Category Archives: Canine Review

I read the news today oh boy …

Did you receive Canine Review’s email blast yet? If you did, you’ll know the rumors are now official: Canine Review–Canada’s longest running independent dog show magazine–is folding.

Here’s the news that landed in thousands of mailboxes around the world last night and today:

The end of an era. The September issue of Canine Review will be its last as a print magazine.

Our final issue is online – view it HERE now!

Due to health issues, Merla has made the difficult decision to cease production of the magazine. You can read the full story by clicking here for her Publisher’s Comment on page 60 and here for the Editor’s Commenton page 4.

We will be continuing the website and once Merla is fully back up to speed there will be changes there too. In the meantime, the Gallery of Judges and the Kennel/Handler/Groomer/Club Directories  will still be maintained and added to. The Top Dog standings will be updated until the end of 2012 and their archives will remain in perpetuity.

Check back from time to time as we add new points of interest for the purebred dog community and dog lovers everywhere.

I’m sure when AJ’s owners decided to put their gorgeous boxer on Canine Review’s September cover, they had no idea he would be gracing  its last. Even Merla didn’t know what was coming at that point. The magazine has been Merla’s “baby” for a decade, and her passion long before that, so you can imagine how hard she struggled to avoid the decision to close, even as it became overwhelmingly apparent that shutting down was the only option left. Then, finally, in the midst of working on the September issue, Merla acknowledged that it would be the last.

What comes next? We’re still not sure. As the email blast mentions, Canine Review’s website, including its Gallery of Judges and directories will continue. I’m sure the Pure.Dog.Blog will continue too (either by myself or some new blogger is yet to be determined). And I have a strong suspicion that once Merla is back to herself, she’ll be back with new plans, whether that’s for an online magazine like no one’s seen before or some other yet-to-be-dreamed-up idea. Merla’s a dog lover, but she has more professional lives than a cat. You can’t keep a good woman down.

I’ve included my thoughts on the end of Canine Review as a print magazine in my editor’s letter, as mentioned in the email blast above. It chokes me up just thinking about adding anything to it, so I’ll end this post here.

But … do YOU have anything to say about the final issue of Canine Review? Leave your thoughts in the Speak! comment box below. Or send a note to Merla directly at .

Dog Shows Shouldn’t Be “Catty” Affairs

Remember when dog shows were fun?

Me neither ….

Today, too often this is what it seems dogs shows are about!

But who hasn’t heard stories about how great shows were back in the Good Ole Days. Maybe the memories are tinged with rose-coloured nostalgia, but it seem that along with $5 entry fees, exhibitors knew how to be competitive in the ring but still share some camaraderie once they stepped outside it. And of course there are all the stories about post-BIS parties, something that’s hard to imagine in the present tense when so many exhibitor leave as soon as their group–or breed!–has been judged.

Shannon Scheer wrote about the difference between “now” and “then” in her June column for Canine Review. Fortunately, Shannon also had some good news to share–some clubs are working hard to put the fun back in dog shows. Show Committees are realizing they can’t bring back $5, $10 or $15 entry fees, but they can put some good times back into their shows.

Shannon included some “groovy” photos of exhibitors showing dressed in psychedelic hippy garb to celebrate Tyee Kennel Club’s first ’70s-themed shows in May. Then there was NACA’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest and Grande Prairie Regional Kennel Club also had fun with a themed decade event, going even further back in time to the ’50s!

We had more ’50s photos from Grande Prairie than we could use in the magazine, so as the summer show season ends, here’s a little look back at more of the fun.

First, the “money shot.” Who knew Elvis would find his way to northern Alberta?

“Elvis” hasn’t aged a day! At Grande Prairie Kennel Club’s ’50s theme day.

Whether they remembered the ’50s or not, everyone rocked the house. I’m a bit disappointed though that the ladies all wore “Poodle skirts.” Wouldn’t a Bulldog skirt look awesome!

Remember bobby socks?

And the gents were in fine form too!

Finally, the proud Sock Hop winners!

“Best In Show” on the dance floor.

Got some fun fotos from other summer shows? Send them to me, Lisa Ricciotti, at and I’ll share them here in a later post. Those that aren’t blackmail material that is;)

Recognize some of the ’50-style dancers? I know some, but not all. Tell the world who’s who in the “Speak!’ comment box below.

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Top 10 quotes for Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day from Zelda

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there from Canine Review magazine.

Enjoy your special day–whether your “kids” are two-legged or four-legged–or some of each.

Here’s our Top 10 selection of quotes about mothers, from Oscar Wilde to Phyllis Diller to that great philosopher, Oprah Winfrey.

1. A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie ~Tenneva Jordan

2. Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.  ~Oprah Winfrey

3. Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children.  ~Sam Levenson

4. A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.  ~Author Unknown

5. Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age. ~William Feather

6. If nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternatively, there would never be more than three in a family. ~Lawrence Housman

7. The phrase “working mother” is redundant. ~Jane Sellman

8. Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or major motion-picture star. If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the word “collectible” as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success.  ~Fran Lebowitz

9. When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway. ~Erma Bombeck

10. I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them. ~Phyllis Diller

And lastly, Happy Mother’s Day to all canine moms from their puppies.


Celebrating our one-month “birthday” with a contest!

Happy Birthday to us!

Today Pure.Dog.Blog–Canine Review’s new blog–is one month old! We’re celebrating in two different ways. First, join us in saying WOO HOO while we wave some flags around. (Don’t worry, we don’t plan on repeating this behaviour every month.)

Second, we have our first blog contest for you to enter!

We have readers from around the world!

Dog love has no boundaries. People from ’round the world are reading Pure.Dog.Blog

To let the suspense build about our contest, [details below], we’ll start with the flag waving. We’re very happy to report that in just one month, Pure.Dog.Blog has gone international!

We were excited to look at the blog stats from the past 30 days and see that readers from around the world are having a look at Pure.Dog.Blog. Most who drop in are from Canada and the U.S.–but in addition to those two main locales, we’ve had visitors from 25 other countries.

Here’s the list, from the most views per country to the least. We have fans in … (drum roll please!) … Canada and the United States of course. But you’re also reading the blog in … Continue reading

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Why Daxies have that “odd” chest

One of the pleasures of writing this blog for Canine Review magazine is that I get a “sneak peek” at upcoming articles. And the May issue, now in its final stages of production,  has one of my favourite kind of articles–an in-depth interview with one of the greats in a breed.

Hannelor Heller Han-Jo Dachshunds

Hannelore Heller in action, back in the 1970s. Pictured with her BIS BISS Ch. Han-Jo’s Ulyssis L ROMO

For her “Scheer Madness” column this month, Shannon Scheer painstakingly transcribed an interview recorded in 1993 with Hannelore Heller of Han-Jo Dachshunds, an icon of the Daxie world. I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to discuss Daxies with Hannelore over a cup of coffee, so reading this interview is the next-best thing.

Like some breeds, including my beloved Bulldogs, the Dachshunds is far removed from the generic “wolf-type” canine conformation. In the interview, Hannelore points out how this variance can cause problems for judges who don’t truly understand why Daxies are built the way they are and that its form follows historical function.

“First off, the Dachshund is a ‘misshapen’ canine and difficult to judge. They are put together entirely different from other breeds. Too many judges do not understand the purpose of the breed and how they should move. It is very difficult to judge this breed  when you come from a background of say sighthounds or larger breeds.”

Daxie hunting badgers

A Dachshund hunting a “dach.” That’s German for “badger.”

How many times have you heard someone say that about their own particular breed! Yet it’s so true, and one of the challenges of judging a breed specifically, rather than a generic dog. Hannelore shares her instructions on how to judge a Dachshund on the table and moving, giving special attention to the Daxie’s unique “oval” chest. [Sorry, I can't reveal all here! You'll have to read the article when it comes out ...]

I was fascinated to learn more about what’s called a “wraparound front” in Daxies. Put that chest on another breed and you’d have a serious fault. But on this breed, designed to hunt badgers in their tunnels and dens, it’s a cherished characteristic that helped it excel in its particular niche.

As David Swartwood of Prelude Kennels explains Continue reading

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