The Greyhound Show

9.4.2013

Interview with Frank Sabella

Filed under: Auf den Greyhound gekommen,Ausstellungen — admin @ 12:41

More arcane stuff from moi, in light of various conversations about Greyhounds and show dogs today. This is an interview I did for a dog magazine with Frank Sabella in 2004 after he had judged the Greyhound Club of America specialty and taken a young class dog through to Best of Breed. He is so utterly knowledgeable about the breed. This is long- breeding, showing, judging,… but the recreational thinkers out there will enjoy it- lots to chew on.
lompoc_winner_2004
Western Specialty – July, 23rd, 2004 in Lompoc, California
Best in Specialty Show – Helios Sun King
Owner – S. Bartel
Judge – F. Sabella

Interview by Maureen Lucas with Frank Sabella in Lompoc July 25, 2004

Q – Would you comment on why Greyhounds seem so hard to understand, whether as a new judge or a new fancier from another breed?

FS – I think in Greyhounds, like Whippets, there is a great deal of misunderstanding about what exactly an arch over the loin is, and how severe that arch has to be to be correct. I also think it is very hard for people to understand that the topline and the underline have the same deal of importance. In fact the underline probably contributes more to those flowing S lines we look for in the breed. And you can have a dog with a gorgeous topline that has no underline, and it’s not correct. Because the two have to come together to create the line and the line that you want. Now, in Greyhounds, because there are fewer dogs being exhibited as opposed to Whippets, where you can stand in the Whippet ring and get in one class, 10 different kinds of toplines, unless your eye is accustomed to computerize what is correct, and recognize it when you see it, it becomes very difficult. I think that in Greyhounds particularly, if people don’t understand the arch over the loin, if people don’t understand that that is a muscle, that it is muscle that creates that arch, it has nothing to do with the spine. If you took that muscle away, the arch wouldn’t be there. But it’s important because it’s the power that motivates the dog. This is a galloping breed, obviously not a trotting breed. And it’s that muscle that allows the dog to bring his hindquarters under him and then give him the thrust to push off. These are very hard things to understand, and I know that Greyhounds take a lot of practice. Practice is difficult because there are not enough good ones to take a look at. When you go to a show and have one or two or three to look at, and then suddenly you are invited to judge a show where there are 50, you become overwhelmed. So if you don’t know what is correct, you could put up the wrong thing for all the right reasons.

Q – How would you explain that you would never see top- ranked, winning specials in Whippet or Borzoi with flat toplines, but it can easily happen in Greyhounds?

FS – Because I think in Greyhounds what happens, is that you don’t have a picture in your head of what they look like. From my personal experience, and that’s all I can speak from, if the dog doesn’t appeal to me standing still, I don’t care what it moves like, because it’s never going to change my mind. You get into the Greyhound breed, and you now are a little bit confused because you have a class, and you can’t really make up your mind because you don’t really know what is the correct outline should look like, what the proportion of the leg to the length should be. What happens is then people start to judge on coming and going. And this is the biggest fault anyone can make in most breeds, and it’s the easiest thing to fall back on. I think that sometimes you find a dog that is absolutely gorgeous standing still, beautiful covering ground going in a circle, but maybe fails a little in coming and going. The judge will lean towards the one that is easy to understand. Because it will move wide behind and come at him dead true, and he’ll forget how important that arch over the loin is, and he’ll point at the flat backed one. The best out for a judge is the coming and going, and the hardest thing to understand is type. If type were easy to understand and appreciate, anyone could be an all-breed judge in a short matter of time. But to find out what really makes a breed a breed, and to understand it, and compute it, that’s the hard task! How they come and go is almost irrelevant. This is why we have so many generic dogs. You talk about Afghans. It calls for a dog with a “punishing jaw”, and yet there are multiple Best In Show dogs with no under jaw at all. It calls for prominent hip bones and a low tail set, and we have dogs that not only don’t have level backs, but have sloping toplines. And everything is based on how they come and go, and how pretty they look standing still. It doesn’t make it right, but it’s what’s happening-and it’s happening to a lot of breeds.
Q- Is it confusing to people that Greyhounds are not a formula breed? That the variation within the range of propriety is so diverse, you might see long ones, shorter ones…and then have to decide if a dog is actually long, or perhaps actually short on leg? Does the range make it harder to understand? And does the judge worry if his BOB and BOS don’t look alike? What if the two best ones in the ring don’t match each other?

FS – Of course. You know, everybody’s hope when they judge a specialty particularly, is to say that my first, second, third and fourth all look alike. That’s what everybody’s dream is, what the ideal is. But in some breeds that never comes true. In some breeds you have to make compromises, particularly when you get down to third and fourth. You may have one or two outstanding dogs, and it adds to the problem for many people, and they don’t understand they might find themselves in that situation. You might find yourself in a situation that your BOB and BOS don’t match. You have to understand what makes this breed this breed, and how important those aspects those are and those are the things that have to be rewarded.

Q – And is the onus of that task on the breeders and what they bring to the show, or on the judges to know the good ones and put them up when they see them?

FS – Well, of course, we would love to think that all breeders who come to shows bring the cream of the crop for the judges appraisal. Unfortunately we don’t have that many breeders left. Particularly in this breed. So then the task falls to the judge, and the judge should be able to assess the type he knows is correct when they walk in the ring and are set up. If that doesn’t happen, you get a lot of running around, a lot circling around, a lot of down and back. And that to me is an exercise in futility, since it accomplishes nothing. If you want to make it easy, that’s what happens. I think it’s very interesting, since this breed has not changed that much. I have prints, I have primitives dating back to the 18th century. It’s the same breed, even when you see it in paintings with exaggeration, it’s the same breed. It’s amazing. Do we see enough of the right type in the ring? Maybe we don’t. But we have to strive by our placements. See, this is what I think people forget. A judge’s job is not to hand out ribbons. A judge’s job is to say what he thinks the breed looks like at a certain point in time, how he rewards the virtues of the dog who he thinks comes closest to the standard, and the things he’s willing to forgive. I was very happy that when I did most of my winners at the specialty, most of the dogs had feet that were rather more hare than cat, and I’m a bug on that. You read the Greyhound standard and it gives you very little information. Most of these people who wrote the standard were horse people and animal people, and they knew that with a minimum of words, they could conjure up the image they wanted. It didn’t have to be lengthy. It didn’t have to tell you everything, but just give you the general impression of the breed. Every time before I judge Greyhounds, I go back and look at the old pictures. It’s amazing the information there, and the good ones still look like the old paintings.

Q – It’s amazing that the standard is so short, asks for so little specificity, and yet the few things it demands seem to be the very things that get overlooked and forgotten, like topline and muscle. Is it too much to hope for that judges would attend to the few things the standard requires, and then move on to details?

FS – So many times the thing is, if you don’t know what the priorities of a breed are, and how important they are in making that breed what it is, you can’t acknowledge what you can’t recognize. And this is a problem that we have in so many breeds that it’s unbelievable. And I would love to say that I went to England and saw a beautiful Greyhound, and I know that at one time the most beautiful Greyhounds in the world came from England. Ours are just as good, if not better. I was not impressed when I saw them at Crufts. And I know they used to be the foremost breeders. I think people have forgotten. You know, you can have all the curves in the world, but if it’s got the bone that makes people think it’s a piece of porcelain, its proportion and balance are thrown off. Balance and proportion are about height to length, and the proportion of the bone to that height and length. So if you have this picture and it has chicken bone, it will lack balance. It’s not correct. You can put it up and say it has the shape the standard calls for, but it doesn’t have the bone. These dogs were bred to do something. They had to have some strength to their legs to be able to perform that function.

Q -Is that original function always in your mind as you are judging them? Is it part of the process as you assess them?

FS – It’s part of what I think about, because I think this dog has to have an arch over its loin. That’s what contributes to that picture. It had to have that arch to have that gallop and to take off with that burst of speed. So that would be very important to me. It has to have bone that is proportionate to its length and its height. All the open jumpers in horse shows now are warm bloods. They used to all be Thoroughbreds. But the Thoroughbreds are too fine boned, and they couldn’t take it. If we took these dogs out and ran them in the field, if they are too fine-boned, they couldn’t take it. I had a long conversation with Stanley , and I said, “Stanley, why is it you can go to the track and you look at them and they don’t resemble our show Greyhounds at all. He said, do you know what the majority of any racing dog, or any animal that races is? It’s about their heart, about their willingness to do it. So sometimes they may be built totally incorrectly, and yet they are still able to accomplish it.” Form and function play a certain amount, but you must have logic with it.

Q – Would you care to talk some about the breeders of the past?

FS – Oh, I would love to talk about it, because I think it is so important. Greyhounds were blessed with some of the best most intelligent, most well-educated, well-bred and monied people of any breed I can think of. When I look back on that book that Sue (Lackey) wrote, and I see all these wonderful people, like Mrs. Anderson of Mardomere, Harry Peters…. This was the breed that in those old days was like the Wire Fox Terrier. They were the dogs who were able to go in and win BIS on a regular basis. But the quality of the people meant that a) they were not only able to have a lot of dogs, but b) they were able to afford to have people who were smarter about dogs to give them good advice, on how to breed these dogs and how to get something. You look at some of the old pictures, Blue Bell, for instance. You look at the dogs Barbara Wilton-Clark bred. Spode, for instance, was a piece of Spode! We don’t have that anymore. Fortunately, we still have some dedicated breeders, but they can’t work on the same scale. That’s what the breed lacks, and that’s why it goes in a thousand different directions right now. But that exists today in every breed. People who were involved in Poodles when I first got in to it, they’re not around. These people were educated people with lots of interests. If they owned something, they were interested because, a) it was correct, and b) it was the very best that was available.

Q – Would you tell the story of the visit with one particular breeder who had so many Poodles you admired?

FS- I’d be delighted. Mrs. Bonney. What I don’t understand about people today is that they don’t study, they don’t read. I’m an avid reader. When I become interested in a breed, I want to read about it, and know what is behind it. I love to look at old pictures. I think you have to have an image in your head and an understanding of that dog you want to become involved with, whether as a breeder, an owner, or a handler. And I find that a lot of people don’t read today. Forget reading their standard! I’m talking about reading everything about their breed. Anyway, there was a book written by Lydia Hopkins, called “The Complete Poodle.” And when I had first gotten into dogs, I had done a lot of reading and I had decided that my first Poodle would come from Puttencove Kennel, because that was the look I liked. They were tall, they were short, they were a little straight behind, because in our striving to get the right proportions, there are certain things you have to be willing to give up as trade offs. Anyway, in this book, there was a photograph of a bronze fireplace piece, and it was of a Poodle sitting on a cushion, and the companion piece was of a cat sitting on a cushion. And I had read there were only 3 pair in the world, one owned by the Queen of England, one in Belgium, and one owned by Mrs. Flora Bonney. So I wrote to Mrs. Bonney, and I said I was coming back for Poodle Club of America, and I would like very much to come visit her. I said I admired the fireplace pieces, and would love to see them. So she said yes, that her chauffeur would pick me up, and I would go to the Poodle Club luncheon with them, and then you will come see the fireplace pieces. So we did that, and I admired them very much. And her companion, who was Mrs. Staples, said, “You know, Flora, Frank loves and appreciates these pieces so much. When you die, you should leave them to him.” Flora said, “Why should he wait until I die?” She said,”are you coming to Westminster?” I said I was, and she said not to bring a lot of luggage. When I got to Westiminster, they were packed and waiting for me. People asked me why I gave so much of my art to the Dog Museum. But I really believe this dog game is about this- you take information from somebody, and then you have an obligation to pass it on. Somebody is kind to you, then it’s your turn to be kind to somebody else. I really believe in this wheel that goes around and around, and that we give and we take from each other. Hopefully we give back as much as we take. That gesture was for me, the thing that made me believe that. Everything I have left in my collection now are my Greyhound paintings. I gave all the Poodles away, The Museum has them. The Greyhound paintings are the last things that will go. And I have willed them all to The Museum as well. As well as the picture of Mrs. Godsell in full riding regalia and her two Sealyhams. That will go to The Museum as well.

Q – With Poodles and Greyhounds as the two breeds closest to your heart, what would you say about the two of these seemingly disparate breeds?

FS – I think that Poodles appeal to me because basically my background is the theater, and it’s a theatrical breed. It requires a lot of work, and when I was young, I was willing to put forth that effort. But as I got older, I didn’t want a dog that wanted to be next to me every 5 seconds. And the Greyhounds, because of my background in horses, they seemed to be the athlete that I wanted to see running in my backyard. And there is something about a Greyhound laying on any piece of furniture in your house, that just adds something of beauty to it. It’s like a living work of art. And although I love Poodles, if I could have one breed of dog today, it would definitely be a Greyhound. There is no doubt in my mind about that. I’m glad you asked me about this. You know, the standard for the Poodle describes a square dog. If you get a dog that is short on leg and long in body, it’s still a Poodle, but it’s not a correct Poodle. This is what I think needs to be watched, desperately in Greyhounds. Now, more than ever. The Greyhound Club has really got to be aware and really prepare itself. The racing Greyhound and the show Greyhound are not built alike, they don’t have the same basic shape. Racers never have that underline, and they are never going to have the bone they should have. I think care needs to be taken to, and particularly in educating judges, and let them know that they are all Greyhounds, but some of them are incorrect according to the standard that they are judged by today. I think that’s the important thing we have to remember.

You know, as I said, I’m an avid reader. And when I go to Sweden, I always spend a lot of time with Goran Bodegard. So when he goes to work, I pour through all his books. I took this to present at a seminar. He explains that show Greyhounds and racing Greyhounds all come basically from the same blood. When they were judged by racing men, they were judged solely on what their legs could do. They didn’t care if one ear stood up, one was down, they didn’t care about the color of their eyes, a flat topline- they were interested in one thing and one thing only- their running gear. Then as multiple breed judges got involved, they wanted a softer, curvier dog. They would allow it to be a bit bigger, have a bit more bone, have a bit more underline. So although these dogs both are Greyhounds, one was considered to be correct and one incorrect, depending on how they were judged. At this seminar I gave in educating judges, I want judges to understand how judges have a strong influence on what’s happening in a breed. If you keep rewarding the wrong kind of dog, people will start to think it’s right. Billy Kendrick said to me once about Bulldogs, and it’s a very difficult breed to get, “Frank, what you have to remember is that they have to have a dip behind the withers, a rise over the loin, and a low tail set. Now that they are all flat backed and with high tails, the day will come that there will be 30 dogs in a class, and all of them will be wrong. One dog with a correct topline will come in the ring, and the judge will think he doesn’t look like the rest of them, and he will be penalized for being correct.” I really hope that doesn’t happen in Greyhounds.

Q – Do you have a solution? If we are to educate judges on proper type, do we need, for instance to change the Greyhound standard? Would it help if it were in more contemporary language, or more detailed?

FS – No. Changing standards never accomplishes anything. My feeling is it is the duty of the judge. If he takes on the responsibility of taking that breed on, then he has an obligation to learn about that breed. Nobody should have to spoon-feed him. In this dog game, there are a lot of people who have a lot of information, who understand all that the breed is about. I learned by going to people I respected and asking a lot of questions. I have no ego when it comes to saying I need to have help understanding the breed, and I need to know who to pick to help out. People are more than willing to help you. Here’s what’s happening now. If I wanted to judge a group, and there were 2 breeds in that group I’m not sure about, but in order to judge that group, I have to take those 2 breeds. If I’m not sure about them, and I don’t get any pleasure from judging them, I shouldn’t be judging them! People ask me if I want to become an all breed judge. I don’t, because there are certain breeds I’m not interested in judging. I’d rather have a couple of breeds from this group, and a couple of breeds from that group. I want to feel that if I walk in the ring, I really understand what I’m doing. I don’t think the standard needs to be changed at all. I would die if that happened. It’s not necessary.

Q – How can a Parent Club improve the judging? How do the right breed mentors become the teachers, and not just someone who is winning at the moment, or who just volunteers?

FS – The Kennel Club does this, when you think about it. They give a lot of these seminars, and people check the little boxes, even if it’s the wrong information. They proceed on. I wish there were a solution. I’ve been an instructor at the AKC Institute eight times, and I can tell in 5 seconds who the people are who will make good judges. If you give them the information and their eye doesn’t see it to appreciate it, they’re never going to get it anyway. My concern is not so much with the judges, but what is going to happen within this breed. If you keep showing the incorrect type, and people put it up, that’s going to become the norm. And then what I told you about in Bulldogs is going to happen in this breed. My suggestion is that if there is any hope at all, it’s in the breeders.

Q – You were talking about understanding correct type. In Greyhounds, we have such divergent types that can be correct- long, short, up in the air, lower, heavier- all can have correct examples within those styles. But judges and others seem to get lost in the diversity. They can’t distinguish between a long dog and a dog of normal length with not enough leg under him. Proportion gets forgotten. Would you address type and proportion. And would you talk about what you personally are looking for?

FS – Type, for me, in most breeds, is arrived at primarily by the outline presented. Does the dog have enough height for its legs? Does it have enough bone for its height and legs? Do the head and neck fit with the body? Those things can be assessed while the dog is standing still. Then one hopes that the dog will carry, as it goes around the ring, that correct outline. That outline is arrived at by those things we have already discussed. The most basic things are that that dog has an arch over the loin, correct length of leg for the length of that body, has a head and neck that fit that body. Then basically you’ll be looking at dogs that are of a similar type. Rather than one tall dog, one short dog. You can have a dog with great depth of body, with a beautiful outline, but if it doesn’t have enough leg to carry it, the balance is automatically off. Fifty percent of type can be determined by balance and proportion standing still. That’s my belief. Then one hopes that the dog can move and carry the same outline that it presents standing. As far as the coming and going, yeah, it’s important in coming down to the nitty-gritty separating 2, 3, 4 really good dogs. But the bottom line is how does it go around the ring? Does it cover ground? Does it have enough reach? Does it have enough extension behind? Does it push its legs out? Does it really use its legs properly? For a Greyhound to use its legs properly, hackney action has to be thrown out the window. A dog that doesn’t have enough reach in the front has to be pushed out the window. Now there comes a time that a dog is so beautiful standing still and its proportion is so good standing still, that I will give a little. But if it’s low on the leg, I can never give it anything. I don’t care what it moves like coming and going. Because for me, the real picture is presented in the outline it presents when it’s going in the circle.

Q – Would you talk about harmony of parts, and about kennels producing certain characteristics in their dogs?

FS – If I’m a breeder, and I have the incorrect idea of what the breed looks like, I’m never going to breed a good dog. But if I’m a breeder, and I know what is the correct proportion, and I strive for that, at least I’m on the right track. I might not always make it, but I’m going in the right direction. Now if you think a Greyhound should have great depth of body and it’s ok to be low on leg, and that’s the kind of Greyhound you are going to produce, then you can be successful at breeding that kind of dog, but it is not a correct Greyhound. Those are things that are hard to understand. If you don’t have a correct picture in your mind of what you want, how are you ever going to achieve it?

Q – Would you care to comment about the specialty entry, especially the dogs who might have racing blood behind them. What do you think can be gained by this?

FS – If a gene pool suffers because there are not enough dogs to breed to, and they think they need to bring something in to breed to, to make it sturdier or healthier or make it stronger, I can understand it and it’s fine with me. But I think that Greyhounds have managed to survive for how many hundreds and hundreds of years, and people have managed to produce beautiful, beautiful dogs. I don’t know if it’s necessary; if it’s going to contribute anything. That black puppy I put through to Best of Breed- to me, he presents the kind of outline I look for. He’s young, and I can forgive certain things. But when he goes around the ring, that balance, and the way he uses the legs, and the picture he presents when he’s standing still- well, if you can still produce a dog that looks like that, or the winners bitch, then I say why is it necessary? That’s the question that I’m asking. I recently read an interview with Karen Charman (Molecats Whippets). She said that breeding Whippets for speed alone will quickly change type, and makes the comparison to the division between the show and racing Greyhounds to prove her point.

Q – Would you care to comment on Greyhounds you have personally had your hands on over the years that you considered outstanding?

FS – I can tell you one definitely that comes to mind. I judged the Sighthound Group in Sweden. I walked down the line and you prejudged them outside there, and then you just place them when they come in the ring. They don’t like this to go on all day. And there was this all white bitch standing there, and she was like, “This, to me, is to die for!!” And I thought to myself, now she probably won’t be able to walk! But when she moved, she was, in my mind, flawless. When the show was over,I walked up to the woman and said, “Ma’am, I would like to buy this bitch.” And she said she was not for sale, but I will sell you one of her puppies, because we are going to breed her. She was Guld’s Heroine Honey. I’ll never forget her as long as I live. She went on to Best in Show. There were a great deal of beautiful, beautiful Greyhounds from Sweden. There was a moment in time when they seemed to have a lock. Their dogs had great shape, they had the right make, they had the right way of going. They had beautiful heads. She to me, was my ideal, and I got to see her, feel her, and judge her. There is a picture of a Greyhound named Krinolin, and she is standing in the field, that Goran showed me. I thought if she even resembled the picture and couldn’t take a step, I’d love to own her. She was absolutely gorgeous. Those are the most memorable things I remember in Greyhounds.

Q – Is that memory hovering in your mind as you judge Greyhounds now?

FS – Absolutely! If you have an image, you can carry that image with you because it has made an impression on you. Then you want what you think is right to look like that image as you judge. I could go in and judge Afghans with no problem, because I remember Shirkan. I remember what he looked like, his proportion. He was a true Sighthound and acted like an Afghan. He didn’t want to be touched or look you in the eye. He wanted to look around you. I asked Sunny Shay if I could just take him and move him to see what he felt like on a lead, and he was like having a feather on a lead. And I guarantee, because Sunny used to groom him in my shop, he never carried more than maybe 4 inches of hair. Sunny’s idea was that hair didn’t make the dog. Hair you could grow- you couldn’t grow type. I saw that dog go Best In Show at 11 years of age, not entered in the Veteran’s class, but shown as a special. And his tail set was absolutely beautiful. He had prominent hip bones, and he didn’t have a sloping topline like so many of them do today. He had a level topline with prominent hips, and he fell away at the croup, and had a low tail set. If you have an image in mind, it’s always easier to judge a breed. Always. You’ll have something that you remember that you think of as greatness- it’s better. I’ve been really lucky in Greyhounds, since I’ve had a lot of really good friends involved in the breed. Goran is one of my best mentors, and he’s the kind of person who allows you to have an opinion, even as he’s teaching you. That’s the best kind of teacher,who lets you use your own marbles and form your own opinions.

Q – Speaking of Shirkan wanting to look around you, would you speak about our drive to have more and more shows, bigger records, bigger wins, and having dogs up on their toes and baiting like crazy and flying around the ring. Does this result in Greyhounds having to show like other breeds, in Sighthounds turning into something other than they should be to win in group rings?

FS – Of course it does. I don’t want to see a Greyhound or an Afghan act like a Terrier or a Poodle. I don’t want to see Sighthounds begging for food. I don’t want to see that. I want a Greyhound to say, “I’m a king. It’s ok, you may touch me.” It does’t have to stand there with its ears up to impress me. I want them to look like what they are supposed to look like, and to act like what they are supposed to act like. And a dog doesn’t have to stand there using ears to impress me.

Q – What do you think is the hardest thing to get about Greyhounds? And conversely, if you were to give someone a single piece of advice in the breed, what would it be?

FS – Well, there’s a poem in Greyhounds that begins, “head like a snake, neck like a drake,” and that says it all. If you have a little narrow Greyhound, it’s not a Greyhound. If you have a dog that has a head that doesn’t look right, or has wrong eyes, or no length of muzzle, or proportion of skull, you don’t have a Greyhound. If you have a Greyhound with no neck, you don’t have a Greyhound. And that poem is just a few lines, and those things are all part and parcel. And that’s what I love about our standard. It says it all.

Q – I call our standard a Haiku, because it’s short but it says it all, and some of it between the lines. You have to come to it, it won’t come to you. But it’s all there if you make the effort.

FS – But you have to understand it, before you can grasp it. And if you don’t understand the concepts, you can’t ever get it. We can’t expect all dogs to walk the same way, or come and go in the same way, but that’s what’s happened. We want all the breeds to move and act in the same way. And that should never be. That can never be. I’ll have patience with a Sighthound. I’ll bend over backwards. I met a man yesterday. I judged his dog in Canada, and this Saluki would literally not let me touch him. I got my hands on him and I could open his mouth, and he’d let me feel him. I told him to let anyone that wants to touch him do that, and he’ll be fine. I saw him yesterday and the dog is a multiple group winner. I didn’t penalize this dog because he didn’t want me to touch him. I always think of Alva Rosenburg, who was one of the greatest judges that eve r lived. He put up a Chow in a Non-sporting group who tried to bite him. He said there is nothing in this dog’s breed standard that says he has to like me! That tells the story. A Chow doesn’t have to come up and think you are the most wonderful person. You have to be careful when you approach a Chow. In fact the only time I’ve ever been bitten was by a Chow. And that was because I listened to the lady and not to what my eyes told me. I said, “Lady, your dog doesn’t like me!” She said “you’ve judged it before.” The minute I put my hand out, …twelve stitches later….. But it was my fault. The dog should be what the breed is, and that’s not all the same thing, not generic.

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