Showsight - November 2017

had 4-5 people watch the breed and follow us back to the set-up to go over the 8-12 dogs we have with us. I like to spend a lot of time going over the standard and having them go over all of our dogs while they explain what they are finding on each one. It’s a great experi- ence for people who want to learn about the rarer breeds. I am willing to spend the time as a club approved mentor, but I expect the people who want my signature to put in some effort to actually learn the breed. I must admit that the judging of rare terriers has become less than stellar as people from other groups rush their application process and don’t take the time they need to talk with many exhibitors, especially the breeders who have been in the breed for more than 20 years. I don’t know that anything will help – it’s really individual integrity that determines whether your train- ing in a breed is sufficient to judge it. I know that for me, I need to see and put hands on a lot of dogs before I feel comfortable passing judgement. My hands and my eyes need to repeatedly confirm what the standard says. That brings me to my final observation of this won- derful terrier weekend. I was not pleased with some of the breed judging this weekend, even though I did my share of winning. Feeling somewhat discouraged, I slumped into a ringside chair to watch the judging of wire fox terriers. It turned out to be the highlight of my day! As I watched Gabriel Rangel judge this breed I was able to follow everything he did, and agreed with most of his placements. Gabriel was thorough and thought- ful, and a delight to observe. He knew exactly what he wanted, and when he found it he did not hesitate to use it. Terriers are breeds where minor differences are important, but I don’t think many non-terrier judges understand the level of detail required to do a good job of judging these breeds. Heads are critically important, but movement cannot be wrong, either. Add to that the complexity of the trims for each breed and you can understand why we breeders do not like generic judging in our breeds. I want the judges to find excellence, not generic balance, movement or pretty hair. I want judges to be unwilling to settle for general mediocrity at the expense of excellence in an important feature. I want the judges to understand how bedlingtons and whippets are different, and why the fox terrier front is so impor- tant. I want them to know at a glance if a dog is a Lakeland or a Welsh, and I want to see them place their hands on the Scottie just as their standard suggests. I have watched judges go over bedlingtons in a way that makes it impossible for them to find what they need to make a good decision, and it is frustrating. But watching Gabriel judge was like watching poetry. We watched the bred-by group and the breed group, clapped for the winners, then loaded up everything to prepare for our homeward journey. We found a new restaurant to try and my friend Celeste Gonzales joined Becoming: Adventures of AMontgomery Week


us. We had a fabulous evening laughing and mulling over both the terrier weekend and the Basset National that had taken place just 50 miles away. We talked a lot about the quality of judging, the dwindling entries, and the details the new judges are missing. Short of cloning Gabriel and a few other terrific terrier judges, we did not come up with any great solutions to the problems we identified. The next morning my friend William flew back to Texas, Tammy to California, and Kellie and Andrea to Denver. Sheila and I started driving west at a ridiculous- ly early hour. We stopped in Harrisburg for breakfast and a final good-bye before she veered off to Pittsburgh, and I drove on toward Wisconsin. I love the drive home after Montgomery County. It’s a time to reflect, and start planning for next year’s adventures. William is learning fast, and there are others with young dogs coming up who will need mentoring. I called Jonathan as I approached the Fremont exit, and he was just 12 miles behind me, returning home from local shows. I pulled over to exercise my dogs, and he drove in with a truck full of new toys he wanted me to try out. I told him again how much I appreciated all of his help the previ- ous week. We laughed, hugged, and I continued on. It’s the people, I thought. That’s why I keep doing this. My dogs have introduced me to a world of people I enjoy, admire and respect. I worry that the world of dogs I know will not be around for William, but I am confident he will be one who will work hard to keep the dreams alive, and I have to be satisfied that is enough. I called the others who flew home to make sure they all arrived OK, and we started to make plans for our next gathering. It’s the people and their laughter, I thought. The dogs brought me these people. We think it’s all about the dogs, and they really are important. But it’s the people who bring us the real joy. It’s the people who share this passion with us and give us an audience for our thoughts and ideas. It’s our community, and when we see them at shows we feel like we are home. ■ Jackie Fogel got her first purebred basset in 1969, but her real education in the world of AKC dogs and shows started in 1979 when she moved to Wisconsin and whelped her first home- bred champion. In 1995 Jackie got a bedlington terrier from David Ramsey of the famous Willow Wind line. She has bred and shown numerous #1 bedlingtons, and continues to actively breed both bassets and bedlingtons. In 2007 Jackie began judging, and is approved to judge 6 breeds. She owns and manages Cedar Creek Pet Resort, and is active in the Kettle Moraine Kennel Club, Keep Your Pets, Inc., (a non-profit she founded), and the local Rotary club. Jackie writes for ShowSight Magazine, the basset column in the Gazette, and a pet column in a local magazine.


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