Long Island- Suffolk County- is considering passing a bill to require animal abusers be registered, so that shelters and stores can know to not sell them pets, and people know to not let their pets roam outside their yard or leave them outside unattended.
I’m divided on this idea- I believe more should be done to protect pets, but I’m not certain a registry is the best idea. What do you think?
This is a question I ask almost every day, regarding my co-workers lunches. They ask me what I have, too. It’s human nature to see what everyone’s eating!
My dogs are the same way. If I give Quick a biscuit, and Nova a liver treat, there’s a definite ‘whatcha got?’ look exchanged. And jealousy. I avoid this scenario at any cost! They start milling around me, wagging their entire bodies and pressing up against me like 80lb cats. It’s not as fun as it sounds. Especially when they start bouncing.
What’ve you got? What kind of food do you feed your dog? These days it seems everyone has an opinion on what’s the best thing to feed dogs, and I for one am lost! I feed a high-quality kibble, and my dogs do fine. I give freeze-dried treats, or real-food treats like apple, potato, or cheese. What do you think is best? Do you like raw food? (if you feed raw, tell me how you feel about the new Delta therapy dog ruling, please? I don’t understand.) Dehydrated? Are you like me and spend hours researching kibbles that are best for your dogs?
If you troll the internet on agility blogs and websites (I do, I admit it) you see there’s some scuttlebutt of wanting an ‘ABBC’ class- that is, Anything But Border Collies (in the UK, this is the ABC or Anything But Collies) class. Some people think the Borders are just too good at what they do (they ARE wonderful dogs!) and others believe that if they win, well, they deserved to. They must have been better trained, or just faster dogs in general!
What’s your opinion on an ABBC class? Would you compete in it? We seem to have a richly diverse membership here- I know of at least two Springers, a Cane Corso, a lab, a Dane Mix, several corgis… But what do you think? If it was offered, would you want it?
The results are in! I asked everyone what their opinion might be on AKC’s coming announcement of a change in weave pole spacing to 24″ (due around February). Over 95 of you submitted your thoughts, and they were all very enlightening! To read them all, go here.
Nearly everyone agrees that 24″ spacing is healthier for dogs of all sizes, but most helpful for big and long-backed dogs. Dogs with neck and back problems who have switched have had significant lessening of their symptoms. Larger dogs are moving faster and ‘smiling’ as they run- and isn’t that what it’s about? Having fun and being safe. This also opens the AKC venue for more competitors, since some dogs with health issues can use the wider weaves without worrying about aggravating an injury. All round, a big thumbs’ up for health.
There’s been some fears expressed that smaller dogs will pop out more, or be slowed down by the wider weaves- but the experience of many people say their smaller dog hasn’t had a problem, or has been even faster!
Check this video one of our members sent! It illustrates in slow motion how the wider spacing affects different size dogs.
Several commented and said they thought trials should have two sets on course- one for big dogs, one for small dogs. After all, A-frames are adjustable, jump categories are for big and small dogs, why not have two sets of weaves? That could be a good idea, except there’d have to be stipulations for the long-backed small dogs like Corgis and Dachshunds. I can see it now…meansuring not just tall, but long! Probably not going to happen, but a creative idea nonetheless.
In summary, AKC has made a change for the health of the big dogs- not a simple preference, but an actual health issue. The change doesn’t hurt the small dogs, and benefits the large dogs. It sounds like a win-win situation. While maybe two sets of poles is a good choice (though some clubs may not be able to afford them) the AKC has spoken, and 24″ spacing prevails.
What about USDAA?
This leads to a problem. When is the USDAA going to make the change? They mandate a current range of 20″-22″! So far they aren’t talking, and this is a frustrating to many people who compete in various venues. I personally believe that if they take their time in making the change, this issue is going to be damaging to their organization. I already see more and more people leaving AKC for CPE for certain advantages that AKC is slow to embrace, and USDAA is sure to experience a downhill descent if they don’t make changes faster. (A universal umbrella organization would be helpful at times like this, though I’m glad there isn’t for other reasons!) USDAA should jump on the health-issues with weaves bandwagon as soon as they can.
Congratulations to our Winner!
Congratulations to Jeff Riedl, who won a copy of Susan Garrett’s DVD “12 Poles in 12 Days”. Our random number generator chose #26 and he was the 26th comment that came in. If you want your own copy, visit here and check it out! And check out our 24″ weaves here. (and for USDAA folks, yep, we have 21″ available as well!)
I’d like to share an opinion that might be a bit controversial. It is regarding AKC’s licensing with Jakks Toys for producing AKC branded agility equipment for children, to be sold in Toys R Us stores. The last thing I want to do is criticize an organization that is not only doing so much for dogs, but also doing so much to keep the sport of agility the safe, organized, and popular sport that it is. I mean, my history of competing is in AKC, so who am I to complain? But hopefully they are open to their own members sharing their opinions and letting it be known when they are not happy with choices they make.
Which is why I want to share my recent disappointment when I saw this equipment being offered by the AKC for purposes of raising funds. First, the equipment is being made overseas, in China, a nation known for cruelty to animals and human rights violations. It is well known that they sell dogs on the open market, both dead and alive, for food and fur. Now, this is controversial I know, and it is with much trepidation that I mention it because there are some things that I just have to buy from China because I either can’t afford the American version, or more often than not, I don’t even have an option. This is life and it can’t be avoided. It’s just that I think it would have been more fitting for the AKC, a company with “American” in its name, to try and raise funds by first trying to court an American company to manufacture their products. Yes, those products might be more expensive, but they would be quality, and more in line with the standard industry pricing that is already out there for agility equipment. For example, if you look around online, a comparable Competition Tire Jump can range anywhere from $95 to $150. But when suddenly that item is manufactured in a foreign country and sold for $50 and marketed to large chain stores, a large majority of American agility manufacturers are affected. Surely every company like mine wants to offer the cheapest price on an obstacle. But I would lose some sleep if I knew that producing the most popular agility obstacles in a dog-hating country and drastically changing the industry standard for those items was hurting all my competitors.
So while I am happy the AKC is making some extra money through their clever marketing and branding, and that their equipment is being marketed to kids, I just think that there are other ways to do this that could possibly be a better support to the nation of which they are so named. That’s all. Thoughts? I am open to perpespectives that I haven’t considered.