As mentioned yesterday I had been discussing the other Ridgeback entries with my mom at ringside after I'd lost breed with Raimi. As the specials bitch was moving in the ring I was talking about how if I was an impartial observer and judging the dogs chances are I'd have put her up over Raimi as well. I'm aware he is not entirely correct and have made peace with it.
While discussing this with my mom I also mentioned that the bitch carried her tail a little high and gay sometimes and I was not a huge fan of her head type but otherwise she was not a bad bitch. Nothing I said was intended to slag the other breeder or the dog, it was just simple observations. (My dogs have been on the receiving end of ill willed critisism so I'm no stranger to that kind of talk - the difference is I just don't care.) I was certainly not derogatory or demeaning to the dog or the handler. Earlier in the day I had also discussed with someone else how the class male had grown and I believed he was now taller than Raimi thus making both dogs out of standard.
It is not unknown for people at dog shows to stand at ringside and discuss the dogs in the ring. In fact, if you are not talking about dogs at a dog show I'm not sure why you would even be there. If you want to learn it's a good idea to go to a show, look at dogs move, at types, see grooming techniques, watch handling and discuss the various virtues and faults of dogs in your and other breeds. This offers really nice checks and balances for where your own breeding is going or needs to go. Certainly there is no crime in chatting about the dogs in the ring, particularly if you are allowing the good with the bad and are not slandering or lying about the dogs. Go to a National Specialty sometime, not only are people talking about the dogs in the ring, they are usually making actual notes in their catalogues about them ... gasp!
So the point of the previous paragraphs is this - the owner of the specials bitch had a friend at ringside who over heard my private discussion with my mom and repeated parts of it to the bitch's owner who then felt compelled to come and tell me that she does not talk about my dogs and that I shouldn't talk about hers. She then stormed off leaving me bewildered. I had no defense because I sincerely had no idea why it would ever come as a surprise to her that people are standing at ringside talking about the dogs in the ring, hers or anyone else's. I can imagine perhaps she thought I was critisizing her dogs and belittling them ... or so she was led to believe.
Let's be clear - I actually said I would choose her bitch over Raimi as an impartial observer. I really did - my mom can vouch for me. I cannot imagine that anyone would get into such a high state of offense if that is what had been repeated to her. Except we all know it was not. Chances are *very* high that the only things repeated were the negative things and those comments were almost certainly exaggerated by the 'friend' for dramatic effect.
So we all know that it was not the *talking about* which set off the 'talking to', it was the negative comments. Someone complimenting your dog doesn't get a strip taken off them ... they get invited in for tea. Someone getting only part of the information and assuming the worst flies off the handle. I know because I've done it. I think we all have.
What gets me actually, is that someone would try to tell me (or anyone) what I can and cannot talk about. Free speech is a federally mandated right and if I want to talk about dogs at a dog show just try and stop me. In fact, the next day not only did I continue to talk about the Ridgebacks but I also talked about other breeds too. Bless me ... I'm a rebel aren't I?
In my opinion if a 'friend' is insensitive enough to knowingly repeat information designed to upset you they are not a very good friend. If the intent was to make me follow these special Nova Scotia dog show rules where everyone *pretends* to have a big Love In, good luck with that. I don't need to be best buds with everyone in Ridgebacks or dogs and doG knows I have stuck my foot in it enough times! Will I learn to keep my mouth shut ... probably not, I'll just make a quick sweep to see who is listening.