From the Editor

Time for a change?


Most dog people have, at one time or another, at least fantasized about chucking the Monday-to-Friday work life in favor of something more dog-friendly. In this issue, we’re here to tell you the idea is not entirely far-fetched. In fact, depending upon your current “day job,” it might only just take a bit of tweaking to customize it.

Take real estate, for example. As a dog fancier, you are familiar with the priorities of fellow fanciers, from zoning issues to drainage to escape-proof fencing. What a relief for a breeder on the market to deal with a real estate expert who understands his needs, “speaks his language,” and spends as much time scrutinizing the barn and the paddock as the fireplace and the granite countertops in the state-of-the-art kitchen.

Photographers and writers are other professions where you can tailor your current markets to serve the needs of the dog community. In recent years, you will have noticed that many savvy photographers with a flair for marketing have expanded their businesses to include the layout, copywriting and execution of ads for their clients – in short, a total-design service. Busy owners rearing puppies, running on a promising prospect and campaigning a Special certainly appreciate a resourceful photographer who is able to multitask, meet magazine deadlines for ads, and create a catchy look for their kennel.

Alice Bixler (“Canine Calling,” page 24) and Jan Mahood (“Combining Business and Pleasure,” page 30) bring you lots more ideas to mull over if you’re considering a career change. Bixler has enlisted the aid of career strategist Carol Christen to keep you focused on three essential questions: What job do I want? Where are those jobs to be found? How do I get employed doing a job I want?

Mahood has gathered advice from the likes of media pro David Frei, the voice of Westminster; photojournalist Kerrin Winter Churchill; judge Richard Beauchamp; professional handlers Michael and Michelle Scott; and trainer Babette Haggerty. Their collective advice should prove invaluable.

For those who aren’t looking for a total life change but would like to parlay their hobbies and talents into a revenue-generating cottage industry, read Stephanie Horan’s profiles in “Doggone Resourceful” (page 34). For many, necessity was the mother of invention. They identified a need, perhaps a personal one, that was lacking in the community, whether it be a show lead that was kind to arthritic hands, a pet crematorium or a local dog bakery, and acted on it. All reported to Horan that while the income is clearly appreciated, the satisfaction and pleasure derived from their work is no less significant.

One more amazing and successful profile is presented to us by Terry Long in her “About Agility” column (page 14). Tracy Sklenar of New York state traded the career of an accomplished musician for one as an equally well-respected professional agility instructor. Sklenar’s story is both fascinating and inspiring.

We hope these articles provide much food for thought. Please let us know if they motivate you to act on your own dreams and ambitions.


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