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by Virginia Zurflieh, editor

Sins of Omission

Amendment B: The foregoing description is that of the ideal Boxer. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.

The American Kennel Club will allow breed clubs to amend their standards ONLY ONCE EVERY FIVE YEARS. That means that if the AKC ratifies Amendment B, which recently received the required majority vote of the ABC membership, there will be a five-year moratorium on any further change or addition to the Boxer Standard...just after the membership voted at the annual meeting to send Amendment A to a new Standards Committee for revision!! To make matters worse, the current ABC president, Dr. Bob Oliver, wrote in the "Letters to the Editor" section of the March 13, 1998 issue of Dog News that he interprets Amendment B as making uncropped ears in the showring a "deviation" (read: fault) that "must" be penalized by boxer judges. However, Stephanie Abraham, the ABC board member who actually proposed Amendment B, said on the Showboxer-L e-mail list (June 29, 1998) that Amendment B "was written solely to clarify judging protocol...if a dog has a slightly roached back, he should be penalized less than if he had a very roached back."* Alas, the membership cast their ballots without being aware of the AKC’s five year rule OR the fact that even the board members appear to disagree on how to interpret Amendment B. And that means that the amendment isn’t going to clarify the standard for boxer judges, either. Indeed, only one thing’s certain at this point - this uninformed vote is going to cause "ears" to continue to be a divisive issue in the ABC for years to come.

*Permission granted by the author to reprint this excerpt from her post to the Showboxer-L.

A Good Move

On a more positive note, The "Move the ABC to the Middle of the Country" initiative also passed - 300 to 160. This move has been in the making for a very long time, and frankly, we’re amazed at how (seemingly) easily and quickly it was accomplished! But now comes the hard part - finding a new show site in the center of the country that will be adequate in terms of both size and amenities, and avoiding an East vs. West civil war.

Achieving the first goal - finding a venue worthy of "The Greatest Boxer Show on Earth" - will take a lot of legwork on the part of the people who live, work, and show boxers in the middle of the country. Unlike the Regionals, it is the responsibility of our parent club, not the local clubs, to put on and finance the national specialty, and we can certainly expect the ABC to coordinate the site selection and move. BUT, neither the current president nor most of the board members live in the center of the country, and we can’t reasonably expect them to do much more than check out any proposed site that appears to meet the size and amenities criteria. On the other hand, the St. Louis and Kansas City, MO areas are two of the most highly rated in the U.S. in terms of amenities like recreation and transportation (Places Rated Almanac, rev. 1997), so there’s every reason to hope that finding a suitable venue for the ABC in that area of the country won’t be too difficult a task.

As for avoiding a civil war, that is going to be a difficult task, given human nature and the fact that the ABC has ALWAYS been in the Northeast. The "Traditionalists" in the organization have proved to be - to say the least - not very receptive to change. If we are to sidestep another "Ear Wars," the members who are accustomed to having the ABC in their own backyard will have to acknowledge the fairness of moving the ABC to an area of the country that’s more accessible to ALL members. Once that has been accomplished and the ABC is equally convenient (or inconvenient) to everyone, perhaps we will want to consider what we at B.U. believe is the ULTIMATE fair solution - a rotating national specialty. Here’s hoping!


Bobtail Boxers - Part 1
Bear Speaks
Culture Clash
Boxer Bytes
Mary Jackson
Top 10 Reasons
Salgray Boxers
Move the ABC?
Sites of Interest

Editor: Virginia Zurflieh
Webmaster: Pat Mullen

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