dog shows

National Purebred Dog Day: What Did it Mean?

May 7, 2014
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A funny thing happened last week. A holiday that didn’t exist a year ago was celebrated by dog owners across the world from Mongolia to New York and points in between.  National Purebred Dog Day was conceived in the corner of a coffee shop, initially out of surprise at the discovery that no day had […]

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Mike Rowe, Walmart, and Us

March 13, 2014
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Early in February, television personality, Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) did something a little gutsy. He provided the voiceover for a television commercial that announced Wal-Mart’s commitment to purchase $250 billion of American-made goods for their stores. After the “I Am a Factory” commercial aired during the Olympics, people started talking about it, and much of […]

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It’s a Mixed Up (Mixed Breed) World

January 31, 2014
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This piece was unsatisfying to write, and may well be unsatisfying to read, as well, because it poses questions for which I have no answers. Sorry about that. Everyone probably has an opinion on the subject, however, and I blame Google Alerts for having reminded me of it. “Google Alerts” is a content detection service […]

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We Are a Tribe

January 21, 2014
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The town in which I live had never before seen such unity among strangers and neighbors alike. In the face of utter tragedy, we hugged and comforted each other, the thought bubble over our heads the same. We are Columbine. Throughout the state, school assemblies, prayer vigils and pep rallies ended the same way: A […]

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I Found a Mentor. Now What?

November 5, 2013
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Last week in Where Are All the Teachers?, I suggested that to find a mentor in the dog fancy, one needs to be where potential mentors are: Attending seminars, stewarding or helping out at dog shows, behind the scenes at a National Specialty, etc. Perhaps you’ve already found a mentor who has agreed to take you […]

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I See Dead People (Where Others see Dogs)

October 22, 2013
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As the story goes, the air raid had come upon them suddenly. My mother, then pregnant with my brother, barely had enough time to duck into a shelter. Only after it had been quiet a long time did the occupants brave coming out to see what was left of their small town.  A horse had […]

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Keeping Up Appearances

September 25, 2013
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I’d been in the sport for only a few years, but it wasn’t lost on me that some of my competitors appeared to be on really friendly terms with judges to whom I’d been showing my dog. Sometimes I would see them stop to shake hands or hug each other as they crossed paths at […]

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Are There Dog Show Bullies?

May 22, 2013
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I had been bullied much of my junior year in high school and reached “critical mass” the day my tormenter threw a fork at me during lunch and narrowly missed my eye. It was the final straw of a difficult year and I’d had enough. I hoisted a leg over the picnic-table bench and stood up, […]

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How to Combat Ring Nerves

May 17, 2013
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As a prelude to a more serious piece about ring nerves coming soon, here’s a lighthearted approach to the subject: The Top Ten Ways to Combat Ring Nerves: 1) As you enter the ring, slip your hand into the judge’s hand and mutter, “I’m scared.” Any judge worth his or her salt will offer you […]

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