. A pound of top quality New York strip steak was 95 cents. A top quality Cadillac was less than $5000.00; it’s now $50,000.00.

Still the entry fee remains the least expensive part of attending a dog show. However, it also remains the most controversial subject concerning shows. I guess it’s because it is the one thing that the lonely exhibitor and club member can hang their hat on with a feeling of control. Restaurants, hotels, gasoline companies and all others can charge what they please, even what the traffic will bear, but entry fees are sacred and controllable.

I have learned over the years that superintendents have no say whatsoever in the prices that clubs decide on concerning entry fees. What I say and what I write are only my observations and I hope food for thought. My main interest is preservation of the Sport and its improvement. As the cost to clubs of sponsoring a dog show rise somebody has to pay the bills. Club members are all volunteers; they get no pay for their efforts. Satisfaction of a job well done and compliments from exhibitors are far fewer than the gripes and criticisms. Why do they do it? I can tell you why. They love the Sport, the friendships of people with common interests and the competition. And, for some, “My dog is better than your dog AND your brother”. Nyah! Nyah!

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SOME PERSPECTIVE ON ENTRY FEES
by Fred Lyman

As it says elsewhere in this issue of the MB-F Newsletter, one thing that will always insure a passionate discussion is entry fees. While superintendents and clubs have done quite a good job of holding entry fees to a level way below where they should be, some exhibitors and doggie press people continue to think everyone is making tons of money and becoming millionaires. Let’s put this into perspective.

Let’s take, what by some standards is a small show – 1000 dogs (at present the entry at an average show is 1500). I’ve figured charges conservatively. Some clubs have larger expenses, some may be smaller; this is just an average.

An average superintending cost (barring certain considerations such as area of the country, size of the show, equipment needed, benched or unbenched, inside or outside, special needs or wants, etc.) might be about $8.25 per dog. This is ONLY actual superintending costs.

Superintending Costs: 1000 @ average $8.25/dog $8250.00

Minimum of eight judges: 2 All-‘rounders estimated @ $900 each (fee + expenses) 1800.00

5 One Group or more @ $650 each (fee + expenses) 3250.00

1 Provisional (two or three breeds) @ $250 (expenses only) 250.00

Building Costs: Estimated average building costs range from $1500 to $3000. If outside not only grounds cost but other things must be considered. For our example our building cost is (chairs included) 2500.00

Trophies and Cash Prizes: We have a mixture of trophies and Group prize money. We are giving $100 for Best in Show and $50 for each Group First 450.00

We also have a nice mix of trophies at a modest cost 285.00

Clean-up and Miscellaneous Labor: 4 Clean-up (2 for pick-up; 2 building personnel) @ $100 400.00

Our example club does not have enough members who are willing to steward, so we’ve hired a Stewards Organization for the day: 8 professional stewards @ $75 600.00

Miscellaneous expenditures: All those little things above the bare essentials that are always forgotten (phone calls, paper products, etc.) 300.00

Hospitality and Lunch: Our example club has a continental breakfast; coffee, sodas and bottled water, etc., for rings; and an average lunch for judges, reps, officials, stewards, working club members at a nominal $15/person. We have a minimum of 40 people 600.00

We did not have a judges’ dinner or hospitality room; the judges dined on their own and their dinners are included in their expenses.

Veterinarian in attendance 100.00 Trained First Aid caregivers, 2 @ $100 each 200.00

Security (night before show) 1 guard @ $12.50/hr, 8 hr shift 100.00

So far, with average costs and nothing fancy we’ve spent $19,085.00

Now let’s see what we’ve taken in to pay the bills:

We got our 1000 dogs and received entry fees as follows: 850 dogs @ $20 $17,000.00 150 Puppy/Bred By @ $12 1,800.00 For a total of $18,800.00

So now we are $285 in the hole after our efforts.

Fortunately we do have some additional ways to make our show profitable.

We had 400 catalogs and we were very lucky to sell out this year. We used a minimum of 25 to run the show and sold our balance. 375 catalogs @ $4 1,500.00

We had a decent gate for our area of 350 paying spectators and exhibitor guests 350 @ $3.00 each 1,050.00

So, at the end of the day we made a profit of $2,365.00…..if everything is as our example dictates. There are some other things to consider. If our site is outside, as stated above, we would have grounds, plus tenting, plus chair rental, plus porta-potty rentals, perhaps parking control officers, to consider.

Catalog sales are very iffy. Some weekends we may sell only half our catalogs and end up giving the rest away. Gate sales are very iffy as well. If it’s a nice weekend and there’s not a whole lot to do in our area we may get a good gate; if our area has many recreational choices we could have a very small gate. Also remember that some facilities do not permit clubs to charge admission; some facilities keep all the admissions and some facilities take a percentage of the club’s income as part of their rental deal.

One of the immediate ways our club could have increased its profit – or at the very least helped the club break even if they also had the above-mentioned additional costs for an outdoor show is seen in the entry fee income to our club. If the club had chosen to treat all entries the same because the club pays the same cost per dog no matter what class it’s in you can see a different picture. If those 150 dogs had paid the regular entry fee the club would have had an additional $1200 in income ($3000 vs $1800).

Our club did not sell any ads. Some clubs have an Ad Chairman. If the Ad Chairman works hard and sells tons of ads, though the expense of the show would, of course, be larger, this could be another good source of income.

Our example club does not have any room for vendors; some clubs don’t. Some clubs have space for only one vendor; some have space for many more. But the club has to remember the space for their rings and grooming has precedence. A reasonable number of vendors can add to the flavor of the show as well as the club’s income; a “flea market” detracts from the show.

This modest profit is what enables our club to provide any charitable donations, training/handling classes, match shows and various community projects. In addition, that profit must pay the taxes and/or sales taxes incumbent upon the club and insurance bills for coverage of all the club activities. While there are some clubs that may possess “large” balances in their treasuries the majority of clubs are squeaking along just trying to not go into the hole at the end of the day. Club members are all volunteers. They are devoting their time to insuring the exhibitor has a fun day with a decent site and decent judges. They are also the ones going into the community to promote purebred dogs. They are making the donations to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, to the Veterinary Colleges, to the Shelters, to the many aid organizations – all the benefits of which touch the exhibitor in some way.

It is only through the creative managing of their finances, finding better and more efficient ways to do things and hard work, that clubs have, with the same type of help from their superintendents, been able to keep entry fees at this level. But neither can continually operate at a loss in order to keep entry fees at unrealistic levels. Remember that you get what you pay for – if you are unwilling to help pay the costs of holding an event there will come a time when the club could go under and there will be no event.

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W. SCOTT SINGLETON

Scott was born in Raleigh, NC and is an Alumnus of NC State College. He and his wife, Marvel, have three daughters.

They began showing dogs in the late ‘50’s. Their first dog, a Longhaired Dachshund, finished both it’s Championship and CD Obedience title on the same day. They bred and exhibited Dachshunds of all three Varieties and finished many Conformation and Obedience Champions over the years. Scott became a judge in the early ‘70’s and remained active until he resigned to begin his superintending career with MB-F in February of 1993. He is a “weekender,” working from his home in Fairfield, OH.

Scott was a member of the Raleigh Kennel Club and is a lifetime member of the Hanover Kennel Club in Wilmington, NC. Very active in club work, he has held essentially every club office and served on every show committee over the years, including Show Chairman for many years. He was also very active in The Confederacy of Tailwaggers, an organization of kennel clubs in NC, SC and VA, serving as Treasurer and President. He was involved in the beginning of the Confederacy sponsored “Mighty Match” which is now a premiere event every year to raise funds for the NC Vet School.

Scott’s business career began with IBM in 1957 in Raleigh, NC. He was a Sales Engineer with IBM until he joined General Electric Company’s Nuclear Energy Division in 1969 at Wilmington, NC in Material Management. He transferred to the GE Aircraft Engine Plant at Evendale, OH in 1985 as a Finance Manager. Scott retired from GE management after 25 years in 1994. He and Marvel no longer have any dogs, but the “empty nest” is filled with the love of two Grand Champion Siamese Cats.

PHYLLIS R. BECKER

Phyllis and her husband of 43 years, Dick, have two daughters and nine grandchildren. After a time as a Marine Corps wife, Phyllis, along with Dick, worked their way through St. Lawrence University then moved to Ohio. Dick taught school for a few years and he and Phyllis operated a small grooming shop before going into the kennel and handling profession full-time.

Phyllis managed the kennel and raised puppies for their clients. Her family had always had pure-bred hunting dogs in Michigan, where she grew up. She acquired her first show dog in 1956 – a Cocker Spaniel. She has bred English Cockers, Whippets and Scottish Terriers. As a result of their business they were able to travel to England with their daughters along.

They sold the kennel in 1981 due to Dick’s health and Phyllis was licensed as a Superintendent with MB-F at that time. “We now spend six months in Florida and the summer up north working the show scene. No show is ever the same, which makes my life very interesting. I enjoy the people and the travel in our coach.”

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VETERINARY MEDICAL ALERT

This is a notice from the Veterinary Emergency Center in Needham, MA.

Fabreze, a new product that is used to get odors out of fabrics, has been causing deaths and illness in dogs, cats and birds. There have been multiple instances reported in the past few weeks of dogs, cats and birds dying after Fabreze was used anywhere near them. Some dogs have only gotten very ill, but some have died. Several birds and cats have died as well.

Fabreze contains zinc chloride, which is the culprit. If you have recently sprayed your pet’s bed with this product, please wash it until you get all of the Fabreze out, or get your pet new bedding. Also, if spraying your furniture, keep pets off.

Please pass the word along to your friends so we can prevent further deaths.

(submitted via the Internet by Dee Burdick)

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wpe9.jpg (1939 bytes)    The Shaggy Dog Stories

 

LITTLE HAROLD’S VIOLIN PRACTICE

Little Harold was practicing the violin in the living room while his father was trying to read in the den. The family dog was lying in the den, and as the screeching sounds of little Harold’s violin reached his ears, he began to howl loudly.

The father listened to the dog and the violin as long as he could. Then he jumped up, slammed his paper to the floor and yelled above the noise, “For Pete’s sake, can’t you play something the dog doesn’t know?”

(submitted by Philip E. Lewis via the Internet)

THE PET SHOP

A woman walked into the pet store. “I haven’t got much money,” she told the clerk, “so I’d like to know if you’ve any kittens you’ll let go cheap.”

“I’d let them, ma’am,” said the clerk, “but they prefer to go ‘meow’.”

(submitted by Philip E. Lewis via the Internet)

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

A lonely frog telephoned the Psychic Hotline and asked what his future holds.

His Personal Psychic Advisor tells him: “You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you.”

The frog is thrilled. “This is great! Will I meet her at a party?” he croaks.

“No,” says the psychic, “in biology class.”

(submitted by Angela Porpora via the Internet)

LIFE LESSONS LEARNED FROM A DOG

1. If you stare at someone long enough, eventually you’ll get what you want.

2. Don’t go out without ID.

3. Be direct with people; let them know exactly how you feel by piddling on their shoes.

4. Be aware of when to hold your tongue, and when to use it.

5. Leave room in your schedule for a good nap.

6. When you do something wrong, always take responsibility (as soon as you’re dragged shamefully out from under the bed).

7. If it’s not wet and sloppy, it’s not a real kiss.

(submitted by Angela Porpora via the Internet)

DOG PROPERTY LAWS

1. If I like it, it’s mine.

2. If it’s in my mouth, it’s mine.

3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.

4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.

5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.

6. If I’m chewing something up, all the pieces are mine.

7. If it just looks like mine, it’s mine.

8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.

9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.

10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.

(submitted by Angela Porpora via the Internet)

Dog Breeds that did not make it

Collie + Lhasa Apso = Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport.

Spitz + Chow Chow = Spitz-Chow, a dog that throws up a lot.

Bloodhound + Borzoi = Bloody Bore, a dog that’s not much fun.

Pointer + Setter = Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet.

Kerry Blue Terrier + Skye Terrier = Blue Skye, a dog for visionaries.

Great Pyrenees + Dachshund = Pyradachs, a puzzling breed.

Pekingese + Lhasa Apso = Peekasso, an abstract dog.

Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel = Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean as a whistle.

Labrador Retriever + 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.

(submitted by Donna Hamman and Angela Porpora the same day via the Internet)

Humor is a good thing.

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

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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