Editorial: March 31, 2023
Can you think of anybody who shows dogs who doesn't have a picture on the wall at home of their dog or dogs? They can range from a first time in the ring photo to their last Best in Show win. The span over the years is long and the number of dog photos hanging in a rouges gallery somewhere in your home is numerous. Most of us have run out of wall space, and the rest of the photos are scattered in boxes in closets and drawers that are rarely opened. Some are even in the show photographers’ mailers, put away after one quick glance. Duplicates that were ordered for the judge, handler or co-owner are still waiting to be mailed years after the event. A king’s ransom in show photographs. But what of these photos that we cherish? The ones that reflect our years of involvement in the sport? Whatever will become of those photographs when you scale down after many years of breeding and exhibiting, or sadly when you are no longer with us? Many surviving family members never understood our interest or passion for the sport and have no problem discarding them with the rest of your belongings. Decades of your dedication and, yes, success in the sport lining a dumpster waiting to be taken to the local dump. All those years thrown away like spoiled milk. Wouldn’t be nice if we all donated our old win photos to our parent clubs, so they could be put online for current and future fanciers in our breeds to see the dogs that they only know by name or reputation. If one is not already in place, clubs could appoint a club historian to collect these photos and scan them to be put on the parent-club website. This visual history of the breed would be so helpful and educational, to see dogs in our pedigrees that are long gone and have no visual history to reference. All that is needed is a note on the back of each photo with the dog’s registered name, sire and dam, date of birth, breeder, owner, owner’s kennel name and judge’s name plus a brief show history. They could be posted online by the parent club by owner name or kennel name alphabetically so as not to show any partiality. Even if it isn't used for research, it would just be entertaining to look at them all and to see friends and judges when they were younger. It would be a lasting history of our breeds that would interest not only those involved with the breed, but others who are interested for other reasons, such as judges. The more people who donate their photos, the richer the archive becomes. So take that picture on the wall and give it a longer shelf life.