AKC Gazette

June 2002




This month’s guest column is submitted by breeder-judge Brenda Newcomb.

What would please a mother more than being asked to write about her children and her dogs? We purchased a Bulldog for a pet before we had children. Now we do not have any pictures of the boys without Babe, our first Bulldog, standing close by, watching and protecting. If the boys got rough, she would retreat to a corner and watch, but let anyone else get rough with the boys, and she would manage to get between the child and the other person. That was her way of protecting – moving the target out of reach.

We progressed from pet ownership to breeding and showing our Bulldogs. We have been very fortunate over the years to show several top-winning Bulldogs. Naturally, we would have liked for our children to follow in our footsteps. Our children began attending dog shows in a stroller, one sitting and the other riding behind. As the boys grew up they were given chores, like washing the dog runs, which they were required to do each day. I think this helped to teach them responsibility. It is important for children to learn that dogs are not just devoted pets but that they require care and commitment from the owner. The boys did not get their spending money unless they cleaned the runs before school each morning. Both boys liked to show in Junior Showmanship and conformation. When they got old enough for 4-H, they began to show cattle, sheep, and even a couple of hogs. These shows conflicted with the dog shows, so we went with the boys to their 4-H shows and dropped out of the dog-show circuit for a few years. How could we discourage the competitive spirit we had taught them?

Our sons eventually went to college and started their life’s work. As soon as they were settled, they came back to showing dogs. One of our boys, Lake, lives in Oklahoma and has two sons. Our grandsons have attended shows and enjoy showing. Lake has bred several champions and cares for our dogs when we are away.

Our other son, Link, Living in California, has finished 12 championships; he was the breeder on several. He is currently the treasurer of the Bulldog Club of America, and has taken over the position of AKC Delegate for the Pacific Coast Bulldog Club from his father.

To what do we attribute our success in bringing the dog-show interest full circle? We showed enthusiam for our sons’ activities and let them choose whether or not to go to dog shows. They attended dog shows enough as young boys to learn the sport and to develop skills in showing and a real eye for a good animal. We did not force the dogs on them or place the dog shows over their interests; given time, they liked the competition and sport enough to return to it as adults. – B.N.

Thank you, Brenda. Your pride is justified.

Dr. and Mrs Saul Schor, 8882 N 82 Lane, Scottsdale, AZ 85258.

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