The Year Was 2012…

…when the KC finally decided to *peek* their collective heads out of their collective arses, and institute health checks for the Best of Breed winners of 15 breeds that are identified as “at risk.”

I’m so unbelievably excited about the step that the Kennel Club has finally taken, although cautiously optimistic that this is Step One, rather than Step About Halfway Up One Stair And Then Stampede Back In To The Arms Of The Breed Clubs.

This new practice of subjecting these Best of Breed winners to veterinary exams started at this year’s Crufts Dog Show and will continue at every future show.

From what I understand, we already have dismissals for the Bulldog, the Pekingese, the Clumber Spaniel, Mastiff, and Neopolitan Mastiffs.  The Clumber is the only one to have its veterinary report leaked (eye defect and ear infection anyone?) but it sounds as if the eyes are the target du jour.

I do have an opinion on this situation (several – surprise!), but it’s still unfolding, and I’m one of those people who likes to take a BIG story like this and chew on it for a bit before diving in.  I’ve commented a bit on other blogs (there is a LOT going on this week!) but I hope to have a full piece prepared at some point.

In the meantime, I’m going to send you a few places to track the story.  First, the woman of the hour, of course – Jemima Harrison of Pedigree Dogs Exposed – the documentaries, and the incredible blog.  It is true that countless others have stood before the world of dogs and demanded better for our “best friends.”  But no one managed it with the sheer impact you have had, Jemima.  You give us all hope for our respective breeds.  In fact, were I a Cavalier person, I’d be kissing your feet.  Luckily I was never taken in by their cute faces, always too concerned about their heart problems.  I can’t count the number of people you have spared from having to endure the torture that is watching your best friend hurt and not being able to make it better.  Here’s to hoping that some day, very soon, I will be able to recommend Cavaliers once again as the incredible breed that I know they could be.

Over to Terrierman Patrick Burns, who, as usual, is showing CNN just what it means to be “on the ball.”  Check out his blog for the latest information about Crufts and the inevitable breed club blowback.

And for an interesting, no-nonsense discussion about what REALLY needs to be done to improve the health and lives of ALL purebred dogs, stop in and visit with Gina Spadafori and her pack of pet bloggers.  Our hearts are with Gina right now, who is kicking up her own dust in the AKC and Flatcoat communities in an effort to reduce (eradicate!) cancers in Flatcoats.  Keep up the great work, Gina.

One final thought, to the Kennel Club.

You surprised us today.  A lot of us.  In a good way – which is not the way we’re used to being surprised, particularly when the Kennel Club is involved.

Suddenly we find ourselves behind you, urging you to continue forward – rather than facing head to head, trying to make you see the way you came, and where the wrong turns occurred.

Do us both a favour.  Don’t turn back around.  Keep going in this direction.  It’s not going backwards, it’s heading back from whence you came to correct errors.  Then continuing forward along a path that leads to healthy, happy, beautiful dogs, and a Kennel Club that dog lovers everywhere can be proud of.

More to come.

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One comment on “The Year Was 2012…

  1. Cats are natural born leaders. Dogs are natural born followers. It’s one of the reasons cats are easier to care for than dogs. They don’t have to be watched all the time. But they are also distant, more aloof. Everything’s on their terms. With a dog, he wants to do everything he can to make you happy, to make you love him.

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