LOOKING BACK  

AKC Gazette

December 2009

AMELIA AVERIL

LOOKING BACK

 

            Already we are in the midst of the holiday season. Soon we welcome a new year and new officers for the national club. Robert Rodenski will be president; this will be his second time around. He and his wife, Susan, have been hard workers for the Bulldog Club of America for many years.

            With the national specialty behind us, we look ahead to next year’s. The national-specialty weekend is a good place to meet old friends and make new ones, trade stories and ideas, and see dogs from all over the country (and elsewhere) that we do not ordinarily see. We extend our appreciation to all the people who work hard to make each event a success. It requires a lot of effort and dedication.

            In this merry season, and with the new year about to begin, my thoughts go back to times gone by and to the people and shows of years ago. It used to be that the beginning of the show season here was the Bulldog Club of America’s Division One show, held on the Sunday before Westminster, at the Hotel Edison in New York City. What a show that was! The first one I attended was in 1965, on the Bulldog Club of America’s 75th anniversary. Frances Williams was trophy chairman, and the prize table was laden with beautiful trophies in honor of the special occasion. The dogs were benched.

            With the benched shows was the disadvantage that the exhibitor had to stay at the site until a certain time designated in the premium list. The advantages were many, however. At these events we had the opportunity to talk and to learn about Bulldogs from other more experienced exhibitors. Spectators did not have to worry about missing their favorite breed at the show, because all the breeds ere there on the benches. I have always felt that the loss of most benched shows has left a chasm that cannot be filled when we leave the show soon after judging and do most of our talking with other fanciers on the Internet.

            What were we Bulldog people writing about back then? The subject matter was the same as today. We wrote about the breeding and showing of Bulldogs, good sportsmanship, and the Bulldog Club of America. In an article titled “The Fancy” that I wrote in 1973, the last paragraph reads, “Let us now in 1973 resolve to serve the breed we love and remember always that the breed is more important than the individual breeder.” Let us have these words apply to the year 2010 as well.

            In closing, I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to write me concerning this column. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that you read it and take the time to comment on it.

            I hope that 2010 is reward and fruitful for all. Happy New Year, everyone.

            Amelia Averil, 8 Willow Brook Rd., Hillsdale, NJ 07612.