Santos: Dog shows and beauty pageants


A FEW days ago, I got word that there will be an All-Breed Dog Show on June 10, 2019 hosted by the Northern Luzon German Shepherd Dog Association (NLGSDA). This will be after NLGSDA’s 35th Landesgruppen Show on June 9, 2019 – a Breed Specialty show for German Shepherds under the auspices of the Philippine Canine Club, Inc. (PCCI). This means that the All-Breed Show will be a pointed show. This is music to my ears because two of my dogs will have the chance to earn their championship titles.

Roslin needs three points to become a Philippine Champion while Sabrina needs five points to become a Philippine Grand Champion.

For most people, dog shows are just pageantries – to showcase how confident and well-groomed show dogs are. But for those who are into breeding and the dog sport in general, dog shows play an important role. For one, this is the arena where one’s dog will have an independent assessment of its soundness from judges of various (dog) backgrounds.

Does the dog conform structurally according to its breed standard? Does it move effortlessly? Does it behave appropriately? Does it look the way it is supposed to look? For another, this is the opportunity for exhibitors to evaluate dogs other than their own. Dog shows enable dog owners to become more objective and encourage them to improve on their breeding program. The results of the independent evaluations, coupled with one’s personal evaluations translate into vital breeding decisions that impact the future generations of dogs. It is said that there is no perfect dog. It makes sense that the best place to look for the breeding partner of your dog that will improve on the resulting progenies is at the dog shows.

A week ago, a friend, Shiela DeForest, was here in Baguio City. She is the reigning Mrs. ECO Philippines 2019 of the Earth Pageants, Inc. and will be competing for the Mrs. ECO International 2019 crown in June 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada USA. We collaborated on producing a video about Baguio City and La Trinidad and how these two cities are affected by overpopulation, congestion, vehicular traffic, poor air quality, depleted water supply, waste management, overdevelopment, and disappearing forest cover, among others. Shiela also took the opportunity to pay a courtesy call to Mayor Mauricio Domogan of Baguio and inquire about how the city deals with its environmental concerns. It is nice to know that the “ECO” video will comprise one of the major judging criteria in the eventual selection of Mrs. ECO International 2019.

Shiela was also accommodated by the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club (BCBC) on Easter Sunday where she was given the opportunity to share her advocacies, mingle with the Baguio-Benguet media and their respective families, and get to know the interesting story of the 61st Lucky Visitors to Baguio. Shiela also got to plant her own pine tree at Camp Peppot.

On April 23, Shiela had the privilege to meet members of the Benguet Association of Seed Savers (BASS) through Global Seed Savers! This group founded a collaborative Seed Library in cooperation with the Municipal Agriculture Office of Tublay in Benguet Province. “BASS aims to save, replant, and share their own seeds just as their ancestors did, while also benefiting from new, ecologically sound technologies”.

Sheila asserts that pageants are powerful platforms that may help create awareness on the existence of issues. She chose ECO Pageants because she believes that more people are needed to advocate for the environment.

Indeed, indifference and greed threatens our very own existence. Now more than ever, there is the urgency to avert certain catastrophic disasters in the near future brought about by environmental degradation. She hopes that competing in the Mrs. ECO International 2019 will inspire people to care for the environment even in small ways. She avers, “We don’t need a few perfect eco warriors but we need everyone do small things each day to help our environment”.

Majority of golden retrievers bred in the Philippines are no longer “typical” of the breed. I see a preponderance of unbalanced and inappropriately sized dogs (incorrect angulation, profuse coat, “extra-large goldens”, “bitchy” appearance). There are also golden retrievers that display unwarranted aggression (in fact, goldens usually are not aggressive at all even when threatened). And some more dogs afflicted of painful bone diseases like hip dysplasia.

So yes, apart from the important avenue of networking to scout for perfect mates of one’s dogs, strive for a better breeding or compete in such a sport, dog shows help showcase and bring awareness to dog lovers and the public in general about the importance of striving to produce a well-bred dog.

I wish Mrs. ECO Philippines 2019 a well-crafted ECO video that showcases Baguio and Benguet and at the same time highlights the programs of the respective cities in addressing environmental issues and a superb performance during the finals and coronation night of Mrs. ECO International 2019.

I also wish that the All-Breed Dog Show in June by the NLGSDA will materialize. The possibility of having two of my dogs being declared champion and grand champion, respectively, on the grounds that they love to play in, at Melvin Jones, is a golden once-in-a-lifetime experience, indeed.

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