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Issue: 29/12/2017

A sledgehammer to crack a nut

Derek Smith's letter in last week's OUR DOGS made for an interesting read.
Whilst I agree with Derek that honesty and transparency are the foundations of being a judge, I still feel that this is very much a case of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
I don't personally know Geoff (or Derek for that matter), but I do know that both are extremely knowledgeable and well-respected judges, and we really don't want to lose too many of them. 
If innacuraces have occurred, then it does need a reprimand, but a three year ban?
Geoff seems absolutely devastated, and I can understand why.
Come on KC, keep taking decent judges off us and you won't have anyone entering the shows any more! And if they do, there'll be noone to judge them!
Yours etc
Jean Camusi

Great annual again

Just received my Annual from my friend who collected it from LKA for me.  
Once again congratulations to the Our Dogs team for all their hard work and dedication in producing a superb Annual with lots of information from both the UK and Europe, outstanding adverts from all around the world, lots of features put together expertly.  A must for every exhibitor who wants to keep abreast with what is going on in the world of dogs.  
Again well done to all the team.
Yours etc
Margaret Kempster 


In response to the final anonymous letter on your letter's page in the 15th December issue of Our Dogs.
What an arrogant letter!  Even more so by the fact the author hasn't got the courage of their convictions to own up to who they are!  I am taking nothing away from the praise for LKA and carrying on with the snow etc., what I object to is the comment about the fact "The snow we get over here is nothing compared with other countries, we just seem to grind to a halt at the mere mention of the white stuff".  
Other countries have much more snow and therefore there is an incentive to spend the money on snow clearing equipment, indeed in Sweden you can be prosecuted for not having "snow tyres" on car between certain months of the year. Who would buy a set of tyres to use for 1 or two days (maybe not even that!) in a typical British winter. For the same reason, people are not practiced and therefore (to be blunt) not good at driving in snow. My concern on the roads is not my driving, but that of others. We were planning to go to LKA, but circumstances in the week dictated otherwise and to be honest, I wouldn't have fancied taking my LWB van up the M5 and M42 in that weather so we probably wouldn't have bothered. I thoroughly enjoy the shows, I missed not going, but I would have not forgiven myself had I been involved in any sort of accident on the journey to/from the NEC from Wiltshire.
Your correspondent, rather than belittling those who took a decision to be safe, should just respect that they are not all as confident (or stupid) as they were by venturing out on the Sunday and made the UK a safer place by staying at home.
Yours etc
Peter Sheppard 

The Think Pink ladies

I was just reading the digital version of Our Dogs issue for 15th December 2017 and was very pleased to see the photograph taken of myself and some of the other Buhund exhibitors, who were supporting me in my efforts to fundraise for Cancer Research UK at LKA this year.  Unfortunately the caption below the photo is a little misleading, so I hope to put things right here.
 The 'Think Pink at LKA' idea was started by Leanne Challands (Italian Spinone exhibitor), and a team was set up on the Just Giving site to raise funds for this very worthwhile cause.  The idea was to wear as much pink as possible, and show the dogs looking like idiots!  
Having been diagnosed with Breast Cancer myself in October, I found this event and asked if I could join them.  This 'Think Pink' team consists of Leanne Challands, Clare Fordham and Rachel Blythe (who all have Spinones), and then of course myself.  Despite Clare and Rachel both not being able to get to LKA on the Sunday due to the show, Leanne was there and raised a further amount of approximately 300 on the day.  The team has done an incredible job of raising funds, and at the time of writing the team total is 3,181.40 - not including Gift Aid!
Linda Cooper (also with Spinone's) has been a staunch supporter and friend to the Think Pink team throughout. Having organised a fabulous raffle to take place on the Sunday at LKA until the snow kept her away too.  This will now take place at another future show.
 My own fund raising page is up to 1,261.20 (not including Gift Aid).  132.80 of this was donated at LKA, 83.00 from the Raffle organised by Sue Crocker and Jacqui Walmsley (from the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK)  of a lovely Buhund Bracelet won by Sarah Stonton, and the rest was collected on the day by my mother (Marcia Dove) from various friends and supporters.  30 was also donated separately by the very generous people at the Samoyed Ring.  Thank you to Richard Jackson for getting this to us via my Just Giving page.
We hope that more people will donate to this cause as many of us have friends and/or family that have been touched by Cancer, and without the work done by Cancer Research UK, there would not be any hope of survival for any of us today.  THANK YOU to all who have supported us in the last couple of months, and to those who may show their support in the future.
For anyone who would like to donate, the Team page can be found at the following link (links to our individual Just Giving pages can be found on this page):
Yours etc
Camille Lambert

Pink...and proud

A few years ago Leanne Challands came up with the idea of dressing up in pink and collecting money for Cancer Research UK whilst having fun.
Her efforts have been fun and fantastic and have raised several thousand 's over the years.
This year Leanne started her "Think Pink" campaign to raise even more money. It was her idea for us to dress up in pink and go a little mad. A group was set up of Leanne Challands, Clare Fordham, Rachel Blythe, Millie Lambert and myself with Rachel naming us "The Pink Nutters". LKA kindly allowed us to dress up including myself as I was stewarding the Spinone and to collect money and run a raffle.
Leanne, besides dressing in pink made cakes and her Gran knitted rosettes to sell.                                Clare ran a big raffle at her shop with all proceeds going to the fund.
Rachel made bow ties and bandannas to sell and held an online auction with all proceeds going to the fund.
Millie had a "Pink" day at her place of work who were very supportive as just 9 days before LKA Millie had undergone a Lumpectomy and the majority of her account and personal donations came from work colleges. And she showed her dog on the Saturday!
I collected raffle prizes for a "Mega" raffle to be held on the Sunday of LKA..
As you can see the "Pink Nutters" were looking forward to LKA. 
Unfortunately the weather was against us although Millie got there on the Saturday and Leanne got there on the Sunday. The rest of us was very disappointed not to get there.
The Pink Nutters would like to thank LKA, the Cocker, Buhund, English Springer, Spinone and Samoyed exhibitors for collecting money for the cause and to Jacqui Ward for directing people to Leanne  on the Sunday. Leanne would like to thank everyone who were lovely and giving and had selfies taken with her on the Sunday.
The "mega" raffle will take place, subject to us getting permission, at WELKS 2018.                                    
The efforts of, especially Leanne Challands and the Pink Nutters has been amazing and several thousand of 's has been  raised collectively and  once we have the final total Leanne will announce it.
A huge thank you to everyone that has donated so far & supported the cause.
The Pink Nutters will return (Snow permitting).
Yours etc
Linda Cooper (A proud Pink Nutter)

Get the right people

The whole welfare crisis regarding flat-faced breeds I find a worry, in particular the recent calls for people to avoid using the breeds for any form of publicity.
The real problem here is one of supply and demand. Joe public sees the latest celeb clutching a cute-looking Frenchie under their arm, and next thing is everyone wants one, and there simply aren't enough responsible breeders around to keep up with demand, and as 'responsible' breeders, they simply wont do it.
Enter the 'pound sign breeder', buy a couple of ok-ish examples of a Bulldog, Frenchie, Pug etc, and bang puppies out as fast as you can. Never fear, no health testing will go on here, and there'll be a queue of people with bulging wallets who can't wait for a responsible breeder to have a healthy litter available.
So, asking people who are already doing everything right is not going to help. 
I have a neighbour who, in the course of the last two years or so, has sold so many (dreadful quality) Frenchies I have lost count. I have complained various times to various authorities, nothing has happened. As you can imagine, it cranks up in the run up to Christmas. All walks of life turn up at all hours to pick puppies up, and I feel utterly useless as I witness this, I want to go out and tell them not to part with their money, the last litter were priced at 900 each, Christmas presents no doubt.
And what of the puppies who then aren't wanted, when the novelty has worn off, or worse, when the health issues kick in and vets' bills can't be met?
So please, it's vigilance that is the key here. It's really not hard to find these people (a quick search of the more popular breeds on Gumtree will highlight lots of them), and then do something about these charlatans, not the people who are doing their best for these breeds.
Telling us how to behave is just knocking on an open door.
Yours etc
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