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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM DOG SHOW JUDGES, BREEDERS, EXHIBITORS & HANDLERSLetters to the editor are one of our most-read features!  Open subject...

DoodleDog's nose is permanently bent out of shape so keep your letter succinct or he'll bury it!  He likes your letters signed but if he knows you, and if you toss him a bone, our editor says he can withhold your name.  The Dog Press readers are the most informed dog owners in America so

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Vet On Vaccine:  I am a veterinarian who has long been against the over use of vaccines, and have not used the Lepto vaccine for over 15 years.  I too live in an endemic area, with deer, fox, possum, coyotes and other wildlife that roam my yard on a daily basis, and have never had an issue.  A friend gave her deerhound the Ft. Dodge 4 way lepto and within hours the dog was in peril with an overwhelming immune mediated vaccine reaction that took his life a few days later.  The necropsy report revealed systemic eosinophilic reactions in all muscle tissues.  Devastating to the owners.

My own dog died of systemic lupus that began to show clinical symptoms within 24 hours of vaccines.  It was a combination of vaccines, with lepto and lyme vaccines included (I was fresh out of vet school in the early nineties, and that was before most really considered vaccines an issue).  Working in an ER, I have seen many many many dogs come in with vaccine reactions of various kinds, from anaphylactic, to basic allergic, to autoimmune that results in death.  But honestly, the worst is the overvaccination of the puppies from puppy mills that come in with NO immune capabilities left and they die or nearly die as a result of the infections and parasites.  Thank you for informing your readers!  Denise Mankin, DVM

Unsubscribe!!!  I do not wish to receive your information as long as BJ Andrews is writing “Inquirer” type articles for your publication. She is not honest, nor does she represent the average dog owner. She writes sensationalism … pure and simple! That’s not what I’m interested in.  Dorothy Kendall

Editor’s Note: Ms. Kendall has been a subscriber since 2002. She is a board member of the Toy Fox Terrier Club whose  President Roger Pritchard and the AKC president were sued by a judge and former board member for $1.8 million. We thank Ms. Kendall for bringing this story to the forefront again as a prime example of what's wrong with dog clubs today.  The Dog Press is immensely flattered to be put on the same level with the National Inquirer which has broken many of the top stories in the nation. The Enquirer may be awarded the Pulitzer for breaking the story on presidential candidate John Edwards.  My publishing mentor Derek Clontz and his brother Eddie were the editorial foundation for the National Enquirer.  There is no Pulitzer Prize in our little dog world but The Dog Press does make some people very uncomfortable.

Automatic Grand Champions? So far, from just observing, not showing any dogs right now, it seems to me that some judges are finding it much easier to give BOB to inferior dogs handled by professionals and then hand out the 'consolation prizes' to the owner or amateur handlers in the ring.  Some statistics should accumulate to prove or disprove my theory in the next few months. The anecdotal evidence that I witnessed  in my breed found a very inferior, professionally handled  'new special'  receiving BOBs and 4 consecutive group placements over a group winning, specialty show winning very correct champion that had defeated the newcomer at other shows prior to its finishing and prior to the advent of the pale blue/white also-ran ribbon.  The quality of these two dogs did not change.  The playing field did.  Some have said that the point of the exercise is to encourage owners to show more specials - Maybe there will be some less pleasant unintended consequences also?  Wouldn't be the first time.  KE

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Judges’ Ethics: I stopped sometime back suggesting people go to the specialty weekend for my breed and this is the reason why. I hear Jackie published an article on judge’s ethics in the TNT magazine’s Affen issue that was given away at the specialty too.  And some wonder why people want the dogs judged honestly.  When I started showing even a newbie had a chance at every show with a good dog but not anymore sadly enough.  Nancy Holmes

Nancy may be right about judging ethics today. Here's the backstory on the Jackie Stacy story

Mary Wild Case: The decisions that Mary Wild made and the actions she chose to take, which resulted in heat related injuries to and the deaths of her clients' dogs, was quite simply a flagrant display of extremely poor judgment in behavior and callous disregard for the safety of those dogs which had been entrusted to her care. Her behavior was indefensible.  Being a responsible show dog handler means conducting oneself with class at all times, and never ever crossing the line of putting one's own comfort and convenience ahead of ensuring the safety, health and well-being of each and every dog entrusted to one's care. Mary Wild broke the faith and trust that the owners of those dogs placed in her and those dogs paid the ultimate price.

Mary Wild's criminal conviction should certainly result in a significant suspension and fine from the American Kennel Club. If she'd done the same thing in the horse show world, she would be banned for life, as did happen to the father of a US Olympic team rider and twenty-some other folks similarly convicted some years back.  Mary Wild gave the dog fancy yet another media black eye… in view of that, the American Kennel Club needs to send the public, as well as Mary Wild, the clear message that this type of behavior will be neither condoned or tolerated. Lynn Morgan

Wild Case: Mary's sentence is a slap on the wrist in my view.... I feel sick.  Monica Colvin

More On Mary Wild: Has anyone asked the UKC people what they would have done? They are really strict, I nearly got tossed because my dog growled when accosted by another dog...ya  it was a definite case of blame the Akita. Anyway, I wonder what THEIR policy is for something like this. Maybe the AKC members would not care but the management would hate to be dissed in public by UKC don't you think?  Diane Lynch

AKC Economy & Judges’ Fees: Just heard that the AKC has canceled the judge fee plan.  From what I understand they have charged the various judges organizations to come up with an acceptable fee schedule or plan.  With that understanding, the judges in the U.S. would be NUTS if they didn't INSIST that AKC close the New York offices and move everything to Raleigh .  Also what organization in its right mind pays the top echelon half a million dollars a year or more while continually admitting that the organization is in the most serious financial difficulty ever???????  Excuuuse me?  In short, here is Joe Public's chance to finally get AKC to do something right instead of letting the big boys from N.Y. run the show. (pardon the pun) Vicky Jones

Cut Costs, no Judges tax: The proposal to charge judges a "fee" (read tax) for the "privilege" of judging AKC dog shows is so obscene it's beyond belief.  Especially since there is no perceived value to judges, and especially when those fees will be passed on to show giving clubs which will pass them on to the exhibitors.  If you think entries are declining now, try instituting an inane program like this.  When and if AKC gets out of its $150,000 per month offices on Madison Ave, and when and if salaries at AKC FOR ALL CONCERNED are more in line with other businesses, Then and Only Then, should AKC even consider such a thing. Judythe Coffman Judge's #5826

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Put Teeth In Abuse Law: In my opinion it is about time the public and the law woke up and started putting some teeth in the sentencing for animal cruelty or abuse.  The slap on the hand method obviously isn’t working, let’s face it, we are the only voice the animals have.  They could throw away the key on these people and I would be happy.  Dr. Roberta Lee PhD
Clubs Hurting I have been showing for over 20 years, and I know it has been getting more and more expensive as time passes.  I now see entry fees of $30 at times, no break for Bred By, which should be an important class.  Our club is already struggling to hold things together with loss of members.  Putting a show on these days is not cheap.  If we have to pay judges more because of the new fees, on top of increasing hotel costs and site costs, how are we going to continue?  On top of that personally pay per dog for the privilege of entering each one, that is outrageous.   I like the competition, the thrill of breeding a nice dog that can win, but I am old enough to retire and just enjoy what I have already accomplished.  Is that what the AKC PTB are trying to do?  Get us to retire?  I also show in UKC and love it, maybe I should just say no to AKC.  BONNIE HALE

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