Welcome to the last issue of The Working/Herding Dog Digest for 2016.
Every year I write my last Publisher’s Page the day after Thanksgiving. This year however was different because I was in Montgomery, Alabama exhibiting my Akita at the last shows of the year that I am allowed to show at (Because of business I do not show my dogs in Orlando during the week of The AKC National Championship). So my Akita Bitch ‘Comfort” (who needed just two singles to finish) had this one last chance to finish or we had to wait until the next shows in Georgia which is not until February 2017.
Now all my friends and family know I LOVE to eat. This would of course make Thanksgiving my favorite holiday. Trust and believe you don’t know Soul Food like I know Soul Food. So you can just imagine my dismay when on Thanksgiving morning I’m giving a 100 pound Akita a bath and blow dry to get on the road for 3 hours. Instead of sitting down at a big table of delicacies surrounded by family and friends.
Now for the brutally honest part. I didn’t want to go; I thought of every reason why not to go. I won’t be able to work and edit on ads, I have to do the page numbering, I promised Audrey I would bring the champagne, I’m too tired, I want to spend it with Nick and oh yes I need to concentrate and write a good last column of the year with a great message.
Now that I’m of a certain age, I don’t like to drive long distances at night when I have a dog, I have become very set in my ways in that I want to check in to the hotel and ex my dog while the sun in still up and call it a night. I remember back in what we called the “good old days” it was nothing for me to work all day-then groom- then go the club- then get on the road, get 4 hours sleep and somehow make it to 8:30 AM Judging on the January Florida Circuit using my Akita for warmth because no one told this California guy how cold it could get in the sunshine state.
Amazingly all those thoughts of “Why am I doing this” went away when I pulled my van onto the show grounds and saw the first familiar face. And then another and another. I realized all of us at the show had left behind loved ones on a special day. Because dogs are our passion and I for one wouldn’t have it any other way. A fun group of dog lovers got together at Cracker Barrel to enjoy a Thanksgiving night filled with big laughs, new and old friends and the best sweet tea I have ever tasted.
Iin case you were wondering “Comfort” did finish her Championship and I wrote this column in my head driving north on I-85. Getting back just in time to type it up and get it off to the printers to make the deadline.
Even though there are still a few more shows left in the year it is safe to say “Preston” the Puli ran away with the title of Top Dog All-Breeds. How fitting that the first lady of Atlanta, Kathleen Steen’s last judging assignment of Best In Show at the Atlanta Kennel Club was awarded to this great Herding Dog.
Our next issue is the Westminster preview issue. Deadline: January 15th. New York, New York if you can make it there you can make it anywhere.
Thank you to our wonderful clients for making 2016 one of the best years ever. Come and join us in 2017 as we go on bigger and better adventures.
Happy New Year to one, and all. I will see you at the shows,