Editor's Page: Enjoying Our Sport with Italian Flair

Welcome to the International Issue. We pride ourselves on the global perspective that Dogs In Review brings to our readers each month.

By Allan Reznik | November 29, 2012

Welcome to the International Issue. We pride ourselves on the global perspective that Dogs In Review brings to our readers each month. In this issue we celebrate the wonderful dogs and the colorful breeders, exhibitors, handlers and judges of Italy.

Many Americans got their first exposure to Italian show dogs with the unforgettable Bracco Italiano 'Axel' (Ch. Axel Del Monte Alago), whose powerful performance won him the Eukanuba World Challenge in Long Beach, Calif., in 2009. Others will remember judge Paolo Dondina's touching words as he took the microphone and spoke about 'Hickory,' the Scottish Deerhound he had selected for Best in Show at Westminster in February 2011. Italians aren't afraid to get emotional in their appreciation of great dogs, great food and wine or great art.

When we consider the dog breeds that Italy has given the world, they are distinctive and individual. The dignified Neapolitan Mastiff, the agile Cane Corso, the unique Bergamasco, the hard-working Spinone and flock-guarding Maremma, the graceful Italian Greyhound — these and others reflect generations of tradition on the part of dedicated breeders.

North American judges who return from assignments in Italy invariably comment on the relaxed mood of the shows as well as the quality of the dogs. There is a joyfulness that permeates every part of life in Italy and it is certainly felt in our sport as well. If a beautiful dog is viewed as a living work of art, glasses are raised to toast such an awe-inspiring creation.

As a world traveler himself, Editor-at-Large Bo Bengtson ably coordinated the feature on Italy with the help of contributors such as Massimo Chirivi. It's fun to think back on great dogs like 'Pa' the Standard Schnauzer and others less well-known that influenced the sport on the world stage. American judges Frank Sabella, Michael Canalizo and Pam and Dave Peat shared their observations with us, as did Richard Hellman and Pamela Renai della Rena, Americans who adopted Italy many years ago and embraced the sport there.

For those who love to crunch numbers, Bo and Massimo have provided lots of statistics. There are factoids aplenty, wonderful nuggets of pop culture and important information on how the registering body is organized and champion titles are earned.

Last but not least, we thank the proud owners of the foreign dogs who honored their achievements by advertising in the International Issue.
Also in this issue: a report of the Montgomery County Kennel Club terrier extravaganza by longtime breeder, judge and attendee Gay Dunlap (where a Lakeland Terrier bred in Belgium and owned by a Brazilian, Victor Malzoni, was judged BIS by the aforementioned Paolo Dondina of Italy! Does it get any more international than that?); coverage of the huge Harvest Moon Classic (Del Valle Dog Club and Skyline Dog Fanciers); and your ballot to vote for the winners of the 2012 Winkies® for Annual Achievement®.

 


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