By Vickie Margolis
Something that has been on my mind for quite some time: Why there is little participation from our membership. And in researching, it is not just SWC, but many dog clubs, car clubs, gardening clubs…you name it. It seems more and more the questions from prospective and former members is WHY SHOULD I JOIN A CLUB? WHAT CAN A CLUB DO FOR ME?
I’d like to share my thoughts on that. The reasons are many….Our lives are busier and more hectic than ever, we have more and more choices as to what to do with the little leisure time we have, traffic (especially here in So. Cal) is horrendous, options for social interactions without ever leaving home are greater than ever before. I think people have lost sight of the reasons clubs/organizations exist. Clubs were formed to bring together those with like interests in something, whether it be a car club, a golf club, a sports club or a dog club. Breed specific dog clubs like Southland Weimaraner Club bring together those in a relative local area that have a love of a particular breed, enjoy talking about, and doing various activities with their dogs. It really makes no difference if your dog came from rescue, or a successful long time breeder of conformation or field trial lines, they are all Weimaraners. Specialty breed clubs like Southland Weimaraner Club are there to support and help us all realize the potential locked inside our dogs and provide a local community for us to exchange information about health issues that affect all our dogs, and ask each other for help when needed. Local clubs are a resource for their members to learn how to start your dog in conformation, obedience, field, retrieving, agility or just being a better family member. Clubs like SWC provide organized activities such as dog shows, field trials, obedience trials, hunt tests, field and retrieving ratings. These activities provide a way to let our dogs do the things they enjoy doing.
SWC is Southern California’s local club that is a regional member club of the Weimaraner Club of America (also known as the WCA or the “Parent Club”) The WCA is the keeper of the standard, the force behind health related research specifically in Weimaraners being done, a network of members across the country and even beyond our boarders with members all over the world.
The WCA is the guardian of our beloved Weimaraners. The WCA upholds the standard by which all Weimaraners in the USA will be judged (not just conformation judging, but the essence of what a Weimaraner is). Remember, there is a reason you choose to have a Weim. in your life, and not a different breed, or mixed breed. The WCA donates funds to research health related issues with the breed, is a central location to find information for breeding issues, then passes this information on to it’s members (and member clubs) who also pass the information on to their veterinarians. These things benefit all Weimaraners from conception into old age. The WCA and the regional clubs like Southland sanction and put on events for Weimaraner enthusiasts across the country. The WCA keeps records of outstanding achievements of dogs, breeders, and individuals that have had an impact on the dogs we have today and hope to have in the future. Through programs and committees like the Health Committee, we have the ability to learn more about the latest tests, and health issues that affect our dogs, we have a Breeders Education Committee to help spread information about the latest in what breeders need to know to help both our bitches and stud dogs continue producing happy, healthy puppies.
Clubs like SWC and the WCA need members to make these programs move forward, clubs are made up of volunteers who love the breed, and work hard to impart information and hold events that we all can participate in. These events also contribute to keeping the Weimaraner that we know and love consistent with the standard, honing and evaluating hunting skills, and keeping them active in our modern world. Whether you have a budding Field Champion, Bench Champion, a Master Agility Dog, Hunting Companion, or a sweet lovable family dog, it is in part due to those that gave of their time and knowledge and helped spread information, years of experience, and thoughts to others that love the breed that produced that puppy you brought home.
In this months newsletter you will find your renewal form for the 2018/2019 year. Please take a few extra moments to think what you can do to help keep SWC and all it’s history a viable club, check one of the boxes asking which area you would be willing to help with, or even attending meetings to offer up suggestions and thoughts. As I’m finishing this up, the club has obtained a conference call number to hold our meetings. It is hoped this will allow more members to attend the meeting through the conference call allowing easier access to attend the meetings and offer insights and suggestions.
Thank you for your attention for the minutes it took to read this, and I sincerely hope you will give thoughtful consideration to how you can help.
VM- Graymatter Editor & Membership Chair