Table Talk · April 5, 2023



I would like to thank all of you who responded to the topics covered in Table Talk over the last couple of weeks. No matter what your view/opinion is, I truly enjoy reading your responses.  The topics discussed over the last several weeks received great feedback, and I will summarize it here:

Should professional handlers show in Sweepstakes/Futurity classes?  Based on the responses I received, the fancy is split on this topic. Those who feel pros should be able to exhibit dogs in sweeps are those that have been unable–for one reason or another–to show their dog but want to participate. On the other hand, those owners who I heard from who do not have any physical limitations and are able to exhibit their dogs indicated a preference to keep professional handlers out of the Sweepstakes/Futurity ring.

Should AKC judges or those that have received numerous regular group or BIS wins be allowed to exhibit in the NOHS?  The majority of the fanciers that responded to this query felt that regardless of an individual’s judging or win status, their status as an owner/handler should be celebrated, and they should be allowed to compete in NOHS.  There were a few individuals who felt judges licensed for a group or more should be disallowed.

Judges Recertification Process: I received an overwhelming positive response to requiring judges to recertify every five years. I find this requirement essential to maintaining the integrity of our judging pool. As I mentioned last week, I cannot help but think that this recertification process is the reason we have had several inactive judges go emeritus over the past several months, and I do not think this is a bad thing. Many professionals in various fields are required to maintain their status by completing continuing education. There is no reason that judges can’t be held to similar standards.  Those that are curious about the process in its entirety should listen to the webinar at

Any exhibitors who are planning on attending the Apple Valley Cluster in Southern California this coming weekend should make sure that they read the premium list and judging program!  There will be no grooming products or dryers allowed in the building! With the difficulty our friends in Southern California are having securing and keeping venues, it is important that everyone make plans to comply with this request!!

In addition to a shortage of suitable venues for dog shows, the pool of individuals willing or qualified to serve as Show Chair is an equally critical problem. Given the shortage of willing volunteers, it is difficult to be too demanding of those willing to accept the task. Some accept the position without understanding the magnitude of the job. The responsibilities of being a Show Chair are much more difficult than most understand.  AKC Club Development does have programs available to those who want to learn, so if you are looking for a way to help the sport, and help your local club, I encourage you to reach out to AKC Club Development and go through the various educational materials they provide about what is required to put on a show.

I am sad to report that Ellen Yamada passed away last week. She is remembered by those close to her as always being optimistic, encouraging and supportive of those around her. She was an instrumental member of the Orange Empire Dog Club as well as a dedicated and devoted fancier. Please keep Burt and the Yamada family in your thoughts at this most difficult time.  Ellen will be sorely missed by the fancy and all who loved her.

Congratulations to Phil Booth and Heidi Hartman who tied the knot a couple weeks ago! Best wishes for a bright future filled with love and happiness.

I am told Anita O’Berg’s mother took a fall and required surgery. Best wishes to her for a speedy recovery.

A bit of advice to those owner-handlers who want to be competitive against professional handlers:

  • Get yourself a good dog
  • Dress the part
  • Train your dog
  • Know your breed standard
  • Know your dog’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Observe
  • Be prepared
  • Give yourself plenty of time
  • Stick to the plan
  • Advocate for your dog

And remember this truism!!!!!  You have the advantage because you have less dogs to show.  YOU have a right to be there. You can do this!!!  Enjoy the moment!!

Fanciers celebrating birthdays this week are:  Carla Sanchez, Susie Olivera, Will Alexander, John Lyons, Caroline Clegg, Lesli Smith, Ken Murray, Jen Milani, Barb Ohmann, Chris Jones and Roxanne Chumbley. Enjoy your special day, my friends! Make it a great one!

Be safe out there, my friends! If you have not done so already, it is time to get your generators and air conditioners checked out; check your temperature monitors, and load up on those sunscreens, too!!!!  Summer is right around the corner!!!!

I’ll see you down the road. Until next time…

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on Apr 5 2023. Filed under Featured.
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