Dog Writers Take Manhattan 2011

Groups honor the year’s best dog writing in the run up to Westminster.

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show weekend attracts not only the finest four-legged canine champions but also the country’s top handlers, judges, breeders and journalists. The men and women who dedicate their full-time or part-time lives to writing about dogs look forward to two prestigious events, hosted by the Alliance of Purebred Dog Writers and the Dog Writers Association of America, which were held this year on Sunday, February 13.

DWAA, as the Dog Writers Association of America is known, was established in 1935 and is renown the more famous of the two writers groups. In its 76th year, DWAA is celebrating excellence in the field of dog writing and presents 46 “Maxwell” medallions — named in honor of past president Maxwell Riddle — in categories ranging from newspapers, magazines, newsletters, graphics/photography, club publications and books. Additionally the club presents some special awards sponsored by various organizations and companies.

The 2010 award for All-Breed Magazine was won by the AKC Gazette, one of the country’s oldest magazines, published by the American Kennel Club. The AKC also won a medallion in the Yearbook category for its 125th anniversary issue of the same magazine.

The best Feature article in an All-Breed Magazine was won by Wendy Bedwell-Wilson for “Rescuing Racers from the Pacific,” which appeared in the January issue of Dog World. The award for best Feature article in a Yearbook or Annual went to Diane Morgan for “Taking the Lead,” published in Training Secrets for Siberian Huskies by BowTie, Inc.

In the book category, a number of excellent titles were awarded. Jeffrey Pepper, a popular AKC judge, breeder and author, won the Single Breed category for “The Golden Retriever” from Kennel Club Books’ Classic series. The General Interest category winner was William Secord for his newest book “The American Dog at Home: The Portraits of Christine Merrill,” published by the Antique Collectors Club. Secord also received the prestigious Pro Plan President’s Award for his book.

The best Training book of the year award was claimed by Mary Burch for “Citizen Canine,” published by BowTie Press, in cooperation with the AKC. This is the first official training guide from the AKC about its popular Canine Good Citizen program. The best Soft-Cover Guide went to another BowTie Press publication, “Tricks for Treats” by dog trainer, author and photographer Jean Fogle.

Each year DWAA selects a distinguished dog professional to induct into its Hall of Fame. This year two individuals were honored: Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia, current president of the organization, prolific author and German Shepherd breeder, and Christine Walkowicz, President Emeritus of DWAA and popular dog book author, also known as a breeder of Bearded Collies and German Shepherds.

The DWAA Distinguished Service Award went home with newsletter editor Marion Lane, whose efforts for the club’s monthly publication has greatly improved the quality and consistency of the newsletter.

The newer of the two organizations, the Alliance of Purebred Dog Writers met for their annual meeting and award ceremony at the famed Sardi’s Restaurant. The awards are named in honor of Arthur Fredrick Jones and affectionately called the “Arthur” awards.

Best Book of the Year was awarded to Jeffery Pepper for “The Golden Retriever” (Kennel Club Books). Pepper is an accomplished AKC judge and celebrated breeder of Golden Retrievers, whose Pepperhill dogs won in the show ring for 25 years.

The Best Editorial award was claimed by Allan Reznik, Editor-in-Chief of Dogs in Review magazine. Other awards garnered by Dogs in Review were Best Column,  “National Specialties” by Richard G Beauchamp and Best Article (1500 to 3000 words), “The Baker Institute” by Amy Fernandez. The award for Article (3000 words or more) went to Denise Flaim, “Tails, You Lose,” which appeared in Modern Molosser. The winner for Best Blog was claimed by Mary Burch, the CGC coordinator for the AKC.

Two final awards capped off the presentation. The Stonehenge Award was presented to Damara Bolte, a long-time Basenji breeder, author and sculptor, and the Captain Arthur J. Haggerty Award was presented by Babette Haggerty, dog trainer and daughter of her hero dad, to Jean C. Keating, a Papillon breeder and exhibitor from Virginia, for her an article “Honoring Virginia’s Fallen K-9 Cops”.

Andrew DePrisco is the Editorial Director and Vice President of Kennel Club Books. Allan Reznik is the Editor-at-Large for Dog World and DOG FANCY magazines, and Editor-in-Chief for Dogs in Review magazine.

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