Editor's Page: Teamwork

Relationships are what make life rich; in many ways, relationships are what make life possible.

By Christi McDonald | September 1, 2006

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Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision; it is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. — Anonymous

I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older, and hopefully somewhat wiser, that life is, indeed, all about relationships. Relationships are what make life rich; in many ways, relationships are what make life possible. We mentioned in our last issue of DIR that in June, we lost a very valued friend and team member, Greg Warne. Greg was not only part of Dogs in Review — he was the Production Manager, friend, mentor and adviser for all of the BowTie, Inc. titles. But he was very special to the DIR team and we will always be grateful for the time he was with us, and for everything he gave to Dogs in Review. One of the original BowTie/DIR team members, Edred Rivera, now a designer for Dog World, created a beautiful memorial to Greg on pages 100 and 101.

It turns out that our lives within the sport of purebred dogs are also all about relationships, a fact which is widely reflected in this issue. Specifically, as owner-handlers we all develop important relationships with our dogs, but also with those people who become our role models, mentors, competitors and friends within the sport. In a like manner, the avocation of breeding dogs is not a solitary endeavor; we relate both to the breeders who have gone before us and to those currently working with our breeds. Over the past several months, as I’ve read about Bulldogs and studied many Bulldog pedigrees for various articles, I have been stunned and then delighted to find that, to an extent of which I’m unaware in any other breed, Bulldog breeders genuinely work together to breed great dogs. Literally every top-winning and top-producing Bulldog that I’ve come across in my research — all of the “greats” you’ve heard and read about and then some — are the result of combining dogs of two or more of the successful kennels in this breed. This kind of cooperation and teamwork appears to have been going on in Bulldogs for decades, and it is clear that the breed has benefited greatly from the relationships forged among Bulldog breeders. The brilliantly successful Bulldog breeder and judge, Cody Sickle, commented in his Kennel Feature article in the 2006 DIR Annual that, “The Bulldog community is very cooperative. We all benefit by having access to other breeders’ quality studs.”  Such a simple statement, and yet how profound the result of this cooperation — including the likes of Ch. Kippax Fearnought, Ch. Vardona Frosty Snowman, Ch. Marinebull’s All The Way, Ch. Lodel’s Hijacker of Kralan, Ch. Cherokee Dakota Robert, Ch. Millcoats Titus, Ch. Hetherbull Bounty’s Frigate, and so many more.

Relationships based on cooperation and teamwork between breeders from different countries have also yielded notable results for purebred dogs, reflected in part in our Canadian Feature in this issue. Similarly, Amanda Kelly discusses an issue that will require cooperation among breeders and perhaps between breeders and parent clubs in her article in this issue about how different breeds have evolved in the modern age. Professional handlers develop valuable and lasting relationships with their peers and clients; puppy buyers develop lifetime relationships with the breeders from whom they acquire their canine family members; dog people in general band together to fight anti-dog legislation, to rescue abused and unwanted dogs, and to make contributions in so many other ways.

There is no question that the future of our sport, and even of our dogs themselves, relies heavily on strong, positive relationships. By the same token, the future and the well-being of this publication rely on strong, positive relationships with our readers, supporters and advertisers, and we are committed to maintaining positive relationships with each and every one of you. Thus, I remind you that we welcome correspondence from one and all and as editor, I am available to answer questions or concerns you may have regarding any aspect of this magazine. In the meantime, I know you’ll enjoy the Owner-Handler, Canadian and Toy Poodle features in this issue, along with the contributions from our other great writers.

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