WESTMINSTER UPDATES. Westminster issued a media alert this week. Once again the Westminster host will be David Frei, assisted by Mary Carillo. This year’s show will benefit the AKC Canine Health Foundation which funds research on everything from cancer to cataracts. The 2011 BIS winner, a Scottish Deerhound named Hickory, has given birth to 9 puppies and the BIS Scottish Terrier, Sadie, is also back in the litter box. Hickory will not make an appearance this year, according to Frei, because it is hard to fit her into a taxi–and with 9 puppies! And Purina has taken over the sponsorship from Pedigree.
Interestingly, a sporting club for the very rich with Long Island estates is searching Long Island to locate the burial place of the logo dog, Sensation. Many of these now famous dogs of the field were born in barns, sharing stalls with horses. The kennel staff would pick through the straw to choose the most promising puppies. One such litter was given Russian names. Every dog in the litter became a champion. Tolstoy was the most famous.
MR YUK AT 2012 FARM SHOW. At the recent farm show in Harrisburg Master Gardners instructed about pesticide safety using the MR YUK symbol. Of course, MR YUK first appeared in the Danville area in a garden of poisonous plants planted outside the Geisinger emergency entrance. It signaled a series of programs about poison safety aimed at children and the green face sticker was placed on containers. Dr. Tom Royer led the effort, assisted by the late Lillian Edson, Benton. Later, YUK had a dog named UGH DOG who was the symbol of the biting dog for children and people who can’t read English. YUK was colored the green of the PennDOT vests while UGH dog was the orange of convicts–both colors chosen by the iconic Crayola. Both have ties to Geisinger education.
NEW AKC BREEDS. Five new breeds will make their appearance this year at Westminster: the Norwegian Lundehund, the American English Coonhound, the Finish Lapphund, the Cesky Terrier, and the Xololtzeuintil. I think the most recent and interesting newcomer is the Boykin Spaniel. Of late they have distinguished themselves by becoming turtle hunters. In this pursuit (?) they have become avid helpers in the conservation of these endangered reptiles.
TRAINING TIPS AND SENIOR CITIZENS. Recently Karen Sabo, trainer, wrote about teaching dogs the “come” and “stay” commands in the home. It makes sense, especially in homes of senior citizens. Dog training clubs might consider this practice to aid senior owners keep their pets safe when they are in a recovery mode. Club members could visit homes where this need would make life less stressful for all. Valli Rovenolt once taught her dogs to close open interior doors by pulling on a strap attached to a door knob. The goal was to keep heat in the rooms. It was something to see!