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

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Pet Shop - I thought you might be interested in this article from an editor promoting selling purebred dogs in pet stores. http://newportindy.com/2011/08/12/puppy-protest-it%e2%80%99s-stitch/  Cid Lewis

We’ll refrain from using the report above because it would send the wrong message to our readers. And what the heck, he probably works for Pet Smart as he went on at length.  The simple fact is, the story hit home. I bought my first “bought” puppy from a pet shop of sorts but pet shots back then bought local puppies from local breeders and they were usually nice healthy pups. The guy went on too much about Pet Smart and with AKC doing business with them, they don’t need anything more. Did you read PET SHOP PRIME, about AKC’s software program?  Thank you for sending this. It means we have to do our job a whole lot better doesn’t it? AKC takes our money but will never promote us. Maybe we should be running a pet shop where people are more honest???

Grapes & Raisins - As a veterinarian and member of the AVMA and AHVMA, I would like to forward to you the following information. This is the best we've got, but it's enough evidence to make most vets take notice and share the info with their clients.  No, there isn't tons of research on this, would you all prefer that we tell folks to go ahead and feed all the grapes they want, and then just sit back and tally the death toll? Or perhaps we take 100 innocent dogs and keep them in a laboratory and test them with increasing quantities of grapes till some of them die??? I believe that there is enough information on this topic to say that it is a real concern, and veterinarians would be quite negligent if they did not pass this on to their clients as a known risk. No, it does not mean that any dog that eats a grape is in grave danger, but it is still important knowledge to share!  Here's what I can share with you, click for additional Veterinary Information There have been many reported cases of acute renal failure from grapes and raisins, starting around 1999; the first reports were from ASPCA Poison Control. Liz Hassinger DVM


We really appreciate you taking the time to send this information.  I absolutely agree with your line of reasoning. Of course you can’t ignore it and risk a dog being poisoned. On the other hand, do vets advise their clients to safely store antifreeze? Something we KNOW is deadly? I know the answer is “no” because in the few minutes a vet can spare in actual contact with the client, there isn’t time. So that means vets are not warning clients about any perceived risk from grapes. Well and good.

We strive to provide reliable information for our 19,000 subscribers but people reading the net are likely to be also informed by the ASPCA Poison Control. Liz, I am compelled to point out that ASPCA profits by $60 per call. Until we took up the cause, raisin-grape poisoning had permeated the otherwise clear thinking of top veterinary practices. What troubles me is that the info you can provide is ONLY attributable to ASPCA. Period. As a professional journalist, that runs up a red flag. I must also assume that you have had no confirmed raisin poisoning in your practice or you would have so stated.  You are however, looking out for the dogs. We are too and I hope you understand that means we are credibly and carefully educating dog owners. And sometimes, veterinarians.  Again, thank you for bringing this subject forward. We will do our best to keep dog owners aware of the risks around every household and the potentially deadly consequences.

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More Grapes & Raisins - Thank you for your debunking of the grapes & raisins myth! I am writing a similar piece for my blog  http://www.nomorevetbills.com/blog/ and may submit it for publishing in various dog magazines. In my research I have found precious little except speculation and myth-based paranoia, until I came upon your article. I just wanted to say thank you and congrats for doing some fine (and rare) critical thinking!  Best wishes, Nora Lenz

Thank You - I just want to thank all of you at TheDogPress; you guys are amazing and work so hard to keep people informed in an amazing and honest way. We are very responsible breeders and are breeding "for the love of the breed" and are so grateful for the hard work you do to keep people informed. Richard Beham, Neo German Shepherds, LLC

Judging Groups at AKC Shows - I wish AKC showing was formatted like CKC. Judge the Groups immediately after the entire group Breed judging was done. I think if exhibitors were able to enter a show knowing that it would NOT be an all day affair, unless they took a Group 1, they would be much more likely to enter more shows. I happen to have a Working Group dog and if all the Working Group Breeds were judged in the AM with the Group immediately following... that would be wonderful. Or in the afternoon with the Group immediately following... super!

We all have lives that do include families and responsibilities that sometimes just don't allow us to spend an entire day at the dog show. With this format, it would either be all morning or all afternoon and would just be easier to attend.

I know that AKC thinks that it is spectator friendly to wait to do the groups after all judging is completed, but lets be honest. Most spectators come to watch for a while, usually are interested in a particular breed and then leave LONG before Group judging. By 3:30-4:00 in the afternoon the crowds are noticeably thinner. The people that watch the Group judging are the exhibitors and their friends. I certainly hope this idea will be taken into consideration. I think AKC would find their bottom line (that almighty dollar) would improve considerably. Carol Orzechowski

Great Editorial - Barbara, this is the most well stated article addressing the "problem" I have seen. Backbone Gone  I am late to the fancy and am now 65 and look around at dog shows and see the sea of our gray hair....question is how do we attract younger folks to the fancy, those who have the energy to fight and carry on after we're gone.  I cannot imagine a civilized society without a Westie in it:)) Bonnie West & Windsong Westies

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AKC Group Assignment - I must say I really enjoyed the article and agreed, right up to the point you dissed UKC.  UKC shows are NOT more expensive than AKC shows. In fact most are substantially LESS expensive than AKC shows. Entries average 20$ whereas AKC averages 25$. As for registering, you have to register your dog in the AKC as well, and UKC registration is much less than AKC registration.  ONE weekend of UKC shows, 5 shows, 3 dogs will cost me 300$......and that is an expensive show. I have attended several where my entry fee for 3 dogs, 5 shows was $217.50.  One weekend of AKC Shows, 2 shows, 3 dogs will cost me $225!  Maybe I laid out more money for the weekend itself, but I get a lot more shows.


Now... if you want to do Day of Show entries at a UKC show, then those are at par with an AKC show, falling into the 25$ range, but even so, it makes it no more than an AKC show. Many UKC judges are also AKC judges. I have attended UKC shows where I was judged by Ann Hearn, Danny Bussard... just to name a few. While AKC conformation numbers are dropping drastically, UKC conformation show entries are rising at an astronomical rate, as AKC fanciers cross over to a "pro handler" free environment, that is friendly and supportive. 10 years ago when I started in UKC, a show might have 50 entries. That same show now pulls 300 entries. How many AKC shows can claim such a huge increase in entries?

UKC clubs are on the rise, and more shows are being put on all the time. The quality of dogs and judging is on the rise, as more and more folks discover the quiet secret of the UKC for conformation showing.  Now I am not just a fan of UKC, as I am also very active in the AKC, having held some of the top dogs in my breed...in BOTH organizations.  In fact my special is still the only Italian Greyhound to have both an AKC and a UKC Grand Ch title. She was #1 in the UKC last year, and #3 all breed in the AKC...all owner handled. She is also the only Italian Greyhound to have picked up 6 BOB wins in 2 days attending 2 AKC shows and 4 UKC shows on the same weekend. So I do support both organizations.  Serena Galloway, IGCA rescue Rep for Colorado & IGCA Rescue Intake Director. 
I don't think Mrs. Gammill meant to disparage UKC shows in Group Judging Changes. We are all excited about the Premier results I'm sure Wayne Cavanaugh and Tanya Raab will appreciate your LTE :)

Charles P. (Skip) Herendeen III - Dear Editor,  Thank you for the excellent reporting about the unfair and totally ridiculous suspension of judging privileges as pertains to my brother Skip Herendeen.  The AKC has brought more stress into the Herendeen family than one can imagine.  For as long as I can remember, first my dad, Charles P. Herendeen Jr., and now my brother, Charles P. Herendeen III, have battled the AKC over one issue or another.  Our mother just turned 88, when she heard Skips military service was being questioned, I thought she was going to have a heart attack.  She was so upset to hear our good name was once again being dragged into the mud by the (deleted) AKC.
As for Skips military service, I can attest to the fact he was a US Army Dog handler.  While serving in the US Air Force in Okinawa 68-70, I had the honor of serving with Skip on that same small island.  I am personally aware of his duties as a dog handler and trainer.  Skips military service and professional dog handling duties should never have been brought into question.  How dare the AKC attempt to bring shame upon this family…again!
I fear this added stress will take a final toll on my brother who’s health has deteriorated tremendously these past five or more years.  The AKC will never know how much agony their Herendeen vendetta has caused our family, especially Mom, Dad, and now Skip.  I pray they will one day see the good Dad and Skip have done in their lives to promote honest judging for dog owners throughout the world.  Sincerely, Patrick J. Herendeen, CMSgt (retired) USAF


When we face adversity we can work to overcome, it can be almost inspiring but this kind of thing leaves us helpless.  It is no comfort to say we have had a lot of mail in support of or expressing sympathy for Skip.  What THAT says is the problem is deeper than any of us imagined. Now, some months later, there is a horrible rumor circulating that has Skip storming into Darrell Hayes office with a gun threatening to blow his head off!!!!  The story gets even more ludicrous, saying they then supposedly “locked down” the AKC building while the local police searched it looking for Skip.  Who would start such a malicious attack on a suspended judge?  Who would have any reason to do something like that? There are some sick people in this sport.

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