Welcome to The Sunny Side, the Elfin Op/Ed page! The purpose of this page is to share with you my thoughts on various subjects as they come to mind...sort of a blog, if you will. If you'd like more information on anything presented here or would like to discuss an item, feel free to contact me.
Doc ...first, do no harm...
September 5, 2007 - Companion Championships
Today I will address the (unique to the dog fancy) HSDAA Companion Dog Championship program. My first experience with showing animals was at age 11 when I entered my dear pet cat, Wrecker (his name is another story altogether!) in a cat show. I was able to do this because cat shows have parallel programs for intact and neutered cats. Intact cats compete, like dogs, for a Championship. Their neutered counterparts compete, with the same requirements other than having reproductive organs, for a Premiership. (In addition to these two, most cat organizations ALSO have a Household Pet category which is like a non-regular class for non-purebred cats.) This system allows those who do not breed or do not wish to keep intact cats (which is everyone except dedicated breeders...) to participate and enjoy the competition of the show scene. In addition, it allows for even better evaluation of breeding programs as it does not disallow most of the get (offspring) of the intact show cats.
When we formed HSDAA, one of the most exciting things that we came up with was the Companion Championship. The dog fancy is the ONLY animal show venue that I am aware of where neutered animals are excluded from conformation competition. Pet owners have, heretofore, been excluded from a major aspect of the dog fancy. With the CCh, we not only encourage the pet owner to participate but we will have a much more accurate representation of what is swimming in our gene pool! It's fun AND educational! As a breeder, it makes absolute sense to evaluate as many offspring as possible to assess what's happening in the gene pool. The limited number of dogs available for evaluation in the AKC ring is NOT an accurate representation of what is being produced. A dog that is a 'successful' sire based on the number of Ch produced may have MANY more pups on the ground that really do not measure up...a skewed population provides a very limited tool in evaluating breeding stock.
As a veterinarian, it has always been my opinion that all Havana Silk Dogs, as is the case with most other breeds today, should be COMPANIONS FIRST! There are over 450 breeds world-wide because man has selectively bred to a purpose since the dog first became associated with him. There is NO dog breed in the world whose primary purpose is to be a SHOW DOG. Our HSDs are companion animals. In the hands of skilled breeders, there is very little difference between 'show dogs' and 'pets' beyond the wishes of the owner..to show, or not to show, that is the question! I am proud of my pet puppies and am delighted that they will have an opportunity to shine in the show ring.
From the time I bred my very first litter I have always placed ALL puppies in companion homes. If someone wants to show, it's icing on the cake, but the dogs HAVE to be companions first. I would rather place a BIS quality dog as a companion than sell it to a breeding kennel...in fact, I have steadfastly refused to sell pups to someone who JUST wants a show dog....my dogs are meant to sleep in bed with humans, to lie on the couch and watch TV with their humans, and beg at the table for food (well, ok, that is optional...)...not live their lives in crates or kennels. To limit a dog to that is to deprive it of its primary purpose in life...which is to be our beloved companion.
Happy Companions at Home
January 3, 2015
Where did the time go? I guess I've just been having too much fun to write about it all. Here it is, almost 8 years later and my life is still totally enriched by these wondrous creatures called Silk Dogs. We have been through so much over the years and they never fail to share and offer comfort, joy, laughs, love. Last night my sweet Karma gave me 4 beautiful puppies. The 'easy' part is over...now for the hard part...which is choosing who gets a puppy. I have met, over the years, the very nicest people through the Silk Dogs. Now, with 4 puppies, I have the difficult task of deciding who will be lucky enough to get a puppy, and who I will have to disappoint...or ask to wait, or send to another breeder. Having been on the other side of waiting and hoping to be chosen, I do empathize with the prospective owners. Just know that I will do my best to match each of these precious babies with the home that I feel is most suitable for them. It is a job I take very seriously wishing only that I could satisfy all of you as I do know what a wonderful addition a Silk Dog is to your life. Best wishes to all for a Happy, Healthy New Year and may you know the joy of a Silk Dog in your life.