Page 92 - ShowSight - April 2020
P. 92

My 2019 crystal ball is broken. I’ve tried trading it in on a new model, but this one is woefully obsolete, and the new models are still in production. I under- stand there is a backlog of orders waiting for the 2020 model, but nobody is placing bets on when they will be available. Everyone’s life is different right now. I can tell you the, “We’re all in this together!” mantra is getting tiresome and even annoying as I think more about it. If you are independently wealthy, are still collecting a paycheck or won’t have to declare bankruptcy to restart a business, or are living on a different planet, you are not in this with me. COVID-19 has literally changed everything in my life.
I am not essential on so many levels. My business, except grooming, has been deemed essential, but people cannot travel, and when they can, they won’t be willing to pay for dog boarding. I am over 65 and have COPD, and my husband is retired, so we are living on his retirement portfolio which is heavily weighted with annuities, which are regularly tanking. I have told Darling Husband he is no longer allowed to tell me how much money we lost in a one-day stock market free-fall. I breed and sell rare purebred dogs that few people will have the discretionary income to afford when we come out of this. And now, due to the bailout legislation, I can go into debt to keep my staff working the shortened hours we’ve gone to. That means I will have more debt to pay off with non-existent revenue when we can return to work. I wanted to retire this year, but this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. My entire busi- ness model depends on people having discretionary income to spend on things like vacations, rare purebred dogs, and grooming. I don’t think $1,200.00 will be able to pay for much more than necessities and bills, and it certainly won’t cover the cost of one of my puppies. People will ask the neighbor kid to watch or groom their dog instead of taking it to a professional facility like mine. That happened during the last recession, so it’s a good bet it will happen again. Not only do we not know when the virus will abate, but we certainly don’t know when the income of people sent home to be safer-at-home will recover.
Dog shows were always my respite when the rest of the world went crazy, and even they are gone for a while. Perhaps longer. No one knows how long it will take to crank up the economy from the near standstill it’s in right now, but I can assure you that there will be little discretionary spending for a very long time. The wealthy backers and handlers who work for them will still be able to compete, but I suspect the larger segment of our exhibitor popula- tion who breed and show their own dogs will be mostly absent at a lot of shows. If, like me, you work for a small business with no revenue coming in, then even when the revenue does start to trickle back, you will have a backlog of bills to pay, and no money for entry fees, much less hotels and transportation costs. I may be able to get to a few local shows, but I won’t take as many dogs as I did in the past. I don’t know if I will be able to afford a handler for my Specials, so they may have to come home. Suddenly my dogs’ national ranking does not seem so important in the whole scheme of life, though sustainability of my handler does. My own dog club’s show has about six weeks to make the decision to cancel or go on.

   90   91   92   93   94