The American Spaniel Club - Established in 1881
WON’T YOU VOLUNTEER?
This is a quote I love with regard to volunteering - “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
Needless to say in an all-volunteer organization like the American Spaniel Club and the American Spaniel Club Foundation, volunteers make a vital difference because neither organization would exist without dedicated volunteers. Simply stated -- volunteers are essential for the health and well-being of both Clubs and ultimately our beloved flushing spaniels.
Studies show that there are six main reasons people volunteer: to make a difference in others’ lives; to support an organization or cause; to learn something new; to develop personally or professionally; to feel better about themselves; and to meet people. In other words, volunteering is personal. Advertisements that simply state an organization needs volunteers are not generally successful and I know ASC and ASCF have both found that to be true. However, just think if you could make a difference, support a cause you love (cocker spaniels and the other flushing breeds), feel good in accomplishing an important goal, and meet other people who also love spaniels, wouldn’t you want to volunteer?
As the ASC Board announced at the National Specialty in July, ASC has embarked on a strategic plan to make ASC stronger and more relevant in today’s world of pure bred dogs. There are many areas in which ASC needs help – ASC communications, including a new breed magazine, social media, the new website, breeders education, judges education and public education; membership development and events; marketing; branding; national conformation and performance events; and field events. To accomplish this strategic plan a wide variety of volunteers are needed.
I know ASC has an amazingly talented membership with diverse experiences and expertise that can help ASC accomplish its strategic goals. Accordingly, ASC would like to be sure its knows about your expertise and interests. In ASC’s Annual Mailing, which everyone should have received by now, and on the ASC website and by survey monkey, there is a Volunteer Interest Form. PLEASE fill out the form and return it to either Dee Torgerson Rismyhr or Laurie Foley. From the Annual Mailing, Laurie has already received a number of completed forms. Thank you to those members for your immediate response, but we need a response from everyone!
To give one's time and talent for a good cause is a special feeling. And to see what a group like ASC’s membership can accomplish will be amazing. WON’T YOU HELP? WON”T YOU VOLUNTEER?
Click HERE to Make a tax-deductible donation NOW to the genetic cataract research project - Please Support our Cockers!!
Merle Color In Cocker Spaniels
from Charles Born, President, American Spaniel Club
As our members know the validity of the merle pattern and associated health issues in the Cocker Spaniel have concerned breeders for some time now. After some progress, in 2009 the ASC Board began a concerted effort to identify and understand the depth of the issue and what to do. In addition to our request to the AKC for Z registration status on merle Cockers which has been approved, at the direction of the ASC Board of Directors I asked the ASC Foundation to conduct a three-part study that included:
- Researching the evidence showing whether merle is or is not a Cocker Spaniel color.
- Researching the scientific evidence that the merle color can produce significant health issues.
- Developing an approach for educating breeders, owners and the general puppy buying population on the results of their investigations
The Scientific Research Committee assisted by the Grants Committee was tasked with conducting this study by ASCF President Dee Torgerson-Rismyhr. This combined task force was led by Doug McFarlane, a long-time Cocker fancier and English Cocker breeder and judge and a former member of ASC Board and many other Spaniel Boards and joined by Karen Yager, a PhD geneticists and Clumber breeder. You can read about their approach and methodology in the full study report.
My layman’s summary of their report is as follows:
|For nominating your bitches use the following checklist.|
|As the breeder, are your dues paid so you remain a member in good standing?|
||Are sire and dam over 2 years old?
||Do both sire and dam have OFA/PennHips/other countries certification numbers?
||Have both sire and dam had their eyes examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist after age 2 and within the 12 months before the breeding? Don’t miss out because you have old eye exams and don’t get new ones done until after the breeding.
||Send in the paperwork to nominate the bitch before the litter is whelped.
||Then remember to enroll your puppies by the deadlines.|
Docked Tails a Vital Characteristic of Cocker Spaniels
Keeping in mind the welfare of the Cocker Spaniel breed and the function it was bred to perform, and as applies to all Flushing Spaniels, the Board of Directors of the American Spaniel Club continues to support docked tails for Cocker Spaniels (and all Flushing Spaniels) as an important characteristic required by the breed's function as a hunting dog. In particular, since 1881 Cocker Spaniels with docked tails have been a part of the fabric of the United States, and we must educate the general public that under proper veterinarian care, tail docking of young puppies continues to be a very safe and humane procedure and is not cosmetic. The attached communication from the ASC can be used by ASC members and the public at large who would like to educate others on our breed history, our position on tail docking and our recommendations.