I want to address something that I was guilty of and I think from time to time we all are. That is email etiquette. I apologized for an email I sent recently. In haste I wrote it and fired it off – without sleeping on it. A past board member and officer of this club gave me some advice that I think we should all consider.
Emails are a double edged sword; when written they allow us to put down our thoughts, concerns and frustrations; when mailed (without reviewing), they can't be retrieved; reach people they were not intended for; often confuse and unfortunately, sometimes, cut someone innocent to the bone. I have written this particular communication after editing it at least 4 times and still worry how it will be received. You can't hear my words so you may not know the emotion behind them. You can't see my face or read my body language just the words on the page. I try my best to write what I feel with consideration for the people receiving it.
The same thing goes for social media. Many of us our out on various social media sites. We post things to groups or on a friend’s page. People read it and then become upset with what was posted. So apply the same principles and etiquette here – so it does not become offensive. It is very upsetting when we see people attack other people on these social media sites. We all need to do a better job of our posts, and tweets.
Another subject I have wrote on before is getting young people involved in our breed. It seems everyone is aging just as well as I am. There is something to say about wine and cheese – it gets better with age. But I thought for a moment and it should be a concern to all of us in the breed. We as a club are getting older, as well as the members. If we want to keep this club vibrant into the future – we need to figure out a way to get more young people involved in our breed and club. This is the future of our club. How do we get more young people involved in our breed? That is the question I want each and every one of you to ask yourself. Back when I lived in the Midwest I was a 4H dog project leader. I encouraged kids to love their dogs and get involved in 4H activities with their dogs. How do we do that with Bouviers? It may be your kids, grand kids, nieces and nephews, a friends kids, but we need to get more young people involved in our breed. I will make it an initiative to do everything in my power as President to get young people involved in our breed. I hope each and every one of you will do the same thing. Whether you have family or know of someone – that is my challenge to you for the next year – get young people involved in Bouviers and let them share in the love of the breed as we do. Without them we will not have a future.
Please send me ideas that you might have in how we can get more young people involved. If you are a breeder, it might be such a thing – you give a potential Junior Handler a dog or co-own a dog with them. If you are a trainer, you might lend a hand to mentor a young person in all aspects of our breed in the performance events. Hey, we all had to start somewhere and we all had mentors to bring us up in the breed. Let’s all put our thinking caps on and start the ball rolling on getting more young people involved in our breed. After all it is “For the Love of the Bouvier”.
- Dennis Craig