July 2009 Issue
On our cover
Australian Grand Champion Mountainmist Mandingo HT
No # 1 Breed and National Point Score Leader (DOL Pointscore-at time of press)
Jack has Multi Best in Show Specialty wins to his credit.
He finished his Grand Championship in style with RUBISat Fraser Coast Kennel AP&H Society 22/5/09.
Owned by Glenn & Suzanne Cunningham Comeby Kennels Longwarry North, Melbourne
Australian Kelpies�Australian Shepherds firstname.lastname@example.org www.comebykennels.com
Image? What is it exactly? One of the definitions in the dictionary on my computer says - the general impression that a person, organisation, or product presents to the public.
That set me thinking, just what image do we � the dog people � present to the public? Probably one of being elitist, somewhat eccentric and not very friendly, but basically harmless. Then we have an orchestrated attack like the one that occurred against The Kennel Club in the UK, and it is only a small jump for us to be portrayed as uncaring, and neglectful of our dogs' welfare focusing only on what our dogs can do for us � especially in the show ring.
We were very concerned at the material in another Australian canine publication recently which yet again speculated on the question of drugs in our hobby/sport, and where accusations were made by well known and respected dog folk against other exhibitors, which although unnamed were "seen" to be giving their dogs illegal substances. One of those interviewed "saw" someone giving their dog what looked like iced coffee! How does that person know it was NOT iced coffee? Many dogs eat icecreams and paddle pops, and drink tea, coffee, hot/iced chocolate etc. Another person was "seen" to administer a small white tablet to their dog. Maybe it was for an upset tummy, or maybe it was a dose of antibiotic needed for some perfectly legal purpose, or maybe it was even a widely used flea control product which is extremely effective at removing fleas in twenty minutes � and let's face it some of our showgrounds are crawling with fleas at this time of the year.
There was no proof whatsoever in this sensationalised article of any wrongdoing by anybody. "Drug" testing took place at Sydney Royal for several years, and to our knowledge has subsequently not been used for the last several years, as NO dog was ever found to have an illegal substance in its urine. The whole thing revolved around scare mongering and intimidating tactics which resulted in a farce, and incidentally a very interesting "selective" process of which (whose?) dogs got tested.
So we got through that and it all died down. Now it is being discussed again in this other publication, a screaming headline, gossip, innuendo, and no proof.
What concerns us is that this kind of ruckus is SO bad for our IMAGE. The public is exposed to this as front page news in one of the dog world's own publications. This is not being stated by some mad lunatic bunch of animal rightists or greenies. It is being said by people seen as leaders of our community, and surely this is shooting ourselves in the foot? How can we expect the public to believe that most dog breeders are caring, responsible, honest and trustworthy, when they are led to believe there are whistle blowers out there with a real agenda.
We all know mud sticks. What is the point in doing all we can to present the right IMAGE to the public, responsible dog ownership, commitment to breeding healthy dogs, adherence to a Code of Ethics and so on, when our own members state they have "seen" this malpractice going on right in front of everybody at a dog show and nothing has been done about stopping it.
We all know good news does not sell newspapers and that misrepresentation and sensationalism DO sell newspapers, but surely people must be asked to behave responsibly and be accountable for any actions that might � without any justification - tarnish our ima ge with the public.
On this note, it is wonderful to see that in North Queensland a bunch of people have got together and presented a wonderful IMAGE of purebred dogs to the general public. An event called Dogs are a Lifestyle has become part of the calendar there and is growing in strength with each passing year. Tui Dixon wrote to us ... "Mothers Day Weekend 2009, saw the arrival of not "the wedding party" (as this venue is the most sought-after for such events) but that of the most extensive Dog Show ever held in the North. The Townsville Botanic Queens Gardens came to life with more than 400 dogs each day. their devoted owners and several thousand spectators. The media of all forms followed up their earlier features on the show with radio personalities interviewing the judges, the ABC following one of our very special judges around for part of each day to prepare a website featuring Dog Shows. Every local newspaper and TV Chanel was represented and the promotion of dogs, of all types this time, not just Toys, was off to a fantastic start". Tui's article is on page 24. Tui wrote ..."Let it be said that the accolades have continued and the public response has enticed a promoter to request that we DO IT AGAIN at the Entertainment Centre as the main attraction on the weekend of October 24/25 at the Townsville Garden Show..." and ... "The public simply needs training as to what a dog can do and what we have available. Pity more exhibitors don't think this way instead of putting such great value on bits of paper for dogs, BOBa etc..." From our GSD correspondent re The outcome of the City of Casey versus Southern Cross K9 Inc, see details, but in essence ... "Sadly, the decision has had an effect on the dog sport club in Victoria Eagle Heights which was preparing for the Schutzhund National later this month in Sydney. They can only train for obedience/tracking and not the character test which means that their younger dogs can no longer participate in the SchH National. It is a sad day for dogsport GSDs in Victoria and the small group of GSDCV members who were amongst those prompting the City of Casey should hang their heads in shame. The fine imposed on anyone doing sleeve work is $64000".
From Kate Hal, Samoyed correspondent ... "The SCV is currently busy with a number of projects; one of which is the production of a limited edition plate, with the hope of making a series if the project is successful. The plates are eight inch bone china, with charming art work of puppies by Lynne Dutton. Anyone interested in purchasing a plate will need to pre order with the SCV, as these will be a strictly limited edition. Everyone who has purchased the first plate will automatically be offered successive plates in the series.
The plates are a fundraiser for the SCV, so please express your interest now to avoid later disappointment".
From NSW correspondent Heather Budd..."The enthusiasm and delight our junior members experience when taking out Group & Show wins should be a reminder to us all of why we show out dogs � the enjoyment of a wonderful hobby that we share with the many, many friends and colleagues we meet on a regular basis whilst showing."
From WA correspondent Kerrie Mansell ... "As our hobby suffers severe threat from reduced numbers at shows, not due to anything more than society's changing lifestyle, it really is time that members shed the "them" and "us" attitude towards those who try to keep this sport afloat and look at ways to make things better for everyone.Looking after those great facilities we have, would be a fantastic start ..."
From Ken Campbell, Victorian correspondent ... "The Hamiltons are very excited because they recently received an invitation for their Afghan Hound bitch, GrCh Kjavu A Bit Of It to compete in the Top 20 Competition held at the Afghan Hound Club of America National Specialty in Lancaster PA on 14 September 2009. This is a competition for the top 20 Afghan Hounds in the World, and "Itty" qualified from being Australia's #1 Afghan in 2008". Our sincere congratulations from all at National Dog to Helen, Colin and Brett for this wonderful accolade.
So how about it, folks? Let's ALL try to keep any tarnish off our IMAGE and any adverse publicity AWAY from our hobby/sport.
Wendye Slatyer - Editor
- Generally Speaking
- ANKC Allowable Colours
- Melbourne Royal
- Adelaide Royal updates
- Collie National Pictorial
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- More profiles from last month�s Breed Feature
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- Austrlian Air Express Changes To Lodgement Hours
- Transformation from a Street Vagabond to an Assistance Dog-Pat Styles
- Over-Vaccination - Are Vets Making Our Pets Sick? Elizabeth Hart
- Veterinary Produt Labels - Elvira Currie BVS BAgricSc MAppSci
- The True Blue Aussie Show - Tui Dixon
- Research Into Hereditary Deafness in the ACD
- New Breakthrough Arthritis Treatment For Dogs Now Available Nationally
- Gai Lewis judges the us West Coast Corgi Fanciers 50th Anniversary
- New Mystery Arises In Cases Of Fanconi-like Syndrome
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- Letters/Seven Showdogs Die
- Sad News, GSD Man Shot Dead
- Ice and Very Cold Water.In The Field - Kevin Walshaw
- Breed Club Specialties at AKC
- Eukanuba National Championship Mark akc Milestone
- The British Scene - Geoff Corish
- Right On Track With Dynamic Downs - Honey Gross-Richardson
- The African Wartdog Updated - Rick Richardson