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All in the family.

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Ryotaro Kato Hosaka

This photo was sent to me by my brother in California. it’s a photo of our Grandfather Ryotaro Kato Hosaka with a GSD at his garden in Tokyo. Yeah I know it’s not even a good specimen of a GSD by todays standards but the point I’m making is that it’s all in the family. He also owned Japanese Spitz,my uncle (Philippine Canine Club Inc. Charter Member) Jose T. Hosaka believes that my grandfather was probably one of, if not “the first” to bring into the Philippines the Japanese Spitz breed.

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Mario P. Magsaysay-An FCI All-Breed Judge with a SV License as Foundation.

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Author with good friend Mario P. Magsaysay over a bowl of Ramen.

This has been in the backburner for quite sometime. Going back to what I have researched and started, I realized that I started this for almost a decade ago, and between the moment I started it, to now as my fingers glide and punch the keys, I have accumulated more dots to connect and figure out. This will be just my second article about someone, the first being Rafael De Santiago. So who is this guy?

He got his first dog at the age of 19, it was suppose to be a “Police Dog.” His first purebred was at age 24, and this would be the same year he became a member of the Philippine Canine Club Inc. He is a charter member of the German Shepherd Dog Association of the Philippines. He worked with the other German Shepherd Dog Club and with the GSDA would form the German Shepherd Dog Federation of the Philippines. I was privileged enough to work in the same board when he was President of PCCI. It was during his watch that computerization was finally implemented and a significant increase in annual income would be generated. It was also during Mario’s watch wherein a decision was made to implement the Jimmy Trillo vision of the club and start finding a suitable property to serve as show grounds.

Mario Magsaysay comes from the renowned Magsaysay clan, he is related to a past President of the country, to past Senators, Congressmen, Governor, Vice-Governor, Mayor, Vice-Mayor and even Council Men, yup the whole gamut of the political hierarchy, if the name is Magsaysay, they could very well be family to Mario and Mario to all of them. My connection to the Magsaysays includes his niece Zambales Vice-Governor Angel Magsaysay Cheng. His cousin Jojo Magsaysay is a good friend of mine who lives across Mario’s crib. Jose “Joe/Jojo” Magsaysay, of Cinco Corporation (of the popular Potato Corner) and now a venture capitalist, is a cousin of Mario.

Time spent with him has revealed much of who he is. He comes from the renowned and respected Magsaysay clan. He is a gear head and appreciates well made and well engineered automobiles. He has a need for speed having owned a Mitsubishi Eclipse which he quickly sold because he found it soft on the twisties. He would then own a Subaru Imprezza of which I’ve seen him leave behind some racer kids on JDMs. He is a motorcyclist too, having owned Harley Davidson and finally falling in love with BMW. Automobiles and Motorcycles are a regular topic for us. He agrees with my owning and love for Vespas but ribs me for my love and ownership of a Honda and a Ducati, after all he is a BMW man. He appreciates good food, he cooks a mean Kaldereta, advising that the secret is in good beef and good Chorizo, with just the right amount of spice. He can also whip a delectable Putanesca, advising to use fresh tomatoes, slow cook the sauce and not to forget the capers. He decided to take up Yoga in 2000, around the same time I did, which he picked up during his judging assignments in India. He has shifted to Thai meditation which he finds very peaceful and has offered to mentor me on. His austere and simple ways quickly earned him the family company position of Treasurer early in his corporate life, of which now he is President.

He was part of the generation of Shepherd men during its golden years, when the Martin brothers reigned. Family business and his enthusiasm for the breed saw him travelling to Germany often. He initially had no plans of acquiring an SV license to judge, but being the practical man that he is, and with him travelling to and fro at a regular basis, Mario would eventually decide to acquire the coveted SV license. His first exam would be under non other than Dr. Ernst Beck. He would be mentored by both the Martin brothers who would eventually become personal friends to him. Mario described Walter as the maverick of the two bros. He was spending time with them since the seventies, broke bread with them and shared a laugh or two. So why not get an SV license?


I with the late Herman Martin and her daughter Iris at their Kennel in Virhiem, Germany during the mid 70’s. Herman Martin, President of SV Germany and owner of the Arminius Kennel.

He went through a wringer of a procedure to acquire his Auslander License. One time over dinner, I asked him about the process and procedure at the time when he got his SV license. We talked about it but not in story telling order but of memories that brought a smile to Mario. I had a difficult time taking notes so I ended up telling Mario, “find some time, sit down, and remember, compose your thoughts, write it down then email it to me.” I received this email 8 years ago, during the Christmas Holidays.

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12/10/2009 at 3:24PM

Hi Jojo,

This is what I remember of what I went through in my journey to become an SV judge.

1. I wrote Verein Fur Deutsched Schaferhunde (SV) Germany informing them of my intention to become an SV judge. I submitted my curriculum vitae that was duly notarized. One of the prerequisites is that you should also be an experienced GSD specialty judge in your country of which I already was.

2. Once approved by their board, my letter of intent was forwarded to the SV Judging committee. The committee assigned me to a judge who is also a member of the judging committee, this judge who will be judging 6 months after my application is approved.

3. I then travelled to Germany. At the show, I presented the appropriate documents to the judge, in my case I was assigned to the esteemed judge Dr. Ernst Beck. I had to critique all the GSD together with the judge. I had to rate each dog as excellent plus, excellent, excellent minus, very good, good, sufficient and faulty. The judge queried me as to my ratings, on why I gave this rating or why not a different rating. Part of the oral exam included bloodlines to test me on how well I knew GSDs.

4. I submitted my ratings to the judge after we finished our critiques. I brought my critiques back home to Manila to format it properly, to type it guided by the SV format, after which I mailed back to Germany. This was evaluated by the committee together with the examiner judge. What’s very important is the ratings you give the judge after your critique.

5. After 3 months I received a letter from the judge informing me on how I faired at the exam and on the areas of improvement. I was also informed that I passed the exam and the schedule of my next exam six months later. I would then return to Germany to go through the same procedure.

Note: After I passed three examinations I qualified as an Ausland Richter or Foreign judge allowing me to judge Landesgruppen specialty shows world wide but not in Germany. In 1985 I was given my Ausland Richter license signed by Hermann Martin.

Six more exams would qualify me to be a full SV Richter, a German judge that will qualify me to judge world wide including Germany. I decided to take these 6 exams, and three years later, come 1988, I would be awarded my SV Richter license, also signed by Hermann Martin.

I was asked why I wanted to get an SV Richter license when the chance of being invited to judge in Germany is low. I just smiled and answered “why not?” To me it was a challenge and opportunity to show that Filipinos can. I would eventually get my All-Breed License. You and I were together in getting our FCI All-Breed license, you took more time because you had to concentrate on becoming a Surgeon and starting a practice.

Sometimes I wonder how many are qualified both as an SV judge and an FCI All-Breed judge? That my friend is the humble story of my journey in acquiring the coveted SV license.

Always be well my friend, regards to Cidette and a Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Mario
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1985 SV Auslander, 1988 SV Richter ID Cards of Mario signed by Hermann Martin

Receiving a Certificate of Appreciation and an SV Pin for 25 years of service as an SV judge in 2012, in Ulm Germany at the WUSV Meeting, from WUSV President Wolfgang Henke

Photo of 1984-85 World Sieger Uran Wildstiegerland SchhIII taken by Mario

VA Quando Arminius photo taken by Mario

I asked Mario his opinion about the present problem of the GSD as to its sloping back and weak rears. He quickly answered that “the standard is clear, both upper and lower legs should be the same length and hocks being vertically straight. The problem now is the longer lower leg that brings about the sloping back, because of the long lower leg, the rear becomes weak, the back slopes and the hocks can’t stand straight.” I also asked his opinion if the Martins are to blame for this problem. According to Mario, the Martins made a conscious effort NOT to put up weak rears and taught him to watch out for this. Mario took me under his wings when I was working on my all-breed license. For three consecutive years, he told me to attend the annual Philippine Sieger Show. During those three years, Mario would invite me to the tent at the center of the ring and teach me GSD judging shop. For three years, I learned what to look for, what to watch out for, how to make a critique from Mario.

I think that email sums up his judging license journey. Sometime ago, early in our judging careers, while both us were in the board, Mario sat beside me and talked about a judging bind that he figured in. I told him “Mario there is a German saying-Fehler machen uns schlau and Ein fehler ist kein fehler, Mistakes make us smart and One mistake is no mistake.” At the end of the meeting, on our way out of the conference room, Mario would put his arm around me and say to me-“You’re right Doc.” That evening would be the start of a friendship a notch above ordinary.

Let me add, the few people in the Philippine Canine Club who has my high regard and admiration aside from Mario; the late Ralph Policarpio and Jimmy Trillo, Bobby Tesoro, Pepe Muñoz, are all past presidents I’ve worked with as directors and whom I have served under, all honest, above reproach, character without a doubt. Directors Carlo Mendez, Richard Syling, Capt.Lito and Maripi Cristobal, directors I’ve worked with and just like the past presidents I mentioned, their honesty are all beyond reproach. Some may not have left a lasting legacy but definitely left a reputation of character beyond reproach. They did not over stay in the board, have no dark clouds over their heads nor have they ever been “voted out” at any one point, what they had was for the best interest of the club and nothing for themselves. In life it is about character, character, character.

Some will wonder why write about an ordinary Filipino FCI Judge. In 2016, I chaired the FCI Show and Judges Commission Meeting held in Cebu, at one point in the discussion, the issuance of Asian licenses was alluded to as being easy and quick. This is very unfortunate and unfair to us journey man Asian Judges because we all get generalized. Does it actually happen, rumors are always rife on who these “fast tracked” judges are, club officers, club friends. Judges who got their All-Breed licenses, all 10 groups in less than 10 years and often much shorter. The worse part of it all is they get invited almost every where because of club politics. This is why I’m writing about Mario, I know he didn’t fast track his All-Breed license but most of all he owns the illustrious SV license, something few and far between among the judges in the FCI roster. A feather was added to his judging cap when in 2012, in Ulm Germany, at the WUSV Meeting, he was awarded by WUSV President Wolfgang Henke, an SV pin, a certificate of appreciation for being a senior SV judge and for service as an SV judge for 25 years.

I’m sure there are haters out there quick to hate and say things otherwise. But when I’m with the man, I rarely hear anything boastful, nothing ostentatious about and on his person, nor any gossiping or putting down of anyone, it’s always a fun time wether it is over a meal, or waiting for our flight, or during a break in a meeting, or a break during a judging assignment. He is the quiet guy in a judging panel, with a ready smile. I never receive a message from him bragging about a judging assignment or how many entries he had, or who he put up. In fact during the times I was with Mario, doing research, talking about this article I planned to write, Mario would always say-“Please make it simple” or “I’m not a Saint, I’ve made mistakes” he would pause then add “but I know I learned from them,” “I do my best to be good.”

He is the company I keep, so when I get a message from him of “let’s have lunch!” I’m always quick to say “sure!”

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Financial Statement…in the bin.

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Straight to the bin.

My last stint as a PCCI Director was in 2014-2016, but I didn’t get re-elected in 2016. Those who follow this blog know the details of what happened. I still drop by the office once in a while for a few official business errands. I do accept local judging assignments and might bump into a few Directors who are also judges during the same show. That’s basically it, having chosen to move on.

https://withinzones2to8.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/life-goes-on/

But today I received the clubs 2017 financial statement…and got reminded of things. External/Independent Auditors will provide a Confidential Auditors Report that will report on all the financial leaks that they find in their audit. I asked a copy of it during the 2015 General Assembly, I asked a copy of this Confidential Auditors Report, well, I never got it.

I wasn’t in the mood to research a full feature for this post. I do know that the accuracy of an External Auditors Financial Audit to begin with, is critically dependent on the honesty and accuracy of what is submitted to the auditors. I attached two links that should explain why the report made it to the bin…well at least it’s in the recyclable bin.

http://fortune.com/2015/10/19/auditors-financial-reports/

http://www.understand-accounting.net/TheReliabilityandAccuracyoffinancialstatements.html

The new Judges Competency Framework of the Kennel Club

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http://www.fci.be/en/Show-Judges-44.html

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/judges-education/breed-show-judges-training/judges-competency-framework

I follow the twitter account of Dog World, and on the 26th of April they tweeted about the new Judges Competency Framework. Reactions to this new “Framework” are mixed. I’ve read it twice and continue to go back and forth. I’ve also read commentaries and comments about this framework.

What can I pick up based on my research? It seems to be agreed upon by all that the old system needed to be changed. The most common reason being a lack of transparency with second being competency issues. It seems that the old system had transparency issues when it came to the procedure and process of acquiring a license, from initial breed all the way to all breed. The next issue of transparency seems to have something to do with judging assignments, the requirements and the judge selection and approval for an assignment. Finally we have the issue of competency.

Looking at the new framework, it quickly reminded me of an ISO Process and Procedural Manual. The framework will address issues of transparency which pleased a lot of people. However, I personally believe that transparency is a political/policy issue, meaning any policy to curb it’s lack, really depends on the admins effort to implement transparency policies. Having said that, the framework explains to every aspiring and existing judge where he or she is exactly, what he/she is exactly entitled to and the requirements for the next step. The framework covers procedure, requirements and performance measurements, matters that are addressed by ISO. If I were an aspiring judge, this framework is something I would appreciate.

The Kennel Club is also introducing the “The Kennel Club Academy,” an online education platform that can be accessed 24/7. A mandatory continuing education is to be attended every five years for existing whatever level you are in. Aside from the usual breed seminars, a mentoring program is now in place. The online education is the one that has had the most response in social media. There are mixed reactions, from it’s cost to it’s efficacy. Can online education replace actual live practicums?

The Devil is in the detail. My interest is how did the whole thing come about. Did they have Focus Group Discussions? Did they consult all stake holders? Did they ask help? The intention of the Framework is good but I see too many moving parts. I’m biased towards the FCI guidelines because it is simple albeit lacking in education curriculum which I believe the present Show Judges Commission is addressing under the Chairmanship of John Wauben. The Framework also seems to lack a timeline goal for a diligent, studious aspiring judge with a plan to become an all rounder which the FCI Guidelines has. I don’t have much to say on curriculum that will address competence until I’ve seen the online education platform but this effort shows that the Kennel Club is ahead of FCI in this matter. The bottom line is, if this Framework will make better Kennel Club Judges then we all wish them good luck.

The missing Bexley

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20161020_083125

My red headed pens, a couple probably brunettes.

I’ve been using a fountain pen for quite a while as a user and haven’t really lost any, except maybe during my high school days when we didn’t care about our school stuff. I know I’ve lost a couple and dropped another couple of Parker fountain pens in the 70’s when in high school. Come 1980, forced to maturity in a coed premed, a Parker 75 flighter with a fine nib and a black Jotter (recessed clicker button and brass bushing) would see me through premed, medicine proper, internship and general surgery residency in the 90’s. Because I trained in a Government hospital which gave a higher salary, I was entitled to a separation pay after 5 years of surgical training. So in 98, I would use the separation pay to gift myself with my first Rolex and a Black Sheaffer Connaisseur. The smarter ones kept the funds to see them through a starting surgeons life.

I would lose the Sheaffer in the OR (operating room) dressing room in 99. I would then buy a Pelikan M600 at a DFS and later on a Sailor 1911 in Singapore. Since losing the Connaisseur, I’ve been both careful and lucky. Through the years, the pen collection has grown with nary a pen accidentally leaving the flock…until that fateful Monday evening January 23, 2017.

I got home after having dinner with the family at UP Town Center. I removed the 149 and the Duofold Rollerball from my shirt pocket and returned them to their space in a Somes 3 pen case. When I returned the Somes in its place in a Tumi Alpha 2 Organizer Travel Tote, the leather sheath containing a favorite Bexley was missing. I ran my hands through the Tumi, emptied it, turned the bag upside down and inside out but it was missing. Checked all my pockets again and again, still missing. Ran to the car and searched every space, every nook and cranny but it was nowhere to be found. Took out my torch to check the garage and driveway but nothing. I even checked the toys of the French Bulldog thinking she might’ve picked it up still nothing. I decided to call it a night, took a shower, then steeped a cup of Chamomile and while waiting for it to brew, I retraced my steps of the past day. Morning rounds…administrative duties at a Maritime Health clinic…out patient clinic duties…quick meeting…a Judges Seminar organized by the Judges Development Licensing Committee of the Philippine Canine Club Inc….late dinner with the family. It was the realization that the pen probably fell during a moment when I went down the car that made me sigh, a sigh of sadness because it probably is now in someone else’s hands.

The pen, as previously mentioned is a Bexley, a reissue of the Prometheus, this one in raspberry ebonite with a recently bought fine gold Bexley nib. It has been a favorite for the past 7 months because it made me appreciate fine nibs. The photo is my humble collection of red pens, from L-R. A Sheaffer Balance in Carmine Red Fine Gold Nib, Parker Mark I Duofold Centennial Burgundy Medium Nib, Montblanc 146 Bordeaux Medium Nib, and the missing Bexley Prometheus Raspberry Red Ebonite Fine Gold Nib, Visconti Wall Street LE Burgundy 1.3 Stub Palladium Nib. Some have told me “At least it’s just a Bexley.” With me, it never is about the brand, it’s always a case of “I know it when I see it” and when I saw and held the Bexley, I knew it. She had that warmth they say an ebonite pen gives you when you hold it and a guilty pleasure of mine, the industrial smell of ebonite. The fine gold nib instantly turned it into a favorite.

I was using this Bexley than the 149 this past 7 months. I was whipping her out on almost every occasion, till that 23rd of January when I had to dress to impress. So the 149 and the Duofold RB took center stage when I slipped them into the pocket of my Brooks Brothers white long sleeved shirt and the Bexley stayed in the bag. My wife said “Baka nag tampo yung Bexley when she realized she wasn’t good enough (Maybe the Bexley sulked in jealousy…).”  Yeah, she probably did…I’m hoping she will pop up when I least expect it and make my day.

http://www.professorsolomon.com/12principles.html

The 1st Philippine Circuit Show Judges Seminar

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This past January 18, 2017, Wednesday, a day before the Philippine Circuit Show and on the 23rd of January 2017 a day after the Circuit Show, the Philippine Canine Club Inc.’s Judges Development and Licensure Committee hosted a Judges Seminar as part of it Continuing Education Program.

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Dinky Santos introducing Bill Shelton on the left.

APAC President and PCCI President Dinky Santos has taken the bull by its horns and has taken over the Judges Development part of the JDLC (Judges Development and Licensure Committee). One of his first projects which will be a yearly mainstay is to avail of the invited Judges of the Philippine Circuit Show as lecturers of the Seminars. He has also made attendance of the local judges to the seminar mandatory. A yearly required number of seminars now has to be attended similar to professional continuing education.

On the 18th of January 2017 Wednesday, we had Desmond Murphy to lecture on the Chow Chow, Bill Shelton on the Welsh Corgi Pembroke and Edd Bivin on the Pomeranian. On the 23rd of January 2017 Monday, we had Francesco Cochetti on the Chihuahua and Jack Russel Terrier, Michael Camac on the Lhasa Apso, Claudio de Guiliani on the Bracco Italiano, Rony Doedijns on the Newfoundland, and Gopi Krishnan on the Dachsuhnd. The Moderator was Dinky Santos.

The first day was jam-packed as exhibitors also attended the              seminars. Edd Bivin himself was expecting just 20 judges and an open format discussion, but he was surprised to see a crowded function room of 50+ enthusiatic listeners.

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FCI President Rafael De Santiago giving a welcome, with Edd Bivin on the right.

All the Speakers are seasoned Judges Seminar lecturers. Format of lecture included a history of the breed with emphasis on it’s function and purpose. Followed by a rundown of the FCI standard with a discussion of faults, disqualifications and cause and effects of exaggerations on each specific section of the standard as well as comparisons with other standards.

Discussions were always lively. Desi Murphy asked Edd Bivin about the Pomeranian head and its muzzle and how we are seeing 2 distinct head types. I asked about a Pem having the AKC +40% length of back vs a much longer back based on the FCIs “moderately long back” standard. An interesting discussion was between fellow Italians Francesco Cochetti and Claudio De Guillani. Francesco personally believes that being an active breeder is of help when judging because when choosing between two excellent entries, he would choose the one that would clearly help improve the breed most if used for breeding, this was seconded by Gopi Krishnan. Claudio disagreed and said that he judges against the standard and would choose the one that best fits the standard since there is no such thing as the perfect dog. Claudio was honest to admit that he is not a breeder and that he did not feel that it was a handicap. I also loved the lecture of Michael Camac showing actual photos of different faults and exaggerations of the Lhasa both in coat and cut down. Rony Doedijns mentioned that he appreciated the discussions and found them very interesting. At the Judges Seminar during the Cebu Judges Commission Meeting last January 2016, Rony spoke about the problems of exaggerations and how it is affecting form and function. During this Circuit Show Seminar, Rony correlated these problems with the Newfoundland. I enjoyed and learned from all the lecturers. The Italians made interesting discourse, Francesco is Canine Judge Royalty because his father was also a judge. Both Francesco and Claudio are writers and authors, their knowledge of canine anatomy is amazing, I am familiar with their mentors who are renowned, making me conclude that they too are a notch above.

 

 

Epictetus was right when he said-“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” During the Seminar,  I heard an All Rounder rib another All Rounder on why they have to attend these Seminars with the resumé that they already have. I just smiled, and said to myself “how cocky.” Some weren’t impressed with the seminar. You can nitpick about so many things, I myself would tweak things for the next years seminar. But, I’m also a results oriented leader, and the result of this seminar did not fail me. I have always been a half glass full type of guy. As judges, we are in the ring to judge positively as much as possible. To me the Seminars were a learning opportunity. I enjoy attending seminars and lectures on topics that interest me, I enrol in university subjects  without credits, all this to keep my mind going. Once we get to the winter of our life, things slow down, including our mind. Keep on learning while you can during your lifetime. Find the time, to attend the Philippine Circuit Judges Seminar Series, I assure you of something that will be learned.

 

 

 

Why you don’t trust your Kennel club

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I guess you know I’m a TED follower. So here is Rachel Botsman and why we’ve stopped trusting institutions.

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