Editor's Page: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

As I write this column — or mull it over in my head, driving to the office — Andy Williams is singing this most beloved of Christmas songs on the car radio.

By Allan Reznik | December 27, 2012

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As I write this column — or mull it over in my head, driving to the office — Andy Williams is singing this most beloved of Christmas songs on the car radio. Of course he wasn't directing his sentiments at dog people, but it is indeed an exciting few weeks for the fancy, as we celebrate the things that make us merry.

As of this writing, the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is but a week away, with exhibitors from around the world setting their sights on Orlando. The conformation event is open to class competition this year which has resulted in a huge entry. Leading up to that extravaganza, there are shows all over the country decorated with holiday finery, exhibitors and judges looking festive. Kennel clubs are holding their Christmas parties and gift exchanges, giving busy members a chance to recharge their batteries, put down their brushes and raise a glass to toast their friends and wish them the best of the season. Westminster is around the corner, and it, too, will have class dogs competing and in two different venues. Many are relishing the change; some are disappointed with the break in tradition. Something had to be done to deal with the gargantuan, ongoing renovations at Madison Square Garden. There is plenty of buzz already about the February show, and we know Tom Bradley, David Frei and the rest of the club are up to the task of mounting a super show no matter what challenge the city throws at them.

Our December Annual always offers a wealth of good reading. In this issue, get acquainted with the AKC's new Chairman Alan Kalter. Dogs In Review Editor-at-Large Bo Bengtson asks Alan about his early years in the fancy; his success as a breeder-exhibitor of Bullmastiffs and an occasional owner of show dogs of other breeds; and how his busy career in the advertising world enhances his present role with the AKC.
Working with your spouse has its ups and downs. Consider the life of professional handlers where so much of your public life is played out in full view of the judges and your fellow exhibitors. Show dog superstars don't always come in pairs. Who gets to be the diva, and who might need to be the cheerleader more often? Professional handlers aren't the easiest people to track down on the road, but Caroline Coile managed to interview four power couples. She brings us considerable insight into their hectic lives while always delivering a witty read. Thank you, Caroline, for "Handle with Pair."

This time of year is traditionally one of reflection. We look back on the joys and sorrows of the past 12 months, perhaps shift priorities and move forward with personal improvements. Members of the fancy have been busy considering how our sport can be made better. In that reflective vein, Kitty Steidel offers up "Puzzled," thinking out loud as a delegate about how the AKC could elevate its profile. Mike Dugan offers suggestions and possible solutions in the "Future of the Sport."

Remember to visit DogChannel.com/EukanubaDogShow, to see exclusive video footage of the breed and Bred-by-Exhibitor Group judging at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.

Happy holidays to you and your dogs from all of us at Dogs In Review.

 

From the December 2012 (2013 Annual) issue of Dogs In Review magazine. Purchase the December 2012 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs In Review magazine.

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