Preserving our Dog History … and Purina Partners with Westminster

From Editor's Note, Dogs in Review July 2011

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Your response to our “Icons of the Sport” series written by Amy Fernandez has been hugely gratifying. Longtime fanciers are enjoying the opportunity to remember friends and peers, and reflect on all that they accomplished. Newer people in the sport who might recognize these names from a pedigree or a snippet of conversation overheard at a dog show tell us they appreciate the “back story” that illustrates why these greats truly were larger than life. See a sampling of readers’ letters about the series on pages 191-192 of this issue.

Given the legendary importance of these figures, it is ironic that tracking down their photos is such an ongoing challenge. Decades ago, photography wasn’t taken as casually as it is today, when virtually everyone has a phone capable of taking and forwarding pictures. Photographs were precious, albums were lovingly put together, and I can certainly remember black-and-white slide shows and home movies of great dogs that were the “featured entertainment” of many a specialty dinner.

Today we have the electronic means to scan vintage photos and preserve them for future generations of breeder-exhibitors. What we need is the will, the sense of urgency. Does your parent club have an archivist or historian? Have old catalogs, newsletters and photos of past specialty winners and club officers been safely stored? Put this on the agenda for your next club meeting. How tragic it would be if a half-century of irreplaceable breed history, photos, pedigrees and correspondence were disposed of in a single weekend because someone’s children or grandchildren decided to get rid of “Mom’s dog-show clutter.”

Click here for part 2


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