GCH CH McVan's to Russia with Love, 2015 Crufts BIS winner,
with handler, Rebecca Cross
Ever since Henry the VIII beheaded his Lord Chancellor, our 14th great grandfather, Sir Thomas More, our family has longed for reconciliation with the British. We are unabashed anglophiles. We love Tudor houses, Georgian furniture, Harris Tweed, and English Breakfast tea.
We are not, however, fans of the British animal rights crazies. They are ruining the dog game in Great Britain. First it was the ban on cropped ears and docked tails. (Did you see the Doberman at Crufts this year?) Then it was the High Profile Breeds, 15 mostly flat faced breeds selected for persecution by the risk adverse Kennel Club. Now we have what we shall call “Tail-Gate”, a social media lynching of the handler of the 2015 Crufts Best In Show winner.
Rebecca Cross piloted the Scottish Terrier, GCH CH McVan’s To Russia with Love, to the top prize at the world's largest dog show on Sunday in Birmingham, England. After suffering through four days of watching mostly poorly groomed handlers badly handling mostly poorly groomed dogs, we were delighted to see the perfectly presented duo of Rebecca and the Scottie, Knopa, in the final ring. We have had the good fortune to follow the career of Knopa here in the US and have always been impressed with Rebecca’s presentation. She manages to groom Knopa to perfection and put her through paces flawlessly, while keeping Knopa in the happiest of moods, no small task with a Scottie.
Rebecca drew the ire of an army of social media trolls (please see our right hand side bar -->) when she lifted Knopa from the table with one hand under Knopa’s chin and the other grasping Knopa’s tail, a move used by many, if not a majority, of Toy and small Terrier exhibitors in the US. Now we are not going to waste our column space explaining why earth dogs require sturdy tails, except to state that the majority of Rebecca’s critics are not knowledgeable Terrier people. We want to focus on the supposedly knowledgeable dog people who are being intimidated by the horde of trolls howling for Rebecca’s head.
For some time now we have been dismayed by institutions that grant concessions to anonymous, faceless, credential-less, without status, internet thugs. Britain’s Kennel Club (we love that they think they are the only Kennel Club) spinelessly addressed the howling mob thusly, "We want to address the posts we have had regarding the handling of last night’s Scottish Terrier, Knopa. It was made clear to the handler at the show that it is not acceptable to pick a dog up in this way, and despite repeated requests not to do so, she went ahead. The handler is from the US where it is customary to pick up terriers in this way, but it has no place at Crufts and this is put in writing to all handlers before the show.”
First of all, there should be no such rule. The Kennel Club should give your dedicated, dog loving, fee paying, exhibitors the courtesy of the assumption that they are the best arbiters of the welfare of their dogs. Secondly, we ask the Kennel Club show a little consideration for a young woman, who has worked exceedingly hard and sacrificed much to promote the sport of purebred dogs. You should be standing by her, your 2015 BIS winner, defending her and our sport to these surrogates for the animal rights terrorists that want to destroy our way of life.
We are lucky enough to know Rebecca personally and know how close she and Knopa are. Knopa’s breeder and owner were fortunate to have such a dedicated person taking care of Knopa these past two years. We in the show going public are grateful for the opportunity to have seen them perform. We are appalled that what should be a career high moment of joy is now clouded by this phony controversy.
Here in the US we abhor bullies and are only now enacting laws to deal with the cowardly internet trolls. You may be safe in the UK, but please don’t set foot in a show hall here on this side of the Atlantic. We know how to stand up for our dog lovers. By the way here in the US we tailgate at football games, not dog shows.