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Friday, 17 April 2020

Is this going to change our world forever?

Featured Written by Ante Lucin

I spoke to Vince Hogan a few days ago during the late night hours on the internet and he asked me to write a few articles for Our Dogs during these difficult times.

Being aware of the fact that there are no shows and Vince and the team are working hard and doing their best to keep the newspaper going during these crazy times, I agreed immediately ... but of course, only after he confirmed he would not ask for a current photo as I shaved my head a few days ago when I realized that we will be at home for at least two months.

Judges and Exhibitors enjoy the fun in Split before social distancing

And it is not a pretty sight, believe me. (Protection guaranteed Ante! Ed) I wrote a status on Facebook a few days ago with my thinking on the current situation and a lot of people responded to it with different comments, proving just again that this is maybe the first time when we are all facing the same problem (there is a better word than problem, but not appropriate for the newspaper).

I wondered there and I still wonder if this is the punishment to the humans for all the wrong choices we made in the past or it is just the last warning for us and the last chance for the salvation? Probably it is a combination of both as things have been done so wrong lately, all around the world. We needed something that will be a lesson for everyone, rich and poor, old and young, black and white, straight and gay … no one is safe, not your heir to the throne and not your Prime Minister.


This is the moment whereby making our daily choices sensibly not only we can save our own life, but we can also save the lives of the people we love … not something we were lately doing too often. People started too much being obsessed by money and power.

We were all living unhealthy lives, spending our days in planes and cars, not having time to be with our families, not having time for the normal things. I am not very old, but I am old enough to know how the world looked without all this new technology which has changed our lives forever, in many good, but also in many bad ways. People now need to spend weeks at home with their families, all very worried about their money, jobs, future.

Some are also worried about not being able to finish the Champion titles for junior dogs, but that’s another subject! And while everyone is at home, trying to survive, to stay mentally fit, trying not to kill people around, rivers and seas, woods, wild animals, air are all being reborn.

They are recovering, they are letting us see them how they used to look before we started to overuse them. And also, people are not queuing to see the rock stars or Instagram influencers or rich football players. They are going out to their balconies every night and they are applauding their doctors, nurses, grocery shop salesmen, truck drivers and everyone else who now is risking their lives to save ours. People we were all considering unimportant in our lives. And how wrong we were.


So, from this perspective we come to our world, the world of purebred dogs, the world that we all very much love and the world we thought no one could ever take away from us. I am one of these people who for years have been saying that we dog people are our own worst enemies. For years we were not been able to find a way to unite, to fight for our sport, to bring the message who we are and why we are important.

This is maybe the situation in which all this can be changed. First, you see, there are no dog shows. There will not be dog shows for some time. This is something we need to be realistic about. Do you see now how much you miss them? How much you miss traveling, friends, dinners, late night grooming, and early morning alarms? Do you understand this is now temporary, but it is close to being forever?

And not because of the corona virus. Young people specially take things for granted, but now maybe they can see nothing is actually granted in life. And if you don’t want to lose something important in your life, you need to fight for it and try to do everything to protect it. Let this be a lesson for all of us.

In another aspect, just think how blessed we are to have dogs in these difficult times. They give us company, they comfort us; they give us passes to go out for the small walks which are now not available for everyone. Many of us changed our city centre apartments for houses closer to nature, far away from everyone and everything and now we see how blessed we are. Many people will now realize that the ideas that so called animal welfare organizations are trying to sell that there should not be pets are so wrong. Trust me; dogs are going to save so many lives in these times. I hope this will also make people think from whom they buy dogs.

My heart is breaking thinking of all these poor dogs from the puppy mills and what will be done with them now. Their only purpose was to bring profit, but now with closed borders and more restrictions they cannot bring any financial reward to their abusers. Hopefully people will understand the real value of us genuine, dedicated breeders who will struggle in many ways now to keep puppies at home much longer than was originally planned, to socialize them, vaccinate them regularly and care for them until they will be able to go to their new homes. This is the time when we all must clearly show the difference between us and the puppy millers.


Teamwork at the 4 night show in Split 2019 - Photo by Boris Glukharev

And as the last thing for today, let me go back to the shows. The shows are being cancelled or postponed all over the world. Once it all started many just postponed their shows and gave quickly the new dates, most of them for this summer. I think this is maybe now obviously too optimistic.

As the show organizer, I am also worried. We still didn’t open the entries for Split, we are not able to meet and talk, and we decided to wait a bit more to see how the things will go. Knowing how hard is to organize the show, once the World dog show in Spain was postponed to the date in July I gave them publicly my support. Living with the Spanish and having many friends in Madrid I am well aware of the high temperatures at that time. The summer shows, all of them, but especially big ones like the World or European shows, are very difficult for the breeders, owners and handlers. But they are not impossible.

We need to be very careful, but we should be careful all the time when we are traveling with our dogs. Was I happy the show was postponed to July? No. Many of our dogs will not be in coat, it will be very difficult to travel and take care of the dogs and also, it is only two weeks before our Split shows. But, the message from the Spanish Kennel Club and the FCI was clear. That was the only date they could get to have the show this year organized at the Madrid fair.


So I thought they made a difficult decision, incredible work has been done but now it all needs to be reorganized; that must be horrible. So as a member of a purebred dog community why should I as an exhibitor make this situation even more stressful and difficult for them? At this point, unfortunately, no one can say if the World show will happen in July or if Split will happen or any other shows that were originally planned or postponed for this summer.

No one can know when we will be again able to have shows, but that is not my priority at this moment, even if I live from going to the shows.

I urge the exhibitors and the kennel clubs, to help and support the Clubs in their own countries. To give support and help to the ones who had to cancel or postpone their shows or any other kind of doggy events.

It was not their fault. We need to be united, brave and reasonable in these hard times. There will be time to talk about all things once the situation will be better. Now we need to see how we can help the Clubs to survive, how we can help the breeders who are home having puppies who are rapidly growing and can’t go to their new owners. Now is the time to understand how blessed we are to have dogs at home, how much we miss the things we thought were untouchable.

Take care of yourself; take care of your dogs, stay at home and stay safe. Nothing ever in life happens without the reason, let’s hope the reason for this will be one from which we will all benefit in future.

Better times are waiting for us and how soon they will happen depends on each and every one of us. Ante Lucin is one of the main organisers of the 4 Night Show in Split and a very well known and successful handler on the international dog show circuit.

Read 1069 times Last modified on Friday, 17 April 2020

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