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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 04/05/2018

Eye for a dog

As it stands at present, the KC Eye For A Dog  has little relevance to the subjec.  Surely  an eye for a dog is having the ability to look at a Group judging in progress and having an eye to select at least three which end up in the final line up. 
Equally  go to any breed ring outside of your specialist group (s)  and select at least two which end up in the final placings. To read in Our Dogs Opinion  that in the assessment for the KC Eye For A Dog  the dogs are to be judged as dogs and not examples of the breed is extraordinary, there are some excellent sound good looking crossbreeds to be found!   It bears no relevance  to the ability of judging breeds to a breed standard.
Yours etc 
Ann Bradley    


Worrying

GREAT ARTICLE by Peter Clifton in last week's issue, which really resonated with me in many ways.
I've always backed the JCF, and I believe in lots of ways it will be very beneficial, and certainly will help support judges and their development, and I don't think any of us can deny that. I also  don't think we can take too seriously the foot-stamping 'I won't pay to judge' brigade, after all, what's 26 a year, seriously?
However, where it struck a chord with me is the potential loss of decent, dyed-in-the-wool judges who simply feel the whole thing is too computer and internet based, and to lose these sort of people will be a huge loss to us all.
The cost seems quite astronomical, though obviously much of this could be recouped via the fees, again assuming everyone takes this up, which I, like Peter, suspect is highly unlikely.
Breed Clubs need to keep a certain level of control over things, by their very nature that is what they are supposed to do, though it may make certain clubs behave in a more creditable manner, perhaps?
I say give it a chance, see how we go. Let's just hope it is the right move, and let's hope that our well respected older judges (and there's nothing like experience in this game) are happy to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, I for one am dreading it!
Yours etc
Name and address supplied

Paul for Crufts please!

I'VE RECENTLY watched the Paul O'Grady episode on TV where he visited dogs in India, in particular stray dogs.
If ever a person needed to be asked to host Crufts, it has to be this lovely, kind-hearted man. 
Even all these weeks later, I still cringe when I think of Alan Carr's toe-curling and buffoon-like antics on our greatest showcase of dogs, and I am certainly not alone. 
I don't imagine this particular decision rests in the hands of the KC, but please, if you have any bearing on the decision at all, speak up now, let's not let our wonderful hobby be made a mockery of for a second year running.
Yours etc
Erin Walker

Lobbying is good

I was interested to read David Cavill's column about the importance of lobby groups last week. It is vital that we make sure that the great and the good hear about our concerns and we will only do that if we talk to the people that matter.
We are lucky that there are people like Marc Abraham about who will speak truth to power and make them listen. His work on Lucy's Law has been amazing and because of his hard work the government look like they are going to ban third party sales.
Lately we have also had the fantastic campaigns in Scotland and now in England to ban Electric Shock Collars. This also looks like it is going to succeed.
I'm not after a free subscription but I have to say that OUR DOGS has really got behind these two campaigns and shown its support when it matters.
When I was a student, more years ago than I care to remember, I was involved in a lobby on parliament to stop the government of the day privatising student unions (I think that was the cause, my memory may be playing tricks). We decided that a demonstration would be quickly forgotten whereas if we went to the House of Commons and spoke to the people who could actually change things then that would be more successful. As it turned out it was and the government did not privatise student unions.
I have been told that Marc Abraham has achieved his success by getting to know the people he needs to talk to and using his arguments to gently cajole MPs and ministers to his point of view.
Having spoken to a number of politicians myself over the years I know that if you argue your case well enough they will support you. There are, of course, hundreds of causes who want an MPs support so you have to make sure that you grab their interest and once you have that you can succeed.
The good thing about Lucy's Law and the banning of shock collars is that these issues cross party boundaries. Any MP who loves dogs will want to back these causes no matter their political persuasion.
Some may think of lobbying as a shady occupation, but done well it can be very successful.
Yours etc,
Peter Watson


Thanks all

Thanks to all those people who have sent cards and best wishes to June after her serious accident, which resulted in her sustaining a broken neck.
It will be a long job, but she is making a good recovery.
Yours etc
Keith Young

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