February 22, 2016
It’s been seven busy days in Budapest with the girls, Fruska and Agyag. In this short time, I’ve managed to squeeze in a family reunion, a four day international dog show, some city hopping/shopping and a three-day long un amour de chien. By the way, Kaffogo Agyag justified her amorous attitude with a quote from the famous romantic poet, Ashley Madison, a contemporary of Jane
Austen NOT…, “Life is Short, Have an Affair…”
Meeting my family is always a passionate gathering and my sister’s high-rise flat seemed a bit tight at times…
Starting on Thursday, February 18, we’ve participated the FeHoVa International Dog Show at HUNGEXPO, the Budapest fairground. Five shows in four days. Dog shows are a different kind of animal in Europe than in the U.S. One is better to cancel any other plans on a dog show day (the day really goes to the dogs.) The organizers certainly give you all the time for your entry fees.
I was glad that I entered Kaffogo Agyag to the shows. I had a chance to get a partial inside look at the Hungarian Pumi field. Partial, because, unfortunately, there has been a major schism between the Hungarian Pumi aficionados. There are breeders and dog owners who are members of the official Magyar Pumi Klub (Hungarian Pumi Club) and than there are the “others” who refuses to recognize the official Club. If you thought that the partisanship in the U.S. Congress is serious than you ain’t see nothing. It is a sad state of affairs, because there are good breeders and great minds on both sides. Members of the opposition, with a few exception, do not enter to dog shows organized by or associated with the official Club and vice versa. As a result, I had a chance to see approximately 70% of the Pumis of those who tend to participate at dog shows and a handful of foreign breeders.
Since the 2013 Budapest World Dog Show, I’ve noticed some changes. Some Hungarian breeders/handlers started following the Nordic countries and have been experimenting with a more dramatic grooming than what we used to see earlier. Shorter hair and sculpting becoming a more frequent appearance. Interestingly, even some of the judges seemed to prefer the more sculpted Pumi look. In fact, I’ve heard some judges suggesting to some handlers whose dogs entered the ring with a more natural coat that they should groom their dogs better. I am hesitant to go either way, however, one of the disadvantages that I can see is that much shorter cuts will reduce the importance of the quality of the Pumi coat because it simply won’t be possible to check it. Attitudes and customs have been changing. One thing however, most handlers seems to be resistant to is, wearing former attire in the ring.
Gray has become the dominant Pumi color. Fawn, unless it is white or off white looking, appears to suffer some set backs. I had a chance to talk to some of the foreign participants and it sounds that they’ve experienced similar tendencies in their countries too.
The Teddy Bear Syndrome: I had an interesting discussion with some breeders and “off duty” judges about the increased number of Pumis on the smaller end with softer denser hair with more curvy angles than one would think of the Pumi after reading the breed standard. They are certainly cute and huggable, however, they are missing the size and stamina necessary for the breed’s original function, herding. I’ve noticed this trend the past few years in the northic countries and now in Hungary too. Some voices have also raised concerns about this issue in the U.S. too.
The update on Friday’s story is that I filed a formal complaint with the MEOESZ, the Hungarian Kennel Klub, about Judge Istvan Laszlo’s action of withholding the CACIB certificate from Agyag, because she was in “heat.”
According to FCI rules, the judge’s decision is final an cannot be reversed. However, if the MEOESZ rules in my favor, the judge can get sanctioned or disciplined. I was surprised how much support I’ve got from people. Surprisingly, there were also some supporting opinions from the opposition Pumi camp.
Even though the dog show has consumed most of my time and energy, I managed to have a nostalgia ride with my sister on the number 6 tram on the ring around the center of the City. The line is 8.3 km long has 19 stops in 29 minutes and it runs 24/7. The tran stops 225 times at each station during the day in both directions during the school year and 210 times when schools is out. The tran starts and ends on the Buda side of the city, however, rides the longest on the pest side.
Now that Agyag’s love affair and the dog show are over, I am ready to catch up with myself. I am starting my spin class in the nearby gym tomorrow.