A quick thanks to everyone who came out to the Kitchener Waterloo Kennel Club dog show this weekend to meet some Frenchies! At least six or eight people came out, some of whom I had only the briefest of moments to talk to, for which I apologize. Next time, we’ll try to organize things a bit better, so that I have a chance to talk to everyone. It was pretty funny, actually – at one point, we’d taken over the entire corner of the floor, and it looked like a tiny Frenchie Meet Up in progress.
Pickle and her cousin Lyra make their show ring debut at the KW Dog Show next weekend
The judging schedule has been released for the Kitchener Waterloo dog show, on Saturday, May 21st. If you’d like to come out and see the Frenchies compete, we are in the ring at approximately 10:30 am
There are five French Bulldogs entered on Saturday – 2 class bitches, 2 class dogs, and one bitch special. Reading the judging schedule is second nature to anyone who shows on a regular basis, but it occurred to me that it can be difficult for anyone new to showing to interpret how to read a judging schedule.
Here’s a quick crash course, courtesy of the Central Iowa Kennel Club. I’ve substituted the KW judging schedule for the sample schedule they used.
Photo above – Holmes coming out of recovery with a vet tech
On Friday, Holmes and his foster mom headed out to what I like to call “The Veterinary Parking Lot”, aka the Most Crowded Vet Clinic in the World (this is the clinic I spoke about in my post about meeting a Puggle Breeder). Karen got to experience the chaos of an all surgery clinic first hand, and Holmes got his surgery done.
He seemed to come through it just fine, although the veterinarian has some concerns that there might be more than just palate at work with Holmes breathing issues. Unfortunately, when Karen got him home, she noticed that he was unable to put any weight on his rear. This isn’t a limp – it’s simply that Holmes can’t seem to support himself in the rear – as if his hips (never great to begin with) have simply stopped working.
I was feeling stir crazy on Sunday after having spent four straight days staring at a computer monitor, so Billie and I decided to go and visit her daddy, Stoli, at the Fergus Dog Show. The Fergus Show has baby puppy classes, which makes it acceptable to bring younger pups onto the show grounds. Since Billie is up to date on her shots, off we went for an adventure.
Billie has never been to a show before – in fact, until yesterday, Billie had never been anyplace before, other than the backyard and a quick walk to the mailbox and back.
Talk about your first times!
I sometimes feel like I’m spending a lot of my time defending my fellow breeders, in large part because almost all of the breeders I know personally really are ethical people who love their dogs and their breeds. I also defend conformation showing, which I know seems trivial and superficial to anyone outside of the fancy. It’s a sport I have mixed feelings about, but at its best I enjoy it as a fun way to meet with friends, have a look at their dogs, and maybe take home some ribbons.
At its worst, however, showing becomes a world filled with shady, amoral behavior, none of which seems to have anything to do with the well being of the dogs, and most of which has to do with greed, ego and money. When at its worst, it becomes hard to defend either showing, or the breeders involved in it.
This would be one of those ‘worst’ situations.
A recent criminal case based in Venice reveals a darker side of the $330 million American dog show industry where greed and ultra competitiveness can lead to allegations of cheating, corruption and vindictive acts.
Venice dog breeder Melinda “Mindy” Holmes, 48, was arrested this month on a felony extortion charge in the falsification of a champion show dog’s veterinary records and demanding money to keep those records hidden.
The allegations have rocked the Greater Venice Florida Dog Club, of which Holmes was a member in good standing for several years.
“I’m just in shock,” said Rita Figg, a founding member of the Venice dog club when she learned of Holmes’ arrest on Feb. 12. “I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before.”
According to sheriff’s reports, Holmes in 2009 first threatened to release damaging documents about a Pembroke Welsh corgi, named Ty, bred by AKC judges Rutledge and Nash Parker of North Carolina unless they paid Holmes $18,000.
The Parkers claim Holmes fraudulently changed Ty’s veterinary records to show the dog had been cosmetically altered through surgery, which would prevent him from competing and could permanently damage the Parkers’ judging and breeding careers.
The Corgi involved in this case, Champion Happiharbor Saddle Lane Ty, is not just any show dog, either – he’s the number four ranked Pembroke Welsh Corgi in the country. Ty was exhibited at Westminster this year, but while Ty didn’t place in the ribbons this year, he has numerous prestigious wins in his past, including Best in Specialty Show.
The article doesn’t specify what surgery it was alleged that Ty had had performed on him, but it’s possible that none of his wins would have been awarded if it was proven that Ty had received cosmetic surgery.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed standard states –
A dog must be very seriously penalized for the following faults, regardless of whatever desirable qualities the dog may present: oversized or undersized; button, rose or drop ears; overshot or undershot bite; fluffies, whitelies, mismarks or bluies.
I assume that Holmes was threatening that Ty had one of these ‘serious’ faults corrected. Holmes, who breeds Corgis under the “MapleCreek” prefix, was the breeder of Ty’s dam. She and the Parkers had apparently done breedings together in the past.
More from the Herald Tribune:
The Parkers, according to arrest documents, paid Holmes $3,000 to keep the falsified records private, but refused to give her $15,000 more she demanded.
Then, a month before this year’s Westminster show, Holmes reportedly e-mailed Ty’s vet records to the dog’s handler to discourage her from showing the dog. Breeders often own the dogs, but handlers are the ones who present the dog in competitions.
Reached for comment in North Carolina, the Parkers would not discuss specifics of the incident beyond what was in the police report. But Rutledge Parker said he and his wife fear further retaliation by Holmes.
“I’ve never dreamed of something like this happening. I don’t know how to react to it,” he said. “This was all about money, and that’s clear from the police report.”
Read the rest of the article here.