Editor's Page: The Lasting Value of Tradition

If anyone in our fancy is steeped in tradition, it is the Terrier community, the group we celebrate and honor in this issue.

By Allan Reznik | Posted: September 29, 2014 1 p.m. PST

Allan Reznik Editor
Photo courtesy Julie Lynn Mueller.

Gastronomy to golf, film to fishing, whatever sport or passion engages us, there is tradition to be respected, valued and shared. Our individual success is built on the shoulders of those who came before us. The producing ability of our great sires and dams is thanks, in large part, to the strength of the pedigrees they represent. Not to acknowledge that is both foolish and arrogant.

If anyone in our fancy is steeped in tradition, it is the Terrier community, the group we celebrate and honor in this issue. Since 1929, the Montgomery County Kennel Club has drawn the greats, four- and two-legged, to Pennsylvania every October. Breeder-exhibitors bring out their young hopefuls to catch the discerning eye of international Terrier authorities, and most every special being actively shown will be seen there as well.

Some of the most revered names in our sport are associated with Montgomery County. The indomitable Dr. Josephine Deubler was the show chair for three decades, from 1977 through 2006. The well-respected breeder-exhibitor and judge Walter Goodman served as Montgomery County’s president from 1986 through 2010. They, together with other dedicated club members, have truly made the show an event known the world over.

As newly recognized AKC breeds like the Cesky, Russell and Rat enter the AKC Terrier family, their owner-exhibitors revel in the opportunity to compete at Montgomery County. It is a rite of passage and all about building on tradition.

Another huge tradition in the sport was established by the one and only Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge: the famed Morris & Essex Kennel Club dog show on her sprawling New Jersey estate. In this issue, Bo Bengtson writes about the elegance and fanfare this event embodied.

Beginning in 2000, this iconic show was revived under the stewardship of Wayne Ferguson, president of the current-day Morris & Essex Kennel Club. Held every five years in October, just before the Montgomery County show, Morris & Essex offers exhibitors a day of unrivaled sportsmanship, hospitality and civility.

Ordinarily, we get a glimpse of a bygone era only by visiting museums or reading history books. Happily, the Morris & Essex Kennel Club affords us a hands-on experience, reconnecting with the vision that Mrs. Dodge realized. You’ll want to be there next year, in October 2015.

Of course no sport can survive and stay relevant if it remains entrenched in the past. Every year, every decade, new stars emerge and new traditions begin. But they can only be truly meaningful when considered within the context of our overall history.

 

From the October 2014 issue of Dogs in Review magazine. Subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs in Review magazine, or call 1-888-738-2665 to purchase a single copy.


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