“Don’t speak

or you’ll risk your reinstatement.”

I make a post about my experience, and I’m quickly flooded with messages to remove my post before the “wrong people” see it. The people who let you back in get to have some sort of vote and they determine your suspension and fees. So if I make them mad, maybe I will have a longer suspension…higher fees…or not be allowed back at all.  If the main committee has similar guidelines as the host committees have , I’m not really sure the point. It’s not a fair system. It doesn’t matter what actually happened, what a witness saw or didn’t see…it just matters how they feel about the certain situation…person…dog.

Keep your head down and just keep on keeping on they say. Don’t let one person ruin it for you. Well, one person did. Practice…go other places… start over at a new venue. Yeah, maybe…but if this is the nice group, I don’t really have motivation to go check out the other venues that CPE die hards talk so harshly about.

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The fact of the matter is that communication that went back and forth turned into a personal attack on who i am as an owner and dog person. My care for the safety of animals was questioned. My ability to understand a situation was questioned. My ability to understand dog body language was questioned. I’m not saying I am a dog trainer but I do have 7 years of experience dealing with hostile toxic environments among dogs.It’s clear that I have a bit of a crazy jack, Riley and my basenji thrives on his instability. I have spent countless hours working with them individually and together to ensure the safety of each of them, physically and mentally. Dogs come in and out of our house and I am quite capable of making sure each and every dog was and is safe. I help save hundreds of dogs a year who are in much worse conditions than a temperature controlled room with “spit” on their fur.

When people accuse you or not caring about your own dog or others I think you have a right to share your story. So my post was made in a CPE group that is not directly affiliated with CPE. A place for competitors to talk about it and also have discussions about complaints. Some responses asked some follow up questions. Many reported my concern as spam. Many messaged me telling me my attitude isn’t appreciated and to delete my post. Others messaged me to warn me that judges, and other “important” people read these forums and that my reinstatement could be jeopardized from voicing my opinion and sharing my story. “Are you sure you want to do this?” Yes. Absolutely. Because I also received messaged from people too afraid to comment but agreed with me. People who had similar experiences and were talked down to. People who have been belittled and continuously referred to the rule book (2 page section that doesn’t really explain much.

I have had a few lawyer friends review it as well and they saw numerous problems with the language and the clarity and intent). What was clear however is that you are guilty until proven innocent. No matter what you are suspended for someone ACCUSING you for at minimum 6 months. Something not clear in the rulebook is that your suspension starts the day of accusation…or rather the day you’re guilty with no way to have your side really taken into consideration. The CPE head committee will review your case in 3-6 months but only after you pay a $100 fee for their reviewing services. They must all be in the same room and they don’t all live in Michigan.  In 2017 it strikes me as odd that a review can’t happen via skype or face time.

But that’s neither here nor there because a minimum 6 months suspension will take you to the 6 month mark. From there, I guess, it’s up to them to make a decision on your fate. Who knows how they determine the severity of punishment as there are no outlines in the glorious rulebook. A dog who bites a child could be punished less than a dog who spits on another dog. Who knows? Surly not the party that’s already guilty despite having two sides to every story. So you wait your 6 months, only to be told hey it’s actually 9 months so just take your seat. It is what it is though. Again, make the right friends, and maybe this all wouldn’t happen. Make the right friends and maybe your post won’t be bombarded with negativity and people could give you a fair shot in explaining. Make the right friends and perhaps you’ll know your fate closer to the three month mark rather than 6.

Another item not clear in the rulebook but I suppose you could infer is that you may not enter any trials that would take you past your suspension date. You can only begin to enter trials once your clear and free of suspension. That wouldn’t be too bad except you know, trials get full. So now your unjust suspension of 6 months is now 7..8 months dependent on time of year and where you live. I’m lucky to have a few close places so I have more opportunity to make it in a trial with shorter notice but, not Nationals.

Nationals. The thing that got me accused of not caring about the safety of my own dogs or others. Because I care about something so…trivial apparently… I’m being judged. Again I have spent $960 to earn 48 Qs and get to level 4. I have spent $1,200 this year to continue to practice past my 48 Qs. And if this had happened in March, then I wouldn’t be in this boat. Sure I would be cutting it close on time to get 48 but like I mentioned I have many places in driving distance to trial at. It’s all about the timing. Woody’s mandatory suspension for jumping is 6 months. This would put us at March. Nationals are in May/June which shouldn’t pose an issue but because I can’t enter anything until March Woody will never get in. The premium is available in late January so that’s that. Something I have poured my heart and soul into achieving is now out of the picture and because that’s upsetting, I don’t really care about the dogs. Does this make sense?

So what do we learn? Be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Let power win. Politics is life. And we wonder why our country appears to be self imploding? Nah.

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2 thoughts on ““Don’t speak

  1. Sarah Bichon says:

    You are brave and you are correct. This is harsh and not fair. I won’t ptetend like I know about anything about agility completions but I do know that you are about as honest as they come, more than an amazing dog Mom, and you always seemed to enjoy doing this with your dogs. I’m sorry people suck. Speak out always!!!

    Like

  2. Allison says:

    I will say this : whether or not your dog had contact with the other dog or not is irrelevant here. The issue here is the crazy 6 month automatic suspension, and the idea that it can’t be reviewed until everyone on the board or whatever it is are all in the same room. Really? I have meetings every day at work with people all over the world, and we are not in the same room. The incident should have been reviewed THE DAY IT HAPPENED BY THE TRIAL JUDGE. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the statements given orally to the judge and a decision made right there? Why does waiting 6 months to be reviewed by people who weren’t there make any sense? My dealings with CPE have also made me beat my head against the wall because of an attitude of hautiness and lack of logic. I saw the rude and disdainful response you received in answer to your logical questions, and it does not surprise me. I’m sure many others have had the same experiences, so bravo to you for speaking up. Maybe if everyone did, some long overdue changes could be made

    Like

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