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