Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bill Cosby is Dog Show People

Back in February of 2007, I posted this missive on the blog. 

It seems like a good time for a re-post as, luck would have it, I posted a bit about Dandie Dinmonts earlier in the day and Mr. Cosby just got convicted for serial rape.

Fru Fru Fidos In the Terrier Ring at Westminster

The latest news out of the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York City is that a Dandie Dinmont won the terrier class. I cannot help but laugh, as this is a breed so far from it's origins and so far from being a true terrier as to be a joke on four legs.

Of course, this Dandie Dinmont will now get a lot of press coverage since it is co-owned by comedian Bill Cosby. Does anyone else think Bill Cosby's ownership might have been a small (or large) consideration in the judge's mind? What a great way to launch a small ring judge into the spotlight -- and get a picture with a celebrity as well! Plus the folks at Westminster will love you for it -- star power publicity is always good for business.

Cosby has been showing terriers for years, of course. Or, should I say, he has has been paying people to breed dogs and show them for him. He is neither the breeder nor the handler; he is the person with a lot of money, if not much time. Of course, neither Cosby, his handler, nor his breeder has ever heard of a locator collar. Who has in the world of show ring terriers? These folks are involved in a different "sport" -- the sport of writing checks, deciding which dog has sex with which dog, and parading the resulting progeny around a ring. How this is a sport is a bit of a mystery to me, but that's what they call it.

For those of you who are regular readers of this blog, you might remember that I wrote about Dandie Dinmont's back in November ("Danger: Market Forces at Work") and that I promptly received emails from two show-ring Dandie Dinmont breeders in the UK (Hilary Cheyne and Paul Keevil) who said their breed of dog was not wrecked by the ring, and of course it still worked.

This is complete hogwash, of course, and everyone who digs on their dogs knows it. And to underscore the point, I extended a small challenge to Ms. Cheyne and Mr. Keevil:

".... to find even one picture of a Kennel Club Dandie Dinmont that was dug to in the last 50 years. I want a photograph of a Dandie (wearing a locator collar) and his fox or badger standing next to a hole freshly dug. No roadkill photos now!"

Three months later and I am still waiting. Mr. Keevil sent me old illustrations of dogs standing in the counryside, etc. but he did not even have an illustration of a Dandie being dug to or working a fox -- an amazing thing since he is in the graphics arts business. I suggested to Mr. Keevil that he might try to get a picture from Alf Rhodes' family, but in truth Rhodes (who is dead) only claimed to have ever dug six foxes with a single Dandie Dinmont he had back in the 1970s. So much for Dandie's as a working breed!

As I have often note, there are more pictures of Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster than there are of most Kennel Club terrier breeds at work, and the Dandie Dinmont is no exception.

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