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Franny

Microchips

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I have two dogs and two cats chipped - one of each species with Home Again, the other with Avid. Avid is much slower to register your information but if the chip is scanned in the interim, they will contact that vet that implanted the chip, they will check their records and you will be contacted. I still like Home Again better but my vet switched because Avid's initial enrollment is cheaper. However, I think it may cost more to change your information (don't quote me on that). My cat with the Home Again chip has been "found" several times by various people staying in the apartment upstairs and I've always gotten a prompt response from Home Again.

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I wonder if Geri realizes that she is on Swafford's links page?

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Hey Sue!

Where ya been?

 

I don't think you can control who links to your site. I suppose Geri could ask him to remove the link, but in the grand scheme of things, it's probably better to hope that the average human doesn't see a links page as *reverse* endorsement. That is, when I see someone's links, I take that to mean that the person doing the linking thinks the linked site is good, and not that the owner of the linked site in any way supports the site doing the linking. Make sense?

 

J.

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Hey, Julie! Always good to see your posts!

 

DH and I took ten days to go to Idaho and attend our Laura's graduation (anybody know of any good jobs for an English with Creative Writing Emphasis major?), and bring her and her stuff home.

 

We took the two Border Collies and they were wonderful! They had little chance to exercise well (and Celt was recovering from a cut pad, so that was a benefit) but they were great travelling companions, and well-behaved just about everywhere, so it was a good experience for us all. Motels, rest stops, campus, parks, etc., were all opportunities to enjoy and learn in new places.

 

As for the links, I guess I just always tended to think that a link meant "some sort" of "connection", whether it be a real connection, an endorsement, or just a useful site (as you point out). I just wasn't sure that Geri would care to have her site, business, etc., associated in ANY way with Swafford. Although, at least his having links with reputable people and sites should do nothing but good for the poor pups he produces and sells.

 

How are things going with you and all the good dogs? I did not make it to McCaig's trial even though I had entered Celt in the Novice. It just didn't work out for me with the Idaho trip coming up and some other circumstances. That makes two years that I have missed that trial and really wanted to go. Maybe the third time will be the charm although I understand they are selling (or sold) the entire flock, so I sure hope I didn't miss ever getting to see the Highland Occasional! How'd you do?

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Oh, back to microchips. I just checked the Home Again site - my dogs were chipped with their product under the AKC Companion Animal Recovery system.

 

They are not registered with Home Again, although I know they are with AKC CAR. I would assume that means that the programs are separate and run separate registries. Just a guess.

 

I am not a fan of AKC but since I didn't know any better at the time, and the CAR system is what our vet uses, that's what we have. I was very pleased with the quick response I received when I registered the dogs.

 

I AM a member of our local AKC-affiliate club. The individuals involved in the club do a tremendous service to the community by providing (on a volunteer basis - no paid employees, only class vouchers as a "reward" for working in classes) positive-training classes for puppies, obedience, agility, therapy dog certification, and other enjoyable and worthwhile activities.

 

So, even though the AKC (as a national entity and proponent of conformation breeding) runs contrary to many things we working Border Collie owners believe in, affiliated clubs can provide

wonderful resources for the pet-owning and pet-loving community.

 

Our club started out, years ago, with an emphasis on conformation. It now is overwhelmingly involved with puppy and family dog classes, agility classes (and only a few of these participants actually compete - most just enjoy having fun with their dogs, like I do), and other classes that improve and strengthen the dog/handler/family bond.

 

Just my soapbox stand on remembering that all organizations have strong and weak points, and all have members who "do good" and "don't do good".

 

On our trip, I did watch some conformation competition on Animal Planet - I had to gag when I watched the "Herding Group". Those of you who have dogs that work stock will understand what I mean.

 

I am against conformation showing of dogs (and horses and other stock in general - it is not very "real world" and doesn't generally promote good husbandry).

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wonderful resources for the pet-owning and pet-loving community. >>

 

Yes, and I can't help thinking that's too bad. Because your club is affiliated with the AKC, the AKC enjoys a sort of undeserved halo effect -- those who see and/or benefit from the good things the local club does perceive the AKC as better than it is because of that reflected lustre. Since it sounds as if the club's focus and most of what it does has little to do with the AKC, it's too bad it can't operate independently. It could certainly provide the same wonderful resources for the pet-owning and pet-loving community if it were not connected with the AKC. But such is the AKC's power and prestige in the dog world, probably most of the members wouldn't want to be independent -- they want that affiliation with the mighty and glorious AKC. And so it goes.

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Absolutely, Eileen. I agree with you whole-heartedly. I expect that most of the members do have AKC-registered dogs. I know one very active member who has "All-Americans". I assume that's AKC's moniker for "Marvelous Mutts That Compete in Performance Sports".

 

I began taking lessons with this club when I got my first working-bred Border Collie puppy, and I continue taking them as I am able. I am also an "Apprentice Assistant Instructor". It's the "lowest of the low" but the first step in my training to help instruct.

 

My first assignments in class were with a pound puppy and with a rescued backyard-breeder pup. Since I believe ignorant owners/handlers to be a huge part of the many problems pets face in this country, I feel I am doing my part to help alleviate that problem.

 

Where I think the community service is so important is in teaching anyone with any kind of dog, purebred or not, how to understand, interact with, and positively train their dog to be a great member of the family.

 

One rabidly anti-AKC stockdog person made a very good remark once, when I mentioned that I was a member of an AKC affiliated club. It is through our interaction with people who don't understand real working dogs, that we proponents of working dogs that are bred for the work (whatever that real work might be, hunting, service, stock work) have our opportunity to reach out and teach.

 

I use my opportunities in the club (and in public, in general) to try to educate folks on what real work is and what a real working dog is. Have I made a difference? I don't know but I hope so. Have I made friends in the local dog community? Yes. Do I attempt to use opportunities that arise to explain about working dogs? Yes.

 

I sure wish AKC was not involved in this in any way but I am doing the best to be a positive part of improving dog/handler/family lives in the community where I live.

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All-Americans". I assume that's AKC's moniker for "Marvelous Mutts That Compete in Performance Sports".

 

All Americans is a classification for mixed breeds in NADAC, USDAA and other agility genres that permit non-registered dogs to compete. AKC does not recognize ALL AMERICANS or allow them to compete in poerformance events.

Barb S

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Franny,

 

If you have not yet picked up/received this puppy, then it might be a good idea to return the puppy and look for one from a good breeder.

 

That way, not only will you not be supporting a bad breeder, you will have a much higher likelihood of getting a healthy puppy of good temperament. There is so much heartbreak associated with buying a badly-bred puppy. If I were you, I would walk away while you still can.

 

I know this sounds harsh. I know the puppy is loveable. I have no doubt that this misbreeder will find SOMEONE gullible enough to buy this puppy. You are no longer that someone. Now you know better. I wouldn't give one red cent to a breeder like this, who makes profit off of the misery of his dogs, and cares nothing for the future of the breed.

 

It is hard to walk away from a puppy, but every puppy sold is an incentive to breed more. If no one bought puppies from breeders as crappy as this, crappy breeders would not exist. Their world is all about supply and demand, nothing more -- not about love, not about caring, not about improving the breed. It's an industry that views dogs as puppy machines and commodities, and that preys upon the soft hearts of unsuspecting puppy buyers. Don't let it get you. Just walk away.

 

That's what I would do.

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Sue - does your club put on AKC events? I ask because that's the only reason they would need to be affiliated. The obedience club I belonged to for years was purposely not AKC recognized because the founders did not agree with AKC's stance on mixed breeds competing (and hence training) in obedience. There are other groups (USDAA and Nadac) that only allow clubs to host agility competitions if they are "not AKC" because of that "mixed breed bias". Maybe your club would have enough non-pure-bred or non-showdog members interested to vote to revoke the AKC affiliation? Just a thought...

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Hey Sue,

I wasn't able to go to McCaig's since I had to travel to Florida that weekend for work. I've been to all of one trial since the beginning of the year, and my dogs aren't getting any work really either. And that just plain sucks....

 

J.

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Just a thought about AKC affiliation of Sue's local club. I don't know what the situation is over there, but here, it's almost essential to be affiliated with a major organisation in order to be able to get any sort of public liabiity insurance cover at anything other than prohibitive rates. And even then, it's expensive enough. A lot of small organisations and events in various fields - not just dogs - are either folding, or threatened with having to fold, because they can't get insurance cover at all. It's a sad state of affairs.

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Barb S - Sorry, that comment about All-American was my assumption. There is one very active member in the club who competes with her very-loved mixed breeds. I apologize for posting something that was incorrect.

 

Laurie - Yes, the Mountaineer Kennel Club does put on AKC events. They have one conformation show each year. Two years ago, they had an AKC agility match and last year had their first AKC agility trial. This year will be their second. I have raised the idea of putting on agility "fun days" on occasion, for folks who want to participate and enjoy the sport but who are not interested or able to compete in sanctioned events. There is some interest in this. I do not volunteer for the conformation events but I do help at the agility events and with classes. I do not believe there would be any real support in the club for revoking AKC affiliation. Those people who do compete are largely doing so with AKC registered dogs. Those who take classes do so with both registered and non-registered dogs.

 

Julie - Great that your job is keeping you busy. Not great that it is not letting your dogs stay busy. I think of you often! I hope to see you sometime this fall as I, too, am very limited in my trial outings this year.

 

I understand why folks would not like to be affilitated with AKC in any way. I would prefer that myself. This club gave me a start in understanding and training my dogs, is full of wonderful people who truly love their dogs, and provides a very much needed community service for dog owners. I feel a great deal of gratitude for what I have learned there, a lot of love for my friends there, and a good deal of satisfaction for what I can do there to help folks learn how to train their dogs for an enjoyable life together.

 

I take every opportunity I can to educate folks I meet there about real working dogs. In fact, I will be giving a presentation there in October about working stockdogs so, if you have pictures or video of working breeds doing real work (stock work) and particularly of breeds other than the Border Collie (as I have some good sources of that), and wouldn't mind letting me use it as part of the presentation, please let me know.

 

There is a very good argument that, by my membership and work with an AKC affiliated organization, that I am supporting the very group that poses a threat to the future of the Border Collie breed as we know and love it. I understand that and appreciate it. I prefer to look at it as loyalty to fine individuals who have helped and supported me and my dogs, an opportunity to "get the word out" among folks who wouldn't have a clue about working Border Collies otherwise, and an opportunity to contribute to the dog-loving community in my little part of the world.

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Originally posted by Sue & Ed:

the Mountaineer Kennel Club does put on AKC events... I have raised the idea of putting on agility "fun days" on occasion, for folks who want to participate and enjoy the sport but who are not interested or able to compete in sanctioned events. There is some interest in this....I do help at the agility events and with classes... Those who take classes do so with both registered and non-registered dogs.

I understand why folks would not like to be affilitated with AKC in any way. I would prefer that myself... I feel a great deal of gratitude for what I have learned there, a lot of love for my friends there, and a good deal of satisfaction for what I can do there to help folks learn how to train their dogs for an enjoyable life together...I take every opportunity I can to educate folks I meet there about real working dogs. I prefer to look at it as loyalty to fine individuals who have helped and supported me and my dogs, an opportunity to "get the word out" among folks who wouldn't have a clue about working Border Collies otherwise, and an opportunity to contribute to the dog-loving community in my little part of the world.

Sue, You would have to check, but it used to be that if your club was AKC affiliated, you could not even hold "fun days" with non-AKC dogs attending. I know that an AKC club still can't invite non-AKC dogs to compete in "sanctioned matches" even though they don't count toward titles or points.

I feel your pain - you are between a rock and a hard place - especially in more remote areas where there aren't alot of training choices. I understand your "loyalty to friends" as most of the people I train with and teach are competing in multiple venues, including AKC. I'm lucky to be able to teach/train at a "non-denominational" site, we are not affiliated with any organization because we are not a "club", we're a business. We do not specifically advocate AKC, but we know that many of our students will most likely be competing in AKC activities. I also teach the Canine Good Citizen/TDI program for our group. Guess what? I wish it wasn't, but CGC is an AKC "certification", and it's becoming the trend for homeowners' insurance companies(especially for certain breeds) to ask for proof that dogs are "Canine Good Citizens" in order to insure the homeowner. Some large breed rescues are now requiring adoptors to attend classes and get the certificate as well. (I'll probably get flamed for this), but part of my job as an instructor is to attend agility trials at the different venues and compete with my dogs, as well as helping our students with walking courses, etc. I enjoy doing this, and it's important for our business to not be so Anti-AKC that we alientate our students (a large percentage have other breeds of dogs besides BC's). Education is a major part of the equation, and our students, seeing our "working bred" border collies, vs. the Barbie Collies that occasionally show up for our classes, can see for themselves what AKC has done to the breed. I get questions all the time from students, and I try my best to explain the issue to them without "bad mouthing" the Barbie Collie owners who pay for classes, as well. See what I mean by being between a rock and hard place? I don't agree with AKC, their "holier than thou" attitude, their high priced trials, and their emphasis on form rather than function; but in order to do my job for now, I have to "put up with them" so I choose to look at them as a "registration entity", and a necessary evil. :rolleyes:

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Laurie - I think you summed it up very well. I don't have a real job that causes me to be involved with AKC but my work as a volunteer for the club does make me involved.

 

I think that we sometimes dismiss AKC as the "Evil Empire" without recognizing that, on the local level, AKC affiliates do many good things for the pet-owning community.

 

Like you, I enjoy being able to explain my *working-bred* Border Collies. I can't tell you how often folks with or acquainted with conformation-bred Border Collies have been totally convinced that my dogs are crosses and not purebred (even though they are more "true" to the real, authentic, original Border Collie).

 

I am just trying to do my bit of good where I am. If I cut myself off from the club, I miss the opportunity to help pet-owners and their pets live better lives, and I miss the opportunity to be an "ambassador" for the real working Border Collie in my community.

 

Hope to get down to meet you sometime soon! It must be beautiful down your way right now.

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>

 

The AKC is the Evil Empire. Taking credit for the good things its affiliates do is one of the ways it maintains itself as an empire.

 

We will just have to agree to disagree about this. What I would learn from you if I were a pet owner in your community is that even staunch advocates of the working-bred border collie don't think the AKC is so bad. If it's an organization they choose to be affiliated with, how bad can it be? If they have differences with the AKC but choose to be affiliated with it, how important can those differences be? Actions speak louder than words.

 

If you choose not to be affiliated with them -- if you find alternative ways to be of service to pet owners, and to be "an 'ambassador' for the real working Border Collie" other than under AKC auspices -- now that's really making a statement.

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I've managed in my years of teaching agility to never compete in ACK agility, even though it's at my doorstep. I have students who trial in ACK, and while I can certainly prepare them to compete there, advising them of the rules and how to handle their tight courses, I feel no need to go to an ACK trial. Many of my students have no idea of my feelings towards ACK, because as their instructor I HAVE to remain neutral. So it CAN be done, you don't have to support ACK agility.

 

-Laura (in ACK country)

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Originally posted by Eileen Stein:

We will just have to agree to disagree about this. What I would learn from you if I were a pet owner in your community is that even staunch advocates of the working-bred border collie don't think the AKC is so bad. If it's an organization they choose to be affiliated with, how bad can it be? If they have differences with the AKC but choose to be affiliated with it, how important can those differences be? Actions speak louder than words.

 

If you choose not to be affiliated with them -- if you find alternative means to be of service to pet owners, and to be "an 'ambassador' for the real working Border Collie" other than under AKC auspices -- now that's really making a statement.

I guess I am just a hypocrite.

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Originally posted by Sue & Ed:

Hope to get down to meet you sometime soon! It must be beautiful down your way right now.

yes -it's Apple Blossom time in the Winchester area. Are you coming down to Susan's for the VBCA fun trial in July? I'll be there - probably working my butt off all weekend...

 

PS - I don't see you as a hypocrite - just someone who's had to make hard choices for the sake of dog training...

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Laurie - I will be down to Susan's for a lesson on Monday with Hope and Cowboy (my friend and her Aussie). Then, it's off to the Bluegrass to embarrass myself and my dog in Novice, and volunteer.

 

Thanks about mentioning Susan's fun day in later July - I did not know about that and I will surely plan on going if I can do so. When I last checked the VBCA events, I didn't see that there. I can be there on Saturday but not Sunday, and hope to do whatever work Susan lets me do.

 

I guess I am a hypocrite if I do support AKC in any way while I like to consider myself a supporter of working Border Collies. If I were a strong and dedicated person, I would just make a choice between the two. I never did feel my work with the club was supporting the AKC but rather helping people and dogs, and learning in the process. However, maybe I have just been fooling myself.

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Unfortunately I was sucked in by the breeder mentioned in this post. My girl came from there. I was an uneducated buyer and I will NEVER make the same mistake twice. My girl has a genetic eye condition (one eye), had pneumonia, and 2 kinds of intestinal parasites, as well as a skin fungus when I got her. I spent loads of $$$ on her and fell in love. How can you not? I ended up keeping her and falling in love with her , but it sickens me to see people get pups from him. I went on a letter writing campaign. Please check the middle tennesse better buisness bureau. It claims it was resolved, but I never got a dime back which I was entitled to under FL law. Please do not be as dumb as me. PLEASE!

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Stacks,

 

As someone with hindsight in this issue, can you explain what makes people get puppies from places like this? Is it simply because it's easy and fast, or is there more to it?

 

Thank you for your efforts to get the word out about this misbreeder. Voices like yours are potent testimony against places like this.

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Melanie - Just my opinion but I don't think all people who buy from someone like Swafford do it because it's "easy and fast", although I am sure there are some who do. I think that most honest, trustworthy, and responsible people expect others to be the same, and therefore fall into the trap of believing what they read on the breeder's website or hear from the breeder.

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I am usually a very cautious person and research things to the end, but this time I admit that I did not do enough. My husband finally agreed to get a dog after 2 years of me begging him. I started searching puppyfind ads and other places(local paper), and I ran across his ads there. I believe it was shear ignorance on my part. Like Sue said, I try to assume the best from people. I did my research and asked him about her eyes, hips cert on the parents, etc. He told me those records would accompany her and I trusted him. When I got her and saw her eye (it was obvious something was very wrong) and how sick she was, I took her to the emergency vet. I called him when I returned and suddenly her records were none of my buisness and he was really rude, denying everything. In emails later he admitted that he knew all along about the eye, other issues (yes I have all of those). I was mad as hell and wrote to both depts of agriculture, PETA, the BBB in both states, all his advertisors(sp), the ABCA (to inform them he was still using their moniker), and the CKC (however, I have since learned they would probably register a rapid monkey if someone tried, so that was fruitless)and included the emails (one where he states everything is okay, the next where he admits it is not). I am hoping to stop people from falling in love from a picture. I honestly did not know that buying from a breeder should be hard, but now I do. My advice is this, if the breeder NEVER asks you 100 million questions about your intentions for the pup, your situation/lifestyle, where you live, hours alone each day, etc. DO NOT BUY. I was the antithesis to a border collie owner, and this man should not have allowed me to buy if he was truly responsible. I have since changed my lifestyle/daily habits for her sake, but had he questioned me, I would not be a person most would have sold a BC to. I think buying from a breeder should be as rigorous as getting a dog from rescue. Responsible breeders care about their pups and what happens to them. I wish I had put more time and energy into educating myself before I bought her. I now worry about temperment and other health issues down the road, but will cross that bridge when I get to it. She is my responsibility, my job now is to keep her happy and healthy. So to answer your question in a long drawn out way, it was not that it was fast/easy, necessarily. I think it is that most average joe dog buyers just don't know what makes a responsible breeder and what to look for. If I can prevent more sales of these poor pups, then I am doing my part.

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The Stacks:

 

I'm sorry you had such a horrible experience, and I admire you for trying to keep it from happening to others.

 

Sue:

 

I remember thinking, back during the dog wars, that one of the worst things about AKC recognition was going to be the hard choices it forced on all of us -- including forcing us either to say harsh-sounding things to people we consider our friends and feel mean for saying them, or not to say them and feel complicit, like a hypocrite. I'm resentful of being put in a position where I often can't be as "nice" and "friendly" as I'd like to be.

 

Sue, I don't think you are a hypocrite at all. I'm sure you're sincere in believing that there's both good and bad in the AKC, and that your involvement with it is for the good. Everybody I know who's involved with the AKC (including folks with other breeds) say they don't like the AKC, but . . . . The "but" is always an explanation of why the particular things they're doing are okay. I believe they're sincere too.

 

I just analyze the situation differently, that's all. One of the reasons the AKC is such a problem for us is that it's so insidious. People see "good" reasons for involvement every step of the way, right up to showing in conformation because of the supreme importance of "showing those AKC judges what a real working border collie should look like." Also, because of its dominance of the dog world, it exercises a powerful magnetic force. Unless we resist it to the utmost, consciously and conspicuously, I think we will drift towards it and be assimilated without even noticing. I see that drift around me among working dog people where I never would have thought to see it. I think it's happening because they see it happening around them. The more movement there is toward the AKC, the more the momentum increases, and the faster the drift becomes.

 

Everybody just has to decide for themselves how important this stuff is, and how strongly they feel about it, and then act accordingly.

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