Just be decent

Anytime your name appears on a list that someone took the time to calculate and post and its some sort of recognition or achievement – be proud! It’s exciting to see your hard work be recognized no matter how or what the criteria were for that recognition. You went out and did something and got recognized in a positive manner by somebody out there and it got shared with the world. Go you! I know I am proud of you! Congratulations!

Sadly, social media allows for all the negative Nancy’s to freely post their unkind comments on the sharing of the list for whatever negative reasons negative people have for being negative. Thats simply who they are. It’s their nature. They are not able to scroll on by quietly, muttering their nasty negative comments to themselves or their housemates. . . . they just can’t. In fact some are such party poopers they even take the time to seek out anytime the list is posted just to be able to announce why that achievement is unimportant. They feel the world needs to have this information. They deem it insignificant badly calculated, therefore the whole world of social media must be told of this fact.

Who knows why these type of people act like this. What other people do is their business. It reflects badly upon those who mock these achievements, not those on these celebratory lists . . . no matter how they are calculated, no matter where they are published, no matter how unimportant some people think them to be.

To all who see their name on a list for recognition of an achievement of any type – WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO! You went out and did a thing! Be happy! Be proud. You are amazing. Thank you for doing something and its fantastic you were recognized!

Also – your actions are noticed by a lot of people. We see you there. Keep on being you and doing your thing. ??

AKC CH Title – what does it mean today?

I used to love showing my dogs in conformation. In the beginning I went to the dog show just for fun and to spend time with my pet. I attended handling classes every week for many years. I went to handling seminars. I watched professional handlers and picked up tips. I went to UK and AU and watched how people there presented their Staffords I helped friends in other breeds to gain more experience. I showed to any judge without caring what they normally preferred because I was working on honing my own skills. My first show win I was told by other exhibitors that I won because I simply out handled them. It’s true. My dog was a pet. That is the point of this blog entry.

As time went on I became a lot pickier what I would walk into the ring with. I first stopped showing other peoples dogs if I didn’t think it could win BOB. Then I decided not to show dogs I had bred unless I felt they were worthy of a Specialty win under a Stafford breeder judge. I know where my dogs meet or fall from meeting our breed standard. I see all the nuances. I feel no need to ‘hide’ or ‘cover up’ faults I am not keen on just to win a ribbon or fake congratulations from other fanciers. It’s not important.

I feel strongly that unless you can dissect and see these faults and virtues in minute detail in your own dogs then you honestly have no business breeding. The exception is if you are working with mentors and you are learning still and if this is the case then you MUST have an open mind. You must be willing to see the issues pointed out to you, research those for yourself, determine whether or not they do exist and then work to change these faults in the future. None of that is done in a show ring.

In the show ring the best you can do is to understand how to present your exhibit to a judge who hopefully knows and understands the breed and how it relates to the written standard – and is willing to actually JUDGE to that standard. Most of the time the judge has 2 minutes to do that and many of them aren’t willing or able too. It seems it is easier for them to go with what they think is ‘safe’ and assume the professional handlers must have the best ones – right? That was in sarcasm font by the way.

There are times when a handler has a good dog. Sometimes it could be the best dog in the show ring. Many times it is not. There are other breeders like myself who only present their very best. Its not often these dogs are rewarded on a consistent basis. Oftentimes they are overlooked for handlers dogs. Handlers have a lot of skills. They get to practice 4-5 days a week all year long. They are skilled at showing statues and generic movement and flashy handling – ever see them hold the end of a long lead by two fingers while the dog stands perfectly still at the end of it? Looks so pretty doesn’t it. But…..how does that meet that dogs standard? Maybe it does. Maybe not. Maybe it’s just pretty.

Many of us serious Stafford breeders are growing weary of wasting our time, energy, education, and money on bringing good dogs into the ring. I personally have attended shows and looked around seeing a couple very competitive dogs and (wrongly as it turns out) thinking – that’s my competition – and more than that – that’s a dog to follow and he could be a good prospect to keep up my high standards in my breeding plans…..but most judges won’t find these superior dogs. They seem blinded by flash.

Why are entries down? Why are breeds going downhill? Why are poor temperaments rewarded? Why is fat and soft rewarded over fitness and strength? Lazy judges and political games. Thats why. Never mind the general lack of knowledge of canine structure. never mind the serious disinterest in learning breed type. Never mind not understanding good powerful effortless movement. What is the point of showing our best dogs? We already know what we have. We don’t need a stranger who lacks this knowledge to know what we already know.

I show because I am expected to show. Puppy buyers expect me to only breed from Champions. Champion titles in America mean nothing. NOW in sharp contrast – making a champion from ONLY showing in HUGE classes under only other breeder judges means a LOT and this is what we do. HUGE difference to beat 100 dogs under breeder judges and a handler dragging a dog show to show to show barely beating 5 dogs a weekend to title. Think about that.

AKC is a joke. There I said it. Most of us understand why I would say this too. What will it take for AKC to also see this and GREATLY improve their judge education and requirements? I suggest ongoing requirements of judges to continue to meet breeders and visit kennels and talk with breeders and find out the nuances. Most judges simply do not care and I have even been told condescending opinions by judges such as – “You don’t get where I am without knowing the breed” when I look at the dogs they selected and shake my head….walking away wondering what on earth they DO know.

Worse than that recently I overheard judges talking about how Stafford specialties bring over judges from UK and AU and how in their opinions this makes the Stafford breeders snobby. Worse than being called snobby (who cares, more sarcasm font) they went on to then say how these overseas judges don’t know anything at all and how they are terrible at judging. Why do they pick up feet? What are they doing with the coat? What are they doing with their hands on the head and muzzle and shoulders and rears? Why would they kneel down to watch movement? Why do they need to watch the entire down and back? Why are they making funny noises or dangling keys or dropping a ball? OH do you mean why do they ACTUALLY judge the dogs to the written breed standard? Is this the question?

I heard one judge say how breeder judges don’t even know movement or structure and only award heads and friends. ? Okay, so to you all breed judges who only award friends and handlers (don’t forget many judges were also once handlers) that’s different why??? Soo you mean for me to believe that a breeder judge from UK who has lived with Staffords for their entire lives, many of their parents also lived with Staffords, they see Staffords daily in the street, at ringcraft and at shows where the entries can get into the 100’s at times – you mean to tell me those people don’t know this breed? Seriously? Sorry – I simply cannot stop laughing except its not funny.

Are we truly preserving this breed?

We do not breed often. We do not show in conformation as often as we used to. We mainly travel to the bigger specialty shows to show to breeder judges and breed specialists when possible. We also never require a puppy we sell to be shown. If we sell a show prospect, we may encourage the dog to be shown after full review between 10 months and 2 years. We always offer to show the dog ourselves and we offer to pay the expenses as well as mentor and teach ring procedures and handling skills. We help find classes and shows if the owner is interested. It’s not in our contract as mandatory.

That all being said the rings today are filled with pet quality Staffords. Yes, I said it. Many are thinking it but nobody speaks out. We must be choosier if we wish to truly be preserving the breed as we like to say we are. An American CH title means much less than it once did. It means so much more if the title is earned mainly from the large specialty shows. It means even more if ALL points earned are from breeder judges and specialists. And it means even more than that to me personally if the title is also earned from the BBE class at specialties, against a lot of competition.

So often today breeders require new owners to show their new puppy to its title under contract. This means some owners have the added expenses of paying handlers if they are not interested (or lack confidence) in doing it themselves. Staffords are paraded around rings 2-4 days a week for months on end in order to fulfill these contracts. This also means that oftentimes these dogs lack the temperaments, structure and type which makes a true Stafford champion. Once the title has been earned….well awarded….as earned means its deserving…then these contracts require the dogs to be bred and puppies often going back to (or names added as breeder/owner) the breeders. And the cycle begins again . . .

How on earth do people NOT see how this is damaging the breed, not helping it?! How can they get on FB and watch a live video each week and see all the out of balance, soft toplines, low on leg, overweight, out of condition, roach, no breed type, terrified, timid, sad or out of control dogs being strung up and sculpted into position to win that ribbon? Seriously? How can you not see this is a farce? And now AKC judges see so many of this type they think it’s correct. You cant even have a conversation with many of them these days to help them see the error of their ways. You cant even offer them a copy of the SBTCA Illustrated Breed Standard or the TSK Illustrated Breed Standard because they think they know all there is to know about this breed! How insulting!

Many of us have worked hard over many years to educate, learn, teach, read, study about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. We live with them. We get hands on 100’s of them. We travel great distances to see as many as we can. We study pedigrees, we do rescue, we understand correct temperament, we own libraries filled with books on the breed. We live and breathe Staffordshire Bull Terriers . . . and yet the arrogance of some judges (and handlers) sadly now shapes the future of this breed.

Sad. Pathetic. Shameful.

Rehome and Rescue

Recently I made a request to the Stafford community asking for more volunteers to please step up and help rescue and re-home. We need people in all areas of the country to help fund raise, transport, identify, foster, screen, do home checks and help communicate with the rescue and re-home volunteers for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed in America. I thought this was a reasonable request because basically the same few people have been bearing the weight of this task for many many years and its impossible for so few volunteers to do the work of an entire country. Also it sucks. We are tired.

This breed is becoming way too popular and every day more and more ‘pop up’ breeders and new breeders are selling puppies – some do the proper amount of screening and education and they also have solid contracts in place, microchip and register with their names and require dogs come back to them if needed…..the ‘pop ups’ and casual breeders are basically making puppies to pay their bills.

I received several earnest messages saying I live here, this is my experience with Staffords and this is what I am willing to do. AMAZING and THANK YOU!

I also received some super angry replies. In fact, one in particular was so full of hate I don’t know why she send me a message at all. She states where she lives and that she is only willing to help ID, transport and possibly foster if there are no issues or complications (ahem, this is rescue not perfect puppy school) and then she went into a tirade about how she refuses to help Staffords who are in need of re-homing because that’s not her job and shouldn’t be the job of ‘rescue’ either.

What this angry person fails to realize (mainly because she has not helped rescue in the same capacity as we have) sometimes re-home means a breeder cannot be found, has died, is ill and cant care for their dogs, or otherwise finds themselves in a situation requiring outside assistance. Sometimes re-home is helping a breeder who took back a dog, elderly or otherwise and requests our help because we have the reach and marketing available. Sometimes re-home means a family must give up a dog and the breeder is very far away, or in another country, and we are here to help.

I have said this a million times and will say it again – we are here for the STAFFORDS.

Let me add – the person who detests our efforts with such vitriol and spit for doing any sort of re-home misses the point in two ways.

  1. Calling what we do ‘rescue’ is usually not a true rescue. Unless a dog is in a shelter on death row – we are re-homing. We aren’t diving into a building on fire pulling Staffords to safety. We are taking in Staffords in need and finding suitable homes. We also ask for a small donation back to TSK to help replenish funds used – look at it this way – what we spend on YOU we get back to spend on the next one. We ask for this donation from re-home also.
  2. By NOT supporting good breeders by assisting them if we can, what she is essentially supporting is ONLY aiding those pop up and BYB’ers who don’t give a shit where the dogs end up as long as they get paid.

SO either decide you are able and willing to help STAFFORDS in need – or don’t. Personally I don’t care. If you volunteer then I welcome you with open arms but please don’t place rules and restrictions. (Exceptions are understandable such as cant foster dogs who hate cats/chickens and you have cats/chickens, etc….fosters are screened and appropriate placements made – we aren’t stupid) I am already faced with difficult tasks doing this. As I have said in past blog posts – I have been yelled at, cussed, threatened with lawsuits, accused of all sorts of horrible things from those same people who begged me to come to their aid.

SO that all being said – thank you to the people who have opened up their homes, wallets and cars to help Staffords in need.

Breed rescue

Rescue sounds like something people do when houses are burning down, rivers are flooding, dog fighting rings get busted . . . purebred dog rescue isn’t nearly as dramatic as all of that usually. It’s more normally a small very tired group of breed enthusiasts who are constantly fielding messages such as – URGENT will be PTS in one hour if you don’t respond – or – we have seventeen Staffords in the shelter please come get them – or we have a Stafford and won’t allow a breeder to pull we would rather euthanize than support breeders – or I bought a Stafford but my breeder never told me he might grow up to hate other dogs please come get him – or – my brother passed away and now I have a 12 year old Stafford who needs a home and I cant keep him – or even – we have two staffords but are having a baby, moved to an apartment, got deployed, went to jail, new girlfriend who hates dogs and need to get rid of them. . . SIGH.

Purebred rescue is not something I enjoy. It is mentally exhausting. It takes up a lot of bandwidth in my life which I sure could use elsewhere….but it is also something I feel obligated to do as a lover of the breed, as a breeder and as a responsible person.

Purebred rescue costs money. Purebred rescue takes a LOT of my free time. Purebred rescue means lots of fund raising to help cover the cost of transporting, shelter release expenses, veterinary bills, training costs, foster care, transportation, feeding and caring for dogs whom another person produced and another person owned. And now the dog is our responsibility.

Purebred rescue means making decisions. Deciding whether or not a dog is indeed a Stafford. Deciding what we need to pull a dog from a shelter (not always easy). Deciding who will foster, train, care for the dog. Deciding how to market the dog and how to screen potential homes. Deciding who can do home checks, background checks and transport the dog to a new home.

Purebred rescue means paperwork. Paperwork to provide shelters showing we (The Stafford Knot, Inc.) are a non profit 501(c)(3). Paperwork to locate breeder. Paperwork to get owners to sign release forms for owner surrenders. Paperwork for applications. Paperwork for contracts. Paperwork to register microchips into new owners names. Paperwork to keep in touch with new owners. Paperwork to offer new owners to help educate them on the breed. Paperwork to try to get new owners to join breed and all breed clubs to remain active and involved.

Purebred rescue also includes owner surrender and helping breeders Rehome Staffords. Owner surrenders are usually quite emotional. This means 100’s of texts and phone calls. Emotionally draining phone calls. Phone calls with tears, excuses, anger, frustration and heartbreak. Purebred rescue can sometimes mean making difficult decisions regarding the future of a dogs life.

With all of this my job is to remain calm and compassionate. When the phone gets put down – I can then break down myself. But not before then.

Purebred rescue means being yelled at, cussed at, lied to, gossiped about, rumors told, accusations hurled about, abused in so many ways by breeders, shelters, other rescues, owners and strangers on social media. And throughout all of the abuse it also means remaining calm and true to the goal which is the safety of the dog in question.

The Staffords are why I do this. I would love to stop and let others take over. I have tried to quit. The sad truth is that we ALL need to be involved. This is not a job for a couple of people in each breed. We all need to work together and do the best we can do. Breeders need to step up – carefully screen new owners. Remain in contact with those owners. Be their support. Microchip and register that chip for life and put your name on the chip along with the owners and veterinarians. Sponsor owners club memberships to encourage participation with other Stafford owners. Get owners involved. Make it well known in your contracts, in your conversations and on your web pages and FB pages that you are available for the lifetime of the Stafford you produced or rescued. Make it well known that there exists a community of Stafford enthusiasts all Stafford owners can turn to for any reason.

Purebred rescue is not the enemy nor is it something nice to have to do. BUT it is something we ALL should be doing.

Recognition

I used to think it did not matter if our hard work was recognized by our peers or not. I have since decided that it does make a difference. It does matter.

Over the last 15 years we have actively supported both financially and voluntarily, donated time and work for, served on, created and led committees, served as board officer and director roles, designed artwork for the magazine, set up health testing discounts at several specialties, actively promoted the club and breed by working breed booths, seeking new members – sponsoring and paying for new members and much much more.

Nealie and I are currently one of the (if not the only) only Stafford teams recognized by the AKC as a Breed Ambassador which means we have fulfilled and been signed off what it takes to be trusted to attend classrooms, libraries, scouting groups and any public place to speak about and promote the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. We visit classrooms where children can read to Nealie and listen to me discuss responsible pet ownership and more.

Nealie is also honored as a Register of Merit honoree by producing 4+ champions (and all done without handlers or taking them to shows week in and week out), although her name is not yet listed on the club website as such.

The Illustrated Breed Standard the club uses has almost identical text as the one Jason and I did for the rescue fundraising yet no mention of The Stafford Knot has been made. We agreed to allow the club to use our text in exchange for referencing and crediting the many people who contributed to the body off work which took years to produce. Sadly they did not. The parent club used the TSK seminar, both in full or parts of it, and we have always been happy to supply the club with the presentation when asked to do so. We also try to volunteer dogs for hands on assessments when possible including being at shows which we had not planned on attending just for this purpose.

For many many years I have spent countless hours and money of my own promoting the club. I have (for free) designed logos and artwork, made videos and fliers, uploaded to FB and IG for the club, designed trophies and shirts, and volunteered in person at most of the big specialties over the last 15 years. I have raised 1000’s of dollars for the club over the years beginning with selling 500 silicone anti BSL bracelets our first year of membership. We also ran several RDO days, rescue fun days and breed booths.

For years I did not say NO. I always said yes, of course I will help. This year I finally said no. I have done enough. It’s now time for others to do the work.

Recently, TSK was recognized by our Area Director only because she and I worked closely for a year to put on our most recent Specialty event. It was an overwhelming success in that people had a great time and it not only paid for itself but also raised in excess of $4000 for the club. A first. The club has always lost money. Always. Every. Single. National. I appreciated the AD recognizing my efforts and the contribution TSK has made. That gesture almost took away the hurt of the rejection of the others.

There were still complaints from the usual suspects. In fact, there were lots of complaints. All made by the same people who ALWAYS complain and rarely work. These same few people make it very difficult for those who do work hard. You know what they say about one bad apple – its very true. By the way – it’s not a bath mat you won at a DOG SHOW it’s a crate pad, DOH. And there WAS hospitality in the form of food in the free welcome bags, a free pizza party, a free spaghetti dinner, coffee pastries and sandwiches in the morning, coolers of drinks ringside and a cookout one evening. All free. No donation jar. A few ungrateful people leave a very bad taste especially when its constant.

Wouldn’t it be terrific if we could work together like I have been asking for the last 10-15 years? If we could endorse each other we would have more impact and more reach. TSK has ten years of articles available for free and if the club endorsed TSK all those articles would be known by all new members and new Stafford owners, not just followers of The Stafford Knot. TSK has a huge worldwide following. This could only help the parent club. If we could endorse one another and this would help everyone. One would think that would be a no brainer. No clue why the resistance.

I have worked with several former rescue chairs in some capacity – I have always been heavily involved. TSK (me) has been responsible for a great deal of rescue and rehoming work for the breed for many many years. We raise the money, we reach out and find homes, we pull dogs, we arrange transport and foster care – we have done everything we could. I would love to retire from this exhausting task! It would be wonderful if others would step up so I can retire.

The club talks big about promoting good sportsmanship. Let’s see some action behind those words. Endorse the hard work of all people working to Promote, Protect and Preserve. How about it?

So yes, it does matter if there is recognition.

“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”

There is much controversy as to who first spoke those words. There is little controversy over the truth those words speak.

Lately we have been discussing how interesting it is that for some people their default action/reaction is negative. It’s as if an immediate response must be made on each and every topic being discussed and they feel compelled to complain, bring in drama, point fingers, attack or bully. It almost seems out of the persons control, a conditioned response that may have taken a lifetime to develop and perfect.

In my transformation to try to become a more reasonable, peaceful, forgiving, tolerant and kind person I sometimes will play little games to amuse myself. One game is to keep mental notes of names of people who are either as described above or who is directly involved in the history of a dog we get into rescue or a re-home situation. This game is similar to the one you might play to make an important decision- making lists of pro and con – except in this instance the only conclusion which can be made is that the same names remain on each list. Those names become so familiar that when I log into FB to post my feed is littered with their drama and I see the pattern emerging daily.

These same people are great at grandstanding, playing the victim or creating drama. Always. The. Drama. If you didn’t know better you may think they work very hard and are wonderful giving responsible people. And in some parts of their lives they are just that. BUT when it really comes to selfless contribution you won’t want to count on these folks. Don’t put them on your team. Acknowledge that drama if you must, however walk, scroll, move away from it quickly. It’s contagious.

These folks will do their very best to sabotage those hard at work, no matter who they are, and instead somehow create a scenario where they are the heroes and save the day while holding the true workers under their hand, underwater, for as long as possible attempting to drown out reality. Don’t allow their actions to deter you from your goals. These people are little more than annoying flies, buzzing around, always. Flies never live long lives.

Addition by subtraction

I’ve blogged before about how its super important to support one another, work together or if you can’t just remain silent. We all have at least one important interest in common. Staffordshire Bull Terriers. If we didn’t share this interest you wouldn’t be here.

We don’t have to be best friends with all Stafford owners. We don’t have to invite them all into our homes or even into our lives. We don’t even really have to like them or agree with their choices. But we can work together. We can have one another backs instead of stabbing them. We can support and preserve Staffords by letting go of petty unimportant feelings and setting all of the negative opinions aside and come together for the dogs. We can’t change others behaviors anyway. Its difficult enough to change our own!

In the past I have been guilty of saying things I am ashamed of. I have attempted to right these wrongs and try to be a better person. I recognize my weakness as lacking the confidence to be myself and now I am stronger. I was a weak follower. I did and said what was currently expected or popular and I never felt right about that. During my transition to becoming a stronger person if I saw a group acting disrespectfully I would try to defend or stand up for the person being bullied or wrongly accused. In those attempt it usually made things worse, not better. This may sound selfish but now I worry less about others and more about myself and the breed. I avoid bullies and crowds of lemmings and now stand on my own. I am honest with my words and actions. Its not a popular place to be but its right for me.

You are probably saying what does this blog entry have to do with Staffords? In the world of dogs I’ve been told I need thicker skin, get over it, just go with the flow…all words meant to ‘help’ me. The world of dogs is ugly. People act and speak standing precariously balancing between ego, self importance  lacking confidence and masking that with bully behavior. I’m at the point now that what others say about me just doesn’t matter. I know ugly things are said about me – untruths, half truths, I am given petty labels, gossip is spread –  just plain meanness. I know a person who told a potential puppy buyer that I was ‘intense’ as that would be an insult. Its not. I am. Another breeder told a potential buyer upon hearing she was on my wait list ‘good luck with that’. I don’t even know what she meant by that.  Recently two of my buyers were accused of cheating by their competition – they had not cheated – so I stood up and defended them. I was laughed at. I have had accusations that I was pocketing money from my rescue efforts – how laughable is that? I don’t need the money and anyone can look up the public records since its a registered non profit. We simply don’t bring in a ton of money and we keep excellent accounting records – people who accuse others of doing wrong actions generally are not above doing those things themselves. The dog world is an ugly place.

In another situation, last March we showed Marina at Crufts in Birmingham, England. This was a highlight in our lives as breeders – Marina qualified four times and deserved to be seen on that green carpet. You would think my ‘friends’ and fellow Stafford owners would be excited for us and say nice supportive words  – and most did/were – yet one person whom I have known a very long time not only had nothing nice to say but instead made ugly comments about my shoes. ?

What other people say about you says more about them actually.

If you are excited about an achievement or a new puppy or title or anything you want to share the happiness about – share that with the world. Then sit back and watch how others respond to your happiness. Are people excited for you? Do they seem genuine when they congratulate you? Or do they instead say ‘when my dog did that …..”. People who are not your VIPs will always turn your success around to relate a story about themselves. They usually will also not have the time to type out words of true encouragement or say meaningful comments – usually its a ‘thumbs up’ emoji or a shortened ‘congrats’ or something about themselves – because they feel they need to remind the world that they are important, they are the focus of every conversation, their achievements mustn’t be forgotten. They may make ugly comments about your dog or your efforts or accuse you of cheating. These are not your VIPs.

In my growth and struggles with being a better person I have learned to let people go. I don’t say unkind things about them personally, and I wouldn’t say unkind things about their dogs (although in my past confidence  lacking behaviors those were my go to actions embarrassingly enough)  but I simply move on. As far as I’m concerned, the fastest way to live our best lives and have more of what we want is to remove more of what we don’t want. This is addition by subtraction, and if you choose to give yourself this gift, it has the power to positively change your life. Can you afford to put off giving yourself that gift any longer? Your best life may depend on your answer. People who choose to hurt others are the broken souls of the world who are deeply hurting themselves whether or not they recognize this. Their hate has nothing to do with how they feel about you, it’s a reflection about how they feel about themselves.

If we are to remain ‘in dogs’ then some changes had to be made. From now on, the front row is for real fans only, and the VIP section is only for the special people who have earned the right to be there. Let’s face it, not everyone in our lives can be “very important.” If everyone in our lives is “very important,” that’s the same thing as saying that no one is. Only the real fans deserve the privilege of being the “Very Important People” in our lives. Who are these very important people?

• They are the first ones to help us up when we fall down.

• They encourage our hopes and dreams instead of stomping on them.

• They stick around when everyone else is bailing out on us.

• They build us up instead of tear us down.

• They treat us with dignity and respect at all times.

• They offer a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on when we need it.

• They love us unconditionally.

The bar is set pretty damn high for VIPs– that’s why these people are “very important.” Try to surround yourself with your VIP’s. Gravitate towards those who help you feel the sunshine, not those who live in a constant storm.

The Shops at TSK

We have been hard at work over the past year building an online shopping ‘mall’ to help support the growing need for funding for Stafford rescue. Sadly we are now helping families re-home their pets mainly due to lack of support from their breeders. Some breeders are also selling puppies to anyone with the cash without any screening to see if the breed is the right match for them. In the last year I personally have helped place 8 Staffords in this situation. Its not the fault of the dogs and in part (although they should have done more research and training) its mostly not the fault of the owners. Breeders need to be a LOT more careful where they sell Stafford puppies.

In an effort to replace funds spent this shop is ‘softly open’ for business. Here you will find an ever changing array of merchandise with various original Stafford artwork, club logos, show fund raisers and more and always a portion of your dollars spent go to the TSK rescue fund. If a design is for a club or a show then the majority (80%) goes to that club. From the remaining 20% we take out our expenses and the remainder goes to rescue. On all other designs the majority (all except operating costs) goes to the TSK rescue fund.

ENJOY!

https://www.thestaffordknot.com/shop/