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More About the National

Well, I started trying to write a brief update on Friday (I think), but the nearly-useless wireless networking available on the show site just made it impossible to finish. Somewhere on this blog site, not visible to you, is a draft of that effort, but it’s so out of date that I thought I should just start over.

Highlights:

  • Well, the bottom line is that we brought in (gross, all groups combined) just $38 short of $13,000! That isn’t close to the record of just over $16,000 we did last year, but it’s far better than I’d feared we’d do.
  • We had some very good help this year. While Barbara and I were both in the booth most of the time (my major exceptions were when I went out to run errands, such as to buy cash register paper rolls), we almost always had one, two, or even three additional helpers there with us. I want to especially thank Becky Ramsey of DFW Sheltie Rescue and Barbara Boylan of Greater Louisville Sheltie Rescue for all of the hours that they spent helping out. In addition, we had helpers from the local (host) Sheltie club and the two Georgia Sheltie rescue groups, friends of people from other rescue groups, etc.
  • There was very little product that had to be sent back (in our case, taken back) to the various rescue groups. We sold almost everything we had except for a couple of dozen towels and a few shirts, which was wonderful .
  • We held three raffles this year (the maximum authorized by the ASSA board of directors). One was, as always, for the Rescue Quilt. A second one was for a diamond necklace, identical to one we raffled last year. The third was for a necklace/bracelet set made of solid something-carat gold Sheltie heads! A woman who bought just three tickets for the diamond necklace refused to give us her name and wrote on the back of the raffle ticket "ASSA Rescue". And guess what ticket got drawn? Yes, one of those three! So we won the necklace back (technically, the winner was the un-named woman, who re-donated the necklace back to us) and will raffle it again next year. (Yes, some people complained that it was rigged, but most people seemed genuinely happy about it.)
  • We actually had everything torn down, boxed up, and loaded into the rental car 15 minutes before the Saturday night banquet started! Of course, we didn’t have time to go back to the room and clean up or change clothes, but we got there before they started serving. What a strange experience :)
  • At the banquet, Barbara gave a very nice report on the success of the rescue booth and ensured that she thanked everybody who had helped us out.

Lowlights:

  • In spite of my efforts every year to make the sales and inventory systems foolproof, things still didn’t completely balance out in the end. I’m still working on the numbers (hope to finish them tomorrow) so I can tell Dorothy Christiansen (national rescue coordinator) exactly how much money each group gets from that $13K, but I know already that about half of the groups had at least some product unaccounted for! Sheltie Rescue of Utah appears to have "lost" $109 worth :( . Other groups didn’t lose nearly as much. (As much as I hate to even suggest it, I am pretty certain that some of the loss was very real, probably due to shoplifting!)
  • We were so busy all of the time in the booth that I did not get to see much of the show itself. At herding, I saw one dog’s complete performance and about half of two other dogs performances. At agility, even though we set up tables just outside the rings, I did not see a single dog’s performance — not one! And the only contact I had with obedience this year was when I ran over to their building to reassure everybody that we would try to hold up the parade of veterans and the parade of rescues until they got there.
  • Every day started much too early and ended much too late. I’m still exhausted, as is Barbara.

Well, that’s hardly a comprehensive review, but it’s at least something!

Oh, and here’s a picture of that incredible Rescue Quilt:

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7 comments to More About the National

  • That IS a absolutely beautiful quilt! What a lot of work went into it! I’m sure the winner was thrilled! You did good work, hope you can get some rest now!

  • Connecticut Mortgage

    I have seen many quilt because my mother love doing it but i need to admit that you have a beautiful cult. It has also a unique design. I am sure many people loves it.

  • Very nice to hear that the National went so well. I think that with the economy being in such a slump you really did fantastic! As for the person that was so generous to donate the necklace back to Sheltie Rescue…that’s wonderful! We had something similar happen yesterday at the Utah Sheltie Specialty. Someone donated a special prize for the Obedience trial, and their dog ended up winning it, so they donated it to the SRU raffle instead. I thought that was really great of them! :-)

  • steph

    Great effort. People should learn from this example. Meanwhile, did you by chance see this news Winner of ‘dream’ animal shelter clashes with Zootoo? http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-04-12-zootoo-shelter-clash_N.htm

  • abbey

    Hi my name is Abbey and I love this site, my boyfriend and I visit is often since we just got a 7 month old sheltie girl, her name is Finley, and this is our first sheltie. I have a question in regards to her coat. We like the length of her as it is now and we know that her coat works as an insulating/cooling mechanism. We want to see if we can trim her hair and keep it a reasonable length, is this okay?

  • Abbey, thanks for commenting and for your question. Also, congratulations on Finley — she is undoubtedly very cute!

    You’re right to observe that her coat is important not only for warmth in the winter, but to help her stay cool in the summer sun. It sounds, from your description, that she might currently have what is commonly called a “fitted coat”, contrasted with a “full coat”. I do not see any harm in trimming a Sheltie’s coat all year round, or part of the year, as long as a few facts are taken into account:

    First, it’s going to be either difficult or expensive (or both) to keep her coat looking natural all the time if it’s being trimmed.

    Second, you must be sure in the summer that her coat is not so short that her skin is exposed to the sun; long-haired breeds of dog depend heavily on their coats to protect them from sunburn, and I believe that they will burn more easily than a human if their coats are too short. Similarly, you must be sure that there is enough coat in the winter to trap lots of “dead” air for insulation value (depending, of course, on the climate where you live).

    Third, if she naturally has a fitted coat, there may be little to no point in having her trimmed. Females are, in my experience, a little more likely to have fitted coats than males, but it depends more in overall inherited traits than on sex.

    Finally, there’s the chance that she just might not agree with your choice and might start to resent always having to be trimmed to keep her coat shorter than the natural length.

    Of course, this is your choice as her owners, but my personal perspective is that I have lots more things to do with my money, my time, and my dog :) Also, I really like a long, full Sheltie coat…but that’s just me!

    Again, congratulations on your first Sheltie. If you’re like most of us, she won’t be your last. And, above all, have fun with her!

  • abbey

    Thanks Jim, I really appreciate all of the information and help. It’s really nice to hear from sheltie owners on this matter.

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