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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM DOG SHOW JUDGES, BREEDERS, EXHIBITORS & HANDLERSLetters To The Editor 

DoodleDog's eyes are squinty and his nose is permanently bent out of shape so keep your letter succinct or like all Bullies, he will edit, eat, or bury it!   A Letter to the Editor is automatic permission to publish unless the writer specifically states otherwise. 
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Judges Competence: Why do the respondents continue to equate the ability to navigate the ring with ineptitude or aging dementia?  Exhibitors are permitted to show with a mobility device, why not a judge?  There are several judges currently judging that would do exhibitors a favor if they retired, some are elderly.  Perhaps we should determine the attitude toward judging, and the ability to effectively "cull" a show class to determine the quality of the dogs being presented AFTER a representative number of notifications to the AKC by exhibitors and/or Clubs. To discriminate against an individual because of the need for mobility device, would mean that we would have to bar physically challenged exhibitors ( want to see that try to fly in our society?).  I have been showing for 40-plus years, sometimes under physically challenged judges, but most of the worst judges are the instant marvels, handlers "given" judgeships for other than competency and experience reasons.  sig: Old Exhibitor, but not that old 
What are we afraid of?  I show whippets & French Bulldogs.  I also own a dog training business.  Many of my students who own a mixed breed dog would love to compete in AKC performance events. I have no problem with that!  They do not see their dogs as "just as valuable" as purebred dogs as BJ Andrews contends.  They don't think that way.  They love seeing their dog enjoy agility, rally-o and other performance events and they would enjoy competing.  The conformation ring is for comparing breeding stock.  Why can't performance events be for the pure enjoyment of owning a dog...any dog! Diane Laratta larattad@wcoil.com
More On "Should Judges Retire" Poll: These questions in your poll are both badly worded and in my opinion skewed to get the response you want.  If someone is not capable of performing their duties and is asked to step down, that is not discrimination. It can be compared to being fired for incompetence from a job. Why not ask a judge to step down because they are incompetent and a disserve to the profession of dog show judges? If this happens there have to be good guidelines in place. Remove the age part of the question and deal solely with competence both mentally and physically. Why do people equate age with incompetence?  Some judges are incompetent in their first breed and have no ring control without age or medical issues. People age at different rates. This has nothing to do with ability to judge dogs. I have seen 90 year old judges adjudicate with abilities of knowledge, respect, and in a timely fashion. I have seen incompetent and clueless 30 year old judges.
 
Why make AKC become doctors and specialists in many fields? Are the health problems temporary? Is it because the medications are not working or conflicting?  It is not fair to ask AKC to make these decisions. There are so many factors involved and AKC is not qualified to make those decisions. Take that onus away from AKC and put it squarely on the judges who wishes to maintain their career. We must fulfill requirements to be accepted as a judge. Why then would it be so difficult to have continuing certifications throughout our careers. We can do periodic recertification much as doctors are required to maintain their licenses. Why can't we judges provide a medical fitness to function certificate say every 5 years much as you would get for a driver's license? 
 
If there are several reports and/or complaints on a judge, an AKC panel to include the judge's peers should interview that judge. Do not put this duty on one person. Then after the interview, if necessary, put the judge on a probationary period much as they were as a provisional judge. If a once respected  judge can no longer function, then they should be asked to take emeritus status, mentor new judges, and still be part of the world they so love.
 Thank you, Pat Gilbert Gilberts' K-9 Seminars www.gilbertk9.com

Enjoyed The Interview: Bob Sharp (Dr.) is one of our favorite judges of all times, thanks for the story!  We're looking forward to showing under him once again in a few weeks at the Summerest. Lynn Brown Ebonystar Schipperkes www.angelsgaterescue.com

 Your letter could be here.  Keep it short, send to Editor@TheDogPress.com

LEG. Game Plan: I don't think the legislators want the public to know the difference between hobby breeders (reputable breeders) and puppy mills or other questionable sources. They want to force controls on everybody, then expand them and probably drive most reputable breeders out of the sport.  I think in order to educate the general public we must get support from not only newspapers, but also from the major local TV news programs. In addition, legislators must be bombarded with emails, letters and phone calls from fanciers, making them aware of the fact that we are voters, and also educating them of the things as responsible breeder does to insure a healthy, happy puppy and a happy owner. Jean Lazarus JeanLazarus@msn.com 

Disgusted With Media – re Chihuahua Club coverage, reader says “This is very poor reporting.  Gladstone specifically stated he was speaking for himself not the AKC.  Why don't you just report the news instead of trying to sensationalize it by distorting the story?  A long time dog breeder disgusted with much of the media  -- JASSamoyed@aol.com 

Careful Praise – Just wanted to say that I appreciate the candor with which you address AKC issues.  Most of my judge friends say that too but alas, they say it off the record.  We are in constant fear for our careers.  I am glad that you are doing headlines again and will look for the next edition.  The subject of competence is a touchy issue and my friends appreciate the way your Headlines people handled it. - Please don’t include my name.  We understand; verified you are in the Judges' Book.

No comment?  I don't want my comment associated with the Fair or the Unfair group.  I am ambivalent.  It goes both ways.  As an exhibitor I felt cheated when a judge did not want to or was unable to apply themselves to the job at hand.  As a judge, there are days when I am really tired at the end of the day or have been hit on so many times, I just want to get through group and be done with the day.  That does not mean I am incompetent. You can sign me as "Just Tired"

What Are Your Three Most Effective Herbs or Supplements? brought great response which we will share with you a few at a time.

 

Works For Cats: While I am not a real believer in supplements, just over a year ago, I discovered a senior vitamin supplement with glucosamine that actually works. My 17 year old cat was very weak and walking stiff after having been on thyroid medication for years. I started giving him KITTYVITE Senior Vitamin Supplement,  He would lick it off a spoon and soon began not just walking better, but leaping around the house feeling like a young cat.  My 9 year old female is slightly over-weight, has started walking a little slower, so I have started giving her the vitamin. It has only been about a week, but she seems a little quicker.  I purchased it at Petsmart.  Nel Liquorman nel@liquorman.net

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Herbs Saved Thousands: I spent quite a while trying to figure out which herbs I use the most... I use a lot of herbs and have saved thousands in Dr and Vet bills by using herbs.  Guess you could say I am a "student". So, anyway... here are three I would NEVER want to be without!
     1)  Slippery Elm- Powder- for diarrhea. Works just about every time. Soothes the intestines, and I have been using it for over 13 years now.
     2)  Nettle- blend of seeds, root and leaves. Supports & cleanses kidneys... has saved the life of a few rescues with kidney failure. Kept ME from going on Dialysis! Could have saved a lot of dogs who ate that awful tainted commercial food and died!
     3)  Milk Thistle- Promotes and cleanses a healthy liver. I take it myself, too. I was exposed to HEP C 32 years ago by a blood transfusion.

There are more that I use on a regular basis, but you only asked for 3.

Dawn Ruhl dawnofthedanes@mac.com

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More On Older Dogs & Joints: Triple strength Glucosamine Chondroitin Complex.   2 tablets per day = Glucosamine HCI 1.5g [1500mg] and Chondroitin Sulfate 1.2g [1200mg]. Used for older dogs with stiff or sore joints.  Cherie Starr cimarron@abq-nm.com

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Arthritis Pain My old Boxer's arthritis pain seems to be reduced by 125 mgm, boswellia capsules.  Audrey G Schnell paxinc@embarqmail.com

 

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