FETCH April 2004
Most Titled Top Ten Dog 2004
When Best Friend Bites
making The Top Ten 2003
The Versatile Retriever
Meet URC Member Barb Christman
Wings, Rings and other things
Most Titled Top Ten Dog 2004
What a great year 2003 was for my little southern Belle and I! Our
goals for the year were to finish our SHR title, and at least earn some
legs toward the UCDX and CDX obedience titles. Little did I know how
far we were going to surpass our goals! In 2002, Belle had earned her
GRCH title (being the first female and first black GRCH Labrador),
and I did not plan to compete in conformation in 2003. However, the
Total Dog award was being offered at the Michigan Classic and I decided
to enter obedience and conformation. Fortune smiled on us that
weekend, and Belle earned the first of her two Total Dog awards for
We were on a roll from then on it seemed. By June, Belle had
earned a total of 31 Top Ten points, got her SHR title, one CDX leg, and
at the Premier received two legs toward her UCDX, and her second Total
Dog Award for the year! By mid-summer, Belle received another
CDX leg and her UCDX title, and much to my surprise, all legs with
placements! The rest of the summer and early fall were spent training
for the last CDX leg, earning a WC, all the while thoughts of agility began
to creep in my mind.
As fall approached, I planned for a ‘southern stud muffin’ tour,
planning to look at several stud dogs, visit Belle’s breeder in South
Carolina, and while we were at it, why not add a few competitive
events! So, in 10 days and 3,300 miles Belle and I competed in two JH
tests in North Carolina, finished her CDX in Tennessee (all legs with
placements), and finished her UAG1 title (all legs with placements) in
Virginia, saw three stud dogs, and toured the Blue Ridge and Smokey
Mountains. Not sure I’ll do that again, but what a way to end up the
By years end, Belle had earned the honor of not only being the #7
Top Ten Labrador, but the most titled Top Ten dog, including all
breeds! Competition aside, the friends and knowledge that I have
gained from the people involved in
UKC events has been my greatest
reward. Thank-you, UKC for your
emphasis on the Total Dog!
UAG1 SHR UCDX GRCH Tracker
Belle of Bedford CDX WC CGC
Michigan United Conservation Clubs ™ Michigan Out -of-Doors ™ Magazine ".
When Best Friend Bites
By Mara R. Spence
BY MARA RAVEN SPENCE
A sportsman's dog is not only an important family member, but also a valued hunting buddy. However, this special relationship can bring liability it the dog bites someone. When a dog bites, under common law and statutory law. the injured person may sue you for his or her
injuries. Under common law, in order for the victim to win, he or she must prove the dog was dangerous and that the owner knew the dog was dangerous. If the victim cannot prove this, he can pursue a lawsuit under Michigan statutory law.
Michigan has a specific dog-bite law which provides "if a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog. the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten." Unlike the common law, under this law it does not matter if the dog tends to be vicious or if the owner knows that.
Many people think if the dog bite occurs on the owner's private property, the owner is not liable for any injuries caused by the clog. That is not necessarily true. If someone is on your property, you may still be liable for the dog's actions. The main exceptions are if the person is trespassing or on your property for purposes of committing a criminal act.
So, if someone is on your property legally, what defense do you have when the victim sues you for his injuries? Provocation. If someone is provoking your dog (teasing or antagonizing it), you may have a defense under common law. A dog bite victim might not be compensated if he or she was grossly negligent in going near the dog with knowledge of the dog's vicious habits. This has made the "Beware of Dog" sign very popular. However, the victim's contributory negligence (careless actions) cannot be used by the owner as a defense
under statutory law. If the victim was not trespassing and did not provoke the dog, then the owner is almost always liable. The owner or his insurance company would likely have to pay for damages, such as the victim's medical bills.
You also should be aware that if your dog bites someone, the dog may be destroyed. A vic tim might submit a document to a court claiming your animal is dangerous and that it has caused serious injury or death to a person or another animal. Then, you would be ordered to appear in court. You would have to explain to the judge why the animal should not be destroyed.
Before this hearing takes place, the animal control authorities would kennel the dog at your expense. After the hearing, if the judge finds your animal is dangerous and guilty of causing serious injury or death, he or she would order the destruction of your animal, at your expense.The judge may also order the destruction of your pet even though the animal did not cause serious injury or death. This would occur if the judge rules that the animal is dangerous and is likely to cause serious injury in the future or if the dog was previously found to be a dangerous animal. If the judge does not require a dangerous animal to be destroyed, an owner must take several precautions in order to keep it. These include placing the animal in an escape-proof enclosure, sterilizing the animal, and having ample liability insurance.
Dog ownership requires a lot of responsibility. Owners must take precautions with respect to dog bites, just as they feed, exercise, and groom their dogs. Man's Best Friend deserves no less.
• Mara Karen Spence is a lawyer with the Okemos law firm of Foster Zach & Lowe. PC. for more information on this subject she can be reached at 517/706-5806 or at mara.spence&fosterzacklowe.com.
J.Kevin Winters. MUCC’s Corporate Counsel, also is a lawyer with that firm and can he reached at 517/706-5772 or at email@example.com.
Submitted by Judy Matice
permission granted by Mara Spence for use to The United Retriever Club
Meet Barb Christman
I've had labs since 1978, but slowly got into the show aspect in the late 80's. By the mid-90's, when I was seriously getting into breeding, a friend informed me that the UKC (which I had no knowledge of prior to that time!) was now including Labrador Retrievers in conformation. My friend, in fact, had one of the first few CH labs.
In 1997, I attended my first UKC event...it was the Centennial Premier in Kalamazoo. Labradors had been "on the conformation books" for only a couple of years, but we had 5 or 6 showing (I don't remember exactly). To keep it short, my girl, Heidi (Can Ch, UKC-CH Red Birch's Alpine Lace WC) proceeded to go BOB all four days! What a positive introduction to UKC conformation!!!!! There was no Top Ten at that time, so since she "finished" in those 4 shows, I really didn't do much with her after that. However, the next year, she became the FIRST Labrador to win a BIMBS at a show in Wisconsin. Due to the difficulty in getting 3 champions in the ring at the same time (there were only 7 other CH labs in the country when she finished and they were spread from Michigan to California), she never was able to pursue a GRCH title. A few years later, a Heidi son, GRCH Red Birch's My Father's Eyes WC, became only the second Labrador to achieve the GRCH title. When Top Ten began for labs, Conner (as he was known) placed in the Top Ten for two years). We've been busy with UKC/AKC/ CKC activities ever since and have had at least one Red Birch dog in the Top Ten every year!
Congratulations To Club members
01. GRCH Malagolds It's Greek To Me Denise M Vavla
04. GRCH Windmeres Lil Ginger Snap Tom and Cathy Griffin
05. CH Kaylynn Illa Keep The Legend Rashelle Joy De Witt
07. GRCH Gazebo's Electric Attitude Laura and Paul J Fabbro
1. UCD GRCH Lubberline Endeavor Binnacle Jeanine M Asch or Pauline Mortier
2. GRCH Nyroca's New Beat At Red Birch Barbara L Christman
03. GRCH Oakhaven's Waynes Autumn Myst Patricia S Wayne
05. GRCH Madamik's Howdoyoulikemenow Judy Matice
06. GRCH Jalin Waynes Fame Us Affair Patricia S Wayne
07. UAGI SHR UCDX GRCH Tracker Belle Of Bedford Karen Charleston
08. CH. Thunder Myst Nautical Wheeler Walter Dutz and Steve Bernock
Ns Duck Tolling Retriever
1. CH Kylador's Zseaforth Firetorch Marsha A Meier and Lillian Greensides
Obedience All Stars 2003
U-CDX Hilltop's Taylor Made Golden Retriever Pat Franckowiak
4th Place in Novice Obedience All Stars
13th Place in Open Obedience All Stars
UCD GRCH Lubberline Endeavor Binnacle Jeanine M Asch or Pauline Mortier
UAGI SHR UCDX GRCH Tracker Belle Of Bedford Karen Charleston
The Versatile Retriever
The retriever, with all his beauty, style and quality has made it an excellent and trusted choice for somany canine careers. His work ethic is outstanding and his dedication to the job is more than commendable. From the field to the living room rug he has proven his worth, over and over, as a trusted companion and friend. It is no wonder retrievers have risen to the top as some of America’s favorite dogs. Our journey with Golden Retrievers began in the early 1970’s and has been a voyage bursting with golden opportunities. From the breed ring to obedience, from agility to brace, my daughters Cherish and RaShelle DeWitt and myself have crossed many bridges and earned many titles showing our dogs in UKC, AKC and 4-H. But perhaps the greatest satisfaction of all has come through their work with Paws with a Cause®. Paws with a Cause® is a service dog organization located south of Grand Rapids Michigan. Paws’ accepts
dogs between the ages of 6 weeks and approximately 2 ½ yrs. This gives the organization time to train the dog for service work and still allows many working years with the client. Cherish and RaShelle became involved when they donated two Golden Retriever puppies to the program over three years ago. Both dogs, Treasure and Skylar, are faithfully serving clients today. This contribution made by these two young girls has changed the lives of the clients who depend on them everyday. After donating two dogs to the service dog program an interest was sparked in raising service dogs and training them in our home. We have taken in over 25 puppies to prepare them for their future job as a service dog. Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, and even retrievers rescued from shelters have graced our home with their presence. Some we raise from a young puppy and others we take on a shorter term basis to assess and train because of problems that have arisen in their foster homes. Every one of them spends a lot of time learning a proper heel position, basic obedience commands and manners in the house before they go into the center at Paws® for formal and client specific training. They go everywhere we go: shopping malls, fine dining, airplane flights and vacations. We take them to meetings, school, church, theatres and work. These amazing retrievers however would not be the versatile and competent dogs they are today without the dedication and perseverance of committed breeders. Thank-you, to each and every one of you who remain dedicated, for even the most committed breeder faces great challenges, devastating losses and immense disappointments. It is not always easy, the road is often uphill, but because of your great resolve and astounding love for these incredible dogs, someone’s life will change today and it will never be the same again.
Legend Golden Retrievers
Interested in Joining the United Retriever Club?
Our philosophy. We believe that our dogs need to remain true to their heritage (hunting instincts) while still holding true to their structure and excellent temperaments. We strive to bring all of those elements into one club, the United Retriever Club. The purpose and objectives of this club are:
1. To be an association that unites all Retriever Breed owners. Breeds include the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Curly-Coated Retriever, Flat-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and the Standard Poodle.
2. To protect and advance the interests of the breed by encouraging total dogs. A Retriever that can prove its hunting heritage, reflect the standard of the breeds and possess temperaments applicable to their breed.
3. To urge the members and breeders to accept the standard of the breeds as approved by the U.K.C.
4. To protect and advance the interests of the breed by encouraging sportsmanlike competition at dog shows, and all performance events.
5. To develop a basic hunt test program that tests the Retrievers instincts.
6. To encourage responsibility and quality in the ethical breeding of purebred Retrievers so to utilize and enhance the natural qualities of the breed.
7. To encourage U.K.C. Litter registration.