"I Am So Zoomed Out!"
“Dr. Smarterthanme, this is how it all began.
“I was enjoying my life going to dog shows and visiting with my friends here and at the Delegate meetings, when suddenly it all stopped.
“Doctor, I am suffering from ‘lack of friend connection syndrome,’ ‘Zoomitis,’ lack of dogshowism, and ‘too much on the computerism.’ Is there anything you can do for me?”
The good doctor said to me in his professional tone: “Mr. Shoemaker, there is nothing I can do. Your life, as you are living it now, is part of what was planned for you 75 years ago when you were born. So far, it has been a good life, and you are blessed with your love of dogs, your family, your dog family, your many friends and somewhat good health for your age. Quit complaining and go on with your life! See the receptionist on the way out.”
And then I woke up and realized that he was right.
Snap out of it, Johnny!
The last week and parts of this week have been filled with endless Zoom meetings. Before this COVID-19, I could barely spell Zoom, much less knew there was such a thing.
Not that I can really conduct a Zoom meeting; I have attempted and mostly not succeeded. There were sound problems on my computer during the Dog Show Rules Committee meeting, so my Mr. Computer Guy is coming out to try to fix the problem. They could see my beautiful face for a while, but then I vanished off the computer screen and my voice was not heard, so I had to call into the meeting. That is my life … full of unseen beauty and no sound.
Here were the schedules for the committees:
Tuesday: Canine Health; Herding, Earthdog and Coursing
Wednesday: By-Laws; Delegate Advocacy and Advancement
Thursday: Companion Events; Dog Show Rules
Friday: All-Breed Clubs; Field Trial and Hunting Test Events
Monday: Parent Clubs; Coordinating Committee
Tuesday: Committee Voting; Forum; Delegate Meeting
Now you can see why I am so “had it with Zoom meetings”!
Let’s get to the Delegate Meeting results and let me stop feeling sorry for myself!
The first meeting was the All Breeds Committee headed by Nancy Fisk. Mari-Beth O’Neill spoke on the many activities going on during COVID-19 that have improved compared to 2019: Fast Cat is up 126%; Hunt Test, 99%; Scent Work, 101%; Agility, 99%; Fast Track, 88%. If you need any help, contact Guy Fisher and Glenn Lycan in the Club Development Department, and they will be glad to assist. Great guys!
There have been some conformation shows going on, which have proven successful with the help of the COVID guidelines being observed, such as wearing masks and social distancing as much as possible. Next year the show calendar will fall back a week.
There have been many breed webinars being put on thanks to Tim Thomas. Since there are shows going on now, there will be one webinar each Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET.
There are plans to put on virtual meetings with such events as ACT and Rally Novice. There have already been virtual dog shows such as those put on by AKC. The Board reviewed a Staff recommendation for an exception to the Conformation Junior Showmanship Regulations to allow Juniors to continue to compete beyond their 18th birthday up until their 19th birthday or December 31, 2021, whichever comes first.
The Board reviewed a Staff recommendation to modify the formulation of the conformation-points schedule that will be effective in May 2021 based on 2020 events. To minimize the impact of the reduced number of events in 2020, the Staff recommendation is that the 2020 point schedule will be used for 2021 except in those cases where the point-schedule-formulation process indicates the number of competitors should be reduced. Staff will also review requests by clubs to hold their 2020 shows over three days through July 2021.
The Board approved changing regulations regarding indoor venues during COVID-19. Clubs are requesting they be allowed to state on the premium list that the determination of ring location, indoors or outdoors, will be made on the day of the event in order not to risk exhibitors cancelling their entries based on a change in location. This provides clubs some flexibility to move forward with their events if they have space for outdoor judging and the restrictions for indoor gatherings have not eased. Refunds will not be granted based on the final location.
The Board discussed premium lists being published and events closing in a matter of minutes or hours. Many exhibitors were not aware of the opportunity to enter until after the event had closed due to the entry limit being reached. In order to provide a fair opportunity for all exhibitors to enter upcoming events, premium lists are required to be published at least 72 hours prior to the acceptance of entries. Events whose entries are limited must have a defined date and time for the opening of entries, which are to be prominently displayed in the premium list.
If you have questions on COVID restrictions by state, please visit www.akcgr.org/covid19 or Working With Public Officials When Planning An Event During COVID-19.
At the Delegate Advocacy & Advancement Committee meeting, Keith Frazier said there is lots of identity theft and phishing activity on the AKC website, which provides information regarding this problem.
Marjorie Tuff reported on the new Juniors sub-committee and the many good ideas being suggested, such as a video for juniors, which Staff is working on developing.
At the Bylaws Committee Greg Paveza reported that his sub-committee is working on AKC Bylaws and the various articles and sections that need to be restructured and reorganized. Virtual meetings and elections were discussed, and as AKC is governed by the State of New York it is legal to conduct business this way.
Doug Ljungren, Executive VP, Sports and Events, reported on the difference between entries in Companion events versus 2019. Obedience is up 40%; Rally is up 65% and Agility is up 89%. Agility has embraced dividing exhibitors; schedule in and schedule out – then you’re done. Maybe Obedience and Rally can embrace that.
When COVID hit in March and everything was shut down, there were lots of judges who did not want to travel and staff was working on ways to help. The Board agreed to changes in policies until the end of the year. They may become permanent. One suggestion was removing the two-different-judges requirement to get a title, which may extend to July 2021. There was a discussion on using some kind of post for the figure-eight exercise instead of two stewards.
Doug stated that clubs can opt to have Tracking, Obedience, Rally and Agility events close seven days prior to the event through year-end 2020. This will provide clubs and exhibitors greater flexibility to decide what to do.
The regulation that no exhibitor may show a dog under a judge at an Obedience or Rally trial if the exhibitor or dog has participated in a training session or class taught by that judge within 30 days prior to the date of the event is waived through year-end 2020. This would also apply to these judges showing to that exhibitor.
Another action was to allow clubs to use local judges for trials and does not impact exhibitors. This change was done for 9 agility classes (18 total titles) from July 1, 2020, to year end 2020. An emergency judge may be brought in and remove the current impact on that judge for future shows and change that time to 72 hours until the end of 2020.
The Dog Show Rules Committee formed a sub-committee based on a recommendation of Staff to streamline AKC-required information in premium lists. The sub-committee consisting of Marilyn Vinson, Barbara Schwarz and myself worked on various items such as not publishing the colors of the ribbons by changing the wording to state that “All ribbon or rosettes will be consistent in color and requirements defined by Chapter 5 Section 1,2 & 3 and Chapter 3, Section 22 of Rules Applying to Dog Shows unless specified otherwise”; Chapter 6, Section 2 to format change to delete addresses of Club Secretary and Judges and put in a Club address for contact purposes, and to put the entry fee as required. There was also reference to remove information not required for NOHS and Pee Wee events, and some changes in chapters related to show veterinarians to make them consistent. After discussion changes in relation to items on Junior Showmanship were sent back to the sub-committee for more work. The Committee voted to send the changes suggested by our committee to the Board for consideration at their meeting.
There was a discussion on Chapter 2, Section 5, on the DSR, which states, “The use of a club’s name for show purposes cannot be transferred.” This is a subject I had brought to the Committee due to a situation with an Agility trial that our Poodle Club is facing. Many clubs turn over the running of their events to third parties (especially performance events and sometimes all-breed shows). At this time, the discussion has been focused on conformation. The details have not been finalized yet. The Board will be taking action once the details have been worked out.
Many times there are not enough club members to put on a show. There is no one to run the vendors, parking and other items. I do not see a problem with Superintendents taking over as long as a contract has been signed, enough members are there in case of a show hearing and to answer questions, and guidelines are developed by AKC to protect the club and the Superintendents.
The Parent Club Committee discussed legislative items and suggested the fancy contact Sheila Goff in AKC’s Government Relations Department. There are now 3,300 federal and state bills out there related to dogs and restrictions. Of these, 190 are legislative items, which represent a 46% increase in advocacy. This is due to the election year and COVID-19.
The AKC PAC has face masks with the logo on it that states “Protecting You & Your Dog.” These are $12 apiece and can be purchased by visiting www.akc.org/pac. (Scroll to the bottom of the page. Select your club affiliation and check the box to proceed. Enter in your contact and other information. In the AKC-affiliated club box, please type “face mask donation.”)
As of September 11, 2020, Pet Disaster Trailers had 433 clubs participating and $2,303,842.72 total revenue raised. There are 90 trailers delivered to 29 states with 13 trailers in the pipeline. Trailers have been dispatched to various areas due to disasters happening now.
At the Coordinating Committee the information above was mentioned and Dennis Sprung, AKC President, presented his report.
“The decline in events is monumental, now at 60%, over 13,500 cancelled or postponed, including 69% in All-Breed Conformation shows. Between Conformation and Obedience since January 1: 2,425 cancelled/postponed events.
On the positive side Fast Cat is at 120% of last year’s scheduled events, Hunting Tests at 102% and Scent Work is 101%.
Multiple departments collaboratively launched virtual opportunities in Rally, Trick Dog, Agility, Water Test and Conformation to positive responses, the latter resulting in donations of $15,000 stemming from entry fees to Take the Lead and the AKC Reunite’s Adopt a K-9 Cop program.
We are planning more virtual opportunities to keep fanciers and newcomers active.
Also to keep core constituents engaged, our education department has offered 52 breed seminars with 14,483 attendees.
I am pleased to tell you that even during these uncertain times, Registration has been up 16% year over year.
We are also experiencing increases on akc.org, now at 11.9 million unique users a month, and gains in social media, Marketplace, Good Dog Helpline, Puppy Visor and the AKC Shop.”
The Delegate Meeting on Tuesday, September 15, was full of Zoom this and that … voting, wave of hands via computer, question and answers from the audience in their homes, and many more changes in Rules.
First we had the vote for election of Committee Members, which did not go so smoothly. The voting was supposed to start at 10 a.m. but at 10 a.m. there was no Monkey! Thirty minutes later the Monkey appeared, but not for everyone. Some people did not get to vote, as the Monkey never appeared on their computer.
By Monkey, I refer to Survey Monkey, which was conducting the voting. That made the Delegate-L list blow up with unhappy people. I was lucky (finally) to get the Monkey on my screen and sign in to vote for the committee members. Some Committees did not need to have an election since the number needed to complete the committee did not exceed the amount seeking a seat on that committee.
Those elected were:
All-Breed Committee: Terri Breen, William Ellis, Nancy Fisk and for the one year term, Laurie Maulucci.
Companion Events Committee: Ruth Crumb, Larry Wilson, Betty Winthers, and for the one year term, Stephen Hersey.
Parent Club Committee: Karen Burgess, Alan Kalter, Helen Prince and for the one-year term, Richard Rohrbacher.
Thanks to Keith Frazier, the IT Department, Paula Spector, Gina DiNardo and Amy Hamernick for making the meetings go smoothly. Again, there were some problems with people not being able to vote due to IT problems and or their computers.
Chief Financial Officer Ted E. Phillips gave a report on what is happening on the following compared to 2019:
Litter Registrations: up 7% YTD; 185,758 compared to 173,607 in 2019.
Dog Registrations: up 16% YTD; 470,733 compared to 406,242 in 2019.
Entries and Events: Entries from July 2020 YTD were 55% lower than 2019.
Operating Results (in thousands): $6,805 vs. $3,084 in 2019.
Revenue as of July 2020 (in thousands) - Registration: $22,345 vs. $19,377 in 2019. Recording and Service fees (in thousands): $3,108 vs. $6,910 in 2019. Pedigree, Event App, Title Recording & Others: $8,420 vs. $7,237 in 2019.
There were votes on the following Rules:
Chapter 2, Section 10 - Changes to that section that will read “A Specialty Club that wishes to hold a futurity or sweepstakes, either in conjunction with a show or as a separate even, must apply to The American Kennel Club for permission to hold the event.” This was approved.
Chapter 3-Section 8-A; Chapter 3-Section 3; Chapter3-Section 11, regarding adding a Bred-by-Exhibitor Puppy Class did not pass, but was discussed at great length. Suggestions included just adding a check-off addition on the entry form to be eligible for the Bred-By Exhibitor awards.
Vote on changes to Chapter 11, Section 9, which passed:
“No dog with a communicable disease shall be on the show grounds or premises. Exhibitors should follow their veterinarian’s recommendations to ensure that their dogs are free of internal and external parasites, any communicable disease, and have appropriate vaccinations.”
Voted on and passed: Chapter 14, Section 3-4-6-6-A; Chapter 15-Section 2: Modifies text for additional clarity as to when an entry may or may not be measured as well as the judge’s procedural responsibilities. Reorganizes section for greater understanding.
Vote on and passed: Chapter 16, Section 6- Assigns the same logic to GR CH points as CH points at independent and concurrent specialties with inter-variety competition as defined in Chapter 16, Section 3. It also inserts language into the section defining that at independent specialty shows for breeds divided into recognized varieties and offering a Bes of Breed competition, the dog awarded BOB would receive the highest number of GR VH points awarded in any variety at the specialty show. The dog awarded BOS would receive the highest number of GR CH points awarded in its sex in any variety at the specialty show.
Voted on and not passed after lots of conversation from the Delegates with a 50% Yes and 51% No: Chapter 11-Section 8-A-It was voted to send back to Staff. Dog Show Rules did send it forward for a vote as it never came to our Committee. There will be 7 Reads on Rule changes at the December Delegate meeting.
Nominations for the Board Class of 2025 were announced by the Nominating Committee and will be voted on at the March 2021 Delegate Meeting. They are:
Rita J. Biddle, Esq. - Ingham County KC
Dominic P. Carota - Pharaoh Hound Club of America
Dr. Thomas M. Davies - Springfield KC
Thomas Powers - KC of Beverly Hills
In closing, I would like to wish my dear members of the Delegate body and others out there to stay safe and see you hopefully in person soon. Love to the entire dog fancy!