I came back from the shows on Sunday just exhausted, but decided to just ‘take a quick peek’ at my list mail – never a good idea. Seems that yet another ‘you breeders are all show snobs’ troll had popped up, accusing us all of just being ‘in it for the shows’, while she apparently is breeding French Bulldogs just out of some genuine philanthropic desire to provide the general public with an unlimited supply of awesome pets. She’s the noble one, while we who show are just a ‘bunch of snobs’.
I thought maybe it would be helpful if I explained just how so many of us ‘show snobs’ spend our weekends. Mine was spent at the Purina National Dog show, in Toronto, where I was joined by Sue and Dick Simon, of Epic French Bulldogs, along with my fellow breeder information booth volunteers Richard and Ewa Rockford of Aristocrafts French Bulldogs, and fellow fancier Mary Ellen Sinclair.
For Sue and Dick and I, the day began on Saturday morning at about 4:30 am, feeding dogs, checking puppies, packing the van and getting all the materials for the breeder info booth ready.
After a two hour drive, we got to the show site, checked in, got our entries, and found out where our booth location was. I was set up in the middle of a bunch of other real show snobs, let me tell you – people who’d obviously spent thousands of dollars on breed info, signs, displays of breed history, and printing off informational sheets. Kind of funny, considering that no one there had any puppies to sell, and that a few of the other ‘show snobs’ around me told me that they hadn’t had a litter in ten years, but that they keep coming out just because they love the breed.
Judging was done by ten, and shortly after that were back at the booth. The next five or so hours were pandemonium.
We spoke to literally hundreds of members of the general public, explaining the good things and the horrid things alike about French Bulldogs – the shedding, the drooling, the farting, the health issues. We explained brachycephalic syndrome, allergies, spinal issues and juvenile cataracts. We referred people to websites, told them about rescue and encouraged them to join our club. We let them play with puppies and meet the adults. We talked and talked and talked until my voice literally gave out – and then I talked to the media, just to top it all off.
And what did we do the next day? Why, we did the same thing, all over again.
What did we get from all this? Nothing much. None of the volunteers or myself have available litters or puppies. We didn’t sell anything, we didn’t make any money, and in fact we paid for the gas and the printing and the booth rental out of our own pockets. We did it in the hope that the general public would learn how to make an educated choice about whether a French Bulldog is the right dog for them. We did it because that’s the sort of thing that ‘show snobs’ do on their weekends.
And where, I wonder, were the people who breed and breed and breed, but just don’t manage to ‘have the time or the money’ to make it out to shows? Sitting at home, I suppose, talking about how ‘horrible’ all of us show snobs are, and how we don’t care about the people who just want to buy a nice pet dog.
Show results from the weekend, along with photos and video, coming in the next day or two.