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June 2006 Barker

What does Sammamish Kennel Club do for me? I heard this question at our last meeting and have thought about it extensively ever since. The question bothered me because, for me, there has always been many answers. Aside from the several free meals (the Judges Receptions in January and August, the Awards Banquet in March, and usually, a summer picnic) and the occasional educational programs, the club gives me the chance to associate with like minded people to attain common goals, both personal and organizational. I have the opportunity to converse with and learn from each and every member of Sammamish Kennel Club. I can ask a question about almost any topic dealing with dogs with the confidence that some one with more experience than I, will probably have a good answer, or will know where to find an answer. I find the free exchange of ideas and information among Club members to be invaluable in my life.

Because Sammamish Kennel Club is a club that believes in peer recognition, each year in March we hold an Awards Banquet. If I care to submit the proper information about awards that my dog and I have earned in the prior year (and explain all the alphabet soup behind his name), the information will be published in The Barker and I can add another certificate to my Dante collection. Peer recognition is a very good thing not only for our egos, but also lets the other members know what we have been involved in as it may be different than what they have been doing. I never used to give Lure Coursing much thought until I met all the people in the Club that own hounds who Lure Course and they invited me and my herding dog to give it a try. Wound up really enjoying it (so did Dante) and had my horizons broadened.

For me, Sammamish Kennel Club is a conduit for information about the health, safety and welfare of dogs and nearly everything that may affect them. This information is provided by AKC and our Club members. We receive information about everything from legislation in other states, to genetic advances in medicine, to better nutrition for our dogs, to dogs and people that have lost their homes due to tragic weather conditions. If I so choose, I can use this information to make a difference in the life of my dogs and help those that need it most.

The biggest thing that Sammamish Kennel Club has given me is the opportunity to give back to the dog fancy, instead of only being a taker when I enter my dog in some one else’s show. I can assist with selecting judges for a show, chair a show or club committee or work on that committee, measure a field in which to place show rings, negotiate contracts for rooms at a hotel or for the show grounds, arrange for the judge’s dinner, judge a match, pick up poop on the show grounds, contribute my time as a club officer, attend cluster meetings, stand in the rain and explain for the 100th time that the show has been cancelled, chair the Obedience and Rally Trials, find and coordinate events for the Performance ring, assist in setting up the show grounds and be the last one to leave the grounds 5 days later after a final check to make sure
we left nothing behind, including trash. In the all the years that I have been a member of Sammamish Kennel Club, I have had the opportunity to do all of these things and many more.

Sammamish Kennel Club can only be of value to me if I choose to participate in the activities of the Club. If I sit and wait for the Club to come to me, I am going to be very lonely and disappointed. When I began my association with Sammamish Kennel Club, the Club did not join me, I joined the Club. It is I that take the initiative to get involved, or not, and fulfill the obligations for which I volunteer. Sammamish Kennel Club does a lot for me and I will forever be grateful.

Dee Carlson
President – Sammamish Kennel Club

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