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Sherry’s Corner » 2012» February

Archives for February, 2012

Westminster Thoughts

Those of you who watched the Best in Show judging saw the Pennsylvania Pekingese, Malachy, win with dignity and poise, showing his deliberate “I do it my way” attitude!  So where were you?  You could have seen Malachy up front and personal give the same winning performance last November on the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds in the Bald Eagle (Williamsport-based) kennel club show.  Parking and admission free! 

       And, of course, it didn’t take away from the moment to know that judge Cindy Vogel has a considerable Chinese judging experience.  She has seen many many Pekingese and would know a great one when she saw one! 

      The other moment of delight for me personally was Emily, the Irish Setter that won the Sporting Group to earn a place in the final competition.  I met Emily at another  Bloomsburg show.  Her handlers had allowed Emily to curl up on a bed perched high on a stack of crates.  She loved looking down on all the other dogs! “This working mother”, as David Frei dubbed her, had taken time out of the show world to have 9 puppies since I saw her.

      And, of course, Adan’s win of a Merit honor was a most exciting plus for this three-year-old.  It was a first–that is, the first show dog for Carol Dunn, the Bloomsburg resident and Geisinger nurse who spends her spare time rescuing Goldens.  Adan competed in a class of 32 other Goldens.  Now that he has tucked this Westminster in his repertoire he will no doubt return next year for a win and who knows perhaps be the very first Golden Retriever to go Best in Show there. 

WESTMINSTER JUDGING ARENA TO CHANGE IN 2013

      Next year the Westminster Show will make a historic move and allow dogs with major points, not necessarily champions, to compete.  Long ago dogs with “majors” were allowed the Westminster privilege and my first homebred English Springer, Hovals Christmas Knight, a grandson of the first Springer to win BIS there did show in this different format. At that time in Westminster history it was a smaller world.  One could see and speak to judges on their way to the rings.  I will never ever forget joking with the iconic Percy Roberts as we scurried up the stairs.

      The breed judging will move out of the hallowed Madison Square Garden to Piers 92/94 during the day to be brought together in the evenings for network televised group and BIS competition.  And, the number of dogs allowed to compete will increase to 3,200.  This and emphasis on the breeder/owner will make the Bloomsburg cluster and other smaller shows much more exciting as the place to be able to view the great in each breed.  Cheers to the Westminster Board of Directors.  The new plans should help guarantee that man’s best friend will remain true to its purpose and never become an endangered species!   

Feb 19, 2012 | Comments are off | Uncategorized

The Power of Dog Food

      According to an AP article in the New York Times, the Westminster Kennel Club has changed its sponsor from Pedigree to Purina because Pedigree insisted on using advertisements showing shelter dogs in cages.  “This is not the message we want sent in this Show,” David Frei is quoted as saying.  Now, wagging tails and happy, beautiful dogs will be the advertised theme.  Unfortunately, we in Pennsylvania know the puppy mill battle is not over and there is an epidemic of stray dogs needing homes.  It makes you wonder how much influence dog food producers and the Westminster Board believe that they have in governing our behavior with our best friends?  I am not going to suggest a protest by tuning out this event, but concerned dog owners should “message” Purina and Westminster.

      A former American Veterinary Medical Association president suggested increasing dog food prices by one cent to fund spay/neuter surgery.  That would make a significant difference.  Note:  The AVMA posts pet food recalls at www.avma.org/petfood/recalls.

WHEN A ROAD KILL DIET IS NEEDED? When pets stop eating we believe that this is a sign that death is near.  We ply them with all kinds of wonderfully non-typical dog and cat foods.  And, we fuss and even force.  I wonder if negative thoughts accompanying the food refusal do not play a significant role–give negative energy to our intentions. 

A friend who worked in dog food production told me that when testing new foods they usually lean toward the ones that look and smell the best.  If it looks like road kill and smells like road kill it is discarded–bacon is never road kill!  Unfortunately, he said this usually was the food the dogs liked best. I am not advocating road kill although I know a lady who fed her cats a diet gathered on the road.  Instead, I offer thoughts from three veterinarians who have helped me with eating problems when they have occurred. The first denounces the regular over processed food we buy for our pets.  She would have us add human food to the diet (table scraps are not only fashionable but good for them). Another veterinarian from Cornell told me that a hard-boiled egg was the perfect food.  My dogs have since enjoyed an egg a day either in their meal or perched on top the dish.  A third veterinarian told me to feed the organ that was not functioning. If it is the liver–give your pet liver, if kidneys, etc., try chicken gizzards.  And, try moistening the dog food with the broth from cooking and/or yogurt.  Other things you can do is switch from the regular dry food to canned or vice versa. Try warming the food in a microwave.  If you own a small- or medium-size dog try adding a small breed canned diet to the regular food.  It is balanced, but has more energy than all-breed diets.  And, finally not eating probably is a sign.  Discuss the problem with your veterinarian.  There are special prescription diets for ill and end-of-life situations and they don’t look like road kill.

Feb 13, 2012 | Comments are off | Uncategorized