The American Kennel Club has a deep respect for the canine-human bond and the extraordinary ways in which dogs contribute to people’s lives. Inspired to formalize their appreciation for this symbiotic relationship, in 1999 they started The AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE), and had their first presentation year in 2000.
For a dog to qualify, he must have done something that benefited an individual or a community. The dogs do not have to be AKC registered for this award; mixed breeds are given equal consideration. The AKC presents one award per year in these five categories: Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Service, Therapy, and Exemplary Companion Dog. The 2012 ACE winners each received an engraved silver collar medallion and a check for $1,000 at a presentation ceremony in Florida on December 15th. The winners for this year are:
Search and Rescue
A seven-year-old Belgian Tervuren named Keahi is one of Arizona Search Track and Rescue’s most valuable assets. Certified in air-scent, avalanche, cadaver, evidence and human-remains searches, this dog’s services have helped search and rescue efforts in nine states and Canada. Keahi and her owner/handler Kristi Smith conduct around 43 searches per year.
Smith and Keahi have led investigators to the bodies of murder victims and drowning victims (including one who was found 170 feet underwater), found wandering seniors and lost children, and discovered crucial evidence in criminal investigations.
My one-time canine companion was a black Labrador. She was the sweetest, most willing-to-please pet I’ve probably ever had. This good gal would look at me for assurance or confirmation before doing almost anything; we were completely bonded and inseparable for 17 years.
This dog had an incredibly high energy level and was excellent at the job she was bred to do, which was interesting because I rescued her from a horrible situation when she was just a few weeks old. It took drastic medical help and a great deal of veterinarian attention to nurse her back to health, but with love, care and good nutrition like CANIDAE, she grew up to be an awesome dog. I say all this to let you know that she was never officially trained on how to retrieve. I certainly never trained her to do it and she had no previous owners. Still, her desire to please me made her so easy to work with. She was a champion.
At the time, I hadn’t heard of Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) but I did know that Labrador Retrievers (and quite a few other breeds) were tireless when they were playing fetch or seriously retrieving, and they didn’t have a good monitoring system that alerted them when it was time to slow down. Since we live in the very hot and humid south, I had to be especially careful with my Lab during the summer. The newspapers and local pet bloggers did an excellent job issuing warnings to dog owners about the dangers of the extreme heat. Still, I heard too many stories about dogs collapsing and/or suffering from a heat stroke.
Since that time, a friend of mine has adopted a Golden Retriever. The shelter where she got her pet said the dog was an ‘owner surrender.’ Apparently, the dog had a good pedigree and was field trial trained but tested positive for Exercise Induced Collapse. She dug into the condition and wanted me to research it too.
I’ve never met an Entlebucher Mountain Dog in person. In fact, I’d never heard of this dog breed until I learned they were one of the six new breeds that competed in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February. The pictures I’ve run across show good looking, tricolored dogs with wonderfully expressive faces. I wanted to know more about these beauties.
About the Entlebucher Mountain Dog
A native of Switzerland, this dog breed is also known as the Entlebucher Sennenhund or the Entelbucher Cattle Dog. They are the smallest of the four AKC Swiss breeds. The original purpose for this easily-trained dog was herding and guarding, and they were highly valued for their strength, vitality and work ethic. These days, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are usually kept as an energetic companion animal.
Medium-sized and muscular, this dog looks square and sturdy. They have a well-proportioned head with a strong skull and a long, powerful jaw. Their smallish eyes are brown and their triangular ears are black. Some Entlebuchers have a congenital bobtail. They all have a smooth, close coat with balanced black, tan (fawn to mahogany) and white markings. The coat is white on their chest, blaze, toes and the tip of their tail; the tan color always separates the black from the white. It’s the tricolored markings on their faces, however, that drew me in. Those symmetrical markings give their faces so much expression; these dogs look extremely intelligent and responsive. Regarding their size, male Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are between 17 to 21 inches and females are between 16 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder.
I am one excited doggie! It is September and for the American Kennel Club (AKC) this is Responsible Dog Ownership Month. My mommy is a responsible dog owner but even she can pick up some tips from the AKC Facebook page. They are posting what they call “Acts of RDO” each day. Here’s one of them: “I recognize that my dog’s welfare is totally dependent on me and I will never overlook my responsibilities for this living being.” I think that one sentence sums up being a responsible dog owner pretty well.
There’s also a really cool Responsible Dog Ownership petition that all of you loving dog moms and dads should check out and sign! What do you think you need to do to be a responsible dog owner? The basics such as food, water, vet care and a warm place to sleep are simple, but there’s a lot more to caring for one of us than just those things.
The first thing you must know about getting a dog is that it’s not a short term thing. It takes being committed to raising and caring for us throughout our lives. It’s not always convenient to have a dog. There are places we can’t go, and there are things that we need, so not only are you committing to having a companion for several years, you are also committing to the financial needs and the care of your dog for many years as well. I know my mommy sometimes wishes she could go out for the day without worrying about me being stuck at home. Sometimes she does have to leave me for the day and she makes sure that she leaves the television on for me, and that I have plenty of CANIDAE dog food and water. My mommy even puts paper down in the basement for me in case I have to potty before she gets home. All the little things she does let me know how much she loves me and cares for me.
In this day of instant satisfaction and technology, a responsible pet owner can find the answer to just about any question online. But how will they know if the information is reliable? After all, you don’t need to have a degree to post something online about animals. All sorts of people offer their experiences and answers to pet questions on message boards, social networks, websites and blogs. There are a few ways to make sure that you are finding legitimate and reliable pet information online. When it comes to questions about our pets’ health and wellbeing, it’s important to use common sense and seek out reliable sources.
Ask Your Vet
Your veterinarian can direct you to reliable online sites for pet information. While this isn’t necessarily proof of a certain site being a good source, it is a good endorsement. Of course, information gleaned online should never take the place of your veterinarian.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) was established on September 17, 1884, with the adoption of a constitution and by-laws. One delegate from each of the 12 active dog clubs that had recently held a bench dog show or field trials, met in Philadelphia to discuss forming a sort of “club of clubs.” The National American Kennel Club had already been established in 1876. With a need for a reliable stud book in the U.S., the AKC combined their records with The National American Kennel Club’s Stud Book, which was published in 1878 for a complete and thorough record of a dog’s pedigree (male and female) for all registered purebred dogs in America. Westminster Kennel Club was the first dog club to join the AKC and is the only remaining member of the original 12 dog clubs that established the club. The AKC has been responsible for maintaining written documentation of purebred dogs in this country ever since; however, the AKC does more than just keep records.
The American Kennel Club is a nonprofit organization with the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, and is responsible for the rules and regulations for more than 20,000 AKC-sponsored events every year. The Westminster Dog Show is one of the AKC’s more famous events, but they also oversee events in other conformation dog shows, rally, lure coursing, hunting tests, field trials, agility, herding, tracking, obedience, coonhound events, and earthdog tests. The AKC’s mission is to be an advocate for purebred dogs as family companions, to advance dog health, to be a champion for the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership. The AKC is responsible for the integrity of the Stud Book, and promotes dog sports and dog breeding to make sure breed standards are maintained.
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