Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rants, Raves and Opinions

Here is where I'm going to ramble on about things that have to do with dogs, my dogs, and the breed in general. Remember as you read... these are my opinions only. You may agree with them or disagree with them, that's ok.
If you would like to comment on them, great! Be warned that I will remove personal attacks on people or individual dogs, but feel free to let your opinions be known.

October 13, 2010
Nationals are over for this year, and I'm glad to be home. It was an enjoyable trip, but long, too long. Being away for 2 weeks is getting tougher and tougher as the years go by, and by the end of the 2 wks, I was ready to go home.

Congratulations to all the winners, to their owners and breeders,

This was my 29th National..... and the event sure has changed over the years. We've gone from dog dishes as trophies to bronzes worth hundreds of dollars. My very first National trophy was a stainless dog dish with an engraved plate on it. I still have's dented and well used, but treasured and was won by Sure Shot's Justa Racie Lacie in the Futurity (or derby?) in Southern CA. That year the field events were held in the Mojave Desert, a dry, miserable place where we killed Rattle Snakes and tried not to scare the tortoises. I hope to never go back there.

Judging this year was by all western judges. All of our judges were from the west coast, cost effective for sure, but not sure a wise decision on the part of those who voted for them. Having all of our judges from the area where the Nationals are held opens up a perception problem. This is one reason the FEAC made the rule that the local host club chooses 2 judges and the FEAC chooses 2 judges, but when people form a voting block and they all decide to vote for the locals, well... I'm just saying. Perception problems. And then when we have one of our judges post on a email list and congratulate the local winner and leave out the non local winners..... I'm just saying.... Perceptions.

There has been talk amongst some of the need to centralize the Nationals. Have them in one place, the same week every year. The other talk has been to have 3 locations, east, central and west. Both ideas have merit and it's something that needs to be discussed amongst GWPCA members. GWP owners, just like their dogs, don't seem to like change and can be downright snarly when anything different is brought up.

In my 29 trips to the Nationals I can tell you that I've seen the same people year after year, no matter the location. Others are only seen when convenient to them, and others will only attend when they have a dog that can win something. So, I s'pose the question is.... for whom (or what) are these events for?

In that same vein, the thing that did make me sad at this years Nationals was that the Top Dogs from our Show ranks were not there. I guess I am old school and believe that appearing at the National Specialty should be the highlight of the year. This is where your breeders and owners get to see the dogs, dogs they may have only seen photos of. This is what the Nationals should be about, the best of OUR breed! It's too bad that we have owners who feel our Nationals are not important enough for them and their dogs.

We all want to win, it's human nature. But entering a dog in the Nationals (show, field, obedience....) is more then winning. It's showing the GWP world your breeding stock, what the dogs are producing, how they run, how they point, how they move, what coats are looking like. Only a couple of dogs are going home winners, but having the chance to see lines, families of dogs, generations of dogs- that is what it's all about. At least that's what it's all about to me.

Thanks to everyone who worked for well over a year to give us the opportunity to come to WA and see the dogs!