Biscuits & Bones

Saturday, September 01, 2018 10:30 PM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

Thank You!

I want to thank those individuals who support our love of dogs by contributing their expertise to F&F.  Month after month these devotees spend untold hours putting together articles to support humane training tips and advice on trialing dogs in competitive events.  While social media plays an important role in the day-to-day activities of our sport, the authors who support F&F also believe it’s important for our sport to maintain a monthly journal.  

When reading articles one typically doesn’t take time to realize the amount of effort it takes to produce the work.  But looking at things “behind the scenes” it’s easy for us to vouch for our writers’ dedication to the sport.  

Even when working by oneself, it is a considerable process to put together a continuing column.  Add to that the fact that we work “across the miles”, a host of other planning and communicative factors can come into play.  The individuals who allow us to publish their material never complain about the additional considerations and they are always gracious in helping us to meet deadlines.

If it were not for the efforts of these dedicated souls, our sport would certainly be compromised.  It is an unmitigated honor for F&F to have their support in allowing us to share their material.

Thanking our enduring authors…

Dee Dee Anderson ~ Club Highlights, NOC & RNC Feature Articles
John Cox ~ Random Little Tidbits
Janice Gunn ~ A Foray
Laurie Lo ~ Confessions of an Obedience Junkie
Marilyn Miller ~ Doggedly Obedient
Deborah Neufeld ~ A Common Bond
Connie Cleveland-Nolan ~ Dogs Are Problem Solvers
Michael Pamela ~ Tracking - A Walk Done Nicely
Catherine Zinsky ~ Playing By The Rules

Welcoming our new writers…

Deb Fletcher ~ Performance Akitas
Holly Furgason ~ Mastering Rally
Joshua Wiggins ~ Profile 200

Commending our ratings statistician…

Beyond those who author articles and columns, a special thank you must be extended to Dave Pluth who tabulates our rating system reports.  It has been such a pleasure to work with Dave! His understanding of the sport has made it immensely easier to communicate our needs.  Dave has always worked efficiently and most importantly accurately.  From time to time we receive individual questions about a dog's placement, but the questions have always revolved around the interpretation of the protocols by which the results are tabulated.  To date, I do not recall a single incident where there has been an error in the calculation of any team's score, or placement of any team's ranking. Subscribers who have been around awhile may remember difficulties we once faced providing these results. Dave's efforts have eliminated every obstacle from the past.  Dave's mastery in providing these results for the fancy is only outshined by his respect for accurate results which exhibitors find so valuable.

Condolences ~ Diane Probst

It is with sincere regret that we have to say goodbye to Diane Probst. Diane was a highly regarded obedience judge and competitor.  She always had the best interests of the sport in mind and always demonstrated this respect.  I remember when no stewards showed up for a judging assignment I once had in Chicago. As soon as she found out my predicament, Diane jumped the gates and without hesitation pitched in setting up jumps and catering to my every need.  When someone like that tenders their help, you never forget the moment you look in their eyes and feel such comforting support.  I’ve looked up to Diane as a spectator and judge.  I’ll always miss the caliber of her integrity.


PICTURE CAPTION: Diane Probst Judging at the 2015 Scottish deerhound National Specialty

Upcoming Survey

A couple months ago we delayed the F&F Survey to give the fancy a chance to have more experience with the newest regulation changes in obedience.  At this time we are finalizing questions for this survey which will be released mid September.  The survey will be conducted online and will be announced through individual subscriber emails, on the Front & Finish Facebook Page, in the NOL Facebook Group, and on our website.  Results will be released in October.

Your First Dog

We'd like you to tell us a bit about your first dog.  You know... the very, very first one...  The one that probably had a lot to do with your love of dogs now...

 I have posted this question in our Facebook group (, if you'd prefer to respond there...  Optionally email me your narrative ( We'll try to get all responses published.  A picture would be great too!

Domino was my first...

My first dog was named Domino.  Domino was a stray that wandered by our home one day.  He was a scruffy "beagle-like" dog who was always happy to accept any handout we could offer.  He was greedy for both food and backrubs.

In all honesty I wish I had a better recollection of Domino.  No doubt my memories were persuaded by the old black & white movies we used to watch at home every Thanksgiving holiday.  I remember that I could never beat him in a backyard race. I also recall that he wasn't very obedient, although I didn't care much about that at the time.  Everyone always got a chuckle out of watching me nail the poor mutt in his doghouse to prevent possible getaways.  I'm guessing dad had something to do with his later release.

Domino had some competition because I'd been around tons of dogs since the day I was born.  But Domino was the first one I could call my own.  I guess it's fortunate that I don't remember the day he had to leave.  I only know of the good times and the love we shared.

Now it's your turn...  It doesn't have to be a long essay but f few words would be appreciated so much!  We need to get back to our roots in obedience. Maybe this can help us appreciate where are interests were planted.

Facebook Addresses

As I understand it, just because someone "likes" a page on Facebook doesn't mean they'll be notified of all posts occurring there.  Facebook's algorithms determine what is shared.  However, members who belong to private Facebook group can receive access to all posts. Beyond other discussions we're now posting F&F updates to our Facebook group (National Obedience League for Dog Trainers).  We'd love to have you like our page ( but we'd really like you to check out our group (

Testing A New F&F Issue Format

Okay I save all of this till last.  Some of you could care less so all you need to know is that for the next few issues will be publishing F&F in it's standard PDF format and also a new "website" format that offers a lot of advantages to the reader.  You should check it out at  Now... feel free to stop reading!  

Now... the details for those of you who want to know more.

Publishers today have unique challenges that weren’t evident a few years ago.  The fact that publishers are using synonyms like flipbook, e-zine, webzine, cyberzine, hyperzine, and a host of other names to describe the same thing, exemplifies the sate of flux that the industry is in.

F&F continues to do well in this state of instability and it is something we are very proud of.  Although we're a small niche group we're also mighty!  The continuance of F&F is one measure that suggests our sport retains the sustenance to carry on.

Over the next few months we will be testing an additional format in which to view your F&F issues.  We'll also continue to publish F&F in its usual PDF file format as well.

Why the additional format?

Although the PDF format has proven successful for our readership it retains a number of negative elements that we’d like to improve upon.  

•     While looking more like a traditional print publication, PDF files can be large in file size, which makes transmitting them difficult.

•     Replicating magazines in digital form makes them difficult to navigate and read because they require a lot of zooming, panning, and scrolling across pages.

•     Inserting video and other multimedia features directly in PDF files increases their size to impractical levels.  To include media features, publishers have to utilize “animated flipping page” services that we have tried in the past. Our subscribers did not care for this type of publication and other magazines are discovering this fact as well.

We spent a great deal of time looking into the best options for our readers and it hasn't been an easy process.  The market of online publishers is like a forest of trees and we felt like a dog trying to pee on each one.  As soon as we discovered a great looking possibility another tree across the valley looked even better.  Sadly, at the end of the day we found that for peeing purposes, a tree is pretty much a tree, and for online publishing purposes, one services is about the same as another.

The effort invested wasn't a waste of time however!  We started looking at a variety of magazines that were doing well online. What we discovered is that many of the well-known journals are passing by the "downloadable app, flipping page, technology" in favor of web-based formats.  It appears that they are coming to the realization that reading paper magazines is different than reading articles online, and there is no use trying to emulate one with the other.

In fact, highly successful magazines such as Time, Scientific American, Harvard Business Review, and The Atlantic, are noted to be leading examples for the online publishing industry.  While the look of these publications doesn't replicate the look of the magazine they are providing for a much richer reading experience for their subscribers.  Here are some of the benefits.

•     Website Magazines are typically published in “responsive format”.  This means that the content “reflows” to look good on any device.  This makes articles so much easier to read no matter what device subscribers are on (smartphone, tablet, computer).

•     Readers can view Website Magazines directly in any web browser and there are much fewer compatibility issues.  Users don't need to maintain any special apps to view articles and they can access their subscriptions almost anywhere.

•     Website Magazines offer much more interactivity with the reader.  If subscribers choose to participate, website magazine often offer opportunities to comment on articles, follow suggested resources easier, and be able to view a variety of multimedia.

•     Website Magazines can be updated to reflect more timely info.  Depending on editorial policies, material can be added or updated after issues are released.

•     Website Magazines make it much easier for readers to view multimedia content that is associated with articles. 

•     Website Magazines are still organized by issue, which allows subscribers to go back and review previous issues.  Back issues are kept in an online library for readers to access.

•     Website Magazines make it easier to locate articles of interest.  A table of contents and search features allow subscribers to locate this material.

To see if subscribers like the new format, we will begin publishing F&F in both the PDF and Website Magazine versions.  This is a new experience for us but we hope to update the new F&F Website Magazine version with updates later in the month.  Like always we'll notify you through email, Facebook, and on our website as updates occur.  Since we hate junk mail as much as you, emailed updates will not be sent until/unless several updates have been added. 

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