UNFAVORABLE MEDIA ATTENTION

AKC Gazette

June 2009

AMELIA AVERIL

UNFAVORABLE MEDIA ATTENTION

 

            The Bulldog Club of America 2008 national specialty, hosted by the Bulldog club of Philadelphia, is now a memory and the consensus is that everyone had an outstanding time. Congratulations and a special thanks to show chairman, Nikki Bermea, all the members of the show committee, and members of the club who worked so hard to make the show a big success.

            Much of the conversation at ringside was about changes made by the Kennel Club (England) to its Bulldog standard, probably in response to its unflattering television program on the BBC about purebred dogs & health issues. The Kennel Club might have thought it would appease the critics by changing the standard to ostensibly make the breeds healthier. There is now an effort by the breed council to fight the changes that would alter the appearance of the Bulldog to a terrier-type dog. Changing the standard has nothing to do with the health of the dogs involved.

            A few weeks ago, I happened to watch a program on television that was very strident against breeders and purebred dogs. The moderator kept saying there is no reason for anyone to ever buy a dog. There seems to be a vendetta against purebred dogs and those who breed them.

            We cannot afford to sit passively and allow the unfavorable press to continue. As active members of a dog club, we are interested in the health and welfare of our breed, other breeds, and dogs in general. We hate to see the existence of homeless dogs and strays that end up in shelters. We have to take action to educate the public that showing and breeding dogs is not a bad thing. Our show dogs are not merely attention getters or ego-builders. Anyone who has sat with a litter of closed-eyes, whimpering puppies or kissed good-bye forever the still body of a four-legged friend who took his last breath, is not wondering about the next dog show or how many points their dog has won. They are dog people whose dogs are part of the family.

            Let us get the word out that dog fanciers know how important the love of a dog is in their lives and in the lives of people in general. To those who criticize, let us tell them that many involved in dogs are family people whose children grow up with the dogs and dog shows. In the case of my daughters and me, the Bulldog people became an extended family that has sustained us with their friendship through bad and good times. Most of the people in the sport of dogs are good people, and it is unfair to have them unfavorably characterized by those who do not know the true story about what it means to be a dog fancier.

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