Page 158 - ShowSight - November 2019
P. 158

  Up until August of this year, I owned the #2 Basset Hound in the country. I am so proud of this dog! At 6, this dog was outperforming most other Basset Hounds being shown, and I bred him. I showed him myself for most of the past 4 years, but let my handler, Kellie Miller, take him out for his last year as a special. She trav- els a lot more than I do,
and I wanted to keep him out until December to keep up his rank- ing. He could not be shown at our National in October because I was judging the specialty the day before, so we made the decision to show all the way to the end of the year. In April of next year he will be old enough to show as a veteran. However, in August his career was ended abruptly by a judge who not only fault judged, but one who was determined to validate a previous judges’ decision, regard- less of the dog’s other merits.
This particular dog has the most annoying ability to pull his testicles up out of his scrotum and into his body. He uses this trait sparingly, so it was a shock the first time a judge commented that he could only find one testicle. On that day the judge asked to see the dog move, then put him back on the ramp, and the judge found that both had descended into the scrotum. He went on to win BOB. It was a wake-up call for Kellie, who then had to make sure he did not pull that unwelcome trick again. Things went along fine until the first day of the Greeley 5-day circuit in August, when the dog again pulled one testicle up while being examined on the ramp. Except the judge that day thought he was actually feeling 2 testicles that were grossly uneven in size. I am guessing he thought the dog’s thick, toughened skin of the scrotum was the second testicle. This
judge disqualified the dog for testicles of unequal size. Kellie left the ring gracefully, checked the dog’s testicles which were both now descended, and asked another long-time Basset breeder who had a dog entered that day for his opinion about the size. The breeder found no significant difference. Nor did the AKC rep when Kellie brought the dog to her for a check. She called me, and we discussed how to proceed with the rest of the weekend.
I decided to leave the dog in competition, but cautioned Kel- lie to make sure he did not pull up testicles on the ramp again, or excuse herself if he did and she could not bring them down in time for the exam. And that is exactly what she did. The next day she stacked the dog on the ramp and checked to make sure both were descended before the judges’ exam. They were, and the judge found both of them. He asked Kellie to move the dog, then had her put him back on the ramp where he proceeded to aggressively grope for the dog’s testicles again. This time the dog pulled both testicles up, and he was disqualified a second time, this time for having no testicles.
For those who don’t know, 3 disqualifications for testicle issues will render a dog unable to ever compete again. Period. There is no appeal procedure, and it is always entirely the judges’ discretion whether to disqualify a dog on that day. The AKC cannot over- ride the decision under any circumstances. I have no issue with the first judge on the weekend who found only one testicle, and likely made a mistake about the second one which the dog had pulled up. However, I take great issue with a judge who aggressively seeks to disqualify a dog in order to publicly validate his friend’s initial deci- sion, which was valid, but probably based on a misunderstanding of what he was feeling. Several people witnessed the two judges talk- ing before Bassets entered the ring. I have no doubt the disqualifica- tion from the day before was discussed. The second judge was deter- mined to rescue the reputation of the first day’s judge, and ending my dog’s career when he knew the truth was irrelevant. I have since had a complete and thorough evaluation of this dog by a reproduc- tive specialist who has concluded that the dog’s testicles are com- pletely normal for his age, and he is certainly capable of reproducing with plenty of normal, viable semen. None of that matters, however. He has been disqualified twice, so his long career as a Special ended
   “He has been disqualified twice, so his long career as a Special ended the day of the second disqualification. I want to be able to show him occasionally as a
Veteran, so I was unwilling to take a chance on a third disqualification.
 156 • ShowSight Magazine, noveMber 2019

   156   157   158   159   160