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Editor’s note: This article was reprinted from the latest edition of the MB-F Newsletter, with the permission of the editors.

By Tom Crowe


To the Directors | To the Delegates | To the Staff | To the Clubs | To All in the Sport

What I write here is from my heart and from my long experience in the sport of Showing Dogs. I firmly believe what I have written. I am firmly committed to what I say and that it is for the good of the sport otherwise I would not have written it. I know everyone will not agree with me, but I do know that many feel as I do. I ask only that what I have written may inspire all listed below to make a combined effort to work together in a spirit of cooperation to return us to the grandeur and public respect of our past.

TO THE DIRECTORS: The election of Directors to fill mandated Board seats is upon us. What transpires this month will be felt for the ensuing four years. I am, of course, not running for a seat because I am not eligible. I am, however, very interested in the outcome of the election because it affects the livelihoods of the 100 or so people in the organizations of MB-F, Inc. and InfoDog, Inc. as well as all other licensed superintendents, all exhibitors, breeders, handlers and the public at large. This article is not politically motivated nor does it recommend any one candidate over another. It is an appeal to the Delegates to exercise their good judgement in selecting candidates whose sole motivation is a business-like approach to end the stagnation within the present Board.

Our sport is suffering from without and from within from negative publicity on a national level. Registrations are in a decline because the public has gotten the message from this PR that a registration is not worth the paper it is printed on. The public is also aware that this once revered organization has given the lame excuse that they only do the paper work and it's up to the public to beware. Caveat Emptor. I don't subscribe to this excuse. The Stud Book was the original reason for the founding of the AKC. The preservation of the purity of that book is the most sacred duty of the present Board. To those of you remaining on the Board and to those of you to be newly elected to the Board take heed lest you destroy the sanctity of this original premise. You all should set aside petty politics and unite in a unanimous effort to immediately resolve this situation by employing every method open to remedy the integrity of the registration process. You can and you must do this. The PR must be changed to public awareness of your efforts to restore the integrity of the AKC.

TO THE DELEGATES: It is time to quit playing the political game and to pick from those seeking to represent us in a cooperative and business-like manner. This is the time to pick knowledgeable representatives. Our elections are not popularity contests. We need Board members whose only agendas are for the good of the sport not for their personal gain or ambitions. I have given 52 years of my life to the sport and I am proud to say that I have been instrumental in many ways to help improve entry systems, show conditions and other things pertaining to the sport. I have been around when the Boards consisted of many true sportsmen such as William Rockefeller, August Belmont Jr., George Hartman, and many others whose only interest was a well-run organization with a spotless reputation. I'm unhappy when I hear that reputation is now questionable. I have no favorites in the coming elections. I do not even know some of the persons running for the Board. I do hope and pray, however, those selected will be those who will end the deadlocks in the voting on vital issues. I hope the nonsense of personal agendas will disappear and the good of the sport will transcend over all. A very famous and wise President once said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." That statement holds as true today as it did in a much more serious situation. We, in a serious situation concerning our sport, would do well to heed that admonition. May the right persons win and may your consciences be your guide in the selection of our new or returning Board members.

TO THE STAFF: Take the initiative of proposing new methods of managing the affairs of the American Kennel Club in a business-like manner. Everyone in the sport knows that registration fees raise the money and the administration of dog shows spends it. We cannot spend the necessary funds to police registrations unless we unburden ourselves of some of the administrative costs of dog shows. The Staff should prepare a strong case to the delegate body and present it in a real world manner. We are not living in fairyland and we cannot do all that is expected without proper funding. It appears the cart is leading the horse.

TO THE CLUBS: I will probably get shot for bringing this up but I truly believe that dog clubs need to face up to the fact that they have taken an unfair advantage and are forfeiting our real life purpose. It is time that they begin to pay the piper. Of course they will say that they are suffering from lack of funds. They will say they cannot raise entry fees and dozens of other excuses, but I look at the other side of the coin. When an exhibitor is willing to pay a $40.00 entry fee plus another $40.00 to an entry service it’s hard for me to accept that entry fees are too high. When exhibitors of today willingly pay entry services fees of $5.00, Fax fees of $4.00, plus on-line entry fees just for the convenience of not filling out an entry, it would appear exhibitors are more interested in things other than entry fees. Come on Dog Clubs, it is time that you bite the bullet and help where help is needed.

TO ALL IN THE SPORT: I am not suggesting in any way that our past was better than our present. Quite the contrary. I am suggesting our future can be far better than anything past or present can. With the new methods of communications and computer growth we can project a millennium of wonderful growth and opportunity. My caution is that we may have lost our focus. I fear the loss of our integrity and responsibility to the public and the entire world of dog ownership. We have many problems requiring wise solutions. Petty bickering cannot resolve them. These problems must be addressed if dog shows are to continue and be all they can be in this wonderful future. We must be prepared to work together to resolve funding solutions and cut costs relative to the very expensive administrative costs of dog shows. We must invest in Public Relations campaigns to restore our integrity and public goodwill else we shall fail in our mission. We need solid business planning for the future and a solid relationship with all facets of the sport and the public. A cooperative and focused Board can do this.


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