The fight against California Assembly Bill 1634 continues. Over the past month activity swirling around the bill seems to have increased daily, both in the media and online, and some sense of sanity seems to have returned to California. I visited a web site yesterday that keeps citizens abreast of legislative action in the state, and following an article by the author of 1634 were comments from almost 160 people; try as I might I found not one single missive among them in support of the bill. Similarly, when local media has queried citizens over the past few weeks about their thoughts on the bill, opposition seems strong. I think that once dog fanciers, the media and regular folks who own pets were alerted about the bill many people began to investigate what it really says, and it became clear that it is the wrong answer to what is admittedly a real problem. Thank goodness we have the freedom in this country to speak our minds, both in the press and as private citizens. Knowledge really is power, whether or not we realize it on a daily basis.
This doesn’t mean that the fight against AB 1634 is over, or that it won’t pass; nor does it mean that we can relax for one moment. There is lots of legislation of this kind pending around the country and even more in the early stages of creation, and as we’ve said here before, as dog fanciers and hobby breeders we have to remain diligent. Today, as much as at any time in recent history, making sure that we’re informed about what goes on around us is crucial to protecting our rights and privileges as citizens, even of the most free nation in the world.
And speaking of keeping ourselves informed and continually learning more about that which interests us, at Dogs in Review we are always gratified by the feedback we get about the magazine. It is almost always positive, but even when it criticizes or questions, we appreciate hearing what our readers think. Our team and our writers are passionately devoted to putting out the best possible magazine for the sport; knowing that our efforts are recognized and appreciated means a lot to us. So next time you read something in DR that you have an opinion or question about, write or e-mail us. And if you enjoy what we bring to you each month, tell five friends about the magazine, or give someone a gift subscription. The sport of showing purebred dogs is, in fact, a microcosm of the wider world, but on balance we have fewer sources for information, news, history and education about our sport, making the few avenues we do have that much more valuable. Telling others about your sources helps inform and educate even more people about the sport.
This brings to mind a comment I’d like to make about the passing of a gentleman I’ll miss greatly, although we never met in person. Hugh Ungerleider was a successful Borzoi breeder and a judge of a handful of hounds, Danes, Shar-Pei and German Shepherd Dogs, all of which he was knowledgeable and passionate about. I wasn’t acquainted with Hugh until a few years ago when we came in contact through a letter he wrote to us about something he’d read in DR. After I became editor, I would get an e-mail from him now and then, always with the opening, “Greetings from Big Sky Country,” and we occasionally corresponded back and forth about different topics covered in the magazine. It meant a lot to me to know that someone so passionate about dogs cared enough about what we do to take the time to write, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing his perspective on various topics. When I heard of his passing, I found that I will truly miss those big, open greetings, the messages that followed them, and the gracious gentleman who sent them. Our sport is full of treasures, both human and canine, who we’re so fortunate to know. Let’s be sure we tell them how much we value them.
Christi McDonald, Editor
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