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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 01/12/2017

WKC Top Dog/Top Puppy 2017

I am writing to thank you for the sponsorship that you very kindly sent to us for our above-mentioned event.
We had some lovely dogs compete and the Top Dog was a lovely Standard Smooth Dachshund owned and bred by Mr C Moes and Mrs R Williams from Gilfach, Bargoed and Top Puppy went to a Pekingese owned and bred by Mrs A Thomas from Godrergraig. 
With previous fundraising events held at our Championship show in August, The Welsh Kennel Club are able to give the grand sum of 2,015.00 to Cancer Research Wales.
Once again, many thanks for your support of this event.
Yours etc
Jean S Davies (Miss)
For and on behalf of WKC Top Dog/Top Puppy 2017 

Enough said!

I was most interested to read Ronnie Irving's column in last week's issue regarding judges looking at catalogues before judging.
i know of this happening back in the 70s by a well known judge of the time (now deceased) at a large open show. my late husband came across this judge in a very secluded spot, calmly reading the catalogue!
it became even more apparent when judging took place. One variety class had five champions, one of the champions was mine.every single champion was 1st to 5th place, this all rounder in the was judging local to us so we went.
imagine my feeling to be pulled out with the words, 'bring your Skye Terrier with you please'. my dog was a Bearded Collie!
enough said.   
Yours etc    
Jenny Springthorpe-Roberts

Lost forever?

David Cavill's Speakers' Corner column hit a nerve for me last week.
I worry that the Basset Hounds are gradually changing - into the 'generic' dog - looking almost like a 'normal standard' small breed of dog - as so many people just do not understand 'Dwarfism'.  Very sadly this includes quite a number of newish current Basset owner/breeders themselves.   And some (too many) judges.
A Basset Hound is - or used to be - a big dog though standing on sturdy short legs.  (Remember that there was quite a bit of Bloodhound cross breeding in the very early days of the breed and again in the mid 19 hundreds when Mrs Elms of the Reynalton Kennel sought to improve the scenting ability of her hounds.)
Bassets still stand on short legs, but such a lot of them nowadays have a shorter body - a body  made to 'fit' - rather than appearing too long for the length of leg!  Almost like a slightly shorter legged Beagle!
 I can 'rant on' to Basset breeders and, frighteningly, half of them just don't understand what I am talking about!  They just do not comprehend 'dwarfism' and, horrifyingly, many are unable to see there is any difference between 'dwarf' and a midget!!
I am quite sure that Felicity Luxmore Ball - the mother of the current KC Chairman - would be horrified if she saw so many Midgets (such sort bodied bassets) as can be found - and winning - in the ring these days.
It is to be hoped that the new  'On Line Learning system' will ensure that new judges understand that a Basset is a true Dwarf - NOT a Midget - and has the body and head of a big dog but yet has short limbs.
Otherwise the true breed can never recover and will be 'lost' - totally.
Yours etc
Trish Wells

The importance of history

A great article in last week's issue by Archie Bryden, about how important it is to keep breed archives.
It reminded me of something that happened a few years ago when a good friend in my breed had died. Despite the fact we were close, I had no idea that he had kept years' and year's worth of breed memorabilia, books and suchlike in his attic for years. 
When I was tasked, along with his son and daughter-in-law, to empty his house, the first I knew was when his son suggested a skip for the 'rubbish piled up in the attic'. It was only when he mentioned dogs that I decided to take a look, and what a cornucopia of breed history there was.
Some things that were there I think were even unknown pieces of history to anyone in the breed, and we have since managed to piece together so much now, and fill in so many gaps, that there is very little we don't know about our breed.
So, always make sure that what you are getting rid of is not a secret gem - years down the line this is the gift we will give to our future dog owning generations.
Yours etc
Alice Fazackerly

Educate the public

Having read Kevin Colwill's excellent column last week I set out for a couple of pints at my local boozer, along with Border Collie Geordie, mulling over his comments.
For those that missed it he made a lot of pertinent comments about Pedigree Dogs Exposed (PDE) and the missed opportunity of the KC in making significant improvements to the health of dogs and the perception of our hobby by the wider public.
I say this because I  happened to get chatting in my pub with a man called Ray. Dogs always attract people and this guy started to pet Geordie and started asking questions about him.
As soon as the words 'Pedigree Dog' came out of my mouth this bloke started to shout 'Eugenics! Eugenics!' I have to admit there was the odd raised eyebrow from fellow locals as he shouted this.
Suddenly I was plunged back 10 years having the same arguments with him I had about PDE with people from outside the hobby at the time. All they saw were the epileptic boxers, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with syringomyelia and the swastikas!
As Mr Colwill pointed out things have changed since PDE and there has been an acknowledgement by the KC that health issues have to be confronted and gene pools need to be extended.
Yet more could have been done. As he says the media landscape has changed immensely over the last decade and the explosion of interest in brachycephalic breeds such as French Bulldogs has given our hobby new challenges to face.
I am not sure I convinced this man that we as dog breeders and exhibitors are actually good people who care about our dogs. He seemed convinced that we were all evil fascists who wanted to see our dogs suffer.
Whilst the KC will never convince someone as prejudiced this man they do have do more to make the public realise that our hobby is a force for good.
Yours etc,
John Turnbull

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