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01|27|09 What's The Truth Behind The Naked Truth Calendar? That's what some people in California are chattering about. The people here thought it was a cool idea and said we owe the judges and handlers a big thank you and lots of support for taking it all off to fight HSUS and PETA.


Okay, so my friend, a California Quail, said he'd flit over to the next dog show and do some eavesdropping. Being the state bird and all, his flock gets around a lot this time of year I should know more next week. Maybe I'll light on your shoulder then.


01|26|09 More Breed Club Trouble. You would think that people would be as smart as birds but I guess they just haven't been civilized that long. We birds have a pecking order which is what allows us to flock and fly thousands of miles together without discord. I don't do that of course, but I do get around a lot.


Discord? Humans invented the word. Get more than two of them together and there's going to be a dispute whether it is about how to manage the kids, the budget, or in this case, a dog club. So what I've learned is that people who love dogs love to squabble more, especially if they belong to Dog Clubs. Humans are just as social as pack animals that come together for hunting or herd animals that hang together for protection, but instead of uniting for strength, they divide to gain power.


So it is weird about dog clubs. Humans get together to work for the dogs but pretty soon, the dogs become less important than butting heads with a rival who wants to lead. If it were not sad, it would be funny because if you think us birds can put on some colorful displays, you should see humans preen and strut and show off their wing span.


A long long time ago, people who loved Pekingese dogs formed a club. That was before today's members were even hatched. Then the people forgot why they got together in the first place and so they split into smaller groups, each of them sure they were the best. AKC, the biggest club of all, tried to straighten it all out. From my lofty perspective, AKC should have known better because after a hundred years of internal power struggles, it is almost as disjointed as the clubs it wants to help.


Now we have the same thing starting in another club but this one hardly has its wings dry. Unable to get off the ground after a serious of roosters failed to control the hens, this one is also in trouble, even getting a reprimand from the AKC! So far the membership is in the dark, officially that is. But a dissenting group sent out a petition alleging some pretty serious charges and calling for the resignation of the board. So now the members are all a-flutter and taking sides but no one seems to know which side is right.


Not news is it? I only mention it because if this club can sort it out and get back on the right path, it could be a model for other clubs. If it can't, it will go down as just another club that failed the dogs.


01|22|09 Balls for Delegates? Here's the scene: Delegate Meeting. A certain outspoken Delegate got an AKC gift pack for "toy dogs" in a grab bag. The thoughtful gift included four "tennis balls" which she asserts “if I threw them to my dogs and happened to hit them on the head, they would surely be knocked out. I have NEVER seen harder balls in my life.


She says "the treats were fine but came from China. Of course the squeaky toys in the gift pack were also far too large for toy breeds." Laughing, she muses “Maybe they made a mistake with this particular lot, but I think I'll save the balls for the next Delegate meeting and toss them at somebody 'up in front of the room' just to see if they agree with me (after they regain consciousness) about the actual hardness of my newly acquired AKC balls.


Well, I’m only a little bird but it sounds like a better idea than tossing shoes at the President.


12|10|08 California is buzzing about the Judge being stopped in the middle of judging and about a well known handler's neglect of a top show dog.


When you hear the unbelievable rumor of complaints being filed against a judge, apparently serious enough to cause the AKC Rep to remove him from the ring, well, a Little Bird says it is true!  The judge was also scheduled to do a Group that day but was unable to adjudicate so another judge had to fill in for him.


Although ears were twitching as the Rep spoke with the judge, no one knows exactly why he was stopped in the middle of his assignment. There are always judging complaints but this is probably the first time exhibitors have witnessed an AKC Rep take such public action.


Then there was the "scandalous" rumor about the Mini-Bull that was with a well known handler but, well that's where the story gets weird... (pecking at the dots hurts my beak!)


He was doing a great job with her even though she was just a youngster. In fact, she was so outstanding and so well presented that she was winning Breeds over Specials and placing high in Groups, and I was told she quickly became ranked in the top 5.


Then the handler quit going or quit showing, no one is sure. I heard there was a stressful delay getting the dog back and that the owner picked her dog up at the airport and took her straight to the vet! The little bitch was thin and ragged and blood work revealed she had an infection. People say she had scabs on her body and acts hand shy.


Now I may be only a bird but I know a little about dogs and no terrier should be shy, especially one that was chomping at the bit, erh, lunging on the lead, loving everyone as Mini-Bulls do. I hear the owner is working to get her back to being her old (puppy) self and in condition.


The judge who was maligned in print is still going back and forth with AKC, or so I'm told. The question now is less about "did she or didn't she say it" than it is about the way AKC seems to have it in for judges. This lady is a popular multi-Group judge whom I'm told is highly regarded by the fancy, in an out of the ring. Well, if someone sings my song, I'll whisper details in your ear next time.


What's that you say? Oh yes, about what people were saying about AKC and Petland. Well there are those who say "live and let live" but some pro handlers are saying that showing a quality purebred dog IS their living. Everyone seems to have an opinion about AKC and puppy mills but I just spotted a wiggly little tidbit, no, you wouldn't want me to share THAT, so I'll light on your shoulder later.


11|25|08 so Little Bird Reports..... Peggy Mickelson, Handler's Staff, Another Judge "Investigated", and the old AKC and Hunte Corp. alliance now connected to Petland?

Lots of people are buzzing about the “suspended judge” and especially after seeing Peggy Mickelson judging at the Philly dog show. Even those who weren’t at the show saw her on the TV coverage. “How can Ms. Mickelson be judging if she’s suspended?” Good question. The answer is obvious, even to a bird brain. She is not suspended. Her “case” has been moved from one AKC department to another but she has never been told what she’s charged with nor has she been notified of suspension. Perhaps the AKC Board isn’t sure what to charge her with because what she said may have offended AKC but it was her opinion based on facts which can’t be undone or changed.


Peggy Mickelson was however published in the AKC Gazette along with the penalty which most people, including Breed and Kennel Club officers interpreted as meaning she was suspended. Dog News reported “The person was suspended for one year and fined $500.” But then all reference was removed from the AKC website, causing even more speculation. One inside source is quoted as saying “it’s been postponed” and another feels “it is all going away.” So for all the readers who have written or called, your confusion is understandable.


Flitting around the internet, I discovered that some chat list turkey dared to state that Peggy Mickelson was suspended. He even lifted a photo of Peggy from www.TheDogPlace.org website (she was nominated for Judging Legend) to emphasize his point. The photo was taken without permission which makes him a thief with no defense. Stealing content, photos, or graphics from a website is no different than breaking into your home and stealing your valuable paintings or jewelry. It is a crime for which there is punishment. You will hear more about that as the case develops and if you are on a Fox Terrier related list, the worm may be gone by sunrise. When a judge or member of the sport does something that affects the fancy, it should be reported but only by adhering to professional journalistic standards. Like TheDogPress.


Now there is one other bit of news this Little Bird is chirping about. What high profile west coast handler had his staff walk out on him at a California show? I heard it was over not getting paid on time but the pro handler is very successful and well respected so that may fall under the sour grapes category. True or not, it has the fancy buzzing as the “walk out” was not a secret between employer and staff.


Then there’s the matter of the long-time judge who was proposed as a Delegate but who is being investigated by AKC for something written in an online publication. And relating to that investigation, information from private AKC communication was quoted in another publication which raises the question of whether the “leaks” emanated from AKC or the judge in question? Even a turkey would say that the context in which the quotes were given could damage the judge so what was the intent? Was it to prevent the judge from being seated as a Delegate? Surely the judge would not appreciate the situation being presented as it was in Dog News along with the question “How can such a person be expected to properly represent his or her club in matters AKC?” Dog News goes on to state “she should not be seated as a Delegate” if she wrote what was printed. Since they have no actual knowledge of the facts, that’s damaging speculation of the worst sort. Or maybe they know more than TheDogPress?


What? Oh okay. I just heard some whispering so I’m off to do a flyby on what’s being said, reported, and written about. Only yesterday I heard people talking about AKC and Petland. A respected dog person said “Petland is contracted with the Hunte Corp. The AKC will work with anyone who produces puppies. They were a Platinum Sponsor of the Hunte Corporation last year.” I’m not sure what a Platinum Sponsor is or exactly what was meant but I am sure someone will explain it to me.




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