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.

Anti-Tax Man Controversy

I heard Glenn Beck on the radio yesterday passionately appealing to his listening audience NOT to side with the Austin resident who crashed his plane into the office building housing the IRS there. Apparently, there are more than quite a few people writing on their blogs how they sympathize with his cause and perhaps even his actions. This may be the correct response to such an act of violence, but it doesn't address the underlying anger in the country fueling such things.

Then, I heard another telling us we need to press our Congress to adopt the "Fair Tax", to stop all the hatred and nonsense with the IRS. Congress will NEVER do this. It would take away from the favorite political leverage by either major tax or not to tax.

Since my daughter, Ginny, works just 4 blocks from the IRS office building in Austin, this story hits close to home, for me. We cannot become a nation where we can't be safe from our own citizens who perform acts of terror. It's bad enough to worry about the extremist from the Muslim world, let alone those crazies in this country.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back to blogging- New Year, New Me, New Posts

I guess one needs a place to vent these days, so I decided to go back to my old blog site and start putting my thoughts down once again. This time, I want to have my say on more than just "poodles".

I'll touch on topics other than current events, tho...such as my personal stuff. Yes, I could use FB for this, but I really HATE putting up too much on that site.

First out of the gate today....a few comments on the professor that killed 3 of her colleagues over in Alabama. In the past week, several other incidences have been unearthed involving this woman, Amy Bishop, which are red flags as far as her personality issues go. Let's see, her brother is dead, supposedly by accident, by a gun she was handling; she attacked a woman in an IHOP over a booster seat shortage, was charged and given probation along with an order to attend anger management classes (no follow-up on whether she did or not), a suspect in a mail bomb attempt on a fellow colleague several years ago, and now the shooting of her 3 colleagues last week after learning she wasn't going to be given tenure at her job.
Looking at the police photo when she was booked, I see anger, defiance, and just a hint of a smirk on her face? This woman has been a ticking time bomb, waiting to go off again. I bet her brother's death was no accident. She has skated around the past charges better than most Gold Medal Olympic skaters, avoiding any real punishment for her actions. This time, it took the loss of another three needless deaths to put a stop to her obvious angry outbursts that exceed what is normal under any circumstances.

Now on to another topic: PETA at the Garden. It is scary that they made it to the center of the Best In Show ring without being stopped. PETA members are another segment of society that bear watching for potential violence. Probably most of them are not dangerous, but it is a group that can attract the occasional nutcase that could also turn violent in the name of their "cause". (think about the man on trial and was convicted of murder in Wichita, KS for killing the abortion doctor in his church, stating he did it to put a stop to the killing of innocent children).
While visiting the subject of the surprise there, that the Scottie won. I have no opinion either way on that selection. Scotties aren't my favorite breed, most of them being aggressive biters when I used to groom them.

Things I want to do: paint my bathroom, re-arrange my living room, re-organize my computer workspace, get a new vehicle, TV for the living room....

Guess that's all in my head for now. Next time I'll write about dog shows and their future...maybe.