Saturday, September 27, 2008


You don’t often get hurricanes on the North Shore of Long Island, but such was the luck of the Brookhaven Kennel Club, who held their show yesterday in Oyster Bay, NY. New Yorkers seldom visit Long Island after Labor Day and even dog enthusiasts opted to head upstate for the Finger Lakes cluster in lieu of visiting the shore in the off season. Only 554 dogs were entered and only 311 showed up to compete. Our number nine dog, the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition, garnered the BIS, getting the equivalent points of the group winners at the Finger Lake event. The only solace Long Islanders can take is this hurricane, Kyle, has the most WASPy name of the season. It would have been an embarrassment indeed had they been rained out by a storm named Ike.

Hurricane Kyle's Path

Further south, and further inland, in Millwood, VA, the Warrenton Kennel Club hosted 677 dogs for their Friday affair and it was our number three dog, the Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice, who took the top prize. Will it be enough to keep Charmin in the top five come October 1? I’m betting not. We’ll know more come Monday morning.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Well, even our show dogs like a little fall foliage. Five of our top ten dogs are in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, in the lovely little burg of Romulus, NY. Romulus is 250 miles northwest of Manhattan, in between Syracuse and Rochester. Forty years ago, I went to school at the University of Rochester expecting to find the entire state of New York to be concrete canyons. Three things stick in my mind about that area. It is incredibly cold in the winter, there are more rednecks in upstate New York than there are in the South, and when the snow melts, the landscape is amazingly beautiful.

Keuka Lake, one of the Finger Lakes

Kanadasaga Kennel Club hosted yesterday’s event, which was remarkable for two things. The entry was very large, 1638 dogs, on a Thursday yet, and there were no surprises. The routine began in the Toy Group with the number five dog, the Brussels Griffon, CH Cilleine Masquerade taking GP one and the number six dog, the Affenpinscher, CH Tamarin Tug going GP two. Joining Lincoln in the BIS ring were the number ten dog, the Scottish Deerhound, CH Jaraluv Ouija; the number two dog, the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry; and the number one dog, the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit. And it was the Giant Schnauzer, Spirit, who got the nod from judge Dr. Donald A. Gill.

This series has the potential to really shake up the top ten rankings. While the top two dogs have a firm grasp on their respective positions, look for the current number three dog, the Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice, to fall to number six. Also look for the deerhound, Ouija, to move up two spots to number eight. Gone are the days when you can work a regular job and just attend shows on Saturday and Sunday. Being a top ten dog is getting to be a full time job.

What a great weekend in store for those living in upstate New York. They have a chance to see the fall foliage, visit the Finger Lakes wineries, and see some of the countries finest purebred dogs.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Two People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) related stories crossed the news wire this week. The first was relegated to the section of the news that is reserved for humorously bizarre items. PETA has sent a letter to the manufacturers of everyone’s favorite ice cream, Ben and Jerry, suggesting that they should replace the cow’s milk in their ice cream with human breast milk. PETA rationalized that cows’ milk should be reserved for baby cows. They were, however, silent on the effect on human babies. As much as I would love to know under what name the purveyors of Chunky Monkey would market such a frosty departure from tradition, I’m afraid the Freudian implications could damage an entire generation.

The second story was the announcement that funny man Fred Willard will emcee the First Annual Worldwide Fido Awards, airing in primetime, October 5 on Nick at Nite. Willard is one of the Hollywood denizens that have come under PETA’s influence. In fact, he co hosted PETA’s 25th Anniversary Gala. It is affront to parents and dog owners everywhere that Nickelodeon has chose a PETA sympathizer to host a program dedicated to our pets. It’s like asking Pamela Anderson (Willard‘s cohost of PETA‘s 25th) to do an infomercial on chastity. I have already sent an e-mail to VIACOM protesting Willard’s choice. I encourage all of you to do the same.

Pamela Anderson and Fred Willard
at PETA's 25th Anniversary Gala

I am old enough to know that you can outlive almost anything. There is a certain economy in this approach. You can conserve your disdain for those who really deserve it. Among those I hold in such low esteem are the following members/supporters of PETA listed below. Some of them are just wannabes and has beens, but some are genuinely influential and talented people. I would like to think that they are just misguided. Hopefully their friends and publicists will persuade them to end their association with this truly evil organization.

One of their number deserves special attention. That is the eternally smug Bill Maher. Maher has used his HBO soap box to demean mainstream politics, religion, marriage, traditional medicine, meat eaters, and sobriety. While he makes a living off a society that embraces tolerance and freedom of expression, he advances a doctrine of intolerance and conformation to his own rigid sense of political correctness. Maher proudly serves on the board of PETA.

Bill Maher and Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA

If you only know PETA as a somewhat non-traditional animal rights organization, do a little educational reading. I’m not even going to recommend you visit their detractors' sites. I want you to get it straight from the horse’s….mouth. Visit the PETA web site and read it in their own words. Then take a shower and come back here and be thankful for the people who protect our right to keep pets.

Two things you won’t read on their site are these tidbits:

When Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh decided to refrain from eating meat during his last meal before his execution for the murder of 168 people, including children, PETA’s Bruce Friedrich told reporters: “Mr. McVeigh’s decision to go vegetarian groups him with some of the world’s greatest visionaries, including Albert Schweitzer, Mohandas Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy and Albert Einstein.”

In a Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Online Animal Report, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reported that in 2006, they took in 3,043 animals that were surrendered by their owners. Of these 3,043 animals (1,960 cats, 1,030 dogs, 52 other companion animals, and 1 chicken), the organization reported that 2,981 animals were euthanized. The report filed by PETA shows that only 2 cats, 8 dogs, and 2 companion animals from the 3,043 animals were adopted out. This means 1,942 cats, 988 dogs, 50 other companion animals, and one chicken were euthanized which made PETA’s euthanization rate 97%.


Casey Affleck, Gillian Anderson, Pamela Anderson, Christina Applegate, Rosanna Arquette, Bea Arthur, Sean Astin, Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, David Boreanaz, Simon Cowell, James Cromwell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Taylor Dayne, Rebecca De Mornay, Andy Dick, Edie Falco, Corey Feldman, Carrie Fisher, Sara Gilbert, Ryan Gosling, Woody Harrelson, Paul Harvey Jr., Joan Jett, Shirley Jones, Swoozie Kurtz, David La Chapelle, Ali MacGraw, Bill Maher, Paul McCartney, Rue McClanahan, John McEnroe, Sarah McLachlan, Alyssa Milano, Hayley Mills, Heather Mills, Moby, Esai Morales, Kathy Najimy, Martina Navratilova, Olivia Newton-John, Todd Oldham, Sharon Osbourne, Sara Jessica Parker, Dolly Parton, Joaquin Phoenix, Pink, Victoria Principal, Paul Reubens, Denise Richards, Alan Rickman, Melissa Rivers, Dennis Rodman, Rev. Al Sharpton, William Shatner, Ally Sheedy, Alicia Silverstone, Russell Simmons, Oliver Stone, Charlize Theron, Fred Willard


Among the good news stories this week (and believe me, I have to look for a good news story) is the report of a lost show dog that has found his way home. CH Brigadoon It's All About You, a Bearded Collie, had bolted his home in Stamford, CT, on September 17. Bailey, the 2007 Westminster breed winner, was bred by Penny Hannigan and owned by Michele and Scott Piskin of Stamford, CT. Happily, he was found in nearby woods two days later and was returned home. The Piskins had equipped their property with an “invisible fence”, but had removed Bailey’s collar while indoors. When Bailey was startled by the sounds of power tools during a home renovation, he made a run for quieter spaces.

CH Brigadoon It's All About You

I am not a fan of the so called invisible fence. My brother, who owns miniature dachshunds, equipped his yard with such an underground stun gun. At one family barbeque, my brother-in-law, encouraged by an alcohol induced curiosity, decided to test the effectiveness of the fence. He removed the collar from one of the dogs and approached the fence. A moment later he laid on the ground, the collar in one hand, an empty beer can in the other, and an amazed look on his face. My brother had a conventional fence installed the next week, under threat of neutering from my wife and daughter. Albeit a bit of Monday morning quarterbacking, this old dog recommends that dogs be locked up when there are workmen are in the house.

CH Bohem C'est La Vie

Nonetheless, we are happy for Bailey and his family. Way too many dogs go missing each year. Our readers may recall the 2006 Westminster entry, the Whippet, CH Bohem C'est La Vie, who escaped her crate at JFK airport enroute home to California. “Vivi” was never found. It is somewhat comforting to remember that these incidents are rare. Most dogs make it to and from shows without any problem. Yet, we all can identify with the heratbreak of those who have lost their pets. Keep a watchful eyes on your dogs!

Monday, September 22, 2008


We awoke this morning to a stack of show results that resemble the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, everything scattered all over the place. Our top ten dogs played a game of whack-a-gopher, getting beat down in one location only to pop up in another location. We started the weekend on Wednesday in Montana with five of the top ten visiting the Grand Tetons. (See our previous posts for Wednesday’s and Thursday’s results) However, only two would remain through Sunday and for our number seven dog, the Scottish Terrier, CH Roundtown Mercedes Of Maryscot, it was a smart move. Sadie took BIS both Saturday and Sunday in Helena, while the number ten dog, the Scottish Deerhound, went GP one and four.

The number four dog, the Standard Poodle, CH Randenn Tristar Affirmation, returned home to Washington State for Saturday and Sunday shows in Shelton, hosted by the Gig Harbor KC. Unfortunately, the number one dog, the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit, followed Yes home and took both Bests, leaving the Poodle with two Group one prizes. The number six dog, the Affenpinshcer, CH Tamarin Tug, went the opposite direction, showing up in Atlanta where there were twice as many points to be had. But, alas, there were also twice as many top dogs in pursuit of those points.

The Atlanta weekend began on Thursday with limited breed and specialty shows. The biggest of these was the Greater Atlanta Toy Dog Association with 371 dogs competing. Taser was short circuited by the number five dog, the Brussels Griffon, CH Cilleine Masquerade, who took Group one, leaving Taser with the second place spot. On Friday they would go head to head again at the Douglasville KC all breed show with Taser advancing to the final to face the big boys. It was the number nine dog, the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition, who went Best In Show while Taser and number two dog, the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, stood by.

Saturday Taser was shut out, failing to get a group placement, while Lincoln joined the Harrier, Coda, and the Pointer, Holly, in the final seven. Saturday would be the Pointer’s day as she added one more BIS to her tally of most Bests in 2008. Sunday everyone would try one more time, and it was a toy dog’s turn to go Best In Show with Lincoln getting the big rosette, while Coda and Holly watched. Taser would take his Group two ribbon home to Arizona to recharge his batteries for next weekend.

So where were our remaining two top ten dogs? Number three, the Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice, was taking it easy in Indiana, taking a BIS on Saturday and a Group one Sunday at the Columbus KC two shows. Our number eight dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, attempted three shows in the Saint Louis suburbs, taking a BIS on Friday at the Saint Louis Dog Association show, followed by a Group two at the Jefferson County KC show on Sunday. We are not sure where Carly was on Saturday, but it wasn’t in the ribbons.