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

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Green vs. Palmer: Just finished reading your Andrew Green article (excellent coverage, BTW). AKC’s quick action against a man driven to his limits by a silver-spoon, woman-hating bully contrasts with the foot dragging it extends to another of its fair-haired children of privilege, Mary Wild. Obviously, when it comes to AKC pedigree is everything – and I’m not talking about the dogs. No wonder dog lovers are deserting AKC in droves and going to UKC. Vivian Flynt  Editor's Note: The Complete Story here...

Vet On Raisins: My hospital managers twenty pound ten year old female spayed Basenji ingested approximately a half a cup of raisins on a Sunday night. By Tuesday morning she was in full fledged acute renal failure and was sent to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After 2 days of treatment and little response, she was euthanized. Her diagnosis, raisin poisoning. Sincerely, Tracy Leonard, DVM, Indian Ripple Veterinary Clinic, Beavercreek, Ohio USA

Dalmatian Problem: I’m dating myself, but I remember about the “crossbreeding” being done with the good of the Dalmatian breed as it’s goal.  My understanding at the time, was that the AKC had been aware of and approving of it’s goals and the methodology.  For the Dalmatian parent club to refuse to consider the help for their genetic base, was I’m sure disheartening for it’s supporters.  I am glad to know that some kept on with the program.  My suggestion then, was the same as my suggestion now.  Allow the LUA Dalmatians to be registered with the AKC with an * on their name (or number).  This leaves the ball in the court of the breed’s fanciers (where it belongs).  One look at the dog’s papers, or a pedigree, will allow people to make their own decisions.  They can breed “lily white pure”, or breed for health.  In the end, judges don’t see the catalogs, so hopefully the best dogs will win.  I admit, Dalmatians are not my breed.  But if I loved a breed with such a serious health problem rampant in their gene pool. I like to think I would want to help my dog, and it’s whole breed. Mary Pyle RaisinL Hounds

Down Under Dalmatians: Could I please have permission to reprint this article in the Newsletter of the Dalmatian Club of NSW (Australia) ?  Ever stop to think, and forget to start again? Cheers from South Coast NSW  Suzy Whymark (editor)

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President, Show Chair Walked: Having been involved with AKC dog showing since finishing my first dog in 1990, my husband & I walked away in 2007.  The club politics, I was club president & show chair and my husband served on the board, the lack of concern from AKC as to damaging legislation, affecting breeding programs & ownership, existence of & profitability of clubs,  and the fact that somewhere other than either coast exists with different problems, and more open political wins made us say enough.  We missed it the first year or so but have moved on with other interests but will always own our beloved chows.  Watching judging at local shows and then Westminster says we made the right decision for us.  I knew Chuck and hired Skip for a show panel.  It is a shame AKC won’t acknowledge the GOOD OLD BOY system and work to change it so the sport could continue and change.  Larry & Darlene Kofoed KoLaDa Chows

Election & Delegates: Just a small comment on the AKC Board election and the term limits the delegate body voted in some time ago.  What good are term limits, and how valid is the desire of the delegate body to see "change" and "progress" on the AKC Board, when the same people are voted in time after time? I have nothing against Carmen or Steve but why do the Delegates want to bother with term limits? I noticed you remarked that Patti Strand was voted off the Board. I believe term limits kicked in in her case and she has to be off the board for a year before she can run again -- which I doubt she will. I enjoy The Dog Press, etc. Carol Williams

Shelter Scandal: Thank you for keeping this in front of the public - this is such an outrage and this needs to stay there until people are held accountable and there is justice for these poor animals who suffered horribly at the hands of people who were supposed to humanely  protect and be there for them.  To read the account of the one 'community service' person, Frankie Bowers, as to what happened is haunting.  If a citizen had done any of this they would now be facing felony animal cruelty charges !   Just wonder what the elected officials of this county are saying...  And it sure sounds like this Sheriff needs to go - dont believe for a minute he didn't know what was going on, and if he didnt he is still responsible 'under his watch'...  Am standing by waiting for SLED and Attn General on this - I have called Alan Wilsons office - Carol Linville, President/ Founder, www.pethelpers.org

Grapes & Raisin Wrath: Oh my gosh.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  What are you, a conspiracy theorist living on a compound with an arsenal??  I have worked in the vet field for over 20 yrs, yes, with  an education as opposed to a breeder that can only make dogs pregnant, and have seen MANY grape toxicities.  My dog even got it after my son gave him grapes.  There is absolutely no reason anyone would pull this out of their ass to make money.  Vets don't make money when the animal dies within days.  It is not known exactly why yet, but they are studying it, and eventually, like chocolate, they will know.  If it was due to pesticides, other fruit would cause it as well, like apples that are doused with pesticides.  Why create doubt in dog owners that may end up in them giving their dogs grapes as I've heard directly, "well, I done it before......"  Seriously, give out good information, not scare tactics and paranoia.    P.S.  Yes, in rare cases, even 2 grapes can cause death as I have witnessed in two dogs ages 2 or 3.  For real info, contact a BOARDED criticalist! Herctheweiner@aol.com

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The Rattlesnake Story: You guys may have a problem with Snopes.com debunking a lot of the stuff you spread around the internet, but that's no excuse for doing some simple fact-checking!  I suggest you read the following; ALL of it, including the footnote references at the bottom, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_rattlesnake  You will see that Snopes WAS right about the maximum size of the Florida Rattlesnake (long list of snake names copied from Snopes is omitted) Fact-checking is a good thing, and a widely-used tool of (sentence ended) Jewel Waldrip Editor's response to the two dozen readers who wrote to refute size, teeth, etc.- *We would find it hard to frame a deputy Sherriff into posing.  * The internet is easily seeded by corporate interests and in this case, the developer has a lot to protect.  * We would not have run the story if we hadn’t found it 90% credible through independent research in St. Augustine news outlets. * You are right about the size but it was part of the original report which we did not change.  * In my stupid analogy to a Bull Mastiff, I was thinking of mouth size :) * Sorry to disagree on fang size in the photo - if you ever saw a rattlesnake being milked for venom, you would agree the fangs are well over an inch.  We thank all who responded to this story and especially those who got the point about small dogs, vulnerable fencing, watch where you walk, etc. which was the point of running the story...  We do verify and document 99% of the information we present, which is why I wrote the intro.

Judges Braced: Thank you for staying on top of things.  The judges have a hard time as it is but being beaten up by AKC is somewhat worse than being braced by an unhappy exhibitor.  Your group is well respected and considered brave to publish some of the articles.  We look forward to it. We never lived in Florida and after seeing that snake, we are glad.  Too cold up here for those things.  (name withheld by request)

Pedigree: No, mix-breeds do have their fair-share of problems and are unpredictable temperamentally and genetically.  I worked as a shelter volunteer & manager for 5 years so I think I understand the importance for breeding for temperament and health.  I feel I am preserving my breed for future generations so they won't go wayside as the dinosaurs.  Pedigree is interested only in the $$ and to dupe the public, just as AKC is proving to do by registering curs and allowing the prestige of owning a pure breed to slip away.  They are both the same - hungry for the dollar.  I will never purchase another bag of Pedigree-never!  Norma Editor: Responses are still coming in so staff selected these for Letters.  Readers were overwhelmingly on the same page!

Pedigree & Shelters: No! The purpose of televising the show is, or should be to highlight our finest purebreds, and the dedicated ethical breeders behind them. I feel very sorry for the shelter dogs, and donate regularly to support them. But as responsible breeders we do everything we can to reduce the number of dogs that end up in a shelter. We do the right thing for our breeds, and end up getting blamed for the mixed breeds in shelters. Makes no sense at all. The show should educate the public on responsible breeding practices, and the benefits of buying a puppy from a dedicated ethical breeder. they can highlight the poor shelter dogs every other day of the year. I can't say I won't feed Pedigree anymore, because I wouldn't feed that anyway, because I don't feel that it is a quality food.  Thanks, JoAnn Hetherwick

Westminster: No, Westminster is SUPPOSED to be about PURE-BRED DOGS!  PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!!  Carol R Hamilton

WKC & Pedigree:  However, WKC has apparently accepted Pedigree as a sponsor, thereby accepting the airing of its ads. Is WKC willing to ask Pedigree to support purebreds in its ads or cease sponsorship, or is WKC too concerned about the sponsorship $$?  J. Breinholt

Purebreds: No, a few commercials are OK but the whole point of Westminster is to celebrate purebred dogs!  Lisa Pearson

WKC Not supportive: No, Westminster is a show for registered purebreds, therefore commercials about mixed breeds is in poor taste and not supportive of the event at all.  willow

WKC Should Spotlight: yes, there are so many dogs being abandoned because of the economy, it is necessary to spotlight them now.  ENA