During many nights, Oscar will wait until the lights are out and I am sleeping to jump into the bed and lay over my feet like a 125 lb. brick. Oscar is very careful not to get caught, so he often gets out of the bed before he thinks I will wake up. However, this time the swissy was actually caught as he took the bed sheet with him to use as a blanket on the floor. Does anyone else’s greater swiss mountain dog (also known as the “velcro dog”) want to sleep right next to them at night?
Since we posted about SCONE finally revealing their secret Meet The Breed criteria (after 2 years of asking), we have received many positive comments and e-mails with others sharing their experiences with dog politics. There is no reason why there should not be a rotation with other swissy owners being able to attend and being able to get mentored instead of the same select people attending year after year.
There was one message from the President of SCONE (aka Swissy Club of New England), Peter Ziegler, which differed from all of the positive feedback:
“…The Swissies participating in this event have earned many awards in various activities and are representing the true meaning of what it is to be a WORKING!!!… We don’t need people at this event to brag about their dog, rather showing the facts what a Swissy is all about. What better way to inform people about this great breed is to have reputable breeders running the show? … For you David, I would like to acknowledge all the success you had with your dog, but I have to be very direct in a different way: Get off your couch, stop whining and bickering.”
A year ago we posted about Oscar receiving hate mail for his website after it was only up for 4 days! We now feel that it’s important to let you know it came from another person who holds one of the other four leadership spots on SCONE and also serves on the Board of the GSMDCA, Kelly Nevin. “Wider Audience, really, noone has a website for their ‘pet’ dog, dog websites are for show, breeding or performance brags/info. And you wouldn’t like what people are saying because of that, let’s just say not positive.”
In response to Peter, we have introduced Oscar to many activities including sheep herding, swimming, and weight-pulling. We are working on carting next. It sounds like you will not give owners a chance to participate in a Meet The Breed event even for a few hours, believing only breeders can run the show instead of rotating and having a diverse selection of swissy owners help out. Also if a breeder breeds without clearances, you would think they shouldn’t allowed to participate for that year. In response to Kelly, I believe that 80,000 fans a year later would have disagreed with you. “Good luck with your website” would have been a nicer comment to make!
I realize Oscar and I will never be able to attend a Meet The Breed, but we hope this shines a light on the insider process Meet The Breed for Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs has become. It’s a shame things can’t be done like they are for other breeds (with everyone working together) because of the actions of a few.
When Oscar is home he eats 3-4 lbs. raw food a day from Tefco, which is one of the best quality raw foods around. However, it can be messy for a dog show handler, so when he travels I started sending him with Nature’s Variety Frozen Raw Food. It is more expensive ($20 for a day’s supply), but it is easy to travel with. For the two and half weeks Oscar was in Florida, I sent him with sixteen bags of food. After reading the alert below from a fellow swissy owner, I am not sure if I will buy food from them anymore. This is very scary, and I am wondering if any of their food is safe. For now on, Oscar will just be getting his Meat Eater from Tefco.
has announced a voluntary recall of one batch of Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula with a “Best if Used By” date of 10/04/13. This action is being taken because pieces of clear plastic may be found in some bags and could cause a potential choking risk to pets. The source of plastic has been identified and the issue has been resolved.” (Thank you Carol Gehret for passing on the recall)
Oscar’s Website was mentioned and linked to in a number of media publications recently including the LA Times. We are so grateful for the support. Please keep visiting the site as we have many more surprises to come including thousands of behind the scenes Westminster Kennel Club pictures from our photographer who was on-site. Professional cameras put the images into very large files so there’s post-processing required before the pictures can be posted.
As mentioned previously, for the last two years Oscar and I were excluded from “Meet The Breed” so that the same people could attend every year and both days of the two day event. Other people who volunteered were also turned away. We asked the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog National Club (GSMDCA) to enforce a public posting of the event along with a rotation where everyone has an equal opportunity to participate. The more experienced people would be able to mentor the newer people for a fun, two-day event. What is the problem with a newer person attending for a few hours? Why wouldn’t potential Swissy owners want more than one perspective such as what it is like to have a Swissy in the city?
For two years we had requested a selection criteria from SCONE (local club appointed by national club to run the event), but we were told that it was a secret. Yesterday a criteria has finally been revealed that will ensure that the same people attend the event for the next few years without any rotation standard or mentoring of its members. The new criteria states that you must own a Swissy for ten years. To our dismay this new criteria, which is a high barrier of entry for newer people, has been strongly endorsed by the GSMDCA and will also apply to the other Meet The Breeds at Eukanuabu. Ironically, the person assigned to run the event in 2011 and 2012 only had eight years of experience with Swissies. This is indicated on their website where they also highlight going to Meet The Breeds. Assuming she also participated before being appointed to run the event, things look shady.
I have taken care of two Swissies for 5-6 years and have over twenty years of experience with dogs. Oscar and I have participated in a de facto Meet The Breed for the two day Thanksgiving Day Dog show, two Westminster shows, and countless newspaper and television interviews. Every day we do a walk is a potential Meet The Swissy. If we wait another four to five years, Oscar will be at least eight years old. Swissies often have a short life span, which could mean that we will never be able to attend a Meet The Breed event. If the club only cared as much about tracking epilepsy and enforcing rules for breeders who breed without clearances rather than preventing newer but experienced Swissy owners from helping at these events. I have also inquired and found out that other breeds do not operate this way. Many of them encourage attendance at these events as well as the mentoring of their members. GSMDCA & SCONE are only doing this so only a few select individuals can attend key events year after year without publicly posting the events. Contacting the GSMDCA was not an easy task. Part of their website has not been updated in a few years, but it is ironic that their dues membership link is up to date. There were even outdated e-mail addresses, but luckily we eventually found the correct email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and despite Oscar’s success he has yet to find his significant other. Oscar has 80,000 fans (more fans than any other show dog), and has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, NY Post, L.A. Times, Bloomberg, Crain’s, Investor’s Business Daily, and MarketWatch.com. He has appeared on television including the opening promo for Westminster, NBC, ABC, NY1, and the WPIX morning show with Richard Simmons. The swissy has also participated in two press conferences with over 50+ reporters each time. In the ring he is almost at Grand Champion Bronze Level, a Top 20 Dog, and has so many Best of Breed awards that we lost count. He also has the highest clearances (normal-excellent) for elbows, eyes, hips, shoulders, and heart.
Do you know of a female swissy who would be a good match for Oscar? Let us know!
Oscar was selected yesterday to come to Central Park to film in a segment called “Best in Snow”. As you can guess, Oscar was shown enjoying the snow with some new friends including Juliette the Berner. It’s set to air on NBC during the Westminster Broadcast. Here are some behind the scene photos. The woman in the photo is Mary Carillo, who is the co-host of Westminster, a sportscaster and former French Open Doubles winner with John McEnroe. Oscar enjoyed getting to know her and gives her two paws up.
The NY Post with a combined circulation of a million readers, today profiled Oscar calling him “The Man About Midtown” and “A Fashion Hound”. The opening of the story reads “Attention follows this 2 ¹/₂-year-old Greater Swiss Mountain dog wherever he goes, and how could it not — he weighs 125 pounds and is prone to wearing argyle sweaters around town and dressing up for the holidays…At least when he’s not traveling the show circuit: Oscar just returned from a string of seven shows in Florida with handler Ashley Cuzzolino, and won seven Best of Breed awards.” Pick up a copy of the paper to read the rest of the story. That is if you can find one (since we already bought 12).
Oscar appeared with two other dogs on the WPIX morning show today with David Frei (host of the Westminster Kennel Club) and Richard Simmons (star of Sweatin’ to the Oldies). Living only two blocks away from the studio, it was just a normal walk for Oscar. The swissy could not fit through the revolving doorway into the studio, which was not big enough for a greater swiss mountain dog. Maybe Oscar should be sweatin’ with Richard Simmons? Luckily we found a hidden elevator (aka VIP entrance) a little further down the street that took us right upstairs to the studio. When we walked into the green room, the other two dog owners commented about how they woke up at 5 am to get there.
Oscar will be participating in a Westminster television segment on New York’s WPIX (Channel 11), tomorrow morning between 8 and 8:30 am. A short two block walk to the studio, the swissy passed on his chance to take a limo. Tune in and cheer on New York City’s Oscar the Grouch, who thanks his 80,000 fans for helping him become the top show dog on Facebook. Also, stay tuned for an expanded website, with an easy to remember name, www.CentralBark.com!
If someone has a DVR, please help us record this segment!
As per weather.com it feels like -1 degrees F outside in NYC and a snowstorm is about to hit tomorrow night. In addition, the heat in my building just broke. Oscar is still in Florida competing in dog shows (Best of Breed again today) in 75-80 degree weather. I miss Oscar a lot, but I am now very jealous of him, as he is currently living a better lifestyle than me. I am heading to Vegas later this weekend, but I am now thinking of planning an emergency flight to Florida to visit him tomorrow afternoon, and will then go to Vegas from there. Swissy withdrawal.
Oscar also won Best of Breed on Saturday and Sunday for a weekend sweep! I escaped the cold weather in NYC (12 degrees) to watch Oscar at the dog shows this weekend. I experienced drama on the trip as I got rear-ended at a toll booth on my way to the hotel from the Orlando Airport, but seeing the swissy win was well worth it!
I just received an e-mail alert about the results from the Florida Dog Show. It is always a little nerve wracking when opening e-mails with results, but this e-mail put a smile on my face as Oscar won Best of Breed!
Many New Yorkers head to Florida for the Winter, and Oscar is no exception! The Swissy arrived in the Orlando/Ocala area at 3 am this morning, and he has a full two weeks of Dog Shows and fun in the sun ahead of him. Perhaps, Oscar The Grouch will have a chance to see the real Mickey Mouse instead of the Times Square version.
I am on a two week Grand Cayman Christmas/New Years trip and I miss Oscar. Despite days filled with lying on the beach, scuba diving, kayaking, and playing tennis, I am thinking of the Swissy. I arranged with the Cayman Islands Humane Society to bring a dog to the Ritz-Carlton for the day in the spirit of Christmas. Yesterday, I took a cab to the Humane Society. As soon as I walked in the door, I saw Greg. While taking him for a walk, I saw how energetic he was. I took another dog for a walk right after, but then noticed how Greg was sad and wanted to be played with. Not letting him down, I took him back to the hotel with me. When I brought him to the beach, he ran for the ocean. Greg was an instant swimmer and had constant energy. He wanted to run back and forth along the beach to say hello to everyone. After a fun filled day, he finally fell asleep under my beach chair. Before I knew it, it was 4 pm, and his ride came to get him. It was very sad sending him back after such a great day together.
Oscar and I are very grateful for Nancy Kechner & Roxanne Sutton for offering their help with trying to attend the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Dog Show. Unfortunately, the additional cost of a one-way car rental and new plane tickets would have brought the total cost of the trip to $3000, so the trip was cancelled. I still went to experience the show, but I felt very guilty about leaving Oscar at home with my father. I still cannot believe that his ride broke down, but I am happy that it happened before the trip. There will always be next year!
Oscar is entered in the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Dog Show in Orlando, Florida. However his
ride to the show is having van trouble and it doesn’t look good. I would do it, but have critical work assignments due. If anyone is able to give Oscar a ride to Florida, please let us know ASAP. You will be compensated in more than milk bones.
Living only a few blocks away from the United Nations, there is always something happening. Today, there were Israelis and Palestinians protesting on opposite sides of the street. Oscar walked on one side of the street where a bunch of Palestinians played with him and said what a handsome dog he was. As he crossed the street, Oscar gave his thoughts to a Channel 5 TV reporter, who is interested in getting a Swissy of his own. Then while walking home, Oscar was petted by Israeli protestors. If both sets of protestors can agree on Oscar, perhaps there is hope for a Mideast peace accord!
On Friday night, midtown got power back; however the elevators where Oscar lives are still not working. Living 40+ flights up, the Swissy and I are refugees stuck at a hotel. The problem starts tomorrow as I need to go back to work. An elevator repairman just arrived at the building this morning as we walked by, so we are hopeful the problem finally gets fixed today.
Last night around 9pm the power, water, and elevators went out when the neighborhood’s transformer blew up. While waiting the storm out, we were told it could be a week before power is restored. We booked a room at the Westin, as seven blocks can be the difference between power and no power. However without elevators, the task was getting Oscar down over 40+ flights of steps with the only light a flashlight. Somehow we did it and now the swissy is resting from his ordeal.
The hurricane is about to strike and all the grocery stores are either closed or have long lines & empty shelves. A corner store appeared to be out of everything that could be shared by father and swissy, except for an entire 12 pound turkey. The store owner wanted $10 a pound but I bargained him down to $80 for the entire turkey breast. If the storm is as bad as predicted, we have turkey. With most fast food stores (McDonalds, Subway) and restaurants closed for the next two days, if you are in need of a turkey sandwich, look for this swissy.
The NY Post has an article on a dog-napping that occurred only a few blocks away from where Oscar lives in NYC. The owner (stupidly) tied his dog up outside as he went to Starbucks. Comes out, dog is gone. The dognapper apparently went to a supermarket later that night asking about dog food. Though caught on camera, she still not been located. A quick search of craigslist shows several similar cases. I would be devastated if someone stole Oscar so hopefully this post serves as a dual warning to others. Don’t leave your puppy unattended and there is an east side dognapper on the loose!
Oscar The Grouch has been inducted into the 2012 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Honor Roll. Oscar made the Honor Roll for two different achievements: by being in the top 25 of his breed (Greater Swiss Mountain Dog) and for becoming a Grand Champion last year.
We received a few e-mails asking if Oscar will be attending the Meet The Breed Event in NYC. The answer is no, despite Oscar volunteering over the past two years and living only a few blocks away from the event. In 2011, we volunteered six months ahead of the event date and the person running it never responded to us. As the event date got closer, we inquired, but were informed that people were already selected. We asked why the people who are selected are not rotated each day (since it is a two day event) or each year, to be fair, but we received no reply once again. We also asked if there was any specific criteria to be met by the dogs that were chosen and found out that there is a secret criteria that cannot be disclosed. When we asked about it this year, we received no response again. However, at a dog show, we heard that same person bragging to potential customers about how her dogs are always at Meet The Breed. When you run the event, that may actually happen.
Oscar wants everyone to go to the event and enjoy it. However, before selecting any breeder, do your homework at OFFA (http://www.offa.org). The people who do not let others attend these events, may have things to hide such as the proper health clearances on their dogs prior to breeding.
The swissy is very grateful for 50,000 + fans over the past few months. New web programmers have been hired and working long hours to build a cutting edge website. Be sure to have your best puppy pictures ready to show off in the next few weeks.
Remember you can easily go to Oscar’s website by going to www.Puppy.TV (yes.tv instead of .com).