How Do They Do It?
Dogs in Review talks to some of the busiest, well-traveled judges in the sport.
Allan Reznik |
December 19, 2013
- How do you keep yourself organized and on top of your busy schedule?
- Do you limit the number of international assignments you accept each year?
- Do you book your own travel, use a travel agent or rely on the show-giving club?
- How much luggage do you fly with?
- Do you have any "rituals" — favorite food, music, yoga, reading material — that help you keep sane and curb fatigue on the road?
- What one travel essential do you never leave home without?
- What's your best travel tip to share with other judges and well-traveled exhibitors?
- I keep a calendar that I developed on my PC, with details (contacts, travel arrangements, etc.), and I have a backup paper file organized by assignment in order of date.
My husband, David, and I are honored to be invited whether domestically or internationally. If we are available, even on short notice, we'll go, as long as we are not judging in the same area we've judged recently. We love to travel, love dogs, dog shows and dog people. We are always delighted to be invited and consider every trip an adventure!
- We are happy to work with clubs on their preferences for handling travel, but I am a master at finding the lowest possible airfare, car rental, etc. We analyze/balance flying from San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC) and Monterey (MRY), parking costs, etc., to save money for clubs. I use every discount possible. Often, I can get a lower hotel rate than the club's. At a very recent show, we were talking airfares with the other judges. David and I flew round trip for $279 each, less than half of what most others had paid. We also are willing to rent a car and help with transportation. It seems that a lot of judges prefer not to drive anymore. We don't mind at all and enjoy helping the club and meeting new folks. We have a lot of experience in organizing hospitality and travel, and try to help ease the burden of clubs we are judging for, while saving them money.
- It depends somewhat on how many days we are judging. One roller bag if alone and going for one or two days. Usually if we both go, we fly with one suitcase for both of us. We have status with several airlines, so we don't usually have to pay for a bag. David is an exceptionally talented packer. I lay things out and help unpack at the hotel. Clothing rarely needs more than touch-up ironing. He's quite amazing.
- Every trip is a challenge (especially with the airlines) and an adventure. No ritual as such, but we research area restaurants so we find the best places to eat (at reasonable prices). If clubs offer a judges' dinner, we always attend, but otherwise, part of the enjoyment of traveling is finding great local food!
- More than one: smartphone and charger, file of pertinent paperwork, comfortable shoes, reading material (including breed study material; we carefully review each breed before judging), snacks, wallet with driver's license, military ID and credit cards (and passport if going out of the country), and a sense of humor.
- Tips: If overseas, your passport should be on your person at all times, unless you are in bed. Put a photocopy of your passport in your suitcase and hand luggage. Be aware of your surroundings. Be careful, but be positive. Always be nice to travel personnel, border agents, hotel staff and your ring steward, or at least don't irritate them. Rental car insurance is too expensive if you have your own car insurance. Learn from every situation. Be flexible.
- I created a Word document which shows inquiries and commitments already made. These are arranged by date, location, show-giving club, breeds to be judged, contact information and any restrictions required by the club. I download this document to my smartphone so I can reference it on the road if necessary. It's simple and unsophisticated but provides the information I need to avoid conflicts and respond to inquiries about judging.
- No limits. We love to travel and are still fit enough to enjoy it. As long as that's the case, we will continue to accept out-of-country assignments. We are the Paladin judges — "Have Passport, Will Travel!"
- We usually arrange our own travel, or to be very clear, Carolyn arranges it. She trained for a while as a travel agent, so she knows what she is doing and plays the game very well. Her thrifty Midwest upbringing means she enjoys working hard to find the best deals and save money for the clubs who hire us. We belong to small all-breed and Group clubs and understand the need to be economical in our approach to travel, so even though it takes a lot of her time, she enjoys the challenge.
- We are pretty light travelers. We try to survive with hand luggage if only judging for a day. Multiple-day assignments see us using one hard-sided suitcase between the two of us. I'm pretty good at packing, so that usually suffices. It's always a worry checking a bag in case it goes missing and our clothes for judging don't arrive. I always carry on toiletries in addition to the larger set I pack in the suitcase for the same reason. We always check the weather forecast and whether the show is indoors or out, and pack accordingly.
- On the outward journey, it's always study time for the breeds I will be judging. I used to carry a lot of material with me (e.g. notes I have accumulated from breed experts, etc.), but this became impractical the more breeds I judge. So I devised a system of summarization of essential elements for each breed. These, together with the breed standards, I downloaded as PDF files onto my smartphone. On the return journey it's time to catch up on other reading. On both legs, I vary my reading with crosswords and Sudoku, both of which help to pass the time, as well as keeping me mentally active.
- It has become my smartphone. Not only do I use it for reading (see 5 above), but it also acts as my watch, my alarm, GPS, Internet access, Dictaphone for critiques, and of course my communication device for both email and voice communication. These devices are truly remarkable, and after resisting getting one for awhile, it has now become indispensable on the road.
- Make time to enjoy the locations you visit. If you can manage, go in a day early at your own expense. An extra day gives you peace of mind that the airline will get you there and gives you opportunity to enjoy the local area. It makes trips even more special and educational. For example, we've used the extra day to take the Level 9 tour at the NASA Space Center when we judged in Houston. When judging overseas, we often go in three to four days early. In Italy this past April, we visited castles and cathedrals. In South Africa, we visited Kruger Park and other reserves. In Finland, we spent time in Helsinki and drove the length of the country. Travel truly opens the mind, so it's worthwhile seeking out things that make each location unique. Also, one of the things we like to do is to find really good restaurants serving local dishes. Be a bit adventurous!
- I have various ways to keep organized, but it isn't always easy. First, I have a notebook near my office phone so I can jot down all conversations regarding future assignments. With the onset of email invitations, this gets more difficult, and I'm working on that aspect of recording all emails as well. Second, I have a couple of calendars I use, and I pencil in the name of the club, and when I receive the contract, I highlight it to indicate that a contract has been received. I also have a folder for each month in which I place all contracts or any other correspondence with such clubs. I have a folder for each club in the current year, which is separate from the monthly folders. I also record any assignment I have a contract for on my iPhone and iPad.
- Not really. I don't get that many international assignments to worry about limiting them.
- Generally I use Kyle at Onofrio. At first I was doing my own, but as I got more assignments, it was just too big a bill on my American Express card and giving my husband a heart attack, so I now use Kyle for most of my assignments. I still do international travel arrangements myself as well as a few select shows whose clubs won't allow us to use Onofrio.
- It all depends on the time of year and how many shows. I always have to check at least one bag. With all my hair products, facial creams and other toiletries, I can't fit it all in a little baggy to carry on. I always have a small carry-on with essentials that will hold me over for a day or two in case luggage is lost. Plus my briefcase/bag with all my judging information and standards.
- I love to read and love my Kindle, and that goes with me all the time. I have my Bose headset with my music on my iPhone, and that helps drown out crying babies and such on the planes. I also take my own neck pillow, which helps me be more comfortable on flights. I have a stack of Pilate cards and like to stretch before bed. I say a prayer each morning for guidance in my judging and in hopes to honor Him with doing a good and honest job. I also write down on a 3 by 5 card all pertinent information about my travel, such as flights, hotel information and show chairs' numbers. It keeps it all in one place and easily accessible.
- My iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Bose headphones, standards and neck pillow. That's more than one.
- Make sure all your electronics are charged and carry extra batteries. I once had my Kindle die on me shortly after beginning the 13-hour flight to China. I ended up having to read People magazines, which I hate. Make sure your luggage is well labeled. I recently had an issue with my bag getting mixed up with another flier. Thankfully, he looked up my name and gave me a call when he received my bag. I now check the luggage tag when the attendant gives it to me to make sure my name is on it and not someone else's.
- Organized? You have got to be kidding. I meet myself coming and going and amaze myself that my traveling goes as smoothly as it does. I do use the KISS method, "Keep It Simple Sweetheart!" I always take the first flight of the day, leaving and returning, if possible. Just in case there is a problem with flights, the availability of a later flight will ensure that I do not miss my judging assignment. The judging calendar from the American Dog Show Judges Association (Carl Liepmann is the secretary) is the tool I implemented when I began judging. While it is not the latest "techie" tool, the simplicity of having your shows written down for an instant reference works best for me. The system that was put in place for me when I started judging is the one that I have stayed with, regardless of the availability of the most up-to-date gadgets. When a club contacts me, I start a file folder on the club. I write everything down, the person who contacted me, their phone number and the date they contacted me. I make a copy of all correspondence, and everything goes into their folder. The name of the show, contact person and their phone number also is written in the ADSJ calendar, which I carry with me when I travel, so I can always check my schedule when a club contacts me on the road and be able to check for conflicts.
- No, I do not limit the number of international assignments in one year. The plain and simple fact is I would never have dreamed in a million years that I would have been so fortunate as to visit so many exciting places around the world, and at the same time doing what I love. The travel is difficult many times, but the clubs are so grateful and accommodating, it certainly makes for many wonderful memories. Yes, I am exhausted when I get home, but ready to go again the next day!
- All of my travel arrangements I take care of myself. I shop around for the least expensive ticket I can find to save the clubs money on travel expenses. I try any way I can to reduce expenses for the clubs. With the state of dog shows today, some clubs struggle to put on a show, and whatever I can do to reduce their expenses, I know they appreciate.
- Luggage I fly with? One checked bag and golf clubs! I carry on my briefcase, which contains important items like my passport, breed standards, judging calendar, laptop computer, Bose headphones, candy, nuts and more candy!
- Rituals to keep me sane? Yes, my yoga mat goes with me everywhere! I do yoga, along with meditation, and I read volumes of Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra. Just kidding. As long as I have my computer so I can play Angry Birds, Tiger Woods Golf, solitaire and video poker, with a pile of nuts and/or candy and a big Pepsi to wash it all down with, I am one happy camper. I do love to watch television at the same time so I don't miss any good golf shots!
- My essential travel item? I think we all know the answer to this one: golf clubs.
- My best travel tip would be to not get upset over things you have no control over. Canceled and/or delayed flights are probably the most frustrating, but it is totally out of your control. So just make the best of things and do your best to get to where you need to be. Please don't be rude to others who are just doing their jobs and have nothing to do with the situation. Maybe if we were more kind to one another, we could start an epidemic. Remember to always treat others as you would like to be treated.
Houston and Toddie Clark
- Everything in and about the office is color-coded because that is the only way to keep the years straight. There is a yearly color and a file for each month. I (Toddie) devised a Word itinerary with columns for tentative or contract, day, date, show name, state and airport. With each show addition, I number the itinerary and print copies for the office, Houston's file and my file. The only times I've messed up because of my poor geography or trouble with one of the computers or printers.
- We no longer take foreign assignments.
- I do all of our travel arrangements.
- Houston has a "Wally" bag and a puller board that he always carries on. Depending on weather or number of shows, I check a regular-size Rollaboard or a large one, and I roll a small one on board with essentials, such as makeup and vitamins.
- We attempt to get a good night's sleep upon arrival and find it is easier to do our bills that night as well. Although traveling is tiring, judging is more mental, and we find our minds are more clear that first night. The sanity part is questionable as the losers will testify to that. Being home curbs fatigue and nothing "on the road" does that.
- For me it is makeup. For Houston it would be sport coats and ties.
- Try to book flights in advance. Things change as "early isn't always best," and it isn't always best for rental cars.
- Computer database with an interactive calendar of all future assignments, as well as a paper filing system in my office.
- One, maximum two, foreign trips a year at this point — by choice, and normally to countries Michelle wants to visit ... especially if there's a serious bonsai community.
- Kyle Robinson at Onofrio Travel has done most of my travel booking for years. Occasionally I'll do my own online. I personally confirm the hotel a few days in advance, along with ground travel arrangements from the airport.
- I travel very light. One piece that is checked ... too many civilian travelers try to carry on their entire wardrobe and the kitchen sink, creating a boarding nightmare. I carry on a knapsack for my tablet, paperwork, a few incidentals, medicines and media.
- At the hotel there's room service, beer and/or vodka, and baseball, basketball and golf on TV. Plus I'll do some Facebook updating for our Windsong Resort for Pets pet resort on my tablet. And lots of newspaper reading ... two to three papers a day on a trip to keep up with what's going on in the world.
- Lint brush.
- Carry food/snack items in the event your flight is delayed, and the airport and hotel restaurants are closed. Don't forget your phone/tablet/laptop chargers in your hotel room.
- The Judges Ready Reference Calendar, published by Carl Liepmann, is a must for me. Between that and my iCal (computer calendar), I manage to stay on top of things.
- I wish I could say that I have so many of these that I must consider limiting them! Perhaps one day...
- For the most part I do my own bookings, though I occasionally use Kyle Robinson at Onofrio Travel, especially if the show-giving club requests it.
- Most of the time my luggage is carried on for two reasons: one, I hate having to wait for it at baggage claim, and two, I know it will get there when I do!
- What keeps me sane is an often ridiculously early airport arrival to avoid the angst of a missed flight! I use the extra time to catch up on my favorite dog publications or to look over breed standards. I often doze during the flight.
- My "lotions and potions!"
- To keep those nasty little germs at bay and stay healthy, I carry a small vial of organic lavender oil with me and dab a drop or two in each nostril before boarding a plane. I swear it works!
- All contracts are filed in my main log book, then I make notes on the contracts of anything pertinent as time goes on. I also write the shows in an 8.5 x 11 monthly date book that sits on top of my desk for quick reference, and I write them in a small personal planner that I carry with me. For packing, some things just stay in a suitcase, like my curling iron, laundry bag and cosmetic bag, which keeps me from forgetting to pack them. Fortunately I have a spare room that houses all my travel things, so there are always suitcases, clothes and jewelry in one place.
- No, unless they are too close, geographically.
- Most of the time I book my own travel. Once in awhile I use a travel agent and never depend on the show-giving club.
- Domestically I use one medium suitcase, and sometimes I can make do with a carry on. Internationally I use one larger suitcase if it is just for a long weekend. If longer, I use two suitcases to divide the weight.
- No, I am very fortunate to be able to sleep on airplanes. I survive by getting plenty of rest and sleep on the weekends. I rarely turn on the TV in a hotel room but opt for quiet and rest.
- Needless to say, you should never leave without all the paperwork regarding the show, but after that I would never leave without my smartphone since it has everything I need, including my standards.
- Organize, on paper and in your head, and be rested. You can't do a good job in the ring or traveling if you are disorganized or tired.
- Three separate REAL calendars. (I'm technologically challenged, so I don't use my computer calendar.) A pocket, two-year calendar in my purse, a desk calendar by my phone and the Judge's Ready Reference Calendar in my office. The challenge is to keep all appointments in all three books.
- No, I do not limit foreign assignments.
- I book my own travel.
- One carry-on and a medium-sized suitcase. Of course that will vary depending on the length of time I will be away.
- No rituals, just a good book.
- Cell phone, cell numbers of the show chair and hotel, and copies of contracts.
- Leave yourself plenty of time for connections/problems. I'd rather be early than worry about being late.
- I have two old-fashioned, written daily planners. One is with me at all times, and one stays home for my husband, Greg, to refer to. I also carry a quick reference copy of my assignments for the next three years on a typewritten sheet in case anyone asks me "are you free?"
- Haven't had to limit the foreign assignments yet... I'm averaging two to three a year. If that increases, then I may think about it, depending on the length of the trips.
- I book my own whenever possible. I am too much of a control freak to do otherwise! I only used a travel agent for one foreign trip, as it entailed coordinating schedules with three judges.
- I can pack for four days of judging in a carry-on. The only time I check luggage is for overseas trips, and then I take one checked and one carry-on. Again, I'm not too trusting even though I am Premier Platinum!
- My only "ritual" is to book the earliest flight out; that way if there is a screw up, you have a chance of fixing it!
- Toiletries and drugs.
- Don't take your frustrations out on the airline personnel. Delays are not their fault. As my great aunt used to say, "You get more flies with honey than vinegar." I have been witness to some truly abusive behavior.
- My calendar, which is a three-ring binder, is my best friend when keeping me organized. All dates, itineraries, contracts, etc., are there.
I do not accept international assignments.
Because I fly out of an airport in the middle of the US, I do not have the luxury of flying only one carrier, so I use Kyle at Onofrio Travel, as she is much more efficient than am I at searching for the most convenient and economical flights.
- One roller bag and a personal item that I always carry on.
- Yes, I play this game that each trip I will experience something I've never experienced before. Sometimes it's quite an insignificant experience and sometimes quite stressful, but so far the airlines are batting 100 percent, so to speak, and I'm still experiencing something new each trip. I find this better prepares me for the unexpected incidents when flying. I read when I have a long layover time.
- If only naming one, it would have to be my iPhone.
- Relax and enjoy the adventure, for you are blessed to be involved in this sport where the object is the dog — not an inanimate object but a living, breathing being that returns to us far more than we probably deserve.
- I utilize a spreadsheet with all my assignments listed. Included in that is a listing of restrictions, fees that are applicable, hotel info, contact info and any other pertinent information.
- That has not yet become an issue for me. I have had a few assignments overseas but not to the point of making a determination to limit them.
- I book all my own travel and hotel unless told otherwise by the club.
- Typically I fly with one checked bag and one carry-on that holds all contact information for the shows I am traveling to.
- No rituals other than trying to get a good night's rest before judging so I can be fresh in the morning.
- I utilize my iPad for travel quite a bit. It has my judging schedules, AKC standards to read on the plane and in the hotel, and it enables me to check emails so I can complete other work-related issues.
- Get in a routine before and while traveling. Keep tickets, ID and all important information in the same place every time you travel. It will save you countless minutes searching for that elusive item.
- Doug [Johnson] and I are always merging our schedules together so we can plan well in advance. We are fortunate enough to live in a college town and generally have students working for us for a few years at a time as they graduate though college. It's nice to know that when we are gone, the dogs are getting consistent care. I am very fortunate to work at a veterinary clinic that is very generous with my time off. Both of my bosses breed and show Labrador Retrievers. They are very flexible when it comes to my judging schedule.
- A few times a year is plenty.
- Firstly, I always use Delta. I use Kyle Robinson at Onofrio to book my flights, but I always look up the flights I want first (both to work around my schedule and find the cheapest prices). I try to avoid where the weather could be the worst: the northern city connections during the winter (Detroit and Minneapolis) and the southern cities in the summer (Atlanta).
- Usually just a carry on.
- Going to bed early.
- Sunscreen at any time of year if I am judging outside. I try to remember the iPad to catch up on my favorite television series while on the plane.
- Do not fly during the afternoons when there is a greater chance of bad weather and missed connections. There is nothing worse than getting in around midnight, heading to your hotel and getting up at 6 a.m. the next morning.
- This is not as easy as it appears when you are running a larger breeding program, own your own business that employs 150-plus people, and breed, show and judge! I have help ... lots of help. We have kennel help and house help. I use Kyle at Onofrio travel for our travel plans. I send her flights I have searched for online that fit the budget and the times that work around my crazy life schedule. I keep a calendar that I buy from Carl Liepmann, which I can't live without, for show dates and show contacts. I also reward myself with a precheck from Delta so I don't have to wait in line at security at the airport. I don't have to take off anything ... I just keep moving!
- Yes, I try to limit those to once a quarter. It is a privilege to judge overseas and one of the perks of being able to judge for the American Kennel Club. I enjoy these assignments, as most of the foreign countries truly value the opinions of the dog breeders. Getting these opportunities to see other parts of the world are so valuable to developing your eye for a breed. I am a firm believer in knowing how a breed changes from place to place around different areas of the world. One can really learn from seeing dogs from different parts of the world. I worry about people who don't have a picture of a breed on a global level. This is a weakness in the education systems. I believe you have to get out and see the breed in many parts of the world to get a full understanding of the breed status. I especially enjoy judging American Cockers abroad. They are generally outstanding with lots of quality.
- See above ... KYLE ROBINSON!
- I manage to get everything in a carry-on bag if I am traveling for three shows or fewer. More than that, and I check the baggage.
- Overseas I take an iPad with a new series of television series to watch from start to finish. I love Damages or Downton Abbey, Weeds and Dexter. I take my Isagenix bars to eat and stay on my diet!
- Warm, clean socks! I generally take a new pair of socks on the plane and change to something more comfortable for overseas flights. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. I also carry two types of ChapStick: one with sunblock and one regular ... one can never have too much ChapStick!
- Don't take your clothes out of the dry cleaner hanging bags. Pack with them! I keep my clothes on the hanger and fold them into the bag. They won't wrinkle!
Betty Regina Leininger
- I love Post-it notes as a reminder for everything. I keep a large calendar by my telephone, and I always make a hard copy of every dog show contract to back up what I have on my PC. That usually takes care of any senior moment. Since I'm somewhat technologically challenged, I seem to like the "old-fashioned" way.
- Yes, I now limit the number of international shows I accept to one or two a year, mainly because of the long hours sitting on that flying bus we call an airplane nowadays. Of course, the level of customer service is typically not so wonderful anymore, making overseas travel less enjoyable. However, that said, there are still a few places overseas that I would agree to judge again if they could afford to offer business class.
- I use Kyle at Jack's Travel for most trips, but once in awhile I will go online and book my own. I never let a club book for me, as I like to be in control of my own travel in the event that a problem arises with delays or cancellations. Kyle always looks after me if there's an issue. She's very good at solving any last-minute glitches with the airlines.
- I fly with carry-on only, especially on the outbound. If it can't fit in the overhead, then it doesn't go. I've learned over the years to pack tightly and to mix and match. Occasionally, I will check a bag on the way home but never on the outbound.
- I always pack a snack of dried fruits, like cranberries or apricots, nuts and chocolate, etc., in a Ziploc bag to help keep my energy level up. My ritual when flying is usually to read over the standards of the breeds I'm judging and mark up my judging programs. Then I close my eyes, sit back and try to relax for the remainder of the flight ... that is unless there is an interesting and handsome hunk sitting next to me. Just kidding! I like room service and a hot bath after a long day of judging. That helps me rest, relax and restore for the next day.
- I never leave home without an eye mask and a pair of ear plugs. I always throw in a pair of cotton socks to keep my tootsies warm at night.
- Always try for an aisle seat on the airplane and when making hotel arrangements (either yourself or through a hospitality chairperson) request a first-floor room or at the very least a room near the elevators. And remember the old saying "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Be kind and courteous to the airline and hotel staff. If you ask nicely, they will usually do their best to accommodate your request. Oh, and remember to SMILE.
- Never being particularly good at filing, I have developed a system that is based on Carl Liepmann's Record of Judging Assignments binder. I use it to keep track of all assignments. I pencil in the inquiries, and then ink it in when it is confirmed. When I get the breeds assigned, I enter them on the actual day of the calendar. I file all contracts chronologically in a file folder, which I keep with the binder. Hospitality letters, premium lists and car or flight information are all collected in a specific desk drawer with my passport and billing records, which I can then grab for the trip when I am packing.
- They seem to self-limit because of availability. Many of the foreign clubs make their inquiries rather late and I am already booked. Generally I do three to five a year.
- I pretty much do all my own travel bookings. Sometimes I use Kyle Robinson at Onofrio Travel, who is great for the difficult, smaller-town travel requirements.
- One regular checked suitcase and a Rollaboard. I have pretty much given up on lifting heavy suitcases up into the overhead bins. All of my luggage now has four wheels, and I would never go back to two-wheeled suitcases.
- As I board, I turn my watch to the time zone that I will be arriving in. This helps me with jet lag, which never seems to bother me. I always carry some food, such as nuts or dried fruit and granola bars. You never know what time you will arrive and whether there is anywhere to grab dinner.
- I definitely have more than one: Bose noise-canceling headphones, iPad and iPhone with charger cords.
- Always have a cell phone contact for someone at your destination and know the name and number of the hotel you will be staying at. Try to book a flight that is not the last for the day in case you end up with a cancellation. Wear clothes or have a change with you that you would feel comfortable judging in should your luggage be lost. Sneakers and shorts somehow don't cut it.
Kimberly Meredith Cavanna
- I do all of my organization myself. I keep my schedule on paper, my computer and on my iPad. I travel with my iPad, so I can check easily when I have a request. I try very hard to watch for conflicting requests from clubs, as well as specialties and national specialties. This is not always an easy task. I know how frustrating it is for our club when we have to replace a judge when they have accepted an assignment right in front of our show and they have had their contract for two years. Everyone makes mistakes, but I try to be very careful.
- I limit foreign assignments for two reasons. The first is that I am a big chicken. If I do not feel a country is safe, I do not go. I'm 6 feet tall with blonde hair, so I do not blend well. I also am still employed with my "real" job, so I have to be careful how much time I take off from work. When I retire, hopefully I will travel more internationally. Then there is the fact that I am away from my dogs and family. My dogs are not happy when I am gone.
- I book my own travel. I find that I can generally find better fares. It is very time-consuming, but I rather enjoy looking for "deals" and usually purchase way in advance. It also saves the clubs $35 in travel agency fees.
- I fly with one checked bag and one small carry-on (for iPad, paperwork, etc.). I have all of my standards, DQ info, table breed info, etc., on my iPad and phone.
- When I first started judging, I could not sleep on a plane. That is not the case anymore. I have to take a 6 a.m. flight out of San Francisco if I am going to arrive just about anywhere by 5 p.m. This means I get up at 2 a.m. By the time I am in my seat, I am usually asleep. When I wake up, I will read my standards to prepare for judging. I also listen to music or will download a movie to watch. By the time I reach the hotel, I am tired. I always take a 6 a.m. flight out after judging (this allows me to work on Monday with the time difference), so it makes for a very tiring weekend, but I love it. We are all very lucky to be part of this great sport. The only thing to curb fatigue on the road is to learn to sleep on a plane!
- During the summer: sunscreen and a hat. Winter: rain gear and pocket hand warmers. Oh, and a personal package of toilet seat covers!
- I think all judges join the mileage clubs of the various airlines. This is a necessity to get preferred seating, boarding and upgrades. When you are on the road almost every weekend, you need to belong to one. I call it the "velvet handcuffs" because without the perks of traveling on the same airline, travel is a nightmare. Use www.SeatGuru.com for seat selections. On long flights, make sure to get up and walk to prevent swelling and clotting. Book flights early to secure the best seats. Check your reservation about one week before departure to check to see if they have changed aircraft. If they have, this can change your seat assignment, and it is never for the better...
Desmond (Desi) Murphy
- When I get the initial contact, I pencil it in my dog show calendar, with the phone number or email of who contacted me. Once an official contract is received, it gets put into the calendar in ink. I get a file with all correspondence for each individual show or cluster weekend. Because I file it by date, it is always easy to find each weekend in the large file.
- I do not judge that much internationally. It probably averages to about 10 assignments a year. I do have to turn some down due to already having an assignment in the States or some other foreign country. I am surprised how many Americans do not want to judge outside of the country.
- I use a travel agent. That is their profession and they can do a better job than I could. When something drastic happens, they can resolve the problem quicker than I would be able to. I prefer to buy the tickets myself. Just seems easier, but if the foreign country insists on buying the ticket, I tell them I have to approve the itinerary before the ticket is booked. They do not realize with international connections how much time is required in many places. Also one wants to avoid a six- or seven-hour connection. New York to Narita is 14 flying hours, and then 7 more flying hours to Bangkok, which makes for 21 flying hours plus several connecting hours.
- I travel with too much luggage — probably poor planning. Always plan on coming home with more than you depart with, due to shopping, and sometimes the hosting clubs give the judges rather large-sized gifts.
- I always arrive at the airport early and relax in the club lounge. If it's a late evening flight, I enjoy a nice dinner at Gallagher's Steak House in Terminal C in Newark Airport. If flying economy, it is advisable to pick up a good sandwich or salad instead of consuming the food served on the plane. Some favorite snacks or sweets also help. Also I make every effort to fly direct. I hate connections and am always stressed about missing connections.
- I never go anywhere without a large supply of Starbucks Via instant coffee. It tastes like the real thing and is a coffee lover's salvation in many places.
- On a long flight, Airborne or vitamin C really helps in not picking up colds, etc. I even take it while in New York for Westminster and never get sick. Flight attendants swear by it also. Always have contact numbers and the exact name and address of the hotel in case you do not connect with who is meeting you. Wake-up calls are not always dependable, so I always set two alarm clocks. For foreign assignments, always plan on arriving a day early. If a flight is canceled or missed, there is usually only one flight per day. Also after traveling for sometimes 24 hours, it takes a day for our bodies and minds to adjust to the new surroundings.
- I use the calendar function on my iPhone extensively for all my appointments and assignments. They transfer automatically to my computer and alert me in advance. I'm also still using George Alston's old judging program to keep track of all of my assignments, including the breeds assigned for each show so as to avoid conflicts. The combination of the two work perfectly for me (at least most of the time!).
- So far I have not had to limit my overseas assignments. However, in the not-so-distant past, I did not check the dates of overseas assignments against other overseas assignments for conflicts with assignments at the same time, and this lead to a horrendous three weeks for me in terms of travel. I spent the first of the weekends judging in New Zealand, then I headed to Australia for four shows the following weekend, ending on the Tuesday. From Melbourne, I had to then fly to Seoul, South Korea, to do the Golden Retriever National Specialty the following weekend. In my uneducated mind, I thought it wouldn't be too far from one to the other. From Korea, I returned to San Francisco, and then continued on to the third weekend in Brazil, working two all-breed shows and the Brazilian Golden Retriever Club's National Specialty. I was exhausted after all this (though I thoroughly enjoyed all of the assignments themselves, the traveling was just too much flying around the globe in too little time).
- I always book my own travel, preferring to choose my own airline and departure times, though I always look for the least expensive alternative for the host clubs. This does mean that I have sometimes spent as much as $5,000 out of pocket for airline tickets, but I keep a fund set aside to cover this, which is replenished after each assignment is completed.
- Normally, I have only my carry-on plus, if needed, a tote bag with an extra pair of shoes and a jacket or sweater if I expect cold weather at my destination. On longer trips, I do a bit of laundry as necessary rather than carrying an extra suitcase.
- I never travel without my trusty iPad, which has everything I need loaded on it, including the breed standards, music to listen to on the plane and a supply of digital books to read. On longer trips, I also bring my headphones, which block out the aircraft noises so that I can sleep.
- Got to have that iPad.
- If you don't check a bag, the airline can't misplace it, and you'll always have it when you arrive! If you're going overseas, try and carry a small amount of the local currency obtained from your bank with you so you don't have to change money at the high rates of exchange offered at airports.
John Reeve-Newson, DVM
- We are very spoiled. We have a most capable assistant who has been with us 20-plus years who organizes everything in respect to judging and deals with all the correspondence. He is familiar with conflicts, distance, etc., so that part is easy. We just tell Frank if we want to do the assignment or not.
- I have gotten the international "out of my system." I do accept the Scandinavian countries and Australia for a "Royal" and some shows in South America. No more than two or three a year, as I do still work.
- Again, Frank does all or most of the travel. My experience has been if the show-giving club does it, they trot you all over with many flight changes, probably to obtain a less expensive fare.
- One suitcase. I can get away with a carry-on for a two-day show, but something like a Royal, which is 10 days, you need quite a few changes of clothes.
- I travel with a good book, my iPod with music, and as luck would have it, I can sleep on a plane easily.
- Standards and all the necessary contact information for the show, hotel and especially pick-up arrangements, and if abroad some local currency for a cab if necessary.
- If flying, wear something presentable and carry a shirt and tie in case your luggage does not make it.
- I find that it takes more time to do all the electronic entries than it does to simply write the dates in the calendar and file the hard copy of the contract when it arrives either in the mail or in email. I have a great memory for trivia, so I usually remember what is scheduled for about six months in advance.
- I limit the total number of shows I do to 24 in a year. This used to be simply two weekends a month, and if it could be two a month, that is perfect, but of course now our shows are four or five days and don't usually space themselves nicely. Of this group I limit outside of North America to four or five.
- I book my own travel. Because of my height, the seats I get are of great importance, so I usually book three months in advance and of course only use one airline to get the status to select the seats I want. Buying them three months in advance with paying a little attention lets me get an equally good price to any other available and indeed also lets me get the times I want. Frequently, when you get closer to show dates, the cheaper flights are only available at the least desirable times. I do not have shows pay for my airfares in advance, preferring to keep all of this in my control. I would never let the show-giving club select the flights.
- It used to be that I always did carry-on, but now with the days involved, I do take one suitcase. I have had good luck with luggage, but if I have a number of connections, I might take one suit as carry on — Walmart doesn't carry my size.
- Sorry, I don't. The way to avoid fatigue is don't accept the assignment. No one forces you to go to the show, so if you opt to go, don't complain about getting there.
- My laptop.
- Maintain loyalty programs. It gets you benefits on airlines. Currently I go to the head of standby lists, and with the numbers of full fights and canceled flights, this is important. In the hotels it gets you the quieter rooms, etc. Clubs get bargains on rooms but frequently those are the less desirable rooms beside the elevators, ice machines, etc., and priority gets around those. I am always very careful to specify with the front desk when I check in what location is not acceptable, and it makes for quieter nights. Also remember that often even if you are alone, the cheapest room is the two-bedded room, and that usually means they are in a row and so you can get very noisy neighbors with kids, frats, etc.
- The calendar is all synced between my iPhone, iPad and Mac.
- I do not. It just depends on how it fits into the schedule.
- I either use Kyle at Jack's Travel or will occasionally do my own.
- Usually one suitcase and my briefcase.
- Well, there is a kiosk at O'Hare for a chocolate company. It's right as I come out of security, so it's hard to pass up.
- Chargers for my iPhone and iPad.
- Pick an airline and stick with it. When things go wrong, that status sure helps.
- I create a paper file and a computer file on each show. I note any restrictions on distance and time if listed in the contract. When a show chairman calls to see if I can judge at their club's show, I have a small two-year calendar to refer to, to see if I'm available for that date, and also to see if I have a conflict or another commitment too close to their date and/or location. Usually if that happens, the club will hire me for the coming year (therefore the two-year calendar).
- I have not judged that much internationally except for Australia, New Zealand, China (twice), Canada and Mexico. I would love to judge internationally more often, and the only reason I have had to say I could not was when I had a US assignment or in some cases there was not enough time for me to make all the arrangements. Sometimes the clubs do not give you enough time — they want you next weekend or in the next two days. I do love to judge overseas, as it exposes you to a variety of dogs and breeds you do not see here in the United States. You also see breeds that we have here in a different location, with differences in type or grooming or handling. Very interesting.
- I use Kyle Robinson with Onofrio to book most of my flights, as it works better for me not to put travel on a credit card. I start the travel and sometimes the hotel process a couple of months before the show to hopefully save money for the clubs. I usually start looking, or, shall I say, my partner, Phil, starts looking, as he is a travel agent for Plaza Travel. He looks, and if he notices a good deal, I will email Kyle, and she will book the trip. Other times I just send Kyle a list of upcoming shows with the dates and when I would like to leave and return. She also sends the bill to the club to be paid after the show. Kyle does a great job, so I can see why so many judges use her services.
- If I have a two-day show, I will just pack a carry-on, but if it's more than two days, I will pack both a carry-on (for things I cannot take the chance of getting lost or delayed — usually the first day's clothing and breed standards and medicine) and a garment bag for my suits, shoes, etc., and my necessary beauty items. I take that back — I have natural beauty, but sometimes it needs to be enhanced. I also take a bag with my personal items and reading material.
- If I am driving to a local show, I will take water and perhaps a small snack and something for the room, as sometimes the hotels do not have food service. I have no "rituals," except I do listen to old-time radio shows on Sirius radio, which helps to pass the time. If I am flying, I always take reading material, usually a nonfiction book on some old-time movie star or the old days of Hollywood. I love that sort of thing.
- My cell phone, wallet, boarding pass and any correspondence from the clubs, as sometimes you will need all or some of these on your way to the show. Also, I usually need to take my sparkly hats.
- Travel with a smile and carry it to the dog shows, as it makes for a better day for you, the club and the exhibitors. Get lots of sleep before you judge and have a great experience. Exhibitors, thank you for coming to show to us because you as exhibitors and I as the judge all love the things we do. The most important thing to remember is to make it a great experience for the exhibitors ... and the dogs, as they are the most important and loving ones at the show.
- I keep a simple Word document on my laptop screen, which allows me to add in all the pertinent information and keep it in one place where I have some hope of finding it again! I'll write the inquiry in, the date I was contacted and by whom, their email and phone numbers and what was discussed. If there isn't a contract in a reasonable amount of time and I get another inquiry for the same dates, I can then follow up.
- Yes, I will only take one overseas assignment a year.
- I book almost all trips myself because it's so simple with the airline's website. If it gets complicated, I call on Kyle Robinson for help.
- For a simple two-show weekend, I pack a small Rollaboard that I can put up into the overhead myself. If it's three days or longer, then it's a larger suitcase that I check. Thankfully I've been loyal to one airline most of my judging life and have been rewarded for that loyalty with no extra charges for up to three suitcases. That reminds me of a favorite moment of mine, and that was seeing the one and only grand dame, Lina Basquette, arriving many years ago to judge Heart of America Kennel Club. She had a porter struggling behind her with what I seem to remember as five steamer trunks stacked up on his dolly! That still makes me giggle.
- I have a Nook with many good books loaded on it, which helps fill the hours of travel. I love to read. I am very protective of myself while on the road. Judging all day is tiring, and I need my rest. I am happy when the hotel is quiet, no barking dogs, with a restaurant on the premises so I can have a light dinner and go to my room to have some quiet time and be asleep by 9 pm. Those wake-up calls come very early.
- My iPhone.
- I treat getting on an airplane like most people treat getting on a bus. I book my own flights so I don't find myself routed through some far-off city with a long layover in order to save a club just a few dollars. More important is to arrive rested and ready for the assignment. Nonstops are the best guarantee of arriving on schedule without a hassle. I have found being loyal to the main carrier at SFO has paid many dividends. I don't pay for my luggage, I am seated in the elite section of economy at no extra charge, and if a flight is canceled, I am already rebooked on the best alternative in the best seat available. They always get me home.
Pat and Chuck Trotter
- I wish we were truly organized, which we are not. We do have a large notebook where we place hole-punched contracts, airline schedules, hospitality letters and other necessary paperwork in chronological order in the binder.
- Yes we do — no more than one or two.
Kyle Robinson handles our travel arrangements, and she is the best. A true angel!
- Usually we each check a bag and have one carry-on shoulder bag with necessities. We usually fly in something we could judge in if our checked luggage gets lost.
- We do. We love having the great breakfast at the San Francisco diner in the food court or a similar one in LAX. When going through Chicago, we opt for the "Chicago Dog" with the works, or, if time allows, the wonderful seafood/sushi restaurant. Sea-Tac has some great seafood offerings also. We both read while flying and doze when possible.
- The necessity items and some snacks in case we get stranded.
- Since it's not the fun experience it once was, flying requires one to have patience and go with the flow when interruptions occur. This is when you learn what a wizard your travel agent is!
From the 2014 Annual issue of Dogs in Review magazine. Purchase the 2014 Annual digital back issue with the DIR app or
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