Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Thoughts on the Health Care Bill

Well, it passed. By only 7 votes, but in the 11th hour negotiations with the anti-abortion representatives who were hold-outs on a "yes" vote, Pelosi and Obama managed to come up with an Executive Order, which really has no legislative meaning, to get them to add their "yes" votes and pass this huge mistake.

Why do I feel it is a mistake of "history making proportions"??? For starters, I fear we may look back in a few years and see this as the nail in our financial coffin. We simply cannot afford this major entitlement program on top of paying for two wars, and bailing out the financial sector and the auto industry.

Two of our major entitlement programs are already in the red: Medicare and Soc. Security. Why are we adding on a THIRD, that we cannot fund??? Raising our taxes will not be enough to cover all that this country owes. We will have to BORROW to pay back what we have BORROWED!!!!
What household would responsibly do this: go out and buy a new car when the members of the household just lost their jobs? This is paramount to what Congress just did with this health care bill.

Whoever was advising/pushing Obama to proceed with this legislation was wrong. He should have listened to Rahm, instead of his far left wing progressives. This President made the wrong choice of who to dance with, in this case. Result: Be VERY wary of the very powerful Nancy Pelosi. I lay all the credit to this blow to our countries' future on her doorstep.

What's next? Watch for super inflation in the next few years, a continued loss of jobs, and perhaps even shortages of goods on our shelves, including food supplies. The ONLY sector that will be thriving will be the health care one. It will dominate the GDP. And look who is overseeing it all...yup, the Federal Govt. (who has done such a fine job with the VA, Medicare and Medicaid).

We can only hope that the court challenges will have some effect on this bill, reversing it and forcing Congress to back down. I'm not holding my breath on this, but we can hope.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Garden City was the Twilight Zone of Poodle Judging

I just spent an entire weekend in the Poodle Twilight Zone of judging!!! I've rarely seen such weird judging in my entire career as an exhibitor. Dogs went up as Winner's that should not have, and then given group wins. Just plain weird. The Specials got dumped everyday, but one. Class dogs/bitches went up over them...and then onto a Group I and II.

This does not speak well of the AKC judges training program, in my opinion. What on earth were these judges thinking??? Toddie Clark and Stephen Hubbell both fumbled the ball. I know she hates judging poodles, but what about him? Is he just too old???? I don't have the answers, but I won't show to either of them again. What a waste of money, time and lot's of effort.

Is it too much to ask for a little consistency from these judges??? Lee Reason was the only judge that was consistent. The other two were a joke. Not only did they judge poorly, but they selected their winner's that were completely against what they have done in the past.

NO to this Health Care Bill

I cannot BELIEVE what the Democratic leadership is trying to do to get this bill passed this week!!! Do they take the American people for being stupid, blind, and deaf???? This is a BAD bill. I'm all for health care reform, just not this one. I don't have any health insurance, so you'd think I would be first in line to sign up for this "mandatory" health care??? Nope. I don't want govt. to be telling me MORE about what I do or how my money is spent, then it already does. I don't mind reforming the insurance companies, cutting wasteful spending out of the health care business, or reforming how lawsuits are awarded in malpractice suits. I DO NOT like being told I HAVE to purchase insurance, no matter if they do subsidize me. It goes against my grain.

In addition, it is my understanding that we cannot afford this bill. It costs too much money, and does not even do what it needs to do for people NOW, but 3-10 yrs. down the line.

It is BIG GOVT. the Obama, Pelosi, Reid, way. Let this thing split the Dems. It's about time something shook that party up.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Uncle Gordon Passed Away Last Week

He will be missed, and was the last of his generation in our family. He and my Father were both great men, each in his own way. One an introvert and artist (Gordon), the other an extreme extrovert and attorney (my Dad).

I dearly loved both men.

Uncle Gordon's funeral was one of the most beautiful I've ever been to...a fitting tribute and memorial to a wonderful man.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is There A Future For Dog Shows?

Recently, I've discussed at length whether or not there will be dog shows ,as we know them now, in the future. There are many signs that there may not be. I'm referring directly to AKC events, not UKC. Since the AKC (American Kennel Club) appears to be in somewhat dire financial straits (can't quote figures here, only heresay), and the expenses to show dogs have increased rapidly over the past few years (gas prices and entry fees being the main component), plus the added pressures that nationwide anti-breeder laws have put upon those of us who consider our show breeding a hobby, all these circumstances have put a real damper upon the overall participation in the sport.

Not long ago, I felt that we could see dog shows disappear within the next 10-15 years...and now some are telling me it could come even sooner than that. What it will come down to, ultimately, is whether or not the clubs sponsoring the shows can afford to continue their events. With decreased entries per show/weekend, and the very high expenses incurred giving these shows (venues, judges costs, etc) and there not being enough money made to cover these expenses, some clubs are already saying "enough" and don't plan to continue to put on their show events in the coming years.

It won't die off in one fell swoop, but rather gradually...across the country, until there aren't enough shows to keep the sport going. I've heard it said that there are too many shows now, anyway. That might be the case. Perhaps, if the number of shows were to decrease, than they could survive longer. They'd attract larger entries, thus giving them the funds needed to pay for their clusters.

There is another area connected closely to dog shows that will also have to change...that of the professional handler. They make their living now going from show to show, weekend after weekend and are dependent upon the number of shows for their income. If the shows were to decrease in number, so would their income. It might become impossible for the majority of them to make a living handling. I actually, don't think this is a bad thing, in the long run, for the sport. Decades ago the sport belonged to the breeder/owner before the professional handler came into the picture. I feel it would be a good thing for it to return to the non-professional's sport for the sake of the dogs themselves. (strange coming from someone who handles for others). I know many professional handlers that take extremely good care of their clients dogs, so this isn't a rant against the welfare of the show dog! No, I'm referring more to the advantage of the breeder/owner who goes to the shows and takes full advantage of seeing what dogs are being shown, what are good dogs and what aren't, and the wonderful sitting around after the show just talking "dogs". If they don't go, and let their handler do it all, they miss out on all of that great education and mentoring. (note to self: write another essay on "what makes a good breeder")

I've mentioned to some of my handler friends they might be thinking about a "plan B" just in case the world of dog shows starts to fall apart.

There is a way to save the sport/hobby: reduce the number of dogs it takes to get a "major" (or do away with the requirement for majors altogether); do away with the "professional handler" in the ring, thus bringing more of the real hobbyist back into the fold; crack down on the politics involved and cut out the need for huge sums of money spent to "special" a dog; take shows back outside to parks and inexpensive venues, thus lowering the entry fees for each show; encourage more "duel" championships (obedience and agility, hunting, tracking etc).

Will any of this be changed? I doubt it. Instead, AKC will hope to hang on, weather the storms, and come out on the other side a survivor. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gaia- Customs Glendale's Princess Gaia Star Dancer

Gaia is one of the newest show girls I'm showing this Winter/Spring 2010. She is bred by Darlene Crosby and Martha Talley, and owned by Paula Stroud-Kenney of Canyon, Tx. Her first weekend out with me, she won Winner's Bitch and Best of Winner's under judge Tim Robbins at the Hobbs, NM show.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Group 4 Win in Hobbs, NM for GiGi

This is GiGi winning a Group 4 in Hobbs, NM, Feb. 2010 under judge Sandy Wheat!

She is currently ranked #9 Toy Poodle in the US. This year will be a good year for her! I will be taking her to the National Poodle Specialty in Maryland during April.

She is owned and bred by Darlene Crosby, of South Carolina.