How To's for Dog People to Survive Lockdown
Host Laura Reeves
teams up with Dog Show Mentor’s Lee Whittier
to talk about the financial, emotional and dog training tools that will help our Tribe survive and even thrive in the current global crisis.
“Dog people are tough,” Reeves said. “We are, generally speaking, I think, tougher than the average bear. And we are creative and we are smart and we will be OK. I think that is so important to get to that place.
"I saw something recently that this is like a grieving process, like what place in the grieving process are you … there's anger and there’s sorrow and there's frustrated, that whole process. I thought that's actually really accurate in terms of how people are approaching this.
"A lot of the people that I talk to, they're still at anger ... anger is not a useful emotion. It's an understandable one, but it doesn't solve anything. The sooner we can get past that and focused on, ‘yes we're sad but what are we going to do to be proactive,’ I think is going to be very, very important for a lot of people.
“There's a lot of pride in our community. It goes with that toughness, that independence of spirit. People are proud and they're not gonna ask for help, even maybe if they need it.
"So if you see your handler offering a training class or a grooming clinic or anything like that, or even if it's not someone you use as a handler, maybe it's just someone you know in the dog show and it's close to you and you're able to, please, if you're able, support those people. They're trying to earn their money.
"There are not go fund me accounts out here for these folks. These people have pride in the work that they do … they want to be paid to do good work. Whether that work is teaching, brushing your drop coated dog, maintaining your terrier in trim, whatever it is, they want to earn the money that they're given. They really don't like the thought of having to ask for help.”
“For people who do handling classes,” Whittier said. “People can set up their phone and share it and for the usual $10 … get help from their handling class instructor on what to do and maybe even get more than they might get in a regular class. So if you get eight minutes from your handling instructor from a video that you took, or maybe you're live on FaceTime, say ‘OK I'm going to pay you on PayPal and then give him an extra if used to paying $10 for your handling class, give them an extra $5.”
Meanwhile, Pure Dog Talk is hosting a virtual dog show, Cyber Sweepstakes on our Facebook page, which closes Wednesday, 4/1 at noon.
“I said ‘OK, how do we help people in the community,’” Reeves said. “People are going to need help. This is just a bad space right now and people equally have a competitive urge and they have dogs in their home and they have lots of free time. So all of that ruminated in a stew in my brain and it turned into the cyber sweepstakes.
“You pay $5 on Eventbrite to enter your dog in one of 10 threads on the event on the Facebook page. It's a one-minute video you do just like what a judge would see. The idea is pay your handler to get your dog bath trimmed videoed for one minute of headshot, teeth, profile, rear view, down and back and around. Pay your handler, pay your groomer to get your dog ready. So, this is part of money into the sport.
“Then, it's a sweepstakes… we understand how sweepstakes works. Winners get money and more money into the community. I had thought of it as just a fundraiser and about that time Trupanion, who has been a huge supporter and sponsor of Pure Dog Talk, piped up and said ‘hey this is a really, really cool idea. We want to support it and we will match entries up to $10,000.’
“Hello! We get 1500 entries, they match that money, there's $10,000 in a fund for our community to be developed for our people to be given to people in need. There is also $10,000 to be divvied up to the winners 1st through 4th in each of the groups plus miscellaneous. There's money to junior showmanship. There is money to obedience … there's lots of opportunities for lots of people. We're not turning anybody down… If you want to support the effort and don't have a dog to show, make an entry and your dog’s absent. The more people that participate, the more is available to go out into the community both in this fund and to the people who actually win the sweepstakes.”
Finally, it’s important to remember, Reeves noted:
“There are people who are escaping to dog shows, to work, to school… and this is a very, very scary time for those people. I think that we need to be aware, be thoughtful, be supportive, be helpful… do what we can do to support people who are in situations that are not good because this will exacerbate those. … if I'm going to be worried or scared about something, that's the type of thing that scares me, that worries me.
"So think of your friends. Think of what you can do to help them. We need to remember people that need our help and our support. I just think that there's a lot out there and a lot of it is hard stuff … it's important to be positive and find positive, but it is also important, equally important, to have compassion and empathy and caring … those are really, really, really important things to bring into anything that is this terrifying.”